Top Taxpayers:


Name Tax Petition Sort
Porter, Joseph 50 Anti-P 51
Hutchinson, Joseph sen 40 Anti-P 36
Putnam, Capt John 40 Pro-P 55
Putnam, Lett Nath 40 Pro-P 62
Andrew, Daniell 36 Anti-P 2
Pope, Joseph 35 Anti-P 49
Putnam, Joseph 34 Anti-P 61
Putnam, mary [mrs.] 30 NoS 63
Flint, Thomas 29 Pro-P 18
Buxton, John 27 Anti-P 8
Fuller, Thomas Jun 25 Pro-P 22
Goodale, Zachiah 25 Pro-P 24
Rea, Joshua sen 25 Anti-P 70
Sorted 1690 Tax List

In Salem Possessed, Boyer and Nissenbaum found a strong association between the richest Salem Villagers on the 1695 tax list and opposition to Samuel Parris; they also found that the poorest villagers strongly supported Parris. To see whether these associations hold true for Salem Villagers in 1690, we can sorting the 1690 tax list into groups of wealthy and poor taxpayers.

Click the "AutoFilter" icon of the "Tax" column in the 1690 tax data set and select the "Sort Descending" function. As the chart above shows, of the thirteen highest taxpayers, seven aligned with the anti-Parris group while five affiliated with the pro-Parris side. However, extending the analysis to include all who were assessed at least a pound (twenty shillings), as Boyer and Nissenbaum did, shows that twelve men signed the pro-Parris petition while only nine signed the anti-Parris petition! (Two did not sign either petition.) Among the wealthiest Salem Villagers in 1690, there was no clear association between wealth and opposition to Parris. One might even argue the reverse.

By the same token, of the thirteen poorest taxpayers, three signed the pro-Parris petition and two signed the anti-Parris petition, a slight preference for the minister. But the majority of the poorest villagers did not affiliate with either group! Fully eight villagers who paid just two or three shillings tax did not sign either petition. Extending the analysis to include those who paid less than ten shillings, as Boyer and Nissenbaum did, shows that the same number of taxpayers (fifteen) signed the pro-Parris petition as those who signed the anti-Parris petition. Twenty-one taxpayers in this group did not sign either petition. Lack of wealth was more clearly associated with non-involvement rather than support for Salem Village's minister. And even among those activists who signed a petition, there was no clear association between lack of wealth and pro-Parris support.

To compare the relative economic position of individual members of Salem Village's factions, click Next.