Sunday, August 19, 2012

This Day in History August 19, 1692

John Proctor

Today's feature centers around the name on this gravestone--John Proctor.  If you know U.S. history, you have probably heard about the Salem Witch trials.  So many innocents were killed on suspicion of being a witch, and it is a horrible blot on our history.

John Proctor is known because of Arthur Miller's The Crucible, but he was one of many who suffered the horrible fate of being hanged for being a witch.  John Proctor was a farmer who did not support all this testimony that the young girls were giving against supposed witches.  And his wife, Elizabeth, was one that was finally placed on trial for such.  Because he continued to defend his wife against witchcraft charges, he became the first man to be accused of witchcraft--the girls pointed to him as a wizard.

On this date in 1692, John Proctor along with  George BurroughsJohn WillardGeorge Jacobs, Sr.Rebecca Nurse and Martha Corey were hanged for witchcraft.  His wife, Elizabeth, was given a reprieve until after she gave birth.

I am always saddened and angered when I read about such things.  For me, this is no different that the Inquisition nor the Crusades.  When people are killed unjustly in the name of the church or God, I am always horrified.  God never intended this kind of thing to happen.  

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