Thomas Putnam

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Thomas Putnam
BornMarch 22, 1652 [ O.S. March 12, 1651] (1652-03-22) [Note 1]
DiedJune 3 [ O.S. May 24], 1699 (1699-06-04) (aged 47)
Nationality English
Known forAccuser in the Salem witch trials
Spouse(s)Ann Putnam (née Carr)
Children Ruth Ann Putnam, and 11 others
  • Thomas Putnam Sr. (1615–1686) [2]
  • Ann Putnam (née Holyoke)

Thomas Putnam (March 22, 1652 [ O.S. March 12, 1651]June 3 [ O.S. May 24], 1699) [3] was a member of the Putnam family and a resident of Salem Village (present-day Danvers, Massachusetts) and a significant accuser in the notorious 1692 Salem witch trials.

Old Style and New Style dates changes in calendar conventions from Julian to Gregorian

Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are terms sometimes used with dates to indicate that the calendar convention used at the time described is different from that in use at the time the document was being written. There were two calendar changes in Great Britain and its colonies, which may sometimes complicate matters: the first was to change the start of the year from Lady Day to 1 January; the second was to discard the Julian calendar in favour of the Gregorian calendar. Closely related is the custom of dual dating, where writers gave two consecutive years to reflect differences in the starting date of the year, or to include both the Julian and Gregorian dates.

The old colonial American and Puritan Putnam family was founded by John and Margaret Gillam Putnam in the 17th century, in Salem, Massachusetts. Many notable individuals are descendants of this family, including those listed below.

Danvers, Massachusetts Town in Massachusetts, United States

Danvers is a town in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States, located on the Danvers River near the northeastern coast of Massachusetts. The suburb is a short ride from Boston and is also easy to get to the beaches in Gloucester. Originally known as Salem Village, the town is most widely known for its association with the 1692 Salem witch trials. It was also the site of Danvers State Hospital and for Liberty Tree Mall. As of 2014, the town's population was approximately 27,000.


His father, Lt. Thomas Putnam Sr. (1615–1686), was one of Salem's wealthiest residents. He was excluded from major inheritances by both his father and father-in-law. His half-brother, Joseph, who had benefited most from their father's estate, married into the rival Porter family, fueling ill will between the clans. Putnam, his wife, and one of his daughters (Ann Putnam Jr.) all levied accusations of witchcraft, many of them against extended members of the Porter family, and testified at the trials. [2] He is responsible for the accusations of 43 people, and his daughter is responsible for 62. [4] He and his wife had 12 children in total. Both Thomas Putnam and Ann Putnam Sr. died in 1699, leaving 10 children orphans, two children having predeceased them. [5]

A lieutenant is the junior most commissioned officer in the armed forces, fire services, police, and other organizations of many nations.

Witchcraft Practice of and belief in magical skills and abilities either alone or in groups

Witchcraft is the practice of magical skills and abilities.

Arthur Miller's the Crucible

In the play, the Crucible, by Arthur Miller, Thomas Putnam is married to Ann Putnam, and together have a daughter, Ruth Putnam, who is afflicted with a grave illness, similar to that of Betty Parris. They both have lost seven children in childbirth, and pointed to witchcraft as the cause of it. He appears in Act 1 and is apparent during Act 3. Thomas twists Reverend Parris to make him on his side, urging him to see that it is witchcraft that is making Salem go mad. He uses the trials to get the other villagers' land, such as Giles Corey's. Giles later takes Thomas to court regarding the issue.

<i>The Crucible</i> 1953 play by Arthur Miller

The Crucible is a 1953 play by American playwright Arthur Miller. It is a dramatized and partially fictionalized story of the Salem witch trials that took place in the Massachusetts Bay Colony during 1692–93. Miller wrote the play as an allegory for McCarthyism, when the United States government persecuted people accused of being communists. Miller was questioned by the House of Representatives' Committee on Un-American Activities in 1956 and convicted of contempt of Congress for refusing to identify others present at meetings he had attended.

Arthur Miller American playwright

Arthur Asher Miller was an American playwright, essayist, and a controversial figure in the twentieth-century American theater. Among his most popular plays are All My Sons (1947), Death of a Salesman (1949), The Crucible (1953) and A View from the Bridge. He wrote several screenplays and was most noted for his work on The Misfits (1961). The drama Death of a Salesman has been numbered on the short list of finest American plays in the 20th century.

Elizabeth Parris was one of the young women who accused other people of being witches during the Salem witch trials. The accusations made by Betty (Elizabeth) and her cousin Abigail caused the direct death of 20 Salem residents: 19 were hanged and one man was pressed to death.


  1. Contemporary court records, which used the Julian calendar and the Annunciation Style of enumerating months and years, recorded his birth as 12:1m:1652, indicating the twelfth day of the first month (March) of Old Style 1651, New Style 1652. For further useful reading, see: Old Style and New Style dates; Dual dating

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Elizabeth Proctor was convicted of witchcraft in the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. She was the wife of John Proctor, who was also convicted and executed.

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<i>The Crucible</i> (1996 film) 1996 film by Nicholas Hytner

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Martha Corey Convicted of being a witch during the 1692 Salem witch trials

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Mercy Lewis Accuser of the Salem witch trials

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Rebecca Nurse Convicted of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials

Rebecca Towne Nurse was executed for witchcraft by the government of the Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England during the Salem Witch Trials in 1692. She was the wife of Francis Nurse, with several children and grandchildren, and a well-respected member of the community. Because there was spectral evidence against her, she was convicted and hanged as a witch on July 19, 1692. This occurred during a time when the Massachusetts colony was seized with hysteria over witchcraft and the supposed presence of Satan within the colony. Her married sisters Mary Eastey and Sarah Cloyce were also accused of witchcraft. Mary was found guilty and executed, but Sarah survived.

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This timeline of the Salem witch trials is a quick overview of the events.

Abigail Faulkner, sometimes called Abigail Faulkner Sr., was an American woman accused of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials in 1692. In the frenzy that followed, Faulkner's sister Elizabeth Johnson, her sister-in-law Deliverance Dane, two of her daughters, two of her nieces, and a nephew, would all be accused of witchcraft and arrested. Faulkner was convicted and sentenced to death, but her execution was delayed due to pregnancy. Before she gave birth, Faulkner was pardoned by the governor and released from prison.

Elizabeth Booth American colonist

Elizabeth Booth was born in 1674 and was one of the accusers in the Salem Witch Trials. She grew up in Salem, Massachusetts, as the second eldest of ten children. When she was sixteen she was accused of being a witch. When she was eighteen, she began accusing people of practicing witchcraft, including John Proctor, Elizabeth Proctor, Sarah Proctor, William Proctor, Benjamin Proctor, Woody Proctor, Giles Corey, Martha Corey, Job Tookey, and Wilmont Redd. Five of these people were executed due to Booth's testimony. Elizabeth Proctor would have been executed as well if she was not pregnant. After the Witch Trials, Booth married Israel Shaw on December 26, 1695, and had two children named Israel and Susanna. Booth's death date is unknown.

Martha Carrier (Salem witch trials) executed for withcraft

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  1. 1 2 Carleton, Hiram (1903), Genealogical and Family History of the State of Vermont: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation, Volume, Vermont: Lewis Publishing Company, p. 137, retrieved 24 March 2013
  2. 1 2 Boyer, Paul S. (1974), Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft, Harvard University Press, pp. 133–140, retrieved 24 March 2013
  3. Putnam, Eben (1891), A History of the Putnam Family in England and America. Recording the Ancestry and Descendants of John Putnam of Danvers, Mass., Jan Poutman of Albany, N.Y., Thomas Putnam of Hartford, Conn, Volume 1, Salem, Massachusetts: Salem Press Publishing and Printing Company, p. 38, retrieved 24 March 2013
  4. "Thomas Putnam: Ringleader of the Salem Witch Hunt?". History of Massachusetts. 2013-11-19. Retrieved 2016-12-03.
  5. Bower, Glenn. Just a Family History,; accessed December 25, 2014.