Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

The Crucible: Background

Have you no sense of decency? - Welch/McCarthy

Transcript here.

Anticommunist crusader Senator Joseph R. McCarthy stepped into national prominence on February 9, 1950, when he mounted an attack on President Truman’s foreign policy agenda. McCarthy charged that the State Department and its Secretary, Dean Acheson, harbored “traitorous” Communists. McCarthy’s apocalyptic rhetoric made critics hesitate before challenging him. Those accused by McCarthy faced loss of employment, damaged careers, and in many cases, broken lives. After the 1952 election, in which the Republican Party won control of Congress, McCarthy became chairman of the Senate Committee on Government Operations and its Subcommittee on Investigations. McCarthy then extended his targets to include numerous government agencies, in addition to the broadcasting and defense industries, universities, and the United Nations. After Secretary of the Army, Robert T. Stevens, refused to intercede to halt an overseas assignment for McCarthy’s chief consultant, G. David Schine, who had been drafted, McCarthy’s committee began a two-month investigation of the Army. (Read more)

The petition to free Rebecca Nurse

Rebecca Nurse was such a beloved citizen of Salem Village that when she was arrested for witchcraft in March of 1692, thirty-nine Salem residents came to her defense and signed a petition asking to set her free.

The actions of her friends and family were remarkable because in signing the petition, these thirty-nine people essentially risked their own lives by marking themselves as potential targets for the charge of witchcraft. (Source)

The diary of Samuel Sewall (16784-1729)

Selected excerpts from Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Vol. 5, Series 5, 1878, pages 358 - 464. - Diary of Samuel Sewall

April 11th 1692. Went to Salem, where, in the Meeting-house, the persons accused of Witchcraft were examined; was a very great Assembly; ëtwas awfull to see how the afflicted persons were agitated. Mr. Noyes prayíd at the beginning, and Mr. Higginson concluded. [In the margin], VÊ, VÊ, VÊ, Witchcraft.

Reverend Samuel Parris

“The House Where Witchcraft Started,” photo of the Salem Village Parsonage, home of Samuel Parris, Danvers, Mass, published in Witchcraft Illustrated by Henrietta D. Kimball, circa 1892. This house is actually just an addition that was added to the parsonage house in 1734. The original parsonage house was torn down in 1784 and this addition was then moved to Sylvan Street in Danvers. (Source)

Aurthur Miller, Salem, MA (1991): Crucible & Trials

Samuel Parris - sermons

Samuel Parris - sermons (1689-1692)

My poor & weak Ordination sermon at the Embodying of a Church in Salem Village on the 19.9.1689. The Rev'd Mr. Nicholas Noyse Embodying of us: wo also Ordained my most unworthy Self Pastor, & together with the Rev'd Mr. Sam: Phillips & the Rev'd Mr. John Hale imposed hands The same Mr. Phillips giving me ye right hand of fellowship with beautifull loveliness & humility.

5 Joshua 9· first part

And the Lord said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the Reproach of Egypt from off you. As to the Penman of this Book there are variety of apprehensions but famous Calvin, & some others, suspend their determinate judgments about it as not having sufficient grounds to bottom any certainty upon.

The Scope of this Book is of great excellency & usefullness upon sundry accounts. As

1. To discover to us the sufficiency of a divine promise for Faith to build upon, & (as I may say) rest it self in. God for many years before had promised to give Abraham & his Seed ye Land of Canaan but in the interim he seems (as it were) to have forgotten yt Promise. But yet in his own good & promised time, he doth most punctually notwithstanding all intervening difficulties, seeming impossibilities, & naturally reall invincible impediments fully perform every part of that promise. Hince then all true Israelites have enough to stay upon in all ages as long as they have a Divine promise to build & bottom upon.

2. To discover to us the sufficiency of a divine threatening to strike terrour into Heavens Rebells. God had threatened ye Canaanites for their Idolatry & other wickednesses that he would root them out of the earth, & give their Land

Hunting the communists