A Beautiful, Non-Denominational, Memorial Service for Connecticut’s Witch Trial Victims Will Be Held On Friday, May 26th, 6:00 PM at Northwest Park, Windsor, Connecticut. All Are Welcome!
The event is being held in Windsor’s Northwest Park at the large pavilion, which is behind the Connecticut Valley Agricultural Museum. Public parking is in the park’s main lot and handicap and senior parking is next to the Nature Center in the park’s campus area. There will be signs pointing to the gathering. Kindly refrain from bringing alcohol or drugs. Light refreshments available for suggested donation of $5 or more. Learn more by visiting CT WITCH Memorial Facebook page, the Days to the Gallows Facebook page or the One of Windsor Facebook page as well as the website http://www.oneofwindsor.com/.
“On May 9, 1992, the Town of Danvers, Massachusetts, acknowledged and took responsibility for the mistakes of their ancestors by presenting a beautiful granite memorial to the people of the state and the country in honor of the twenty villagers unjustly executed at The Salem Witch Trials which took place between February 1692 and May 1693. ‘The Memorial serves as a reminder that each generation must confront intolerance and ‘witch hunts’ with integrity, clear vision and courage.’ Forty-five years earlier between 1647 and 1663, the settlement at Hartford, Connecticut, also held witch trials that resulted in the hangings of at least ten innocent villagers, one of whom was my eighth great-grandmother, Rebecca Greensmith. The Connecticut Witch Trials are dreadful examples of our country’s dark past that shows us how a secluded community made up of a particular group of people, persecuted, labeled, and punished other members of society simply because they didn’t like or understand them. Rev. John Whiting, minister of the First Church in Hartford stated that Rebecca was ‘a lewd, ignorant and considerably aged woman.’ In another place, in another rime, would Rebecca, who was unjustly accused without counsel, have been labeled insane? Would she have been a candidate for an insane asylum in 1880 or a nursing home in 2012? Were she and her friends simply dancing and enjoying a bottle of sack? Was it the isolation and strict rules of conformity that drove this community to insanity? I don’t think I would be out of line in suggesting that all the players in this tragic story of indifference were suffering from religious excitement which was listed as a cause of insanity at the Willard State Hospital as late as 1900.
I have read that the state of Connecticut will not grant posthumous pardons or exonerate the people unjustly accused of witchcraft, nor will they officially acknowledge the mistakes of their ancestors. Will New York State lead by example and end the disgrace of anonymous, unmarked graves by releasing the names and burial locations of our ancestors in a unified, digital database available to the public on the internet? Will they allow descendents to obtain the medical records and photographs of their loved one? Will New York remain as blind and indifferent as the state of Connecticut? The Salem and Hartford executions are grim reminders of the fear, ignorance, and intolerance that permeated America’s past, not dissimilar from what happened at long-closed insane asylums. Innocent people were unjustly singled out in shame because they were feared and misunderstood for being different. In both cases, these people were ultimately removed from society and erased from History.”