17th Century New England, with special emphasis on the Salem Witchcraft Trials

A 17th Century Colonial New England Bibliography

This is a sometimes-annotated bibliography of the books in my personal reference library as I research 17th century colonial New England. There are a lot about the Salem witch-hunt, Puritan thought, and Anglo-Indian contact, but also a few odds and ends that make sense to me to have on hand. Please note: I do not lend books. To anyone. Most of these titles can be borrowed from any good public or university library. If you want to purchase a copy of any of these titles, I have included direct links to Amazon.com for all but a handful of out-of-print or hard-to-find local imprint titles. To print out the whole bibliography, please use the printer-friendly version to save paper.

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Abbot | Axtell | Begiebing | Boyer | Breitwieser | Briggs | Carlson | Cronon | Demos | Earhart
Francis | Gildrie | Greven | Hall | Hill | Jackson | Kramer | Lockridge | Mather | Miller
Nevins | Powell | Robinson | Rowlandson | Sewall | Starkey | Thompson | VanDerBeets | Weisman | Winslow


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  1. Gildrie, Richard P.. Salem, Massachusetts, 1626-1683: A Covenant Community. University Press of Virginia: Charlottesville, VA. 1975. Order from Amazon.com

  2. Gildrie, Richard P.. The Profane, the Civil, and the Godly: The Reformation of Manners in Orthodox New England, 1679-1749. Penn State: University Park, PA. 1994. Order from Amazon.com

  3. Godbeer, Richard. Escaping Salem: The Other Witch Hunt of 1692. Oxford: New York. 2005. Order from Amazon.com

    I had hoped for more from an historian of Godbeer's caliber, but for anyone who knows nothing about the concurrent witchcraft cases in Connecticut in 1692, this is a decent introduction.
  4. Godbeer, Richard. The Devil's Dominion: Magic and Religion in Early New England. Camridge University Press: New York. 1992. Order from Amazon.com

  5. Godbeer, Richard. The Salem Witch Hunt: A Brief History with Documents. Bedford/St. Martin's: Boston. 2011. Order from Amazon.com

    A brief collection of modernized, highly edited transcriptions of various texts from the Salem witchcraft trials, emphasizing the cases of Sarah Good, Tituba, John Proctor, Bridget Bishop, Dorcas Hoar, and George Burroughs, designed for undergraduate students, who the editor thinks would "find unmediated versions of these documents utterly perplexing."
  6. Gragg, Larry. A Quest for Security: The Life of Samuel Parris, 1653-1720. Greenwood: New York. 1990. Order from Amazon.com

    Gragg's biography is based on just about all the known primary sources about Parris's life. No great surprises, but a nice summary of his life. Gragg finds that Parris's role in the trials was "decisive," and that many of his decisions were to "diminish material uncertainty" -- the "security" mentioned in the title.
  7. Gragg, Larry. The Salem Witch Crisis. Praeger: New York. 1992. Order from Amazon.com


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This page was last updated Feb. 15, 2009 by Margo Burns, My email address.