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Hanged in Colonial America

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Profiles

  • Thomas Granger (1626 - 1642)
    Thomas Granger or Graunger (1625? – September 8, 1642) was the first person hanged in the Massachusetts Bay Colony (the first hanged in any of the colonies of New England being John Billington) ...
  • Mary Parker (c.1634 - 1692)
    Mary Ayer, daughter to John and Hannah, married Nathanial Parker. Mary (Ayer) Parker was accused of witchcraft in 1692. Mary Parker refused to confess during the witchcraft trials saying, "I know nothi...
  • John Proctor, Salem Witch Trials (1631 - 1692)
    John Proctor (1632–1692) was a farmer and tavernkeeper in 17th-century Salem, Massachusetts. During the Salem witch trials he was accused of witchcraft, convicted and hanged. His wife and all of...
  • Thomas Cornell, II (1627 - 1673)
    Thomas and Elizabeth had four children, Thomas and Sarah had three daughters. -------------- Thomas Cornell of Portsmouth m. unknown Thomas Cornell m. Elizabeth Fiscock in New Amsterdam is not Th...
  • Bridget Bishop, Salem Witch (c.1632 - 1692)
    Bridget Bishop (ca. 1632, England – 10 June 1692 Salem, Massachusetts) was the first person executed for witchcraft during the Salem witch trials of 1692. In the transcripts there is some indi...

If you know of a profile representing someone hanged in Colonial America, please add to this project. Additional resource links welcome for the "overview."

John Billington is thought to be one of the first men to be hanged in New England. Billington was convicted of murder in September of 1630 after he shot and killed John Newcomen.[6]

During the Salem witch trials, most of the men and women convicted of witchcraft were sentenced to public hanging. It is estimated that seventeen women and two men were hanged as a result of the trials. However, modern scholars maintain that thousands of individuals were hanged for witchcraft throughout the American colonies.[7]

Hangings during the colonial era of America were mostly performed publicly in order to deter the behavior for which the criminals were hanged. Thousands of townspeople would gather around the gallows to hear a sermon and observe the hangings of convicted criminals. Such experiences were deemed as good lessons on morality for the children and townspeople.

Citations

  • 6. Bradford, William. Of Plymouth Plantation. The Vision Forum, Inc, 1999
  • 7. Stack, Richard A. Dead Wrong: Violence, Vengeance, and the Victims of Capital Punishment. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006.

Resources