Currents of Malice
by Persis W. McMillen
This title is out of print
Mrs. McMillen has long been interested in the ancestral history of the early Towne family, and their lives before, during, and after the Salem witchcraft hysteria of 1692-1693. Despite reading a number of published books on the subject, Mrs. McMillen thought that many questions remained unanswered. Why were two of the Towne sisters executed and not the third, what was the relationship between the Townes and the Putnam family who accused the sisters of witchcraft, and what was the connection between the Townes and John Willard who was one of the men executed?
In published material and in original court documents, studied both in Massachusetts and in England, the author searched for answers to these questions. This book provides details on all aspects of the tragic events of nearly 300 years ago. The work focuses on the Towne family, first detailing how they came to Salem, and how the sisters married and raised families.
A major portion of the book is devoted to the trials, relating how the people were accused, arrested, and tried, and how some of them were executed and others released. The author quotes extensively from original court documents and especially from the courageous words of Mary Towne Esty, who refused to admit to the charges when a guilty plea would have won her release. In the aftermath of the trials, it was the Towne family who spearheaded efforts to drive minister Samuel Parris from Salem and to seek restitution for the victims.
Nonfiction. History. 603 pages, clothbound, ISBN 0-914339-31-1...$35.00
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