By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (February 29, 2024) – This Leap Day edition of Fun with Maps takes us to the trials of a misunderstood craft – witchcraft.

Not Voodoo

In Salem, Massachusetts, the first 3 women were accused of witchcraft on February 29, 1692.

Several young girls had fallen ill since the beginning of the year.  12-year-old Ann Putnam and 17-year-old Elizabeth Hubbard allege that they have come under a bewitchment spell.  They name Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba as the spell casters.

While the first 2 women maintain their innocence, Tituba confesses and also says there are more witches about although she cannot name them.

In May of 1692, Sarah Osborne dies in prison, and becomes the first casualty of the witch trials.  Sarah Good is hanged in July.  Tituba was imprisoned for over a year, but then there is no further record of the Native American’s fate.

By the time the hearings were over in May of 1693, over 200 people had been accused of witchcraft.  Of those, only 30 people were tried.  Nineteen were executed, and at least 5 died in jail.  The cause of the medical symptoms suffered by the accusers has never been identified.

Somewhat tastefully, or disappointingly, Ruth White does not show witches by Salem in her 1938 pictorial map of Massachusetts shown here.

Massachusetts – 1938 (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Fun with Maps here on Loveland Beacon.