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American history has few subjects as interesting as witchcraft because it confronts us with many Ideas about women It confronts us with fears about women the place of women in society and with women themselves Also it confronts us with violence against women and how the problems of society were often blamed on women Even though some men were executed as during periods of witch hunting witches were generally thought of as women and most who died in the name of witchcraft were women In the United States witchcraft took place among too educated of people to dismiss it as mere superstition P10 The first person that was executed as a witch in America was Margaret Jones in 1648 Jones was a midwife and lay healer who was accused of several different practices Minister John Hale who witnessed Joness hanging in Boston when he was a boy later said that she was suspected partly because that after some angry words passing between her and her Neighbors some mischief befell such neighbors in their Creatures or the like and partly because some things supposed to be bewitched or have a Charm upon them being burned she came to the fire and seemed concerned P20 Hale included neither of these charges in his list of the evidence presented against Jones but suggested that the crimes had to do with her medical practice She was accused of having a malignant touch Hale noted and her medicines were said to have extraordinary violent effects When people refused to take her medical advice he added their diseases and hurts continued with relapse against the ordinary course and beyond the apprehension of all physicians and surgeonsP21 Hale also mentioned that Jones was believed to possess psychic powers some things which she foretold came to pass accordingly other things she could tell of she had no ordinary means to come to the
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