Ipswich Petition
Petition of Accused Witches in Ipswich Jail for Bail

The Chronology and Geography

of Salem Witchcraft

While a great deal of popular interest in Salem witchcraft focuses on its beginning — the strange behavior and motives of the afflicted — or on a handful of examinations and trials, the outbreak unfolded over a period of time and spread over a wide swath of New England. Its interconnected chronological and geographic dimensions provide clues to better understanding the events of 1692.

This section will provide six data sets containing information relating to the chronology and geographic scope of the outbreak. They can be downloaded and opened in various programs for analysis. This section proceeds in a specific sequence: first examining broader chronological patterns of events; then introducing geographic elements by looking at the patterns of accusations as they erupted in specific communities; and concluding with the mapping of town involvement during 1692. Users may, however, proceed in a different order or pause to explore additional questions or pursue leads in other historical sources.

To investigate Salem's chronological dimensions, download the Accused Witches Data Set and click Next.