For the second year in partnership with Salem Historical Tours and the Danvers Historical Society, on Saturday mornings this fall I am giving a walking tour of several Salem Village historic sites in Danvers related to the 1692 witch-hunt. A portion of the ticket price goes to support the Danvers Historical Society.
Salem is where people visit to learn about the 1692 witchcraft trials, but Danvers, formerly Salem Village, is where it first began on a cold February day.
Two young girls began acting out and the local doctor’s diagnosis was that they must be under the Devil’s hand. The witch-hunt was off and running, turning neighbor against neighbor.
You’ll visit several significant historical sites including the remains of the parsonage where Reverend Samuel Parris’ 9-year-old daughter Betty and 11-year-old niece Abigail had their fits that began the witch-hunt.
This special tour will be held on six Saturdays in September and October. The walking tour will be all outside, and stops along the way will include the Training Field, Parsonage site, Ingersoll’s tavern, the Salem Village Witch Trials Memorial, and the First Church of Danvers (Salem Village Church).
Daniel A. Gagnon, a life-long Danvers resident and author of A Salem Witch, will lead the tour that will give you a greater understanding of one of the more compelling stories of our country’s early history.
Available to book now. Tickets are $20. Details on the meeting location in Danvers and directions will be in the confirmation email.
“Dan Gagnon has written a highly readable and first scholarly biography of Rebecca Nurse, perhaps the most famous of the Massachusetts Salem witchcraft victims of 1692. Meticulously researched, Gagnon traces the history and biography of Nurse and her family through their New World settlement; the dramatic events of her accusation, trial, and final execution; and the later remembrances of her and her legacy in today’s world. In telling the powerful story of Rebecca, Gagnon makes the complex history of the Salem witch trials more easily understood, while at the same time giving us a very good read.”
-Richard B. Trask, author of The Devil Hath Been Raised and Town Archivist of Danvers, Mass. (formerly known as Salem Village)
“Daniel Gagnon’s biography of Rebecca Nurse, A Salem Witch, places her life and continuing legacy as well as her death in thorough historical context, unravels some previous assumptions, and suggests new lines of inquiry. The bibliography and notes are valuable resources in themselves.”
– Marilynne K. Roach, author of The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege, and Six Women of Salem.
“A well-written look at the judicial misconduct that took place in 1692 and the perfect storm of events that facilitated this awful period in our history. But most of all, it is the story of the Nurse family and its undying love for its matriarch, who they not only stood by in the worst hours of her life, but even after death, getting both her conviction and excommunication overturned and creating a legacy that has outlasted them all.”
“No matter how much you may have read, there is always something new to learn about the subject, and with Dan’s book, I was not disappointed. I have never read anything that described these topics so thoroughly….. I am not into hard bound books anymore except for the ones I want to keep forever and pass down. This is definitely one of them!”
-Rae Russell Johnson, in About Towne, the newsletter of the Towne Family Association, a genealogical organization for the descendants of Rebecca (Towne) Nurse and her siblings.