This site began as a portfolio of coursework for HIST 390-002 Studying Sensational Trials in a Digital Age at George Mason University. In this course, students focused on a sensational trial of their choice by integrating digital tools such as JSTimeline, StoryMapJS, open-source Word Press blogging tools with traditional historical research based in primary sources.
I chose to focus on the Salem Witch Trials in my coursework. I was interested in the Salem Witch Trials from a very young age, and discovered a few years ago that – like thousands of other Americans – I am related to an executed Salem Witch. My 16th or some-odd paternal great-grandmother was Mary Parker, who was executed on September 22, 1692.
You can check out a timeline of her trial within the context of the greater scope of the trials, which I created for my midterm using TimelineJS.
This site and the coursework it was built on eventually turned its focus to the interplay of social status and geography in the spread of accusations during the Salem Witch Trials. My research question was inspired by the common insistence among amateur historians that accusation tended to originate in Salem Village (Renamed Danvers in 1752) and targeted the wealthier Salem Town residents. I wanted to see if this theory of the spread of accusations was accurate, and if it could be extended to the greater geographic spread of accused witches.