8 AUDIENCE ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITY As audience members, your students have a distinct role and responsibility. The success of any performance depends on the actors on the stage as well as the people in the seats. For those students enjoying their first exposure to a live theatre production, we encourage some discussion of theatre manners before you attend the play, as some movie-, video- and television-watching behaviors are not always appropriate in the theatre. We have included two pages to assist you: the first lists discussion questions or topics for the classroom (with some suggested answers in italics) while the second is a ONE MINUTE ETIQUETTE REMINDER to read on the bus before you arrive. (You might also review the essay on Dramatic Criticism on page 12.) Thank you for helping us help your students get the most out of the performance. [ 1 ] What are some of the differences between a live theatre production and a movie? Movies can be filmed in any sequence and scenes can be redone as many times as needed to get a “good scene.” The scenes are then composed into the movie by editors and the director. Each scene in a live theatre performance is presented once only, in sequence, as written, the performance being created anew each time by the actors, stage manager(s) and backstage staff. The audience’s noise level, activity level, and attention level do not affect the movie actor’s performance. BUT, all of these things are heard and noticed by the actors of a live performance and have an immediate effect on the performance, which may be positive or negative—if the audience laughs at funny lines or is leaning forward in anticipation of the action, actors respond with energetic performances; if the audience does not respond to the actors, responds at inappropriate times or is restless, actors find it difficult to give their best performances because their concentration, their “trains of thought,” as it were, have been disrupted . Special effects in a movie are often be generated by computers or camera angles while special effects in the theatre often rely on the audience’s imagination to enhance or help create them. Movies provide realistic images while live theatre provides images of reality.
[ 2 ] What is the best way to approach viewing a live performance of any art? Audiences attending a live performance must be willing to “suspend their disbelief”; that is, they should be prepared to use their imagination to fully enter into the ideas of the play/musical composition/dance, etc. Live performances are in ways television and movies are not: try to be open to the passion and emotion behind the actions, words, movements and/or music presented. Because each performance is affected by audience response, audience members will never see the same performance twice. Though the piece’s meaning remains the same, each performance may have its own underlying interpretations due to factors such as the performer(s) and/or audience’s state of mind, performer(s) physical readiness, and even the comfort level in the performing space.
[ 3 ] What is the audience’s role during a live performance? How do you think audience behavior can affect a performance? Audiences ready to observe naturally connect with the performers and appropriately respond to the performance, by laughing, gasping, applauding, or quietly listening. Even when this is so audience members should remember that, for live performances, paper rattling, watch alarms, cell phones, beepers, and talking will distract the performers, thereby disrupting the connection between stage and auditorium and weakening the performance. Just as importantly, those around noisy audience members will miss hearing or seeing elements of a live performance that will not be repeated.
ONE-MINUTE ETIQUETTE REMINDER Please read to students on the bus prior to entering the theatre. Stay in the group to be seated. Your school or class will be called and seated as a group. Sit in the seat to which you are assigned. If you move or refuse to take a particular seat, you will delay our seating other members of your group as well as other groups. No food, drink, gum-chewing, headsets, or backpacks in the theatre. Please leave lunches, snacks and backpacks on the bus. NO TALKING OR GETTING UP DURING THE SHOW. This includes whispering. Every live performance is a unique experience, created jointly by actors and audience members present for a specific presentation. Live performances vary greatly from recorded TV programs or movies because the audience’s reactions are not only obvious to the performers but are relied upon by them as signals that they presenting the best performance possible, regardless of the type of reaction—applause, laughter, crying or even quiet but responsive attention— because the actors can see and hear you. Please do not talk, act or distract attention from the stage. Please use the restrooms before the show or at intermission only. If you have any problems or questions, please ask the ushers for help. Enjoy yourself!
10 DRAMATIC CRITICISM Why We Attend Theatre Oscar Brockett, from The Theatre: An Introduction Art is one way whereby mankind seeks to understand the world. . . .Our search for meaning . . . is always directed toward discovering those relationships that reveal order within what would otherwise seem to be chance events. Art, then, . . . shapes perceptions about human experience into . . . patterned relationships that help us order our views about mankind and the universe. . . . The artist . . . works primarily from his or her own perceptions and seeks to involve the audience's emotions, imagination, and intellect directly. A playwright consequently presents events as though they are occurring at that moment before our eyes; we absorb them in the way we absorb life itselfâ€”through their direct operation on our senses. Thus, as art differs from life by stripping away irrelevant details and organizing events to compose a connected pattern, so a play illuminates and comments (though sometimes indirectly) on human experience even as it seemingly creates human experience. But, just as we do not mistake a statue for a real person, we do not mistake stage action for reality. Rather, we usually view a play with what Samuel Taylor Coleridge called a "willing suspension of disbelief." By this concept he meant that, while we know the events of a play are not real, we agree for the moment not to disbelieve their reality. . . This state in which we are sufficiently detached to view an artistic event semiobjectively is sometimes called esthetic distance. [However], the distance must not be so great as to induce indifference. Therefore, while a degree of detachment is necessary, [audience] involvement is of equal importance. This feeling of kinship is sometimes called empathy. Thus, we watch a play with a double sense of concern and detachment. It is both a removed and an intensified reaction of a kind seldom possible outside esthetic experience. Another way of putting this is that art (that is, a statue, a musical composition, or a drama) lifts us above the everyday fray and gives us something like a "god's-eye" view of human experience. . . . Art lays claim . . . to being serious (in the sense of having something important to communicate), but because its methods are so indirect (it presents experience but does not attempt to explain it fully) it is often ambiguous . . . . Special Attributes of Theatre as an Art. Even within the fine arts theatre holds a special place; it is the art that comes closest to life as it is lived from day to day. Not only is human experience and action its subject, it also uses live human beings (actors) as its primary means of communicating with an audience. Quite often the speech of the performers approximates that heard in real life; the actors may wear costumes that might be seen on the street; and they may perform in settings that recall actual places. Not all theatre attempts to be so realistic and at times it may even approximate other performing arts (such as dance and music), but nevertheless it is the art most capable of recreating mankind's typical experiences. Such lifelikeness is also one of the reasons theatre is often insufficiently valued: a play, a setting, the acting may so resemble what is familiar to spectators that they fail to recognize how difficult it is to produce this lifelikeness skillfully. To a certain degree all people are actors; they vary the roles they play (almost moment by moment) according to the people they encounter. In doing so, they utilize the same tools as the actor: voice, speech, movement, gesture, psychological motivation, and the like. Consequently, most persons do not fully recognize the problems
11 faced by a skilled actor. Even those within the theatre often differ in their opinions about whether artistic excellence depends primarily on talent and instinct or on training and discipline. Theatre further resembles life in being ephemeral. As in life, each episode is experienced and then immediately becomes part of the past. When the performance ends, its essence can never be fully recaptured. Unlike a novel, painting, or statute, each of which remains relatively unchanged, a theatrical production when it is ended lives only in the play script, program, pictures, reviews, and memories of those who were present. Theatre resembles life also in being the most objective of the arts, since characteristically it presents both outer and inner experience through speech and action. As in life, it is through listening and watching that we come to know characters both externally and internally. What we learn about their minds, personalities, and motivations comes from what they say and do and from what others tell us about them. Thus we absorb a theatrical performance the way we do a scene from real life. Additionally, theatre can be said to resemble life because of the complexity of its means for, like a scene from life itself, it is made up of intermingled sound, movement, place, dress, lighting, and so on. In other words, theatre draws on all the other arts: literature in its script; painting, architecture, and sculpture (and sometimes dance) in its spectacle; and speech and music in its audible aspects. In some ways, then, theatre encompasses all the other arts. Furthermore, theatre is psychologically the most immediate of the arts. Several contemporary critics have argued that the essence of theatre—what distinguishes it from other dramatic media such as television and film—lies in the simultaneous presence of live actors and spectators in the same room, and that everything else is expendable. . . . Live performance has important attributes that television and film cannot duplicate, most significantly . . . the three-dimensionality of the theatrical experience and the special relationship between performers and spectators: in the theatre, . . . since the full acting area remains visible, the audience may choose what it will watch, even though the director may attempt to focus attention on some specific aspect of a scene. [But, and] perhaps most important, during a live performance there is continuous interaction between performer and spectator; even as the actor is eliciting responses from the audience, those responses in turn are affecting the actor's performance. Thus, a live performance permits the audience a far more active role than television and film do. Ultimately, there is a fundamental difference in the psychological responses aroused by electronic media and theatre because the former presents pictures of events whereas the latter performs the actual events in what amounts to the same space as that occupied by the audience. This difference results in one unique characteristic of theatre: its ability to offer intense sensory experience through the simultaneous presence of live actors and audience. . . . The Audience. Until the public sees the material performed we usually do not call it theatre. For all the arts a public is imperative, but for most this public may be thought of as individuals—the reader of a novel or poem, the viewer of a painting or a piece of sculpture—each of whom may experience the work in isolation. But a theatre audience is assembled as a group at a given time and place to experience a performance. Why Does an Audience Attend the Theatre? One of the most powerful motives for going to the theatre is the desire for entertainment, which implies suspension of personal cares, relaxation of tensions, and a feeling of well-being, satisfaction, and renewal. But although everyone may believe that the theatre should provide entertainment, not all agree on what is entertaining. Many
12 would exclude any treatment of controversial subject matter on the grounds that an audience goes to the theatre to escape from cares rather than to be confronted with problems. . . . Other persons look to theatre for stimulation. They too desire to be entertained, but argue that the theatre should also provide new insights and provocative perceptions about significant topics, advocate action about political and social issues, or increase awareness of and sensitivity to others and surroundings. . . . Both points of view are valid in part, but adherents of neither point of view should attempt to limit unduly the theatre's offerings. The whole range of drama should be available to audiences, for the health of the theatre depends upon breadth of appeal. In America today the success of a play is frequently judged by its ability to attract large audiences over a considerable period of time. But is a play to be considered a failure if it does not achieve financial success? Not necessarily. A dramatist has a right to select his or her audience just as much as an audience has to select a play. Actually, dramatists do so when they choose the subject matter, characters, and techniques to be used, for, consciously or unconsciously, they have an ideal spectator in mind. Although playwrights may hope for universal acceptance, each desires the favorable response of a particular group. Consequently, a play may be deemed successful if it achieves the desired response from the audience for which it was primarily intended. . . . The Problem of Value. It is difficult to defend art on the basis of its immediate utility. Art ultimately must be valued because of its capacity to improve the quality of life: by increasing our sensitivity to others and our surroundings, by sharpening our perceptions, by reshaping our values so that moral and societal concerns take precedence over material well-being. Of all the arts, theatre has perhaps the greatest potential as a humanizing force, for at its best it asks us to enter imaginatively into the lives of others so we may understand their aspirations and motivations. Through role-playing (either in daily life or in the theatre) we come to understand who and what we are and to see ourselves in relation to others. Perhaps most important, in a world given increasingly to violence, the value of being able to understand and feel for others as human beings cannot be overestimated, because violence flourishes most fully when we so dehumanize others that we no longer think of their hopes, aims, and sufferings but treat them as objects to be manipulated or on whom to vent our frustrations. To know (emotionally, imaginatively, and intellectually) what it means to be human in the broadest sense ought to be one of the primary goals of both education and life; for reaching that goal no approach has greater potential than theatre, since humans are its subject and living beings its primary medium. ... Unfortunately, qualityâ€”unlike quantityâ€”is not measurable except subjectively. And subjectivity takes us into the realm of taste, judgment, and a host of variables about which agreement is seldom possible. There are many levels of taste, many degrees of complexity, and a wide range of quality. But, if we cannot expect ever to achieve complete agreement, we all can sharpen our own perceptions of the theatre and its processes. To do this, we need first to understand the theatre and how it works. Second, we need to develop some approach through which we can judge the relative merits of what is performed and how it is performed. Then, we should work to encourage those theatrical values that seem important to us. In this way we may acquire understanding and judgmentâ€”that is, we become critics of the theatre. . . . Understanding/appreciating the Technical Elements The technical elements of a production support the characters the actors create to present the audience with the illusionary reality that is theatre. Sets, lights, sound, props, and costumes create
13 the environment in which the play lives. These elements combine with the audience’s imagination to fashion a theatrical reality that is different from our day-to-day lives yet recognizable by all involved. The following discussion questions are intended to help students focus on each of these technical elements and analyze its part in a production. Section A: Scenery Before the performance began, what were your first impressions of the set design? How did it make you feel? Which of your senses were involved by the set design? What was the physicality of the stage? Did the set incorporate any theatrical devices such as a rake, a thrust, ramps or stairs onstage, or the voms or pit in the audience? What type of action did you expect? As the performance progressed, did the set change from scene to scene or did it remain the same for the entire play? Were the changes of location made by actual set alterations or by the actors’ use of the set? How was the stage used? Did the action take place across the whole stage or was action contained in small areas? What could you tell about each environment and the time period of the used area? Was movement between areas fluid or rigid? Did the actors move around the set in purposeful motion or did action flow from one area to another? What materials and color schemes were used for walls, the deck (stage floor), set pieces? Did the materials and colors fit the time and location of the play? Did the colors suggest a mood or atmosphere to you? Were you able to concentrate on the action and characters or did the elements of the set attract your attention? After viewing the performance, do you feel the set design supported the play? Did it make sense to you? Would you have done anything differently? What and why? Section B: Costumes What could you tell about each of the characters based on his or her appearance before any action took place? Did the costumes influence your expectations or opinion of each character? Did the costumes put you in the appropriate time period and geographical setting (if any)? Did the style of the costumes match or enhance the characters’ personalities and social situations and the mood of the play? How did the colors and materials used compliment or contrast with the colors and materials of the set? Did the colors and materials group the characters in any way? Were there any parts of the costumes you found distracting or out of place? Section C: Lighting What clues did the lighting give you about the mood or emotional tone of the play? Was the lighting from an identifiable source or did it blend into the setting? Was the lighting supportive of the action or distracting? Was it ever supposed to be distracting? Could you identify the colors that were used? Why do you think these particular shades were chosen? Did any one character have a particular shade or degree of lighting? Sometimes lighting is used together with suggestive scenery or certain pieces of furniture to imply that a certain area onstage is always perceived as a specific place. Did you see this in this performance’s design? Section D: Sound
14 What types of sounds were used? Were the sounds environmental noise or in response to specific character actions (for example: crickets chirping in the summer or a gunshot)? Was sound or music used to create or enhance the atmosphere, or to foreshadow events? Were certain sounds or musical motifs associated with certain characters or repeated situations? Did the sounds fit the situation or distract you from the performance? Were the sounds correct for time period and location, or did they comment on the time and place? Section E: Props Were the props appropriate to the time period and setting? Were they in keeping with the rest of the setting (including color choices in setting and costumes)? Did some or all of them comment on the setting as a whole? Did the characters have all the props they needed for the scenes? Did they have too many props? Did they have fewer props than you expected? What did you learn about the characters’ situation or background from their possessions? Remember that props include furniture, books, purses, wagons, plates and silverware—anything an actor touches. Section F: General What non-actor aspect of the performance impacted you the most? Was this aspect more textual or physical? Did the technical elements of the performance enhance or detract from your enjoyment of the play? Would you have changed anything about this production? How would you have changed it? Why? Understanding/appreciating the Play in Performance Suggested by: Katherine Ommanney’s The Stage and the School The following questions may help you to view shows intelligently, but don’t let them spoil your enjoyment of the theatre or turn you into a commentator during the performance! Real enthusiasts of the theatre free their imaginations and emotions while seeing a play or a picture, while using their intelligence and discrimination to heighten their appreciation of this great art. Section A: Theme In your opinion, is the fundamental idea of the play true or false in its concept of life? Is the theme consistent with the setting, plot and characters presented in the play? Do you agree with the author’s philosophy? In your opinion, should the general public be encouraged to see the play? Section B: Plot Is there a clear-cut sequence of events? Do they rise to a gripping climax? Were you held in suspense until the end or did you realize what the ending would be beforehand? Were you as emotionally stirred as the author apparently wanted you to be? Are you satisfied as to the final outcome?
15 Are you chiefly interested in the events, the people, or the place? Section C: Characterization Are the characters true to life? Are they consistent throughout the action of the entire play? Are the characters in keeping with the social and geographical background of the play? Do they arouse such feelings as sympathy, affection, disgust, admiration, or hatred on the part of the audience? Are their actions in keeping with their motives? Are the situations at the climax and conclusion the result of their inherent natures? Section D: Style Did the dialogue retain your interest throughout the play? Is it consistent with the characters and the setting? Is it an end in itself or an adequate means of plot advancement and characterization? Did it make you think about the author or the characters themselves? Do you remember lines after having seen the play because of their appropriateness or beauty? If a dialect or dialects are used were they correct? Did the actors use them consistently? Would people of the class represented talk in real life as they do in the play? Is the power of expression worthy of the ideas expressed? Section E: Acting Were the actorsâ€™ interpretations of their roles correct from the standpoint of the play itself? Did each actor make his or her role a living individual? Were the actors artificial or natural in their technique? Were you conscious of the ways they sought to create effects? Did they grip you emotionallyâ€”did you weep, laugh, suffer, and exult with them? Were their voices pleasing and their presence magnetic? Did they remain in character every moment? Did or do you think of them as the characters they were depicting or as themselves? Did the actors use the play as a means of self-glorification, or were each of them an intrinsic part of the action at all times? Did each cooperate with the other actors, the director, and the author in interpreting the play: by knowing his or her lines, helping to focus attention on the center of interest, and by losing himself or herself in the part? Section F: Audience Reaction Was the audience attentive or restless during the performance? Was there a definite responseâ€”gasps, laughter, applause? Did the audience express any immediate appreciation of clever lines, dramatic situations, and skillful acting? Was the audience apathetic or animated, bored or buoyant, serious or scoffing? Was the applause spontaneous and whole-hearted, or politely perfunctory? Did it seem to you that some audience members enjoyed the play more than others? Do you think this was because of their own personal background, or some other reason?
16 Arthur Miller From: Encarta, The Kennedy Center webpage and Pegasos (a really cool webpage from Finland) Arthur Miller, . . . an American dramatist whose works deal with the responsibility of each individual to other members of society, whose plays, simply and colloquially written, . . . spring from his social conscience and from his compassion for those who are vulnerable to the false values imposed on them by society. Born in New York City on October 17, 1915, Miller was the son of a coat manufacturer who suffered financial ruin in the Great Depression of the 1930s. . . . The sudden change in fortune had a strong influence on Millerâ€”often his plays depict how families are destroyed by false values. . . . The family moved to a small frame house in Brooklyn, which is said to the model for the Brooklyn home in Death of a Salesman. Miller spent his boyhood playing football and baseball, reading adventure stories, and appearing generally as a nonintellectual. It was only after he had read Dostoevsky's novel The Brothers Karamazov that Miller decided to become a writer. After his graduation from Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, young Miller worked as a stock clerk in an automobile parts warehouse for two and a half years until he had enough money to pay for his first year at the University of Michigan, where he intended to study journalism. He finished college with the financial aid of the National Youth Administration supplemented by his salary as night editor on the Michigan Daily newspaper. Before his graduation with a B.A. degree in 1938, he had written a number of plays, winning a $500 Avery Hopwood Award in 1936 and a $1,200 Theatre Guild National Award in 1938 for an effort entitled The Grass Still Grows. After having returned to New York in 1938, he joined the Federal Theatre Project, but, before his first play had been produced, the Project ended. . . . Because of a football injury, he was exempt from the draft. In 1940 Miller married a Catholic girl, Mary Slattery, with whom he had two children. He worked in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and wrote radio scripts heard on the Columbia Workshop and the Cavalcade of America. In 1944 he toured Army camps to collect background material for the screenplay The Story of GI Joe The Millers: Arthur, daughter Jane, (1945). . . . He also wrote two books during this period: wife Mary, son Robert, 1953 Situation Normal (1944) and Focus, a novel about antiSemitism (1945). . . . His 1944 play The Man Who Had All the Luck, although not a commercial success, won him the Theatre Guild Award that same year [the play was just revived last spring in New York] and the New York Drama Critics' Circle chose his play All My Sons as the best play of 1947. This study of the effect of opportunism on family relationships foreshadowed most of Miller's later work. Miller's major achievement was Death of a Salesman (1949). It won the 1949 Tony Award for drama and the 1949 New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for best play of the year; it is often cited as one of the finest plays by a contemporary dramatist. It tells, in almost poetic
17 terms, the tragic story of Willy Loman, an average man much like Miller's father. Although Miller generally wrote in a realistic style, much of this play is conveyed expressionistically, through Willy's mind and memory. In his next effort Miller used the 17th century Salem witch hunts as an allegory for the McCarthy era—in Salem one could be hanged because of ''the inflamed human imagination, the poetry of suggestion'' [said Miller]. The Crucible (1953) was written in an atmosphere that, according to the author, "accepted the notion that conscience was no longer a private matter but one of state administration." In the play Miller expressed his faith in the ability of an individual to resist conformist pressures. The Crucible became one of Miller's most-produced plays, even though its first Broadway production flopped; however, it did win a Tony Award. In 1956 Miller was called before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. He admitted he had attended certain meetings—four or five writers' meetings sponsored by the Communist Party in 1947; he had also supported a peace conference in New York and signed many appeals and protests—but denied that he was a Communist. Refusing to name others who had associated with leftist or suspected Communist groups, Miller was cited for contempt of Congress, but the ruling was reversed by the courts in 1958. His knowledge of the Brooklyn waterfront informed his characters in A View from the Bridge in 1955, and more of his native city came through in The Price, Miller’s play about a New York policeman (1968). His other dramas include After the Fall (1964); Incident at Vichy (1964); The Archbishop's Ceiling (1977), on the Soviet treatment of dissident writers; Danger: Memory! (1986), two one-act plays presented together; The Ride Down Mount Morgan (1991); and The Ryan Interview (1995). Other works include the screenplay The Misfits (1961), written for his second wife, Marilyn Monroe; The American Clock (1980), a series of dramatic vignettes about the Great Depression; a collection of short stories, I Don't Need You Any More (1967); and The Theatre Essays of Arthur Miller (1978). Miller also wrote the script for Playing for Time, a true-life dramatic special about the experiences of an all-woman orchestra in a Nazi concentration camp, which won four Emmy Awards: Outstanding Drama Special, Miller received one for Outstanding Writing, Vanessa Redgrave won as Outstanding Actress, and Jane Alexander, as Outstanding Supporting Actress. In addition to his novels, Miller has written two books of reportage: In Russia and Chinese Encounters, both accompanied by photographs by his late wife Inge Morath, a professional photographer. His book Salesman in Beijing is based on his experience in China where he directed Death of a Salesman. In 1987, Miller published his autobiography Timebends: A Life, in which he recalls his childhood in Brooklyn, the political turmoil of the 1950s, and the later half of the century. Miller continues to write, winning the 1995 (British) Olivier Award for his most recent play Broken Glass. His most recent collection of essays, Echoes Down the Corridor, was published in 2000. In 1965 he was elected president of P.E.N., the international literary organization; he presided for 4 years. He and fellow Connecticut resident Paul Newman were delegates at the 1968 Democratic Convention. In 2002 Miller was honored with Spain's prestigious Principe de Asturias Prize for Literature, making him the first U.S. recipient of the award. Miller has noted: "The success of a play, especially one's first success, is somewhat like pushing against a door which is suddenly opened that was always securely shut until then. For myself, the experience was invigorating. It suddenly seemed that the audience was a mass of blood relations, and I sensed a warmth in the world that had not been there before. It made it possible to dream of daring more and risking more."
18 Play Chronology From: Pegasos 1944 The Man Who Had All the Luck. 1947 The Guardsman, from Hungarian playwright Ferenc Molnar’s play Three Men on a Horse, from the George Abbott and J.C. Holm play All My Sons, 328 performances—Miller's first major success. 1949 Death of A Salesman (which Miller almost called In His Head), 742 performances. This is the masterpiece to which all Miller's future work was compared—as well as the benchmark for judging new dramatists who treated social issues. (Note: The fall of 1998 saw a new production of the play mounted at Chicago's Goodman Theatre, starring Brian Dennehy and Elizabeth Franz, which later moved to New York, where Ms. Franz won the Tony for Best Actress in a Featured Role.) 1950 The Enemy of the People, adapted from Ibsen's play, 36 performances. 1953 The Crucible,197 performances. 1956 A View From the Bridge, one-act version paired with another one-acter, A Memory of Two Mondays, 149 performances. 1956 A View From the Bridge, two-act version, opened in London. 1964 After the Fall, 208 performances; Incident at Vichy, 99 performances. 1968 The Price, 1972 The Creation of the World, a comic retelling of the story of Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel; closed after 20 performances. A year later he turned it into a musical called Up From Paradise, which Miller directed at his alma mater, the University of Michigan. 1974 The Price, 425 performances. 1977 The Archbishop's Ceiling. 1980 The American Clock, adapted from Studs Terkel's Hard Times. 1991 The Ride Down Mt. Morgan. 1993 The Last Yankee. 1994 Broken Glass. Selected bibliography: Honors at Dawn, 1936 No Villain/They Too Arise, 1937 The Pussycat and The Expert Plumber Who Was a Man, 1941 William Ireland's Confession, 1941 That They May Win, 1944 Situation Normal, 1944 Focus, 1945 Grandpa and the Statue, 1945 Jane’s Blanket, 1963 I Don’t Need You Any More, 1967 In Russia, 1969 (with Inge Morath) Fame and the Reason Why, 1970 In the Country, 1977 (with Inge Morath) The Theatre Essays of Arthur Miller, 1978 Fame, 1978 - television play
Chinese Encounters, 1979 (w/ Inge Morath) Elegy for a Lady, 1982 Salesman in Beijing, 1984 Some Kind of Love Story/ Everybody Wins, 1982 Clara, 1987 I Can't Remember Anything, 1987 The Golden Years, 1987 'The Misfits' and Other Stories, 1987 Everybody Wins, screenplay The Last Yankee, 1990 Gillbury, 1993 Echoes Down the Corridor, 2000
19 Setting: The village of Salem, Massachusetts, from spring to fall 1692. Synopsis: When some of the young girls of Salem begin exhibiting strange behavior Rev. Parris, concerned that some supernatural force is at work, calls in an expert who confirms that the Devil seems to have sway over them. But how were innocent children “taken” by the Evil One here in the theocratic Massachusetts Bay colony? Was Ann Putnam cursed by an evil neighbor so her babies would die? Or do the Putnams see an opportunity to gather more land to themselves? Could the virtuous Rebecca Nurse be guilty? And Elizabeth and John Proctor? The religious court established in Salem by the colony governor will not rest until it has discovered who may be at the root of all this evil. Character Profiles From: Novelguide.com Reverend Parris - Pastor of the church in Salem. He is the father of Betty and the uncle of Abigail Williams. He believes that he is being persecuted and that the townspeople do not respect his position as a man of God. . . . The townspeople have ousted the last few pastors and Parris fears that he may be next. It is only too easy for him to believe the girls because to not believe them would mean that the trouble would be in his own house (Betty and Abigail). If he cannot control his own household, he may not be trusted with an entire village. Betty Parris - Daughter of the Reverend, cousin to Abigail Williams. She is a weak girl who goes along with her cousin as soon as she is threatened. Until Abigail gives her a valid explanation for dancing in the woods, she lies mute in her bed, terrified of her father's reaction. She is easily made into Abigail's tool. Tituba - Servant to the Parris household and a native of Barbados. She is enlisted by Ruth Putnam and Abigail to cast spells and create charms. When Abigail turns on her to save herself from punishment, Tituba confesses to all and saves herself. Abigail Williams - Orphaned niece of Rev. Parris, she was once the lover of John Proctor but was turned out when his wife discovered the affair; she is extremely jealous of Elizabeth Proctor and uses her power in the town to rid herself of Elizabeth as well as any others who have insulted her. She cannot let go of her obsession with Proctor. Abigail is the leader of the girls. Susanna Walcott - One of the girls. She is initially sent by Parris to Dr. Griggs to determine the cause of Betty's ailment. She is easily led by Abigail. Ann Putnam -Wife of Thomas Putnam, mother to Ruth. She is a very superstitious woman who believes the childbirth deaths of so many of her babies was caused supernaturally. She sends her daughter to Tituba to cast a spell to discover the murderer; then turns on the so-called “witches.”
20 Thomas Putnam - Husband of Ann Putnam, father to Ruth. He is a powerful man in the village with a long family line. He forces his way in whatever matters benefit him and becomes extremely bitter when he doesn't succeed. He is accused of coercing his daughter to accuse people in order to gain their forfeited land. Mercy Lewis - Servant to the Putnam household, a merciless girl who seems to delight in the girls' activities with Tituba and during the trials. The threats Abigail uses on the other girls are unnecessary for Mercy. When Abigail eventually leaves town, Mercy goes with her. Mary Warren - Servant to the Proctor household. Abigail uses her to effectively accuse Elizabeth. John Proctor takes Mary to the court to confess that the girls are only pretending [but] she is not strong enough to fight Abigail and soon . . . Mary weakens and runs back to her side. John Proctor - Husband to Elizabeth. He did have an affair with Abigail that he regrets. He knows that the girls are pretending but cannot tell what he knows without revealing his indiscretion. When Abigail uses her influence to convict his wife, he tries to tell the truth and finds himself condemned. Rebecca Nurse - Wife to Francis Nurse, a pious old woman who has often acted as a midwife for women of the town, including Ann Putnam. She is accused of witchcraft by the girls and convicted of the supernatural murder of the Putnam babies. News of her arrest . . . inspires Elizabeth Proctor to urge her husband to go to the court with the truth about Abigail. Giles Corey - Husband to Martha. He inadvertently gives out information that is later used against his wifeâ€”she is literate, he is not, and he reports she is reading something he does not understand. He accuses Thomas Putnam of using Ruth to condemn people for his personal gain. Realizing his source will be arrested, he refuses to reveal it feeling that he has done too much damage already. He is arrested for contempt of court. He is eventually pressed to death when he refuses to enter a plea (pleading guilty or being convicted would mean forfeiture of his land, leaving his sons with no inheritance). Reverend John Hale - He is considered to be, and considers himself, an expert on witchcraft. He is initially summoned from the neighboring town of Beverly to determine whether the devil is in Salem and enthusiastically participates in the court proceedings. When he finally realizes that the girls are lying, it is too late to change the course of action, so he attempts to convince the condemned to admit to witchcraft and save themselves from death. Elizabeth Proctor - Wife of John Proctor who discovered an affair going on between her husband and Abigail Williams and turned Abigail out of her house. She is Abigail's main target but is saved from hanging because of her pregnancy. In time she feels responsible for driving her husband to infidelity. When he will not lie to save himself, she supports his decision though it will leave her alone: if he must redeem himself in this way, she cannot deny him his redemption. Francis Nurse - Husband to Rebecca Nurse. He is a respected man in the community but is ignored when he attempts to speak for his wife. The old levels of respect and power in the community are gone as the young girls take over.
21 Ezekiel Cheever - Clerk of the court, it is his job to deliver arrest warrants. Marshal Herrick - Marshal of Salem. Judge Hathorne - The presiding judge of the witch trials. Deputy Governor Danforth - He seems to feel particularly strongly that the girls are honest. He is sensitive to the presence of the devil and reacts explosively to whatever evidence is presented. Sarah Good - One of the accused, she admits to witchcraft to save herself from death. Vocabulary crucible – According to Webster’s, it is "a vessel made of a refractory substance, as porcelain or graphite, and used for melting materials at high temperatures," is "the bottom of an ore furnace, in which the molten metal collects," or is "a severe trial." discover – in the sense of uncover, reveal, disclose. incubi – evil spirits supposed to visit sleeping people, especially women, with whom they have sexual intercourse; in medieval days incubi were persons or things that oppressed or troubled people nightmares do. succubi – female demons believed to have sexual relations with sleeping men. During the middle ages prostitutes were also known as succubi. Goody – an abbreviation of the word Goodwife, which the 17th century used rather than Mrs./Mistress. In nominee Domini Sabaoth sui filiique/ite ad infernos – Rev. Hale warns that “in the name of God hold the Sabbath sacred or you will go to Hell.” The crowd will part like the sea for Israel – Elizabeth Proctor suggests that the spectators at the trial will give Abigail room to enter the courtroom just as the Red Sea had to part to allow Moses and his brethren to escape Pharaoh and his soldiers. Pontius Pilate – the Roman official who turned Jesus over to the Sadducees to be executed while washing his hands; people still “wash their hands” of anything or anyone they want no part of. John Proctor in his anger and frustration believes Rev. Hale is like Pontius Pilate. An Excerpt from Timebends about The Crucible The climax of my thus far fascinated but unilluminated religious life came one late afternoon when Great-grandfather, with whom I seem to have been alone that day, instructed me to cover
22 my eyes and not look, and then did an inconceivable thing. He took off his shoes, showing his naked white socks. Standing up, he raised his prayer shawl over his head, gave me final warning not to look, waited for me to place my fingers over my eyes, and then, evidently, walked off and left me alone in the short pew facing the side of the altar and quite close to it, his honored elder's seat. I obediently waited there in my darkness, hearing deep male voices gathering in greater and greater number near the altar a few yards ahead of me. Above the altar, which bore the weighty candelabra and the tasseled cloths of red velvet and gold braid, was the Holy Ark, a small shoulder-high closet with two carved doors behind which rested the great scrolls of the Torah as in a miniature toy house. Naturally, what fascinated me were the small doors, about three feet tall, just big enough for me to pass through, which I'd have loved to do. I had always enjoyed watching them being opened and shut, and the tender way the scrolls, which were just about my size too, were carefully laid against the shoulder of the man who'd been given the honor of carrying them, a ritual that had always made me hold my breath, since I knew that I would have dropped them and been banished straight into darkness, no question about it. Now, my fingers pressing with all the power of religious obedience against my closed lids, I heard, of all things, the voices of men beginning to sing! Not in unison like a chorus, but a dozen or more individually, softly, all kinds of different melodies, and then I heard muffled thumps, and then more, deeper thumps and the voices rising louder, some of them seeming to be calling out above an undertone of baritone worrisomeness, and then a sudden tenor flight taking air like a pigeon and the thumping getting faster. My rising fear separated two fingers over one eye, and I peeked through the fuzz of eyelashes and saw the most astonishing thingâ€”about fifteen old men, bent over and covered completely by their prayer shawls, all of them in white socks, dancing! I gasped in fright. One of them must be Great-grandfather, and I was seeing the forbidden. But exactly what was the forbidden part? That they had their shoes off? Or maybe that they were so undignified! Or maybe that in some hidden and mysterious way they were being happy even though they were old. For I had never heard a music like this, so wild and crazy, and each man dancing without any relation to another but only toward the outer darkness that enveloped the spaces beyond family and men, the spaces you might say listened to prayers. Now the heads began to uncover and I quickly hid my eyes, a faker who would have to sit there and wait for Great-grandfather to return and permit me to see again. Especially wounding, this particular fraudulence, when I had undoubtedly sensed even so earlyâ€”as the vividness of memory about him attestsâ€”that he loved me much, and that in some osmotic way it was he I would strive to imitate as a writer though he died before I even started to go to school. The man's reputation for telling stories was very big, and while I understood no Yiddish I would sit beside my mother after dinner, with a dozen or more family listening to him there at the end of the table going on and on through his great beard, pausing only to spit or drag on a cigarette, no doubt enjoying the center of the stage he had so securely won, and when I asked my mother to interpret something he had said, she would wave down at me and yell, "Shhh," so I was left to concentrate on the pure spell he wrought and the music of his expressive voice. I can only recall a fragment of one story that my mother did take the time to translate for me as the old man spoke. A man in the old country was taking a shortcut home one night through a cemetery when out from behind a gravestone stepped a . . . "Wait, wait!" she said, breaking off to hear what my great-grandfather had to say next, her eyes as wide as a child's, her lips open. One minute passed as the old man spoke, two minutes. Unable to wait anymore, I pulled her sleeve for the translation. "Shhh!!" she shot down at me. It was hopeless, and I could only stare down
23 the length of the table at that spellbinder and those grownups he held so helpless in the palm of his hand. . . . Arthur Miller Discusses The Crucible John and Alice Griffin, Theatre Arts, October 1953 Quoted in Conversations with Arthur Miller The Crucible, which opened at the Martin Beck Theatre in New York last January, has been described as a "powerful play," a "stirring melodrama," a "parable" and a work "chiefly concerned with what happened rather than why." None of these interpretations, however, has been voiced by playwright Arthur Miller, who says that the idea of dramatizing the Salem witch trials had been in his mind for a considerable time, in fact, as far back as his student days at the University of Michigan in the Thirties. "Salem," he explains, "is one of the few dramas in history with a beginning, a middle and an end. The drama is complete, because the people saw the error of their ways quite soon after the tragedy occurred.â€? He adds that he could not have written the play at any other time than the present. The people of Salem appealed to Miller as characters for a drama because they were articulate. "I was dealing with people very conscious of an ideology, of what they stood for . . . The [religious conflict] they had lived through was still in their minds . . . They were special people and could voice the things that were buried deep in them. Today's writers describe man's helplessness and eventual defeat. In Salem you have the story of a defeat because these people were destroyed, and this makes it real to us today because we believe in defeat. But they understood at the same time what was happening to L to R: Actor Walter Hampden, Miller, Director them. They knew why they struggled . . . they knew Jed Harris, Producer Kermit Bloomgarden how to struggle . . . they did not die helplessly. The moral size of these people drew me . . . they didn't whimper." . . . In discussing the historical basis of the play, Miller revealed that the plot and characters, except for Proctor and his wife, are historically accurate. He went on to indicate that his hero Proctor is a man who fights against the loss of his identity, a loss which he believes would result if he joined the group. "There is a certain pride operating in him," the author pointed out. "Proctor could not go to his death as easily as Rebecca Nurse does. He believed in paradise but didn't want to go there so quickly. â€œBesides, if you confessed you were a witch, you confessed to being a fraud; you were someone who pretended to be decent but who really was a liar." . . . The playwright was particularly interested in explaining whether The Crucible was intended to be more or less realistic than his earlier Death of a Salesman. "In Death of a Salesman," he said, "I tried to give people a sense of reality in depth. I could have done this by symbolic behavior, like impressionism, but felt that was an old technique. I tried to show the facade-like surface realism of life in realistic acting and at the same time melt this away and bring out the half-conscious, subconscious life and combine both of these with the social context in which the action was taking place. I had to have these two working against each other.
24 "In The Crucible, as I said before, the characters were special people who could give voice to the things that were inside them. There is great danger in pathos, which can destroy any tragedy if you let it go far enough. My weakness is that I can create pathos at will. It is one of the easiest things to do. I feel that Willy Loman lacks sufficient insight into this situation, which would have made him a greater, more significant figure. These people knew what was happening to them; they had insight in the sense that Hamlet has it. A point has to arrive where man sees what has happened to him. I think The Crucible is not more realistic but more theatrical than Death of a Salesman." A man who is always interested in cosmic themes, Miller appears much concerned with what he terms "diabolismâ€?â€”the fear and hatred of opposites. "And when tensions exist," he explained, "this fear is organized. In Salem these people regarded themselves as holders of a light. If this light were extinguished, they believed, the world would end. When you have an ideology which feels itself so pure, it implies an extreme view of the world. . . ." Miller believes that the temptation toward diabolism has always existed in mankind and exists today. "We have come to a time when it seems there must be two sides, and we look back to the ideal state of being, when there was no conflict. Our idea is that conflict can be mapped out of the world. . . . But until man arrives at a point where he realizes that conflict is the essence of life, he will end up by knocking himself out." Who was Who in Salem The names of the characters in this play are largely drawn from actual 1692 Salem participants. Rev. John Hale was born 3 June 1636 in Charlestown, Massachusetts . . . . He graduated Harvard College in 1657. He married Rebecca Byles in 1664. . . . She was born 1638 in Sarum, England, and died 30 April 1683 in Beverly. Hale was the first minister at the First Parish Church in Beverly, ordained on 20 September 1667. . . . He is noteworthy for his involvement in the Witchcraft delusion of 1692. At first he supported the process of seeking out and prosecuting accused witches. However, after his second wife Sarah was accused (they had married in March of 1684; she was the daughter of Rev. James Noyes), he had a change of heart. In 1697, after her death, he published a book A Modern Inquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft (see facsimile cover, below), in which he condemned those who took a leadership role in the prosecutions. He married third wife Elizabeth Somerby 8 August 1698 in Newbury. . . . John Hale died 15 May 1700 in Beverly. Rev. Hale is buried with two of his wives and several of his children at the Old Burial Ground in Beverly. The inscription on his tombstone reads: Here lies buried ye body of ye Reverend John Hale, a pious and faithful minister of ye gospel and pastor of ye first gathered church of Christ in the town of Beverly who rested from his labors on ye 15th day of May, Anno Domini 1700 in ye 64th year of his age. Deputy Governor Danforth - He was born in 1622, in Framlingham, Suffolk, England. He died from an illness in Cambridge, Massachusetts on November 5, 1699. Danforth was the eldest son of Nicholas Danforth. His father and his brother, Samuel, and Danforth came to New England in 1634. Soon after his arrival, he became interested in public affairs. Between the years of 1659 and 1678, Danforth assisted the Massachusetts government, becoming the deputy governor in
25 1679. Previously, as an official both of the Bay Colony and Harvard College, he had received payment in land for his services, in time receiving some 15,000 acres. Later on, he became president of the province of Maine, which was then part of the Massachusetts colony. However, Danforth's role showed he cared more about the court than the lives of the sentenced people, until he realized what had actually happened [in Salem], leading him to participate in the "clean-up" trials after the original court was dissolved. He also turned 800 acres of his Framingham land (named for his birthplace) to the Salem families that had lost family members. This land became known as the Salem End Colony. . . . Judge Stoughton - William Stoughton (1631-1701), Acting Royal Governor of Massachusetts: 1694-1699, 1700-1701. William Stoughton is perhaps best remembered as the first Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court. While serving as Lieutenant Governor, Stoughton was named Chief Justice of the new court in order that he preside over the remaining cases of the Salem Witch trials. Stoughton had no legal training and [yet] served both as judge and prosecutor. Accusations of witchcraft spiraled out of control, and eventually Governor William Phips had to deny the enforcement of the Court's orders. Yet William Stoughton's political life was remarkably unaffected by his connection to the Salem witch trials. When Governor Phips was recalled to London, Stoughton ascended to the Governor's office, while still serving as Chief Justice. He was an adroit politician, who managed the factions of the Colony's politics using the power of his governorship and judgeship and appointments to both his council and to lower courts. Stoughton died while serving as Acting Governor; [he had been reappointed] following the death Governor Richard Coote. Judge Samuel Sewall - As a judge involved in the witchcraft trials in Salem, Samuel Sewall became convinced these convictions were horrible mistakes, which wrongly led the colony to take the lives of nineteen persons. Judge Sewall drafted a proclamation with which the legislature declared a day of fasting and repentance across Massachusetts. On that first "Fast Day" on January 14, 1697, Judge Sewall publicly accepted the "blame and shame" for his actions. At the Old South Church he provided pastor Samuel Willard a letter of confession, which Willard read letter aloud, as Sewall stood before the congregation. Each year Sewall fasted to remember his transgression, and "Fast Day" was declared annually by the legislature over the next two centuries. Sewall served (1692-1728) as judge of the superior Repentance of Judge Sewall court of the colony, being chief justice during the last 10 years. He authored the abolitionist text, The Selling of Joseph, and left behind his famous diary that became an important artifact of this time. Repentance for the witch trials continued in Massachusetts. In 1706 Anne Putnam, one of the accusers of the executed women, made a stirring public confession herself. Just five years later, in 1711 the Massachusetts legislature voted to financially compensate the affected families for "damages sustained by sundry persons prosecuted for witchcraft in the year 1692."
26 Judge Hathorne - John Hathorne was born on August 5, 1641 in Salem to William Hathorne and Anne Smith. Hathorne, the son of a successful farmer, became a noted Salem merchant and a Jonathan Corwinâ€™s house, built in the 1670s politician. Hathorne's political skills won him a position as justice of the peace and county judge. A very religious man, Hathorne served on a committee to find a replacement for Salem minister George Burroughs in 1686. He later sentenced Burroughs to death in the 1692 witch trials. Hathorne believed the devil could use witches to undermine the purpose of the church and do harm to people. Because of this belief, Hathorne and another justice of the peace, Jonathan Corwin, took very seriously complaints about suspected witches. Both immediately issued warrants for Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba when witchcraft accusations were made against them. As justices of the peace, Hathorne and Corwin conducted initial examinations of the suspected witches. Hathorne often appeared to act more as a prosecutor than an impartial inquisitioner. Consider this exchange during the Bridget Bishop examination: Hathorne: How do you know that you are not a witch? Bishop: I do not know what you say. . . I know nothing of it. Hathorne: Why look you, you are taken now in a flat lye. Hathorne died on May 10, 1717 in Salem. Many years later, Hathorne's grandson, author Nathaniel Hawthorne, added a "w" in his to distance himself from Hathorne because of the role he played in the Salem trials. Samuel Parris was the son of Englishman Thomas Parris, who bought land in Barbados in the 1650s. Samuel was sent to Massachusetts to study at Harvard, where he was in 1673 when his father died. At the age of 20, Parris inherited his father's land in Barbados. After graduating, Parris moved back to the island, . . . leased out the family sugar plantation and settled in . . . Bridgetown, where he established himself as a credit agent for other sugar planters. Parris [had] two slaves, including a woman named Tituba. In 1680, Parris [and his slaves] left the island [for] Boston and during his first New England winter married Elizabeth Eldridge. Through his marriage Parris was connected to several distinguished families in Boston, including the Sewalls. A year after they were married, Parris had his first child, a son, Thomas. A year later a daughter Betty was born, and five years later Susahanna. Parris accumulated sufficient wealth in Barbados to support his business ventures in Boston. Plaque commemorating Dissatisfied with the life of a merchant [by] 1686, Salemâ€™s original courthouse he began substituting for absent ministers and speaking at informal church gatherings. After the birth of their third child, Parris began formal negations with Salem
27 Village to become the Village's new preacher. He and his family settled in the parsonage and Parris began his ministerial duties in July 1689. Dissatisfaction in the community with Parris as a minister began in 1691 and manifested itself in the sporadic payment of his salary. In October, a committee refused to impose a tax to support his salary and firewood through the winter. In response, Parris' sermons began to focus on warnings against a conspiracy in the village against himself and the church, and he attributed the evil to the forces of Satan taking hold in Salem. It was also in 1691 that Parris's daughter Betty and his niece, Abigail Williams (now also living in his household), most likely inspired by the tales of Tituba, began to dabble in fortune telling and other decidedly non-Puritan activities. Perhaps out of fear of the repercussions of participating in these forbidden games, Betty began to develop strange symptoms: pinching, prickling and choking sensations. Several physicians were unable to diagnose the problem, but Dr. William Griggs suggested that her malady must be the result of witchcraft. Parris organized prayer meetings and days of fasting in an attempt to alleviate Betty's symptoms, [beat] his servant, Tituba, into confessing, and fanned the flames of witchcraft suspicions from his pulpit. Once the witchcraft hysteria ran its course, dissatisfaction with Parris grew and intensified. Parris, however, was slow to recognize his mistakes. It was not until 1694 that he apologized to his congregation, [and] opposition to Parris continued until 1697 when he left the village . . . . After leaving Salem, Parris first moved to Stowe, and then on to other frontier towns. Parris died in 1720. Allan Gilbertson, in tracing his family genealogy, has provided the following biography of his ancestor Rebecca Nurse. Mr. Gilbertson has kindly allowed me to include his work in this guide, and I urge those interested to visit his website: www.wizard.net/~aldonna/rn.htm.
Rebecca (Towne) Nurse was baptized at Yarmouth, England, on February 21, 1621/22, the daughter of William Towne and Joanna Blessing. She came to Salem with her family in 1640. In about 1645, she married Francis Nurse, who was born in England between 1618 and 1620. Francis was a tray maker who probably also made other wooden household items. He was Salem's constable in 1672. In 1692, the "black cloud of the witchcraft delusion descended upon Salem Village." Rebecca was a 71-year-old invalid who had raised a family of eight children. The Nurse family had been involved in several land disputes which could have caused ill-feeling among some of the residents of Salem. Nevertheless, most of her contemporaries sympathized with her. The dignity and nobility of her character which she showed throughout the trials undoubtedly helped turn public opinion against the trials. Her story is well-known, and has been written in many historical and fictionalized accounts of the trials, including Arthur Miller's play The Crucible. Soon after the first of the women had been accused of witchcraft, Rebecca Nurse discovered that her name had also been mentioned as a suspect. She is reported to have said, "I am innocent as the child unborn, but surely, what sin hath God found out in me unrepented of that He should lay such an affliction on me in my old age?" On March 23 a warrant was issued for her arrest upon the complaint of Edward and John Putnam. (The Putnam family was among those that had been involved in land disputes with Rebecca and her husband.) As in other cases, Rebecca's examination by judges was accompanied by "great noyses by the afflicted." She repeated her assertion that she was innocent but was committed to the Salem jail. Needless to say, the procedure was a travesty of justice. Belief in witchcraft was
28 widespread in New England at that time, but even in that climate it is surprising that convictions could occur as a result of hearsay, slander and hysteria. Rebecca was indicted on June 2 and subjected to a physical examination by a jury of women. They found what a majority of them believed to be a mark of the devil—although two of the women disagreed, saying the mark was due to natural causes. Rebecca asked that others examine her before she was brought to trial, but the request was denied. Rebecca Nurse was tried on June 29, 1692. Her accusers included the four young girls who initiated the witchcraft hysteria in Salem, Rev. Parris and several members of the Putnam family. Rebecca's son, son-in-law and daughter-in-law spoke in her defense. In addition, some 40 members of Salem Village signed a declaration defending her character. The jury at first returned a verdict of "not guilty." Some who had been accused confessed to practicing witchcraft in hopes that their death sentences would be dropped. One of these women, Goody Hobbs, had muttered, "She is one of us." In light of this the judge asked that the verdict be reconsidered. When Rebecca was asked what Goody Hobbs had meant, she didn't answer. Later she said that she had not heard the question, as she was hard of hearing, and that "one of us" had meant that they were imprisoned together. The Governor granted a reprieve, but when Rebecca's accusers renewed their outcry it was withdrawn. On July 3, Rebecca Nurse was excommunicated—"abandoned to the devil and eternally damned." On July 19 she was driven in a cart with four other women to Gallows Hill where she was hanged. Tradition says that at midnight Francis Nurse, his sons and sons-in-law found Rebecca's body in the common grave where it had been flung and carried it home for a proper burial. One of Rebecca's sisters, Mary (Towne) Estey, was also hanged on charges of being a witch. The last of the executions in Salem took place in September 1692. In all, 20 people were put to death (including five men), and eight others died in jail. The trials ended perhaps because too many people of good reputation had been accused. By 1703 the General Court made payments to the heirs of the victims and £25 was paid to the heirs of Rebecca Nurse. In 1706, Ann Putnam, one of the original four hysterical young women, made a written statement of remorse. She said that the devil had deceived her into accusing innocent people and mentioned Goodwife Nurse in particular. In 1712 the pastor who had cast Rebecca out of the church formally cancelled the excommunication. Francis Nurse survived until November 22, 1695. The house where he and Rebecca lived still stands and is maintained by a historical society. . . . The History of the Salem Witch Trials From: Novelguide.com Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible, is based upon actual events in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692. Some facts, as Miller admits in the introduction, have been changed. Abigail, for instance was only 11 at the time of the trials and John Proctor was 60. An affair between the two of them is a somewhat far-fetched idea. Betty Parris, who was six at the time, became strangely ill sometime after February 1692. She complained of a fever and crashed about the house in pain. There is much
29 speculation about the actual cause of her symptoms. . . . Theologian Cotton Mather had recently published a book called Memorable Providences describing the suspected witchcraft of a woman in Boston. Betty's behavior in many ways mirrored that described in the book. Closer attention was paid when Abigail Williams, 11-year-old Ann Putnam Jr. (called Ruth in Miller's play), 17year-old Mercy Lewis and Mary Walcott (Susanna) began to exhibit similar symptoms. When Dr. Griggs could not cure the children, he naturally suggested that some supernatural force must be at work. An increasingly larger group, which also grew to include adults, began to complain of afflictions. Sometime after February 25, Betty and Abigail named their tormentors with such consistent stories that it seems the girls must have been working their stories out together. The first people to be accused of witchcraft (Tituba, Sarah Osborn, and Sarah Good) were outsiders. It was easy for the pious townspeople to believe that those who differed from them were influenced by the devil. The antics in the court proceedings went much as Miller portrayed. Displays of the victimsâ€™ apparent affliction when in the presence of the witch were considered valid evidence of guilt. The fervor might have died down at that point but Tituba, who had been adamantly denying involvement in witchcraft, proclaimed that she had been approached by a tall man who asked her to sign his book. She stated that she and four others, including Sarah Good and Sarah Osborn, were in fact witches and flew through the air on poles. At this point, the witch hunting took off. Even the four-year-old daughter of Sarah Good, Dorcas, was accused and jailed. Bridget Bishop, the sixty-year-old owner of a house of ill repute was the first brought to trial. She was the most likely of the prisoners to be convicted considering her deviant behavior. . . . After her conviction however, one of the judges, Saltonstall, resigned in disgust. . . . Bridget Bishop was hanged on June 10, 1692. As time went on the accused were not as disreputable as Bishop. Rebecca Nurse was actually found not guilty but Chief Justice Stoughton urged the jury to reconsider and she was condemned. John Proctor was actually a tavern owner (not a farmer as in the play) and was openly critical of the witch-hunts. He was an example of what would happen to those who spoke out against the proceedings. Proctor was hanged August 19, 1692. Doubt in the validity of the accusations finally began when the ex-Reverend George Burroughs was hung. He recited the Lord's Prayer perfectly, which was thought impossible for one in league with the Devil. Cotton Mather . . . was in attendance that day and his intervention [led] people back to supporting the trials. After all, an innocent person would not be convicted. Giles Corey was, as the play reports, pressed to death for refusing to enter a plea to the charge of witchcraft against him. His wife Martha was hanged three days later with 7 other convicted witches. Her group would be the last to die. Salem was regaining its senses. Reverend John Hale and the villagers found it increasingly harder to believe that so many respectable people would turn to the Devil all at once. . . . Reverend Parris was replaced though he tried to blame those around him. Many of those involved also tried to place the blame on others. Those still in prison were released and in later years, the families of the executed were compensated. . . .
30 A Timeline of the Salem Trials January 20, 1692 Elizabeth Parris and eleven-year-old Abigail Williams began to exhibit strange behavior, such as blasphemous screaming, convulsive seizures, trance-like states and mysterious spells. Within a short time, other Salem girls began to demonstrate similar behavior. Mid-February Unable to determine any physical cause for the symptoms and dreadful behavior, physicians concluded that the girls were under the influence of Satan. Late February Prayer services and community fasting were conducted by Reverend Samuel Parris in hopes of relieving the evil forces that plagued them. . . . Pressured to identify the source of their affliction, the girls named three women, including Tituba, Parris' Carib Indian slave, as witches. On February 29, warrants were issued for the arrests of Tituba, Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne. Although Osborne and Good maintained innocence, Tituba confessed to seeing the devil who appeared to her "sometimes like a hog and sometimes like a great dog, " [and] that there was a conspiracy of witches at work in Salem. March 1 Magistrates John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin examined Tituba, Sarah Good, and Sarah Osborne in the meeting house in Salem Village. Tituba confessed to practicing witchcraft. Over the next weeks, other townspeople came forward and testified that they, too, had been harmed by or had seen strange apparitions of some of the community members. Frequently denounced were women whose behavior or economic circumstances were somehow disturbing to the social order and conventions of the time. Some of the accused had previous records of criminal activity, including witchcraft, but others were faithful churchgoers and people of high standing in the community. March 12 - 28 Martha Corey, Rebecca Nurse and Elizabeth Proctor are accused of witchcraft. April 3 Sarah Cloyce, Rebecca Nurse's sister, was accused of witchcraft. April 11 Elizabeth Proctor and Sarah Cloyce were examined before Hathorne, Corwin, Deputy Governor Thomas Danforth, and Captain Samuel Sewall. During this examination, John Proctor was also accused and imprisoned. April 19 Abigail Hobbs, Bridget Bishop, Giles Corey, and Mary Warren were examined. Only Examination of a witch, Salem, Abigail Hobbs confessed. th T.H. Matteson, 19 c April 22 â€“ May 2 Nehemiah Abbott, William and Deliverance Hobbs, Edward and Sarah Bishop, Mary Easty, Mary Black, Sarah Wildes, Mary English, Sarah Morey, Lydia Dustin, Susannah Martin, and Dorcas Hoar were examined before Hathorne and Corwin. Only Nehemiah Abbott was cleared of charges.
31 Dorcas Hoar "I will speak the truth as long as I live." May 4 George Burroughs, a former Salem minister, was arrested in Wells, Maine. [Maine was part of Massachusetts until 1820.] May 9 Burroughs was examined by Hathorne, Corwin, Sewall, and William Stoughton. One of the afflicted girls, Sarah Churchill, was also examined. May 10 George Jacobs, Sr., and his granddaughter Margaret were examined before Hathorne and Corwin. Margaret confessed and testified that her grandfather and George Burroughs were both witches. Sarah Osborne died in prison in Boston. Margaret Jacobs ". . . They told me if I would not confess I should be put down into the dungeon and would be hanged, but if I would confess I should save my life." May 18 Mary Easty [sister of Rebecca Nurse] was released from prison. Yet, due to the outcries and protests of her accusers, she was arrested a second time. May 27 [Newly appointed] Governor Phips set up a special Court of Oyer and Terminer comprised of seven judges to try the witchcraft cases. Appointed were Lieutenant Governor William Stoughton, Nathaniel Saltonstall, Bartholomew Gedney, Peter Sergeant, Samuel Sewall, Wait Still Winthrop, John Richards, John Hathorne, and Jonathan Corwin. These magistrates based their judgments and evaluations on various kinds of intangible evidence, including direct confessions, supernatural attributes (such as "witch marks"), and reactions of the afflicted girls. Spectral evidence, based on the assumption that the Devil could assume the "specter" of an innocent person, was relied upon despite its controversial nature. May 31 Martha Carrier, John Alden, Wilmott Redd, Elizabeth Howe, and Phillip English were examined before Hathorne, Corwin, and Gedney. June 2 Initial session of the Court of Oyer and Terminer. Bridget Bishop was the first to be pronounced guilty of witchcraft and condemned to death. Soon after her trial, Nathaniel Saltonstall resigned from the court, dissatisfied with its proceedings. June 10 Bridget Bishop was hanged in Salem, the first official execution of the Salem witch trials. Bridget Bishop "I am no witch. I am innocent. I know nothing of it." Following her death, accusations of witchcraft escalated, but the trials were not unopposed. Several townspeople signed petitions on behalf of accused people they believed to be innocent. June 29-30
32 Rebecca Nurse, Susannah Martin, Sarah Wildes, Sarah Good and Elizabeth Howe were tried for witchcraft and condemned. Rebecca Nurse "Oh Lord, help me! It is false. I am clear. For my life now lies in your hands. . . ." Mid-July In an effort to expose the witches afflicting his life, Joseph Ballard of nearby Andover enlisted the aid of the accusing girls of Salem. This action marked the beginning of the Andover witch hunt. July 19 Rebecca Nurse, Susannah Martin, Elizabeth Howe, Sarah Good, and Sarah Wildes were executed. Elizabeth Howe "If it was the last moment I was to live, God knows I am innocent. . ." Susannah Martin "I have no hand in witchcraft." August 2-6 George Jacobs, Sr., Martha Carrier, George Burroughs, John and Elizabeth Proctor, and John Willard were tried for witchcraft and condemned. Martha Carrier ". . . I am wronged. It is a shameful thing that you should mind these folks that are out of their wits." August 19 Jacobs, Carrier, Burroughs, John Proctor, and Willard were hanged on Gallows Hill. George Jacobs ". . . I am falsely accused. I never did it." September 9 Martha Corey, Mary Easty, Alice Parker, Ann Pudeator, Dorcas Hoar, and Mary Bradbury were tried and condemned. Mary Bradbury "I do plead not guilty. I am wholly innocent of such wickedness." September 17 Margaret Scott, Wilmott Redd, Samuel Wardwell, Mary Parker, Abigail Faulkner, Rebecca Eames, Mary Lacy, Ann Foster, and Abigail Hobbs were tried and condemned. September 19 Giles Corey was pressed to death for refusing a trial.
September 21 Dorcas Hoar, the first of those pleading innocent to confess, has her execution delayed. September 22
33 Martha Corey, Margaret Scott, Mary Easty, Alice Parker, Ann Pudeator, Wilmott Redd, Samuel Wardwell, and Mary Parker were hanged. October 8 After 20 people had been executed in the Salem witch hunt, Thomas Brattle wrote a letter criticizing the witchcraft trials that had great impact on Governor Phips, who ordered that reliance on spectral and intangible evidence no longer be allowed in the trials. October 29 Governor Phips dissolved the Court of Oyer and Terminer. November 25 The General Court of the colony created the Superior Court to try the remaining witchcraft cases [the following] May. This time no one was convicted. See also The Witchcraft Hysteria of 1692 (http://www.star.net/salem/witches.htm) and The Salem Witch Trials of 1692: A Chronology of Events (http://www.star.net/salem/memorial/default.htm). The Rebellion in Andover: Neighboring Witch Trials End Before Salemâ€™s From: Andover Historical Society In 1692, more people from Andover, Massachusetts, were accused and arrested for witchcraft than from any other town in New England. Eighty percent of the town's residents were drawn into this witch hunt. Andover also holds the dubious distinction of having the most confessed witches, and the highest number of children arrested. Through petitions that eventually turned public opinion against the trials, Andover led the campaign that brought them to an end. Before the madness was over, however, 3 adults had been hanged and one woman perished in jail. Most people who lived in the 17th century believed in witches. Folklore and magical practices were part of their cultural heritage from Great Britain (see Witchcraft in 16th and 17th Century England, below). The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 were indicative of a society unable to deal with social, economic, religious and political change. Many Puritans then living in the Massachusetts Bay Colony were convinced that the devil was plotting to take over New England and destroy the "Cities of God" they had established in the American wilderness. Evidence of Satan's conspiracy seemed all around them: in the failure of their crops, epidemics, the French and Indian wars, the decline of clergy power, and the loss of their original Royal Charter which resulted in Tombstone of accused witch the breakdown of the legal system. This climate of fear which William Barker, Jr. resulted in scapegoating and intolerance manifested itself differently in various communities. As a frontier town, Andover had suffered sporadic Indian raids. Martha Carrier, the first arrested for witchcraft in May 1692, had been exiled from town several years before "for spreading smallpox with wicked carelessness." Religious strife was a factor in Andover, where townspeople were taxed to support two ministers for one church. The Reverend Francis Dane, the senior minister, did not believe in witches, while his assistant, Parson Thomas Barnard, supported the Trials.
34 Warrant vs. Tituba and Sarah Osborne From: The Salem Witchcraft Papers (Please note: I have retain the original spelling, abbreviations, punctuation, and so on.) Salem febr' the 29'th day, 1691/2 Whereas m'rs Joseph Hutcheson Thomas Putnam Edward Putnam and Thomas Preston Yeomen of Salem Village, in the County of Essex. personally appeared before us, And made Complaint on behalfe of theire Majesties against Sarah Osburne the wife of Alexa' Osburne of Salem Village afores'd, and titibe an Indian Woman servant, of mr. Sam'l Parris of s'd place also; for Suspition of Witchcraft, by them Committed and thereby much injury don to Elizabeth Parris Abigail Williams Anna [Ruth] Putnam and Elizabeth Hubert all of Salem Village afores'd Sundry times with in this two moneths and Lately also done, at s'd Salem Village Contrary to the peace and Laws of our Sov'r Lord & Lady Wm & Mary of England &c King & Queene. You are there for in theire Maj'ts names hereby required to apprehend and forthwith or as soon as may be bring before us the aboves'd Sarah Osburne, and titibe Indian, at the house of Lt. Nath'l Ingersalls in s'd place. And if it may be by to Morrow aboute ten of the Clock in the morning then and there to be Examined Relateing to the aboves'd premises â€”. You are likewise required to bring at the same tyme Eliz. Parris Abig'l Williams Anna Putnam and Eliz Hubert or any other person or persons that can give Evedence in the Aboves'd Case. and hereof you are not to faile. Dated Salem febr' 29 1691/2 * John Hathorne * Jonathan Corwin Assis'ts (Reverse) (Officer's Return) To Constable Joseph Herrick Const' in Salem according to this warrant I have apprehended the parsons with in mentioned and have brought them accordingly and have mad diligent sarch for Images and such like but can find non Salem village this 1 march 1691/92 *Joseph Herrick Constable Puritanism in New England David Cody, Associate Professor of English, Hartwick College From: The Victorian Web . . . Like their counterparts in Britain the Puritans were extreme Calvinistic Protestants who viewed the Reformation as a victory of true Christianity over Roman Catholicism. They believed
35 that the Universe was God-centered, and that mankind, inherently sinful and corrupt, rescued from damnation (if God so chose) only by arbitrary divine grace, was duty-bound to do God's will, which they could understand best by studying the Bible and the universe which God had created and which He controlled. Their isolation in the New World, their introversion, the harshness and dangers of their new existence, their sense that they were a new Chosen People of God destined to found a New Jerusalem—a New City of God in the midst of the wilderness—insured that American Puritanism would remain more severe (and, frequently, more intellectually subtle and rigorous) than that which they had left behind. The American Puritan tended to interpret the Bible, which had supreme literary value because it was the perfect word of God, even more literally than did his British counterparts. Though many of the original American Puritans—many of whom were both preachers and authors—had attended English universities, they tended to form religious oligarchies and sought to establish a purified church—which meant the frequently harsh imposition of religious uniformity upon an unwilling populace. . . . The overt remnants of Puritanism did not die out in New England until well into the nineteenth century, and it echoes in American society today. . . . Elements of the Puritans’ Faith From: The Victorian Web Introduction: Basic Puritan Beliefs 1. Total Depravity - Through Adam's fall for eating the forbidden fruit, every human is born sinful (Original Sin). 2. Unconditional Election - God "saves" those he wishes - only a few are selected for salvation (Predestination). 3. Limited Atonement - Jesus died for the chosen only, not for everyone. 4. Irresistible Grace - God's grace is freely given, it cannot be earned or denied. Grace is defined as the saving and transfiguring power of God. 5. Perseverance of the "saints" - Those elected by God have full power to interpret the will of God, and to live uprightly. If anyone rejects grace after feeling its power in his or her life will be going against the will of God - something impossible in Puritanism. Forces Undermining Puritanism 1. A person's natural desire to do good works against predestination. 2. Dislike of a "closed" [restricted] life. 3. Resentment of the power of the few over many. 4. Change in economic conditions - growth of fishery, farms, etc. – lessens dependence on the colony as a whole. 5. Presence of the leaders of dissent - Anne Hutchinson (whose informal discussions at her home gave scope to Puritan intellects, but her [belief that faith alone was necessary to earn salvation] caused John Cotton, John Winthrop, and other former friends to view her as an antinomian heretic. She defied them, was tried by the General Court, and was sentenced (1637) to banishment for “traducing the ministers.” Several of her followers . . . also left. After helping to found the present Portsmouth, R.I., she quarreled with other founders, eventually moving to Long Island and then to what is now Pelham Bay Park in New York City (1642). There she and
36 all the other members of her family but one were killed by Native Americans), and Roger Williams (emigrated to the Massachusetts Bay colony in 1631. Williams became a teacher (1632) and, after a stay at Plymouth, minister (1634) of the Salem church. However, his radical religious beliefs and political theoriesâ€”he . . . challenged the Puritans to acknowledge they had separated from the Church of England, and declared that civil magistrates had no power over matters of conscienceâ€”alarmed the Puritan oligarchy, and the General Court banished him [but soon thereafter] he founded Providence, a democratic refuge from religious persecution . . . In 1654, Williams was elected president of the colony and served three terms. Williams, though he remained a Christian, disassociated himself from existing churches. . . . Of great personal charm and unquestioned integrity, Williams was admired even by those who, like both the elder and the younger John Winthrop, abhorred his liberal ideas.). 6. The presence of the frontier - concept of self-reliance, individualism, and optimism [as opposed to dedication to and reliance upon the colony; see no. 8]. 7. Change in political conditions - Massachusetts became a Crown colony. 8. Theocracy suffered from a lack of flexibility. 9. Growth of rationality - use of the mind to know God - less dependence on the Bible. 10. Cosmopolitanism of new immigrants. Visible Signs of Puritan Decay 1. Visible decay of godliness. 2. Manifestations of pride - especially among the new rich. 3. Presence of "heretics" - Quakers and Anabaptists. 4. Violations of the Sabbath and swearing and sleeping during sermons. 5. Decay in family government. 6. People full of contention - rise in lawsuits and lawyers. 7. Sins of sex and alcohol on the increase. 8. Decay in business morality - lying, laborers underpaid, etc. 9. No disposition to reform. 10. Lacking in social behavior. Some Aspects of the Puritan Legacy: each has positive and negative implications. a. The need for moral justification for private, public, and governmental acts. b. The Questing for Freedom - personal, political, economic, and social. c. The Puritan work ethic. d. Elegiac verse - morbid fascination with death. e. The city upon the hill - concept of manifest destiny. Witchcraft in 16th and 17th Century England From: Social Studies School Service James I was King of England (1603-1625) when the Pilgrims set sail for Northern Virginia (New England) in 1620. James was a firm believer in witches and witchcraft and the harm they could do. He even wrote an authoritative account of witchcraft entitled Daemonologie. His belief in witchcraft probably inspired William Shakespeare to prominently feature witches in Macbeth, a
37 play widely believed to be an homage to James I and his supposed ancestor Banquo ("Thou shalt [be]get kings though thou be none"). This passage from Witches and Jesuits: Shakespeare's Macbeth by Garry Wills helps us imagine the climate of the times in the late 16th and early 17th century in England: Witchcraft was not just a matter of private concern, filling the law courts with complaints of hexes and love spells. It was a factor in affairs of state. Elizabeth's government showed enough concern when a crude image of herself was discovered that it called in John Dee, the master of occult lore, to prescribe protective measures. This baffled plot against Elizabeth was described by Dekker in The Whore of Babylon, where a conjurer offers his service against the Queen (2.2.168-175): This virgin wax Bury I will in slimy-putrid ground, Where it may piecemeal rot. As this consumes, So shall she pine, and (after languor) die. These pins shall stick like daggers to her heart And, eating through her breast, turn there to gripings, Cramplike convulsions, shrinking up her nerves As into this they eat. This is the "pining" spell witches were known for, the one Shakespeare's witch casts on a sailor (1.3.22-23): Weary sev'n-nights, nine times nine, Shall he dwindle, peak, and pine. . . . Elizabeth was also attacked with hellish potions, including the magic poison smeared on her saddle pommel by Edward Squire. King James was even more plagued by political witchcraft than was Elizabeth. Most of the major conspiracies against his life involved witchcraft. In 1590 Dr. Fian used a "school" of witches to cast spells on him. In 1593 Bothwell's rebellion led to an indictment for witchcraft. In 1600, when the Gowrie Plot failed, magic formulas were found on the body of the man who tried to assassinate the King. It is not surprising that the King should dwell on the dark arts that abetted the Powder Plottersâ€”this was just a new piece in the old pattern of James' psychomachia with hellish powers. (Garry Wills, Witches and Jesuits: Shakespeare's Macbeth) This was the climate of the times when the Puritans settled New England. Witches and witchcraft were often blamed for unknown phenomena, and deeply religious people like the Puritans were especially prone to see the devil's hand in unpleasant circumstances. The wilderness of the New World presented a particularly potent set of unknown circumstances and dangers. Perhaps it is not surprising that the hysteria of Salem was the result. Timothy Douglas on Arthur Miller's The Crucible While he was directing A Lesson Before Dying, Timothy Douglas was invited to describe his vision of Millerâ€™s classic, which he had agreed to direct for us in the 2002/2003 season. Mr. Douglas began his remarks by reminding us that items from a crucible are born in fire. [Webster's dictionary says a crucible is "a vessel made of a refractory substance, as porcelain or
38 graphite, and used for melting materials at high temperatures," is "the bottom of an ore furnace, in which the molten metal collects," or is "a severe trial."] Not only has Mr. Douglas directed The Crucible before but it was the first play he was ever in: he played Putnam. More recently he directed the Pittsburgh Public Theatre's Young Company in The Crucible in a slot usually reserved for a Shakespeare play: the company wanted to try something different, and Douglas suggested Miller's play. As the company did their table work, the play "began to reveal itself”: the political issues and the interpersonal betrayals became clear, and the horrifying sense that these are things we can all understand and want but are unable to thwart became all too clear. As Mr. Douglas noted, it's a very well written play. In speaking with Pearl Cleage (author of Blues for an A1abama Sky, Flyin' West, and Bourbon at the Border) about Pittsburgh's production, he was so intrigued by her comment that she has always wanted to see The Crucible with an African-American cast that he began to imagine what such casting would mean for the play. Douglas explained that, no matter what he directs, the issue of race always arises, whether there are interracial relationships within the play or not; he feels that he needs to find balance between the play’s “world” or point of view and his own perspective. While he appreciates that it is the audience that is being awakened through witnessing a play, his "journey" as a director begins with his question to himself: what has he learned from the play. Douglas needs to learn, to be challenged by the work. African-American survival in our society requires that each African-American individual know everything about European Americans. However, the reverse is not required. When Syracuse Stage's audience hears The Crucible through African-American voices, it will hear the play differently, and think about or reconsider the issues in the play. The Crucible is the quintessentially American play, a "civil war" (in the sense that society is at war with itself) play. The characters honor their ideals by dishonoring others. Mr. Douglas asked himself what the nexus between this American play and African-American issues might be. The conflict as it stands is a conflict between classes, between landowners and the landless. Douglas hopes to indicate different social classes with a black cast by paying attention to skin tone, because there is still a perception among some members of our society, blacks as well as whites, that "if you're light you're alright." Darker skin is equated with failure, taboo (with Africa?), even danger. Thus, in his dream cast, Abigail and Parris would be light while Elizabeth and Proctor would be dark; ideally Tituba would be the darkest. In fact, both she and Proctor should be perceived as African, that is, dangerously unassimilated in comparison to the rest of the community. Historically there have been some entirely black townships in the United States, some of which were peopled by men and women who were never slaves. Our Crucible would be set in a town established by white missionaries and organized by them in such a way that, by the time of the play’s action, the residents would have become self sufficient. [More about this will appear in the Crucible-specific study guide.] This community would be torn between the Protestantism of the missionaries and its own African cultural background, a background that includes such ideas as the actual presence of one's ancestors in daily life. Puritanism would be utterly foreign to some of the community, like Proctor, who would then return to their prior experiences, practices and traditions, African traditions. Others would adopt the missionaries' outlook, some with the zeal of the converted. Mr. Douglas noted how he values the "wonderful wisdom" of the older characters in The Crucible, especially Giles Corey and the Nurses, who resemble older whites he encountered in his own growing up, who stayed in their neighborhoods as blacks moved in, and who had no
39 qualms about race. Giles Corey may be played by a white man; the Reverend Hale, representing the missionary society in our production, would also be white. Judge Danforth may be played by a black woman (he has a specific actor in mind). In Crucible Judge Danforth represents the letter of the law which is brought into the community from outside. During the Judge's stay s/he sees the truth of what's happening between the residents and, although s/he has to uphold what has been legislated, empathizes with those “outside" power. Mr. Douglas told us that in West African culture the woman decides the policy in the household, and it is with this in mind that he sees Danforth as a woman. Our production would take place in the play’s original period, that is, in the late 17th century. Douglas acknowledged that since Mr. Miller's play involves actual historic figures some Crucible in Shanghai, directed by Huang Zuolin people may object to this approach. Rachel Edwards Harvith (one of our literary associates last season) mentioned that the topic of racial profiling may be of interest to some groups as a launching point to discussing or seeing the play. Subsequently, in a message to Syracuse Stage’s Artistic Director Bob Moss, Timothy Douglas expanded on his overview: There is an obvious depth in the African-American experience when it comes to issues of and response to oppression—which rarely is given voice at the level of the arguments so simply, and yet so precisely articulated by Arthur Miller. The Crucible, without doubt, stands on its own as one of the most passionate and articulate plays which has, as its theatrical foundation, a constant thrust of intellectual ideas. Any production of this American classic is going to rile and theatrically satisfy the audience . . . but just think of what the “jazz” version of this play would be like. Themes clearly unfolding from the profound foundations of the Salem witch trials and the investigation of McCarthy's HUAC and just how “wrong” they were already pacts a theatrical wallop. But then—through the rhythms and colors of black voices—the “smoke” smoldering there in the vibrations of expression cured by generations of oppression moving through such potent language and structure; a structure absolutely required for expression so as not to obliterate the speaker or the listener for fear of the implosion of anger and guilt of the emotionally bonding pain we share in this still racially divided America. The Syracuse Stage audience will be forced to hear this play in a different way! I have no intentions of altering the structure or style of the play in any way, save that the physical production couldn't be set it in Miller's literal 17th century Salem, but would be set it in an equally morally confining rural, but more “neutral” township—similar to the one I did in the Pittsburgh production which worked very well—but again, like a satisfying piece of jazz, those extra bottom layers of the
40 black experience speaking through Miller's words would lend a kind of universal soul-knowing, the way that jazz reaches everyone on that level, the way you experience Gone With The Wind through Mammy. You almost don't need the words. And that, coupled with the extraordinary words of this play, will be dynamite. Further, as I think of this particular world, we can also layer in subtleties of how race relations within the race fuel “the hunt.” For instance, Abigail has that line about her potential employers "wanting slaves, and I will not black my face for any of them." Clearly in this production the actress playing Abigail would have to be among the lighter skin-toned in the cast. Sad to tell, but within some arenas in the black community there is still this idea that the lighter the skin tone translates somehow into having better breeding, or at least the perception of being less threatening. That's a carryover from ideas that the dominant culture ingrained in us, which remains deeply internalized to this day. Africans in North America, a Chronology From: Irving J. Sloan, Blacks in America, 1492-1970: A Chronology and Fact Book; Boston African American National Historic Site 1492
Pedro Alonzo Nino, said by many scholars to have been a Negro, arrived with Columbus as one of his pilots.
Balboa's expedition to the Pacific included thirty blacks who were instrumental in clearing the way between two oceans.
The first slave revolt took place in the first United States settlement which contained slaves—an area in present-day South Carolina.
Estevanico (Little Stephen), a black explorer, led an expedition from Mexico and discovered Arizona and New Mexico.
The second settler in the [present] state of Alabama was a black with De Soto's expedition [along the Mississippi]. Liking the land, he settled among the Indians.
John Hawkins carried slaves from Portuguese Africa to Spanish America.
Blacks were with Mendez in founding St. Augustine, Florida.
A Dutch ship anchored at Jamestown, Virginia, with a cargo of "twenty Negras"— thus began black history in English America.
The first public school for Negroes and Indians in Virginia was established.
1623 – 60
Blacks who completed indentureships earn some equality, including voting, testifying in court, acquiring land, moving freely, etc. William Tucker was the first black child born and baptized in English America at
41 Jamestown, Virginia. His parents had arrived on the Dutch ship. 1638
Eight years after the original settlement of Boston, a ship named Desire arrived in Boston with the first African slaves.
Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth were the first colonies to authorize slavery through legislation as part of the 1641 Body of Liberties.
Marriage of Antony van Angola and Lucie d'Angola was the first in black life to be recorded in America on Manhattan Island.
Voyage of the Rainbowe, the first American slave ship.
First individual petition of a black for his freedom [in] New Netherlands was granted.
Virginia enacted a statute making slavery hereditary, following the status of the mother.
The first major slave rebellion in colonial America took place in Gloucester, Virginia.
Maryland passed a law preventing marriages between English women and Negroes; several colonies followed suit soon thereafter.
Maryland passed an act declaring that conversion of slaves to Christianity did not affect their slave status. Prior to this Christian slaves were freed.
Quakers of Germantown, Pennsylvania, made the first formal protest against slavery in the Western hemisphere: â€œThere is a saying, that we should do to all men like as we will be done for ourselves. . . . Here[in America] is liberty of conscience, which is right and reasonable; here ought to be likewise liberty of the body. . . . But to bring men hither, or to rob and sell them against their will, we stand against. . . . Pray, what thing in the world can be done worse toward us, that if men should rob or steal us away, and sell us for slaves to strange [i.e., foreign] countries; separating husbands from their wives and children. . . . Have these poor Negroes not as much right to fight for their freedom as you have to keep them slaves?â€? (George H. Moore, Notes on the History of Slaves in Massachusetts)
Elias Nau, a Frenchman, opened the first school for blacks in New York City.
Virginia enacted a law permitting owners to list people as property.
Early slave revolt in New York City. Pennsylvania passed the first legislation to prevent importation of slaves.
Jupiter Hammon of Long Island, the first black American writer, was born in Africa.
Benjamin Banneker, mathematician and astronomer, born near Baltimore, Maryland.
42 Born into a family of free blacks, Banneker learned the rudiments of reading, writing, and arithmetic from his grandmother and a Quaker schoolmaster. Later he taught himself advanced mathematics and astronomy. He is best known for publishing an almanac based on his astronomical calculations. 1733
Samuel Sewall published the first anti-slavery tract which appeared in the colonies, The Selling of Joseph.
Serious New York City slave revolt resulted in the hanging of 18 blacks.
Black Jean Baptiste Pointe Du Saible, who established a trading post which later became the city of Chicago, born in Haiti.
Toussaint L'Ouverture, revolutionary leader of Haiti, born May 20.
Absalom Jones, first black minister ordained in America, born a slave in Sussex, DE.
Prince Hall, successful businessman and founder of Negro Free Masonry, born.
Crispus Attucks, American Revolution martyr, escapes his Framingham, MA, master.
Scipio Moorhead, earliest known black artist, born. Lemuel Haynes, first black to serve as pastor in a white congregation in the United States, born.
Quaker John Woolman began his campaign against slavery after having convinced leaders of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting to oppose it by establishing a committee, which he joined, whose members would travel to convince others of the evil of slavery. He died on such a trip, having led the London Yearly Meeting to announce its opposition to slavery, in 1772.
Frances Williams, first black college graduate, published Latin poems.
Paul Cuffee, a Quaker sea captain, business leader and philanthropist, son of a former slave and an Indian woman, born. In 1815, he transported 38 free blacks to Sierra Leone.
Richard Allen, founder and bishop of the African Methodist Church, born a slave near Philadelphia.
Phillis Wheatley, American Revolutionary poet, arrived in Boston on a slave ship.
Jupiter Hammon published his poem "An Evening Thought."
James Derham, the first recognized black medical doctor, born in Philadelphia.
Rev. James Varick, first superintendent and bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, born in New York City.
Crispus Attucks is the first of five men killed in the Boston Massacre. Anthony Benezet, a Quaker originally from France, opened a school for blacks in Philadelphia in the same facility where he taught white children. Like John Woolman he encouraged the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting to oppose slavery.
Lord Mansfield handed down his decision in the Somerset case against the existence of slavery on English soil. This case stimulated requests for legislative action against slavery in New England.
George Leile and Andrew Bryan organize the first Negro Baptist Church in Savannah, GA. Bill Richmond, father of modern prize fighting, born in Staten Island. Massachusetts slaves petition the state legislature for their freedom.
Continental Congress voted an agreement not to import any slaves after December 1.
Benjamin Franklin elected president of the first abolition society organized by the Quakers in Philadelphia. Black soldiers fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill. Peter Salem, who shot down Major Pitcairn, was one of the heroes of the day. Continental Congress passed a resolution barring blacks from the American Revolutionary Army. Lord Dunmore, royal governor of Virginia, issued a proclamation offering freedom to all male slaves who joined the British forces. General George Washington, [responding to] Dunmore's Proclamation, ordered recruiting officers to accept free blacks.
Vermont was the first state to abolish slavery.
A Declaration of Rights was added to the Massachusetts state constitution abolishing slavery. In the 1781 court case Commonwealth v. Jennison, slavery in the state was declared unconstitutional.
According to the census there are more than 59,000 free blacks, [many] in the South, working as farmers, artisans, mechanics, laborers, seafaring men, hatters, shopkeepers, traders, waiters, cooks, hairdressers, domestic servants, and musicians. Massachusetts is the only state that claimed no slaves in the first Census.
Free Blacks in the United States Alonford James Robinson, Jr. From: Africana.com Free blacks in America were first documented in Northampton County, Virginia, in 1662. By 1776, 60,000 African Americansâ€”approximately 8% of the national black populationâ€”were free. The free black population continued to rise steadily, which intimidated many proslavery whites. Between 1800 and 1810 the free black population nearly doubled, from 108,395 to 186,446. By 1810, 4% of all African Americans in the Deep South, 10% in the Upper South, and 75% in the North were free. Most free blacks in the North were concentrated in urban cities, such as Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. Between 1800 and 1850 the free black population in the
44 nation's 15 largest cities increased sixfold, compared to a threefold increase for the entire white population. By 1860 close to 500,000 free blacks lived in the United States, approximately 9% of the entire black population. On the eve of the Civil War (1861-1865) there were, at least, half a million stories of freedom. Attaining Freedom. Freedom did not come easily. Thousands of runaway slaves were captured, and these were returned to slavery or executed by white posses. Thousands more refused even to entertain the notion of freedom, some out of fear, others out of apathy. Harriet Tubman, famed black conductor of the Underground Railroad, said, "I freed thousands of slaves. I could have freed thousands more, if they had known they were slaves." Most slaves, however, were not apathetic about freedom. The most common route to emancipation came through manumission, the formal release of a slave. A slave could be manumitted privately by an individual or officially by a state law. Vermont became the first state to guarantee immediate manumission when it outlawed slavery in its 1777 constitution. After the American Revolution (1775-1783), many states followed Vermont's lead and changed their laws . . . Several other Northern states, including New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, adopted a policy of gradual manumission, which meant that the children of all current slaves would automatically be free once they reached a certain age, generally 21 or 25. In the South, no states changed their laws to require mandatory manumission, but several made manumission easier, including Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. In fact, in Delaware, private manumission was so pervasive that 75% of all blacks in the state were free by 1810. But in most states private manumission was rare and restricted. Most slaveholders were encouraged to free their slaves only in their wills, if at all. Not all free blacks were formally manumitted. Thousands "voted with their feet for freedom." It is estimated that between 1776 and 1860 close to 1,000 slaves ran away each year. Many of them were forced to leave family members behind as they traveled cautiously along the clandestine network of people (black and white) who guided runaway slaves to freedom in the North, known as the Underground Railroad. Thousands of former slaves from the Caribbean also "voted with their feet," emigrating to America after the Haitian Revolution. Those who did not run away or immigrate from Haiti often purchased their freedom. In 1799 a South Carolina slave named Denmark Vesey won $1,500 in the East Bay Street lottery and bought his freedom for $600. A few slaves who could not afford to buy freedom devised clever escapes. In 1849 a North Carolina slave named Henry "Box" Brown had himself packaged in a wooden box and shipped by Adams Express to antislavery headquarters in Philadelphia. During the 27-hour journey, he spent much of the time on his head as he was transferred back and forth from wagons, trains, and steamboats. . . . Fugitive Communities in Colonial America Michael Kolhoff In the 17th century, the settlers of Jamestown described the “tawny half-breeds” they encountered in the forests, who strangely preferred the freedom of the wilderness to the safety and comfort of Jamestown. Who were these people, these “half-breeds”? Theories as to the identity of this people range from the romantic (the survivors of the Roanoke colony) to the fantastic (the descendants of early Viking, Welsh or Phoenician settlers). In fact, they were members of fugitive (also called maroon) communities that existed on the outskirts of European settlement from the earliest days of colonization. . . . The root of the word maroon is the Spanish cimarron,
45 for runaway livestock that had “gone wild.” It was widely believed by slave owners that the existence of maroon communities made slave revolts all the more likely, so much so that in 1671 Virginia specifically offered a bounty on the heads of maroons. . . . The [half-breed] people, called Melungeons (of eastern Tennessee, North Carolina, West Virginia and Kentucky), were again encountered by [French] explorers of the Appalachians in 1654. They were described as dark-skinned, but with European features. They lived in log cabins and practiced Christianity and even spoke English, being able to communicate to the explorers that they were “Portyghee.” The origin of the Melungeon people has become controversial, at least among Melungeons. The anthropologically-accepted theory is that early Spanish settlers, explorers or castaways intermarried with Native Americans. Yet the French explorers mentioned above noted that the Melungeons they encountered spoke English but called themselves Portuguese. This could indicate the amazing diversity of the Melungeon communities, or maybe the necessity of trading with the English settlements on the coast. Genetic researchers using the Mean Measure of Divergence (MMD) have concluded that Melungeons are most closely related to Libyans (0.017) and most distantly related to the Seminoles of Florida (0.308). The closest match with a European people (0.022) is Italian, followed by Portuguese (0.024). It’s known that Francis Drake stopped at Roanoke for some months on his way back from raiding Spanish colonies in the Caribbean. He had several hundred Muslim seamen with him who had been freed from the Spanish and were being returned to Morocco and the Ottoman Empire. These would include Berbers and Arabs from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, as well as Greeks, Armenians, Albanians, Bosnians and Turks from Anatolia and the Balkans. They stayed several months in Virginia, and it’s more than possible that they would have left progeny among the local Native American population. Some of them may have stayed and actually joined the Indians. The Delaware Moors are a mixed-race people living in Kent and Sussex Counties, Delaware, and southern New Jersey. How they came to be there is open to conjecture. Community legend tends toward [several] possibilities. In the first, an 18th century Spanish pirate ship with a Moorish crew is wrecked on the Delaware coast. The survivors are taken in by the local Nanticoke Indians and eventually marry Indian women. In the second, when the English abandoned Tangier in the late 17th century, the English garrison is given land in the Americas (Delaware). When they come they bring their Moorish wives with them. (There is an island in Chesapeake Bay called Tangier Island, and no one seems to know how it was named.) . .. Piracy was well-known along the Delaware coast from the 17th to mid-18th century, with several recorded instances of Spanish and French pirates way-laying ships in Delaware Bay. The English did occupy Tangier briefly, and then abandoned the city in 1684. The early colonial period had many instances where women and men of mixed race were forced to make their own way in the wild, and the fact of slaves running away and joining the Indians is also well recorded. Whichever, if any, of the legends is true, the fact remains that the Delaware Moors are most likely a mixture of the Native American tribes that occupied the Delmarva region (Nanticokes and Lenni Lenape), European whites, and Africans of some sort. . . . Fugitive slaves and runaway indentured servants joined with the remnants of Native American tribes ravaged by warfare and alien diseases. The death rate for some Native communities was 100%. It soon became clear that children of mixed parents (white/native, black/native) had a much better chance of surviving European and African diseases. This could have been sufficient motivation for existing Indian groups to accept the fugitives. In this way, Native Americans of the east were genetically absorbed into the emerging tri-racial groups, as
46 their own distinct tribes were destroyed. That fugitives would band together for survival isn’t unusual. The runaways and refugees would have a common enemy, the colonial governments of the coast and the slave masters of the plantations. The plantation fields of the early colonial period also incorporated a wide diversity of forced labor. There would have been Native Americans of the coastal tribes, kidnapped Africans, Gypsies (who were transported to the new world by all the colonial powers), and British and Irish prisoners working out their sentences. It’s not hard to imagine that all the individuals interested in escaping would have been drawn to the Native Americans, who knew the land and had contacts in the wild. Getting beyond the reach of dominant social authority was of great importance, since that authority prescribed harsh punishment for runaways, and extinction for racially mixed people. The “Free Land” of the Melungeons was a strip of disputed territory between the colonies of North Carolina and Virginia. Being a “neutral zone,” claimed by both colonies but administered by neither, it naturally attracted people who were less than fond of government supervision, including mixed race peoples and the many fugitives that would add to that mixture. The cedar swamps and pine barrens of Delaware and New Jersey were also noted refuges for runaways. Pennsylvania ads for runaway slaves in the 18th century specifically mention the cedar swamps of Delaware as a runaway destination. It should come as no surprise that it’s in these very areas that current mixed race communities now exist. . . . The Great Dismal Swamp of Virginia and North Carolina was the site of an extensive fugitive community from at least the early 18th century. It functioned as an autonomous region, immune to outside interference because of the twisting trails and waterways of the swamp. Trade, in the form of shingles cut from swamp cypress, was even conducted with outside communities. It’s status as a refuge for fugitives led such a prominent figure as George Washington to recommend its draining and conversion to farmland. Washington and a number of other Virginia planters paid $20,000 for 40,000 acres of the Great Dismal . . . in 1763, the same year as the slave revolt in the South American Dutch colony of Berbice (Guyana). . . . This was also the year after the suppression of a slave revolt in the crown colony of Bermuda. . . . The early colonial period was the heyday of the fugitive communities in North America. Europeans usually only occupied a small portion of a colony’s available land. This left vast expanses of wilderness open to the fugitives. By the beginning of the 19th century expanded settlement and increased European populations had pressed the fugitive communities (with a few exceptions) ever further into the wild. The Melungeons were driven from their farms in the Shenandoah Valley by the mid-18th century. Other tri-racial groups were driven deeper into the mountains and swamps. In the period prior to the Civil War, tri-racial people were classified as “free persons of color,” a classification which has led many researchers to erroneously identify tri-racials as freed slaves. After the Reconstruction period, with the rise of the Eugenics movement of scientific racism, tri-racial groups were classified as African Americans in many locations (based on the “one drop” rule: if you have ANY African ancestry, you are African). These measures did much to destroy many tri-racial communities, since those who could “pass for white” eagerly did so to avoid the racist restrictions placed on Negroes. Those tri-racials who exhibited the most prominent Negro features were forced to dissolve into the African-American community, where they became “mulattos” [another Spanish term meaning white and black]. Those that exhibited the most prominent European features dissolved into white society, where they explained their dark features by various acceptable means. Tri-racial communities still exist, and many occupy lands that their fugitive ancestors settled generations ago. Their story is an important example of the determination and resilience human beings can achieve, as well as of the many complex possibilities that presented themselves in the early colonial period. . . .
47 Some Free Black Towns From: Americaâ€™s Black Towns and Settlements: A Historical Reference Guide; Birchtown, Nova Scotia Museum; Soul of America.com Bailey Island, ME. First settled in approximately 1720 by Will Black, an African man and perhaps the best known frontiersman in the eastern part of the United States. Star Hill, DE. Located in the vicinity of Camden, Star Hill was settled by free Africans on land obtained from the Quakers in the late 1700s. A Quaker-sponsored school for black children was established in the late 1800s and the community attended church in nearby Camden at the Zion AME Church [built 1845] until a split occurred in 1863 and the Star Hill AME Church was constructed. The AME Church was formed by Richard Allen, who had been a house slave in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Blacks originally attended integrated Methodist churches; however, as their number grew so did the resentment against them. The church as well as a burial ground are located on the eastern portion of the property and have been identified on the National Register of Historic Places. Sandy Ground, NY. Now a neighborhood of southwestern Staten Island, Sandy Ground was settled in 1833 by African-American oystermen fleeing the restrictive industry laws of Maryland. Centered at Bloomingdale Road between Rossville and Charleston, Sandy Ground became the first free black community in New York. Originally known as Harrisville and later renamed Little Africa, Sandy Ground received its current designation for the poor quality of soil in the area. The early settlers included a few local families along with oystermen from New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, and Snow Hill, Maryland, who were attracted by the rich oyster beds in the area and by business opportunities not available in the South. The area was also a juncture on the Underground Railroad with the Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church built in 1850, used as a central meeting place. Inhabitants of the area were known to have large plots of land and prided themselves on their industry and self-sufficiency. Relations with local white neighbors, although not intimate, were cordial for the most part. As the oyster beds became overworked, many people turned to well digging, iron working, blacksmithing and midwifery. With the central economy eroding, many other families chose to leave the island entirely. In 1964 a terrible fire destroyed many of the old buildings, although several historic sites were fortunately spared: a 17th century private school; the home of William Pedro, who died in 1988 at the age of 106; and the Bishop Forge, the last private blacksmith shop in New York, still remain. Mr. Bishop, who died July 3, 1986, was an ornamental iron worker who considered his craft an art form and produced works from the same shop his father had opened in 1840. Horse [now Harbor Island], ME. Purchased on July 6, 1794, by Benjamin Darling, a freed or possibly escaped African who was known as a "sturdy and industrious individual." Although it is not clear how Darling arrived in the area, it is widely accepted that either his mother smuggled him out of slavery or that, having saved the life of his enslaver during a shipwreck, he may have been granted his freedom. Darling, his white wife Sarah Proverbs, and their sons Isaac and Benjamin, Jr., were the first inhabitants of the island. The family owned the property until 1847 when they sold it to Joseph Perry and then moved to Malaga Island.
Malaga Island, ME. A maroon society, initially inhabited by Benjamin Darling and other Africans who had fled slavery. These early settlers maintained their ancestral languages and lived in caves to avoid detection. Established in 1847, Malaga Island was typical of many island communities of the eastern Casco Bay which were seldom occupied by "legal" owners. Fishermen would store their gear in crudely constructed sheds or shacks and often remain on the islands as unchallenged "squatters" for generations. Having little contact with the mainland, these individuals were not counted in the census, seldom paid taxes, and rarely voted. Illness and even death were taken care of at home, as was education. Most of the inhabitants of Malaga Island were direct descendants of Darling including his sons Isaac and Benjamin, both of whom married women of the island and raised a total of fourteen children. Over time other groups also inhabited the island including Irish, Scottish, and Portuguese. Families intermarried and worked together for the mutual benefit of the struggling community. However, as the island became a more desirable "vacation" destination, there was increasing pressure to remove the inhabitants who had become an embarrassing "eyesore" to "respectable" members of the mainland community. Skillfully utilizing the press to denigrate the colony with newspaper headlines such as this one from the Casco Bay Breeze, August 24, 1905—"Malaga, the Home of Southern Negro Blood . . . Incongruous Scenes on a Spot of Natural Beauty in Casco Bay"—the stage was set for the illegal and inhumane eradication of the islanders. In 1912, the Malagaites, who had been wrongly characterized as an incompetent, lazy and mentally-ill lot, were served with a writ to vacate the island. With no more than the signature of a mainland doctor, families were sent to the Maine School for the Feeble-Minded in order to remove them from public view. The state then destroyed all the houses and shelters on the island, exhumed the graves of family members and destroyed all evidence that they existed. A January 1913 newspaper headline read, "Cleaning up Malaga Island, No longer a Reproach to the Good Name of the State" and noted "not only have the inhabitants of the island been raised to a standard of living they probably never dreamed of before and all done for them that is possible under the conditions, but the state has saved a nice little bundle of coin as well." Today, the only remaining monument to those former Malagaites is a row of white markers on a grassy hill near Pineland Center. Birchtown, Nova Scotia. Between 1783 and 1785, more than 3000 black persons came to Nova Scotia as a direct result of the American Revolution. They came from slavery and war to take control of their lives, making choices within the limits they faced. More than two centuries later, descendants of the black Loyalists are calling to the spirits of their ancestors and discovering the stories of their struggles and triumphs. Meet some of the courageous men and women who founded two Nova Scotian black Loyalist communities, Birchtown and Tracadie, in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Hannah Blair: Noted in Carleton's Book of Negroes as “a twenty-five (25) year old black woman with 2 fine sons, 4 & 2, married to Joseph Blair and formerly enslaved in Virginia.” Hannah ran off from Jacob Hancock around 1776. She was likely with the contingent of black Loyalists who arrived in Birchtown in the autumn of 1783, as she was recorded in the Book of Negroes on July 31, 1783. Joseph Blair: Named land-grantee in Birchtown, lot number three (3), according to the Goulden Map. . . . Was this [the site of] Joseph and Hannah Blair's house? Joseph and Hannah had their son Peter baptized on August 17, 1788, by the Reverend Dr. Walters, of Shelburne's
49 Anglican Christ Church. Hannah and Joseph were married before arriving at Birchtown, as noted in their records in the Book of Negroes: "Joseph Glair [sic; Blair], 50, worn out. Formerly the property of John Blair, Eastern shore, Virginia; left him 5 years ago." Stephen Blucke: Commander of the Black Pioneers, a military regiment in the British force. Blucke was also the leader designated by the British government to lead the settlers at Birchtown. Some believe that Blucke was viewed by the inhabitants of Birchtown much like a plantation overseer. Large-scale excavations in 1998 were focused on [property] almost certainly the site of Blucke's house. Margaret Blucke: A New England woman, born free, who came to Birchtown as Stephen Blucke's wife. Margaret Blucke also brought Isabella Gibbons with her, possibly a family member, whom she appears to have kept as a servant. Unsatisfied with Birchtown, Margaret left her husband and Isabella to return to New England. Isabella Gibbons Blucke: A young woman brought to Birchtown by the Bluckes, perhaps as a servant. Isabella stayed on after Margaret's return to New England. Perhaps the reason for Margaret's departure was epitomized in the 1796 baptismal record of Francis [sic], Stephen and Isabella's daughter. Francis Blucke: daughter of Stephen and Isabella Blucke. Born at Birchtown, baptized by Reverend Thomas Rowland of the Anglican Christ Church of Shelburne on April 21, 1796. William Eustace: Named land-grantee in Birchtown, lot number thirty-five (35) according to the Goulden Map. Adam Fall: Former owner (and assumed grantee) of lot #19 "on the hill," based on receipts from sale of land to Stephen Skinner. It seems that Adam Fall was also one of the emigrants to Sierra Leone in January of 1791. David George: Founder of the First Black Baptist Church of Canada. David George's memoirs serve as one of only three first-hand accounts of life in Birchtown and from the black perspective in Shelburne. Boston King: A Methodist preacher at Birchtown. Boston escaped slavery in South Carolina and made his way to the British. He engaged in commerce with the White Loyalist inhabitants of Shelburne and worked for a fisherman . . . . His memoirs provide a rich and valuable insight into life and spirituality at Birchtown. In 1791, he and his wife, Violet, left Birchtown and traveled to Sierra Leone. Violet King: A wonderful example of black Loyalist women. She, like so many others, worked alongside her male counterpart and made significant contributions to the settlement of Birchtown. As mentioned in her husband's memoirs, Violet was responsible for farming and harvesting potatoes, a vital part of their winter rations. Violet was an integral part of her husband's conversion to a Christian life and appears to have been very much his equal in every part of their life together. John Marrant: A Huntingdonian Methodist preacher who ministered to many communities including Birchtown. The journal of John Marrant is one of only three first-hand accounts, from a black perspective, of life in Birchtown. Samuel Mason: Former owner (and assumed grantee) of lot #21 "with its improvements," based on receipts from sale of land to Stephen Skinner. It seems that Samuel Mason was one of the emigrants to Sierra Leone in January of 1791. The black Loyalists who left Nova Scotia for Sierra Leone sold their land, though the prices paid seem to have depended upon the bargaining ability of the black Loyalist seller. Robert Nicholson/Nickinson: Named land-grantee in Birchtown, lot number 10 according to the Goulden Map. The name Robert Nicholson appears on the Goulden Map,
50 however, the name Robert Nickinson appears in Carleton's Book of Negroes. There is no Robert Nicholson listed. Misspelling of names was a common occurrence and so we are confident that Nickinson and Nicholson refer to the same man. "Robert Nickinson, 54, worn out. Formerly the property of Capt. Joseph Nickinson of Norfolk, Virginia; left him 4 years ago." Chronicling Black Lives in Colonial New England Lee Lawrence, Special to The Christian Science Monitor BOSTON â€” Young, talented, and bursting with entrepreneurial spirit, Samuel Gipson started his own business. By his early 30s, he was doing well enough to take in a young clerk to whom he bequeathed his estate. This American success story would be unremarkable but for three salient facts: The year was 1795, Gipson spent much of his life enslaved in New England, and his heir was the son of the man who had owned him. Stories like Gipson's, recounted in William Piersen's book, black Yankees: The Development of an Afro-American Sub-culture in Eighteenth-century New England (University of Massachusetts Press, 1988), are coming to light as historians, archaeologists, and dedicated individuals piece together an increasingly complete picture of life in the Colonial Northeastern states. They chronicle the contributions of enslaved and free Africans to the development of such cities as New York and to the culture of Colonial New England. In the process, they are shattering the myth that New England was always and solely a hotbed of abolitionist sentiment and activism. "People are still surprised to learn that there was slavery in New England," says archaeologist Constance Crosby, a preservation planner with the Massachusetts Historical Commission. The ongoing excavation of African burial grounds, and the scouring of official records, personal letters, and diaries for details of black life in the Northeast also reflect the growing interest among African Americans not only in tracing their ancestry, but also in finding inspiration and guidance in the achievements of their forebears. And they illustrate the recognition on the part of many others that the history they have learned is incomplete. Africans in New England. Much of the Northeast's money came from the slave trade, and the number of Africans in New England grew from fewer than 1,000 in 1700 to some 16,000 by the end of the 18th century. The majority spent at least part of their lives enslaved, often bought as children by owners in coastal cities. They accounted for as much as 30% of the population of South Kingston, R.I., and were a significant presence in Boston (10%), New London (9%), and New York (7.2%). In fact, just before the Revolutionary War broke out, New York was the secondlargest urban center of slavery, after Charleston, N.C. Owned mostly by ministers, doctors, and the merchant elite, enslaved men and women in the North often performed household duties in addition to skilled jobs. They also elected their own governors and kings in a day-long ceremony known as 'Lection Day, a ritual that first appeared around 1750 and continued in some areas for a full century. While their owners were busy casting ballots in Colonial elections, blacks gathered for a mixture of fun and politicking, culminating in voting and a flashy inaugural parade. Once dismissed as a childish parody of white elections, 'Lection Day has come to be seen as an important political and social phenomenon that blended African and American traditions. Elected officials wielded authority in the community and mediated disputes among blacks, who
51 had no legal standing in the greater community. Historian Piersen also speculates that the fanfare of 'Lection Day livened up Colonial white celebrations and helped shape the phenomenon of the American parade. There is nothing speculative, on the other hand, about blacks' contribution to American independence. In preparing an exhibition scheduled for July 1998 at the Commonwealth Museum in Boston, Crosby has fleshed out the stories of four black families who formed Parting Ways, a settlement on the town line between Kingston and Plymouth, Mass. Among them was Quamany Quash, who was just 15 in 1775 when he took up arms under the command of his owner, Col. Theophilus Cotton. In 1781, Cotton promised Quash his freedom if he reenlisted for three years [see Parting Ways, below]. Eye-opening exhibitions. This scenario was repeated throughout New England, a fact highlighted in the exhibition, "A Struggle from the Start: the black Community of Hartford 16391960." According to its curator, Stephen Ray, "This was really an eye-opener, particularly in New England where [fighting in the Revolutionary War] becomes a touchstone for identity.â€? Similarly, McShelle Clarke hopes to use a recently discovered 18th-century black graveyard in Kingston, N.Y., to instill a sense of pride in the city's African-American population. In seeking funding for archaeological investigation and a memorial, she argues that "the bottom line is that every last one of those people was instrumental in building this city and rearing the grandparents of the people who run it." This sentiment is also at the core of Sherrill Wilson's work as director of the African Burial Ground project in Manhattan. Visitors to the project's headquarters learn that in New York, 18th-century blacks worked in fishing, trade, shipbuilding, dock work, and construction; in short, "in everything that goes into making a city," as archaeologist Marie-Alice Devieux puts it. Visitors also learn that such contributions took a heavy toll. The burial ground contains an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 graves dating from 1697 to 1795, and the skeletons studied so far attest to severe physical duress, violence, malnutrition, and a high infant-mortality rate. For Augustine Konneh, who teaches African, Caribbean, and Islamic history at Morehouse College in Atlanta, it is not surprising that blacks are initiating this research today. When a society becomes "class-based," he explains, "people begin to be more interested in the individual rather than the collective history." Mr. Konneh now sees the descendants of earlier arrivals claiming that "we are stronger because the treatment we got was harsher." Although differentiation based on ancestry has long been an integral part of white society â€”giving rise to such groups as the Order of Cincinnati and the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolutionâ€”it is a relatively new phenomenon among African-Americans, for whom slavery and marginalization render such research difficult. Personal stories. Nevertheless, personal stories are emerging and some are surprising even the researchers. Historian Barbara Donahue of Farmington, Conn., discovered that a black man, Frank Freeman, was elected the town's animal-control officer in the mid-18th century. Pieter Roos, director of education at the Historical Society of Newport, R.I., tells the story of Occramar Mirycoo, who was tricked into slavery when he came to America in 1760 for education. Known also as Newport Gardner, he went on to teach music to African children and to co-found the first African Union Society.
52 For Mr. Ray, such stories do more than instill pride in blacks. "It is important to respect people because of that history," he says. "But in the end, unless that information helps us to create a future together, then it is just interesting banter." In his view, black successes over time show that the way "America has understood the issue of race and race relations has always been changeable." "It means," he adds, "that we are not simply passengers in a car hurtling toward a cliff . . . . It means that really we can do something about it." . . . The African Diaspora Presence On Martha's Vineyard Sangeet Grace Lynis Di•as'•po•ra: a dispersion of an originally homogeneous people from their ancestral homeland. African Diaspora Vineyarders have always been an enterprising group of people, both on-Island or off. From the earliest recordings of the Island's history, the African Diaspora presence on the Island of Martha's Vineyard has been documented as an industrious one that has contributed greatly to the Island's art, economic, political, and religious communities. Located off the southeastern coast of Massachusetts, the "Community of Color" on the triangularly shaped Island of Martha's Vineyard reflects the full spectrum of Africa's vast Diaspora. Beginning in the late 1600s, documentation shows that enslaved servants, originally from the many countries on the West African coast, worked the land and tended the farms of some of the Island's oldest properties, hence the beginnings of an African-American history that parallels that of the recorded Colonial Island history, beginning at around the same time. This knowledge further supports the suggestion that African-American history in New England parallels the Mayflower Era. . . . The Early Years. For well over two hundred years the Island has acted as a safe haven for people of African descent. One of the earliest mentions of African home ownership on-Island was in the 1763 will of a Wampanoag man named Elisha Amos. The will . . . provides that his "beloved wife Rebecca" receive livestock and his house for as long as she lived. Rebecca Amos was an enslaved woman originally from Guinea, West Africa, who survived the cruel journey of the Middle Atlantic Passage. The described house was located about five miles from the farm of her enslaver, Colonel Cornelius Bassett, in Chilmark, where she co-resided until she presumably regained freedom upon his death in 1779. The abolition of slavery in 1783 and the egalitarian nature of the whaling industry have made Martha's Vineyard a nurturing place where people of color have owned land and successfully built strong, supportive, and closely-knit African Diaspora communities. The maritime industries had a profound and bolstering effect on budding AfricanAmerican communities along the eastern seacoast, especially here on Martha's Vineyard. Well before contact with European enslavers and the commencement of the Middle Atlantic Passage, adept skills in the various seafaring trades were possessed by African men native to the many countries bordering the Atlantic Ocean and its tributaries along the West African coast. Naturally, enslaved and freedmen of African descent played an important role in the profitable maritime industry. The industry's demanding nature required that positions be filled by qualified men, without regard for ancestry or color. During the 1800s seafaring was one of the few ways for African-American men to eke out a living during a socially and politically inhospitable era. Entry into most other industries
53 was severely prohibited. Due to the political powerlessness experienced in the oppressive political and social climate of the early 1800s, James Williamson, "a Negro man" who owned 17 acres of "upland" in Martha's Vineyard's Christiantown, shipped aboard a whaler in 1828, as a means to raise much-needed cash. The first whaling captain of African descent on Martha's Vineyard was born in Edgartown in July 1830. Captain William A. Martin was the son of Rebecca Michael, the daughter of Nancy Michael and granddaughter of Rebecca Amos. Captain Martin was a highly regarded and respected Edgartown whaler. He mastered many successful whaling voyages and his career spanned in excess of forty years, with journeys on all of the earth's oceans. In 1789, John Saunders, a freed man from Virginia, came to the Island and preached one the first sermons of Methodist teachings "to the people of color in Eastville" at Pulpit's Rock, in present-day Oak Bluffs. . . . Parting Ways, MA From: Parting Ways links Cabo Verde & Africa with America’s hometown To reach Jim’s home you must turn from the Carver highway at the junction with the road leading to Plympton. This particular place is called “Parting Ways.” Half a mile from the turn in the road is a small clearing. Once there were six houses in this oasis but time and other levelers have obliterated all but Jim’s. Five yawns in the ground mark the cellars of the other houses. All around are scrub oak, juniper, dwarf pines and rank growth. So ran part of an article in the Boston Globe in 1895. The place was Plymouth, Massachusetts; “Jim” was Jim Burr, grandson of a Revolutionary War soldier. Today, even Jim’s house is gone, and oak and pine still dominate the 106-acre site deeded to four Revolutionary War veterans. In the early 1950s, when Massachusetts mandated that all veterans’ graves be cared for, the four graves . . . of these men were found. A granite stone was erected in 1969 to indicate the participation in the Revolutionary War of Jim Burr’s grandfather, Plato Turner, and his fellow settlers: Cato Howe, Prince Goodwin, and Quamany Quash. . . . These four black slaves from Plymouth were among 572 blacks who served in Massachusetts armies during the Revolution. In return for patriotic service, they were freed from slavery; the Town of Plymouth in 1792 awarded them a grant of land to clear and develop. They built homes and partially cultivated the poor soil. All four had died by the early 1830s and, because the land had not been cleared in the manner stipulated by the grant, it was returned to the town. Descendants of the veterans, however, continued to live there undisturbed until the early 1900s. . . . That the Pilgrims owned slaves is a disturbing thought for some to reflect upon. The Pilgrims were the pioneers, the morally strong, the strugglers for freedom. We tend to think of slavery as having flourished exclusively in the South. Escape to the North was the route to freedom. . . . However, the historical record shows that Africans—both enslaved and free, in the North as well as the South—joined white Europeans and Indians very early in the building and defending of America. Thus, when Plymouth’s Bicentennial Commission began planning its celebration in 1973, it listened to Marge Anderson, a local citizen who feared that the black presence and contribution to Plymouth would be overlooked by the planners. Appointed to the Bicentennial Commission, she immediately formed an Advisory Subcommittee on Black History and Culture and began to pour her energies into catalyzing the town toward an increased consciousness of black people’s
54 roles in its history. Her vision was to use the undeveloped Parting Ways site as a pad to launch a cultural and historical study of this black community. . . . Marge Anderson . . . spoke with animation about the seeds of the project: “Culture— whatever ties you to a way of thinking, a way of life—is very important.” Being a Plymouthian first, then being black, she was concerned that all Americans recognize the black contribution to our country. “There’s not a better place to begin than in ‘America’s hometown,’ my hometown, Plymouth,” said Marge. “Cultural ties make people feel as if they’re part of something. If you take away one’s foundation, one’s heritage—by not recognizing it in the larger society—you have a dangerous situation ahead.” Parting Ways symbolizes the meeting of two cultures as well as the parting of two roads. It provides links between Africa and America. . . . Marge Anderson . . . talked about the myths that can be nurtured by Parting Ways and those that can be dispelled. “The myth of the ancestor is sacred. That myth is your roots. We want to preserve it. The stereotypical myths, those which cast blacks only as having been slaves, we want to discredit. What did they do beyond being slaves? What did they do to show they were Americans?” she asked. . . . Parting Ways has already divulged important information. Results of a successful excavation begun in 1975, which brought the historical society to national attention, have already established several African connections [see excerpt below]. . . . Archeological finds, of course are not the only sources that contribute to an understanding of the families at Parting Ways. As suggested in recent documents published by the society, both oral tradition and written records help to complete these family portraits of the Turners, Howes, Goodwins and Quashes. Already, informants have been identified who can “substantially contribute to our data base in the areas of folk traditions, material culture, and local history,” explained Marge Anderson. And a book published in 1890, Dr. Le Baron and His Daughters, lends further dimension to the history of one of the families. It includes dialogues between Quasho Quando, Quamany’s father, and other slaves of the Le Baron household, reflecting their African past and present American lifestyles. It also reveals Quasho’s successful determination to keep his African name in the face of Dr. Le Baron’s wish to call him Julius Caesar. . . . The Excavation of Parting Ways From: In Small Things Forgotten: An Archaeology of Early American Life, Dr. James Deetz If archaeology is a vital contributor to our understanding of all of America's common folk, and what their life meant to them, it is doubly so in the case of our understanding of the black experience in America. Prior to the various emancipation actions, beginning in Massachusetts in 1783 and continuing into the 19th century, blacks were chattels, property to be disposed of in any way their owners saw fit. People who held such a status could hardly be expected to have recorded a history of their own in any conventional way, although the strength of oral tradition has preserved more than we might hope. Piecing together black history on a local level is a fascinating and often frustrating process of assembling fragments to form a coherent whole. To gain a true understanding of the story of a people, it is best to detail a picture of their life within a community and then relate that to the larger world. . . . Our knowledge of Cato Howe and his fellow blacks of Plymouth comes from two sources: Fragmentary written records give us a partial picture, lacking in important details. A complementary body of information has been gained by excavating the site of the tiny
55 community in which Cato Howe lived until his death, in 1824. The site of this community is known today as Parting Ways, named for a fork in the road leading from Plymouth to Plympton in one direction and Carver in the other. At the time of its occupation . . . it was called New Guinea, a fairly common term used over much of Anglo-America for separate black settlements. Nothing is known of Cato Howe's early life, before his military service. . . . It is a near certainty that he was a slave prior to the Revolution, and . . . was given his freedom in 1778 in return for his service. . . . Upon returning to Plymouth, Howe probably found himself in the same straits as his fellow blacks who had been given their freedom. While the state saw to it that these people were free, it did little or nothing to provide for their new needs, and subsistence, employment, and housing were difficult to come by. [In] 1792 . . . the town of Plymouth "voted and granted a strip of land about twenty rods wide and about a mile and a half long on the easterly side of the sheep pasture, to such persons as will clear the same in the term of three years." "Such person" was Cato Howe, and joined by three others—Prince Goodwin, Plato Turner, and Quamany [Quash]—they established a tiny community on the property. Howe lived out his life on the property. He and the other three men are buried there, where their graves can be seen today. . . . The 94 acres of land on which these four men lived were provisionally granted to Cato Howe in 1792, although there is no record of an outright grant of title to him. The four men cleared the property, built houses, and resided there with the town's permission until 1824. By that time, both Howe and Turner had died. The town authorized the sale of the property in that year, referring to it as land "recently held by Cato Howe, deceased" and "formerly occupied by Prince, man of color." A map drawn by the town clerk in 1840 shows each man's parcel as he had cleared it, and located "Quam's house," even though Quamany had been dead for seven years. Even later, the 1857 map of Plymouth places a "Quam" in the same location in 1840 and a J. Turner also residing on the property. Quam is also on the 1879 Plymouth map, and a "Burr" house is shown at Parting Ways. From this cartographic evidence, there seems a strong possibility that although the town authorized the land's sale in 1824 . . ., the four men and their families were in some way allowed to live there longer. The land was not sold—small wonder, in view of its poor quality—and remains to this day the property of the town. In 1975 an archaeological investigation of the Parting Ways community was begun. Renewed interest in the tiny community and its inhabitants had been generated by a special town bicentennial committee on black history . . . . The committee sought and obtained a vote at Plymouth town meeting to set the land aside for memorial purposes, including the area of the Parting Ways settlement. It was in this area that archaeological excavations were carried out. . . . In some respects, such investigations take on some of the aspects of prehistoric archaeology, since so little is forthcoming from the historical record. After two seasons of excavation, a whole new set of facts about Parting Ways had been obtained, facts that in many ways place a somewhat different perspective on the simple lives of Cato Howe, Plato Turner, Prince Goodwin, and Quamany [Quash]. When the site was first visited, the area later shown to have been the main center of occupation was grassy, with an occasional locust tree, in contrast to the scrub pine and oak that covered the remaining original 94 acres. There was only one visible feature, a large cellar hole heavily overgrown with brush. . . . The open cellar hole had all of the appearances of having had a house standing over it in the not too distant past. There was a strong likelihood that it marked the location of the house of the last known inhabitant of the site, James Burr. Burr is known to have lived there in 1895, when a sketch of his life was published in the Boston Globe. . . . Born and educated in Boston, as
56 servant to a congressman, he lived in Washington and traveled to England. He later returned to Boston, where he worked as a barber, and in 1861 he moved to Plymouth and settled at Parting Ways. . . . Plato Turner was James Burr's grandfather. This information agrees with the location of a Burr house on the 1879 Plymouth map. . . . The house stood until the early years of the 20th century. In all probability, the cellar hole was of that house, but it was not until two informants came forth with new information that such an association could be proved. . . . An elderly couple visited the site while digging was in progress. The man was 91 years old and remembered walking past the house as a child, . . . in the last years of the 19th century. When the Globe article was written, Burr lived at the site with his widowed cousin Rachael and her three sons. The informant remembered a lady living there known as Rachael Johnson, her proper married name. . . . When excavations were completed on the Burr cellar and in the depressed area nearby, a clear and intriguing set of architectural features had been revealed. . . . The Burr house had been built in two stages, separated by perhaps as much as 30 years. The initial construction had taken place long before Burr moved to the site, and . . . it may have been done by Burr's grandfather. . . . This first, small structure was 12 feet square, as evidenced by perfectly preserved stone footings. These footings stood on an intentionally mounded earth platform. Artifacts in the fill of this feature and in the trenches . . . all point to a construction date at the turn of the 19th century, with creamware and pearlware fragments providing the most precise dating evidence. . . . The cellar was beneath a second room, producing an overall ground plan of two contiguous rooms, each 12 feet square. However, the cellar was not added to the initial structure until much later, since no early artifacts were found in association with it and the scant pottery sample it produced dates to the later 19th century. . . . Both sections of the footing showed extensive evidence of fire. Melted window glass, heavy charcoal and ash deposits, and large numbers of nails all attest to the house's having burned in place. A second informant, . . . stated that the house burned in 1908. . . . Test excavations in the shallow depression nearby produced a sample of pottery all dating . . . from circa 1790 through circa 1840. When these excavations were enlarged, the depression was found to be the location of another cellar [but] extensive excavations . . . failed to produce any evidence of . . . the building that had originally stood over it. Like the Burr footings and cellar, this cellar, too, was 12 feet square. . . . This second cellar was filled with refuse and stone [suggesting] an occupation date during the first half of the 19th century. . . . Broken on the cellar floor were two large earthenware jars unlike any before encountered on a New England historical site. Eighteen inches tall, of red, unglazed, well-fired clay, their shape and physical characteristics immediately set them apart from the entire Anglo-American ceramic tradition. These jars were made in the West Indies, and served as sugar containers for shipment to various colonial ports [and] for storing and shipping tamarind, a West African cultivated fruit that was grown in the West Indies. . . . They might well relate to the African and West Indian background of the people who lived [at Parting Ways]. . . .
57 But their discovery raised an important issue that bears on any African-American site and its interpretation: What degree of African cultural survival can be detected and described when dealing with the material remains of African Americans [from] an earlier time . . .? It would be the height of ethnocentric arrogance to assume that people recently a part of a very different culture would, upon coming to America, immediately adopt an Anglo-American set of values, of ways of doing things, and of organizing their existence. The misleading factor in this case is that the materials with which they were forced to work were the same, for the most part, as those available to the dominant culture which surrounded them. [However], while the [materials] available to the members of the Parting Ways settlement were of necessity almost entirely Anglo-American, the rules by which they were put to use [seem] more African American. . . . Near the second cellar, another depression indicated the remains of some earlier structure. Upon excavation, it was found to be a rectangular pit, roughly 18 inches deep, measuring 12 feet by 9. Postholes were evident at two of the four corners and at the midpoint of each long side. On the dirt floor were traces of mud walling. . . . Mud-wall-and-post construction is reminiscent of West African building methods, although it did occur in the Anglo-American tradition at an earlier time. The architecture at Parting Ways provides us with the first suggestion that an African American mind-set was at work. One measurement runs through all of the excavated structural remains, that of a basic 12-foot dimension [while] 16 feet is the Anglo-American standard. . . . The Burr house is made up of two 12-foot modules. The second cellar may actually be the entire footing for a small structure identical to the first build at the Burr house. . . . In an article on the shotgun house, John Vlach, [an archaeologist at the University of Texas at Austin,] compares these houses . . . with West African house types. The shotgun house is acknowledged as a true African-American architectural form. Not only does the Burr house plan conform to the ground plans of shotgun houses, the dimensions are remarkably similar. [However,] shotgun houses have end doorways and distinctive windows, while the photograph of the Burr house shows a rather typical New England exterior. Again we see a case of using the material available but arranging it in a way that subtly and more deeply reflects the maker's cultural roots. . . . Other aspects of the Parting Ways community show the same differences. . . . The settlement pattern, in which all four men appear to have placed their dwellings in the center of the 94 acres, [may reflect] a more corporate spirit than four Anglo-Americans might show in similar circumstances. . . . The usual pattern of Anglo-American house placement was a scattered one, each family on its own property. . . . A large area paved with fieldstone was discovered, just across the road from the original settlement. . . . [Under examination] what came to light was an area some 25 by 45 feet in extent, covered evenly with closely packed cobbles. . . . Almost 7,000 artifacts were found atop the paving, and for the most part were concentrated in two discrete areas. . . . All had been intentionally broken on the spot, and as a result most could be partially or fully reconstructed. The pattern that emerged was one that called for comparisons with that associated with AfricanAmerican ritual practices and their West African roots. . . . One [group] consisted of two sugar jars, a stoneware jug, miscellaneous pressed glass objects, and a variety of bottles. One of the sugar jars had a hole broken through the base. The second concentration consisted of English white earthenware and a few glass objects. Both concentrations [were subsequently dated] in the 1840s. Except for a few pieces of window glass, two nails, and two bricks, no architectural materials were found, and bone or shell was also lacking. Clearly, these concentrations were not the result of domestic trash disposal, nor was the paving in any way the remains of a building of
58 any kind. This negative evidence, combined with the fact that the objects were broken in place, all points to both an intentional construction of the paved area, and the placing and breaking of ceramic and glass objects on it in two discrete areas. Such a pattern has a striking parallel to grave decoration practices as they are known from the American South. Throughout this area, African-American graves are ornamented in a distinctive fashion. In Go Down, Moses, William Faulkner perhaps summed this up most succinctly: “. . . the grave, save for its rawness, resembled any other marked off without order about the barren plot by shards of pottery and broken bottles and old brick and other objects insignificant to sight but actually of a profound meaning and fatal to touch, which no white man could have read.” John Vlach tells us that . . . in the types of objects used by African Americans to decorate graves, . . . bottles and jars predominate, sometimes broken in such a way that they appear to be whole. This was often accomplished by breaking a hole in the bottom. . . . Such breakage could be seen to be done to prevent theft, but Vlach cites extensive evidence that such is not the case, since [no African-American] community will disturb grave offerings, even coins, as a result of customs which had their origin in the African past. Similar grave ornamentation is known from all of West and Central Africa. . . . Vlach [also] commented that whether [the debris] marked graves or not, they bore a very strong resemblance to the ritual compounds of the Akan of Ghana. . . . Each constituent element of the archaeological record from Parting Ways, taken alone, is not totally convincing, although powerfully suggestive. But taken as a group, as an expression of African-American culture as it was to be seen in early-19th-century Massachusetts, they are indeed compelling, an expression of a worldview not only different from that of the dominant European-American culture, but coherent in its own right, attributable to the African heritage shared by Cato, Plato, Quamany, and their families. . . . Cato Howe, Plato Turner, Quamany [Quash], and Prince Goodwin seem like simple folk living in abject poverty when we learn of them from the documents. The archaeology tells us that in spite of their lowly station in life, they were the bearers of a lifestyle distinctly their own, neither recognized nor understood by their chroniclers. . . . Quakers and Free Blacks While there does not seem to an exact model of the community Director Timothy Douglas has envisioned for Syracuse Stage’s Salem the following items, describing Quakers’ interaction with free and freed blacks, seem to indicate a historical basis for such a village.
The first African American settlers came to Orange County, Indiana, before 1820. Led by Jonathan Lindley, eleven families traveled with a group of sympathetic Quakers in search of a new land which forbade slavery. Jonathan Lindley settled in Orange County in 1811, five years before the County was established and Indiana became a state. These settlers were free citizens who fled racial persecution and increasingly restrictive laws for free blacks in their previous home in North Carolina. Traveling with the Quakers offered some protection on their journey and the promise of supportive neighbors upon their arrival. Initially, the Quakers sold these families 200 hundred acres of land north of Chambersburg which they cleared and farmed. According to the 1820 census records, at that time there were 96 blacks living in Orange County. As more blacks came in to the area they purchased land from the United States of American (patented).
59 By 1860, 260 blacks lived in Orange County. Almost a third of them lived in Southeast Township in the Lick Creek Settlement, at that time a racially integrated community. The first African Americans to purchase land in the Lick Creek area were Benjamin Roberts, Peter Lindley, and Elias Roberts all in 1832. By 1855, the settlement reached its maximum size of 1,557 acres. . . . A focal point of the settlement was the church. In 1853, Thomas and Matilda Roberts sold one acre . . . to five trustees for its establishment . . . for use by the members of the African Episcopal Church (AME). . . . This church operated from 1843-1869. This AME church was near the site of the colored Methodist Union Meeting House. The Methodist Union Meeting House was built in 1837. . . . It is unclear when the Methodist Union Meeting House was abandoned, but it was probably replaced by the new AME church. . . . According to early histories, Chambersburg was a station on the Underground Railroad. Apparently it was the first stop north of the Ohio River. The Quakers in the area were instrumental in this effort . . . . Before the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation, the status of Black/Afro-American persons in the U.S. was such that not one of them that was not a “free black” (with manumission papers) was "supposed" to be enumerated in the census. However, because some of the ones listed in . . . the white/Caucasian households seem to be servants, it is barely possible that they were counted simply because they were there. I will offer a tentative supposition/explanation . . . that, they WERE free and WERE servants. Even though I find no place where the census taker listed the occupation as such. I know that some families they were with were Quaker and some were Lutheran. BUT—there is this fact, also: Because Chatham Co. had roots in a large Quaker settlement, and was fairly unique in that, there seemed to be a portion of the population that had children who were obviously a product of black and white parents but WERE part of the main “white” household, and raised as such. Did the Quaker influence perhaps contribute to a kinder attitude to the stigma of miscegenation, not found in other areas of the South? . . . While only 52 free blacks lived in Alexandria in 1790, the number continued to increase as newly freed people moved from rural areas to the cities of the Upper South. By 1840, the town’s 1,627 free blacks had created at least two churches, four neighborhoods and many businesses. Members of Alexandria’s Quaker community, prohibited by their beliefs from owning slaves, frequently purchased people out of slavery and emancipated them. . . . . . . Those who most actively assisted slaves to escape [in Delaware] were members of the free black community, Northern abolitionists, and religious groups (particularly the Quakers and the African-American congregations). . . . One of the most important conductors in the system was Thomas Garrett, a Quaker from Wilmington. After the escapees traveled north through rural Maryland and Delaware, Garrett arranged their passage, often by steamboat, to Philadelphia which was a central station run by a large free-black religious community and the strongly abolitionist Quakers. Garrett was often aided by Harriet Tubman, possibly the most famous black conductor on the Railroad. Among the Underground Railroad stations in Delaware were Wild Cat Manor and Great Geneva in Camden, owned by the Quaker Hunn family; Star Hill African Methodist Episcopal Church in Star Hill, a small rural free African-American church; Appoquinimink Friends
60 Meeting House in Odessa; the John Dickinson Plantation in Dover; the Clearfield Farm, owned by the Corbet family in Smyrna; and the Mother African Union Protestant Church and the home of Thomas Garrett, both in Wilmington. . . . As early as 1688, four German Quakers in Germantown near Philadelphia protested slavery in a resolution that condemned the "traffic of Men-body." By the 1770s, abolitionism was a fullscale movement in Pennsylvania. Led by such Quaker activists as Anthony Benezet and John Woolman, many Philadelphia slaveholders of all denominations had begun bowing to pressure to emancipate their slaves on religious, moral, and economic grounds. In April 1775, Benezet called the first meeting of the Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully held in Bondage at the Rising Sun Tavern. Thomas Paine was among the ten white Philadelphians who attended; seven of the group were Quakers. Often referred to as the Abolition Society, the group focused on intervention in the cases of blacks and Indians who claimed to have been illegally enslaved. Of the twenty-four men who attended the four meetings held before the Society disbanded, seventeen were Quakers. Six of these original members were among the largely Quaker group of eighteen Philadelphians that reorganized in February 1784 as the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage (commonly referred to as the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, or PAS). Although still occupied with litigation on behalf of blacks who were illegally enslaved under existing laws, the new name reflected the Society's growing emphasis on abolition as a goal. Within two years, the group had grown to 82 members and inspired the establishment of anti-slavery organizations in other cities. ... Founded on Quaker principles of tolerance and harmonious living, Philadelphia had a religious foundation, like its New England neighbors, but welcomed other beliefs and races. Like its southern neighbors, it started with an agricultural economy, but slave auctions were banned early. A community of ex-slaves grew, centered around the Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the cornerstone of the A.M.E. movement. . . . Quakers were one of many groups who had come to believe that it was wrong to hold people in bondage, whatever their ethnicity. Early concerned Quakers gave eloquent testimony on the anti-slavery issue and were instrumental in action taken by various Yearly Meetings, which urged from 1758 that members free their slaves. In 1776 Philadelphia Yearly Meeting disowned members who persisted in owning slaves. As early as 1786, some Quakers joined the movement to help runaway slaves reach freedom. This was the real beginning of the Underground Railroad. . . . In Pennsylvania, the first free state north of the Mason-Dixon Line, Chester County was a key link in the chain of Underground Railroad stations for African-American slaves coming from Maryland plantations. Many conductors in and around Kennett Square, West Chester, and Wilmington were Quakers and worked with members of other denominations and with the free black community to bring slaves to freedom. The area was known as a "hotbed of abolition." Hundreds of slaves were moved safely through the region, with the help of Friends such as the Mendenhalls, whose home was the first station across the Pennsylvania line. The Barnards, the Merediths, the Pennocks, and many other local Quaker families played an important role in leading the slaves north, on to Philadelphia or Lancaster County or New Jersey.
61 There were no more staunch abolitionists than local Quakers John and Hannah Peirce Cox. Their home Longwood was an ideal location along the Underground line since it was on the main road to Philadelphia from points south and west. The Coxes opened their home to escaping slaves, feeding and clothing them and either keeping them overnight or, if pursued, sending them on to the next station. The Cox homestead, which still stands along Route 1, included the land where the Longwood Meeting House was built. Assisting slaves to escape, however, was illegal. While all Quakers denounced slavery, not all Quakers approved of the Underground Railroad. Nor did they agree when the most fiery abolitionist preachers from the Northeast and elsewhere were brought to speak. As the issue of slavery became more intense, the Society of Friends became divided, and many Friends were disowned by their Meetings, including the Coxes. In 1854, radical Quaker abolitionists around Longwood who had been disowned from their Meetings formed a new Progressive Friends Meeting. A year later, on land purchased from John Cox, these Quakers built their own Meeting House which came to be known as the Longwood Meeting of Progressive Friends. . . . Born around 1810 in slave-holding Delaware, Peter Mott made his way across the Delaware River to New Jersey as young man. There, ten miles east of the river city of Camden, he settled in a remote and heavilywooded rural community called Free Haven that later changed its name to Lawnside. He married Elizabeth Ann Thomas in 1833. She had been born in Virginia before coming to Free Haven. A self-made man, Mott built a house, established a small farm, provided trade services in nearby towns, and engaged in other local businesses. Meanwhile, he and his wife risked everything to help fugitive slaves move through New Jersey toward northern states and Canada where they would be beyond the legal reach of their former owners. . . . In about 1844, he constructed a two-story house from which he ran his farm. On census records, he listed himself as a farmer, a plasterer and a laborer. He was also an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the first superintendent of the Sunday School at Free Haven's Mount Pisgah AME Church . . . . As Lawnside Historical Society President Linda Waller explained: "One of the most important aspects of this property is that it was built and owned by a free black man in the 19th century and was involved in the Underground Railroad." . . . Oral stories passed down through generations of Lawnside families indicate that Mott harbored runaway slaves on his farm and then ferried them in his horse-drawn wagon to their next stops in the Quaker communities of Haddonfield and Moorestown. . . . Ms. Waller said, "Haddonfield and Lawnside have always been very interrelated because many of the people here worked there and many of the people there were Quakers who actively opposed slavery. "Haddonfield has some great documents from the era," she explained. "My sister found her husband's great-grandmother listed in records from the Quaker 'Mothers' Meeting.' The Quaker women would come and meet here with newly freed women and talk about issues like homemaking and scripture reading and sewing and singing. They would distribute small allotments of soap and fabric. Some of the women took meticulous notes of these meetings that are still on file in Haddonfield. . . .â€? According to the first Federal Census of 1790, there were 40 slaves and 28 free black residents of York Town [as it was then styled] (NY), 17 of whom lived with four black heads of
62 households: Jacob, Ocho, Michael and Santee. (Only three other Westchester communities, out of 21, had [fewer] slaves proportionate to the population and a higher percentage of free blacks to slaves: Salem, Pound Ridge and North Castle, strong Quaker communities.) . . . There were several Quaker communities in the Capital Region in the 1830s, ’40s and ’50s. West of Albany was Smith Corners, and Rensselaerville. Closer to Schenectady was Charlston Four Corners, and Quaker Street. Northeast of the tri-cities area was Easton. . . .The Quaker community of Smith Corners is mainly a crossroads today. These communities . . . interacted with others who shared their opposition to slavery and desire to aid fugitives. Those they interacted with were free black abolitionists, [white] political radicals, church people and vigilance committees, separate elements that made up the whole we have come to call the Underground Railroad. . . . A powerful Quaker preacher named John Mott apparently influenced those in Rensselaerville to provide active support to fugitives. [His] daughters, Lydia and Abigale, became well known in anti-slavery circles as Underground Railroad activists. . . . Many of the houses in Quaker Street contain double root cellars which were used as hiding places. Porches with movable sections concealed other hiding places. Even a town justice, . . . who should have been responsible to arrest fugitives, had a double root cellar which he used to protect fugitives. . . . . . . While the vast majority of American blacks in 1773 languished under the pains and deprivations of slavery, many in Nantucket could pursue a livelihood and plan their futures as free people. . . . The earliest evidence of [slavery] on the island appeared in the records of the monthly meeting of the Society of Friends on June 26, 1716. By 1733 Elihu Coleman's tract against slavery had been published . . .: "Now I can truly say that this practice of making slaves of men appears to be so great an evil to me, that for all the riches and glory of this world, I would not be guilty of so great a sin as this seems to be." . . . Primarily as a result of Quaker influence, race relations on the island during and after the American Revolution were more harmonious than elsewhere in the nation. Even though racial antipathy continued to undermine black-white relations, the Quaker presence and the long tradition of abolitionist activities had an ameliorating effect. . . . The first Nantucket census in which blacks were officially counted occurred in 1764. Out of a population of 3,570 individuals, fifty "Negroes" and one hundred forty-eight "Indians" were counted. By the 1820 census the number of "coloreds" had increased to 274. Ten years later the names of Arthur Cooper, Samuel Harris, Absalom Boston, and Stephen Pompey appeared as heads of households . . . . These men and their families played leading roles in the development of cooperative race relations on the island and established an African Meeting House, one of the first black institutions in the nation. . . . Although the land was acquired for a school, the building was consecrated as a place of worship before it was completed in 1825. From its inception white teachers, including Quaker Anna Gardner, taught there. . . . Absalom Boston, a free-born native of Nantucket, became a whaling captain. . . . In 1820, two years before becoming captain of his own ship, he obtained a license to operate a "public inn." But his voyage . . . as captain of the ship Industry with its all-black crew was significant . . .because he represented a continuing . . . tradition of black seamanship in the whaling industry. . . . . . Arthur Cooper, who had been born a slave in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1789 [managed to escape] his owner, marry a free black woman named Mary, and eventually make his way with his young family to Nantucket in 1820. In 1822 the Quaker community came to the [family’s]
63 assistance . . . when Camillus Griffith, a bounty hunter, arrived to take Cooper, his wife, and his children into slavery. . . . A crowd of blacks and Quakers pledged that they would not let the family be removed. . . . While [one citizen] explained to Griffith that he had no authority to apprehend the Coopers, another townsperson slipped the family [away]. . . . Magistrate Alfred Folger ruled that the family could not be removed from Nantucket, and Griffith left the island empty handed. . . . While strong opposition to slavery existed among Quakers, there was less agreement on issues of social equality. . . . Disagreement centered around two issues: whether white churches should be more active in opposition to slavery and whether black and white children should go to school together. . . . Through the efforts of twenty-five-year-old Anna Gardner, a series of antislavery conventions was held. . . . Frederick Douglass . . . spoke at . . . the Nantucket Atheneum in 1841. This speech before a primarily white audience marked the beginning of his career as an abolitionist speaker. Those who supported and encouraged him to speak in Nantucket were mostly Quakers and included the Gardner family . . . and the Barney family, leaders in the Nantucket abolitionist movement. . . . The second antislavery convention was met with mob violence; cobblestones and eggs were thrown after [Stephen Symonds] Foster's speech [because his] position was that northern churches, including those in Nantucket, that did not actively oppose slavery were guilty by association. [However, Nantucketers] were resistant to mounting pressure to integrate the island's public schools. To many it seemed self-evident that blacks should attend separate schools just as they lived in the separate community of New Guinea. [Nonetheless,] several prominent whites supported integrated education. Ironically, the question of whether Eunice Ross, a black pupil of Anna Gardner, should be admitted to the high school raged during the height of the antislavery movement on the island. . . . When school committee member Edward Gardner moved in 1840 that "colored children" be allowed to attend any of the public schools, his motion failed to pass. The ensuing controversy stirred both communities and divided the white community. Blacks assumed leadership in this struggle by issuing resolutions, boycotting classes, and petitioning the state legislature. Edward J. Pompey prepared their initial petition, which was signed by over 104 blacks. By this time Pompey was . . . the Nantucket agent for William Lloyd Garrison's newspaper The Liberator [and] secretary of the Nantucket Anti-Slavery Society. The petition from the New Guinea community and additional petitions from the white community led to the passage of House Bill 45, guaranteeing all Massachusetts children access to education. A year later the schools were integrated, and the school in the African Meeting House passed out of existence. . . . The issues concerning integration that Nantucketers grappled with between 1773 and 1863 were precursors to similar national issues that raged from Reconstruction to the mid-20th century. After blacks acquired political freedom, would whites allow them to interact on social levels? Would blacks be encouraged to pursue their livelihoods free of overt discrimination? Would whites, who controlled the legal process, vigorously defend blacks before the courts? . . . Questions for After Reading the Play 1. How is the theocracy broken in the play? 2. Was what happened in Salem important to the development of U.S. democracy? How?
3. Was Salem an autocracy? Who was the autocratic ruler? 4. What did you learn about Puritanism by reading the play? How does Miller's interpretation relate to historical accounts you have read? 5. It may be interesting for students to read Miller's commentary appearing throughout the reader's edition of The Crucible and respond, in writing or orally, as to whether they agree or disagree with his beliefs, whether they believe he achieved his goals, etc. 6. How does the government as presented in the play differ from U.S. government today? 7. How does the relationship of church and state in the play differ from the relationship of church and state today? 8. How would our government and courts differ if we had a single, central religion? (Students might want to compare the U.S. to Iran or Israel.) 9. Students can discuss whether or not the play is a tragedy. Is there a tragic hero? Who has a tragic flaw? What moral weakness or psychological maladjustment do they see? What social pressures are prominent? 10. What examples of irony do you see in the play? 11. What events in Salem can be viewed as paradox? 12. Is the play a political allegory? Discussion Questions/Activities Courtesy of the web, especially Lesson Plans For some scary fun, go to National Geographicâ€™s virtual, interactive witch hunt (http://www.nationalgeographic.com/features/97/salem/). Boo! 1. What is the relationship of the church to the state in the current form of U.S. government? 2. What was the relationship of the church to the state in colonial New England? 3. How did Puritanism affect the laws and the courts of colonial New England? 4. Other historical concepts useful for the students in understanding the Salem witch trials and Miller's play can be discussed. Students can research these topics in small groups to present to the entire class: Slavery: The slave trade between colonial New England and the Caribbean. Witchcraft: The practice of black magic and sorcery in Puritan New England.
The culture of Barbados in the 17th century: The events in Salem can be viewed as a clash of cultures. Other witch trials: New England trials prior to Salem trials; Joan of Arc; Joseph McCarthy: House Un-American Activities Committee hearings. Other more contemporary "witch hunts": they might include Watergate hearings, Whitewater, priests accused of molesting children, ethnicity-related detentions, etc. History of hate groups: Let students come up with their own ideas based on their knowledge of history, such as Nazism, Ku Klux Klan, Skinheads, etc. 5. Many themes can be found in The Crucible. It is helpful to suggest a few that students might look for as they read. Each can be posted on the top of a sheet of chart paper on a "theme chart" and evidence of it can be added during the reading of the play. Human Cruelty in the Name of Righteousness The Individual and the Community Justice vs. Retribution and Revenge Godliness vs. Worldliness Ignorance vs. Wisdom The Puritan Myth Order vs. Individual Freedom Community: Unity and Exclusion – Who is a part of the community of Salem? Who is excluded? How and why does the trial change the typical order of the community? What happens to the community when the order is changed? Who is included in the community of your school or town? Who is excluded? The Puritan Myth – What is Puritanism? Why did they come to America? If this play is accurate, what myths do you find in definitions, textbook descriptions, and the Puritan's motivations for freedom? What groups can you identify in your school or community? What myths surround stereotypes of these groups? Order vs. Individual Freedom – Why did the Puritans come to America? What level of individual freedom do you see in Salem? What level of order? What happens when one or the other gets out of balance? When does order become autocratic? What is the balance between individual freedom and order in your school or community? A student can add depth to this discussion by reporting on how the authority of the state in 17th-century Salem, 1950s America, and World War II Germany was driven by "irrational terror [that took] the fiat of moral goodness." 6. Assign each group of students one character. Have them outline on chart paper and report to the class what they have learned about the character and how they learned it.
66 7. Have students brainstorm and list human frailties found in the character(s) and suggest who possesses each frailty: lust – John Proctor pride – Reverend Hale greed – Reverend Parris revenge – Mrs. Putnam ignorance – Giles Corey self-indulgence – the girls dishonesty – Abigail, the girls, John Proctor Or they could look for the Seven Deadly sins: pride, greed, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony (pertains not only to food but other goods, entertainment or the company of others) and sloth. 8. Frequently in serious literature one character assumes the role of the voice of reason. In Act one of The Crucible, the voice of reason is Rebecca Nurse; later on John Proctor is. Have students examine the play for ways in which Rebecca and Proctor attempt to apply reason to the situation. 9. Students can develop a chart that visually presents the rise of action in the plot. 10. Dramatic readings [of any scenes] that are key to plot development can be presented to the class. 11. The language in the play is probably not unfamiliar to students, but its usage is. Students can examine the play for terms that are used in association with witchcraft. 12. It is interesting for students to search for examples of irony: "I'd almost forgot how strong you are, John Proctor!" "I never knew the lying lessons I was taught by all these Christian women and their covenanted men!" "The marks of his presence are definite as stone." What is meant when John uses the metaphor "your justice would freeze beer"? Or when he says the metaphor "the man dreams cathedrals, not clapboard meeting houses"? What does Hale mean when he says "theology . . . is a fortress"? What does an individual's ability to use figurative language, such as metaphors, tell you about that person? Which characters in the play speak in metaphors? 13. Students might also discuss the various meanings of color words such as white, black, and blush as used by the characters. It is also interesting to note how gender specific pronouns are used—witches, for example, are always "she" but some men are also accused of witchcraft. 14. Students can begin a discussion that can continue throughout the reading of the play about why Miller chose the word crucible for its title. 15. In small groups students can research the relationship of the court and the church in colonial New England and report on their research to the class.
67 16. In small groups students can research various aspects of the concept of separation of church and state as it exists today: when was it first established, by whom, and why; what are some recent court cases related to it; what are some recent challenges to it. An interesting debate could be conducted on a topic such as school prayer or federal funding of private religious schools. 17. Why does Miller end the play with Proctor's refusal to sign the confession and Elizabeth's refusal to beg him to do so? 18. Several of the characters are particularly well developed in Act four: John Proctor, Elizabeth Proctor, Parris, and Danforth. Have students write a letter, diary entry or other missive from the point of view and in the voice of one of these four characters explaining his/her actions and motivations. 19. Have students develop a character sketch, including movement and expression, for each character. 20. Students can discuss other possible endings for the play and examine if any others would have been realistic given the action of previous acts, particularly in the climax in Act Three. Sources Consulted The African Diaspora Presence On Martha's Vineyard. Sangeet Grace Lynis. © 1996-2002. Mvy.com. 3 January 2003. http://www.mvy.com/diaspora.html Andover and the Witch Trials. No editor. © 2002. Ultranet.com. 18 June 2002. http://www.ultranet.com/~andhists/witchcraftFrame1Source1.htm Anne Hutchinson. No editor. © 1994, 2000, 2001, 2002. The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia. 6 August 2002. http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0824642.html Anthony Benezet. Bob Bankard, ed. No date. PhillyBurbs.com. 16 January 2003. http://www.phillyburbs.com/undergroundrailroad/benezet.shtml Anti-Slavery. No ed. ©2001. The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. 17 January 2003. http://www.gliah.uh.edu/database/article_display.cfm?HHID=49 Arthur Miller. ©2002. Encarta.com. 18 April 2002. http://encarta.msn.com/find/Concise.asp?ti=02FF0000 Arthur Miller. No editor. ©2002. Kennedy Center.org. 16 April 2002. http://kennedycenter.org/programs/specialevents/honors/history/honoree/miller.html Arthur Miller. Kuusankoshen Kaupunginkirjasto. ©2000. Pegasos.com. 16 April 2002. www.kirjasto.sci.fi/amiller.htm Arthur Miller chronology. Elyse Sommer. ©2001. Curtain Up.com. 16 April 2002. www.curtainup.com/miller.html
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69 Headstones. Rachel Altomare, ed. 2001. George Washington HS, Philadelphia, PA. 21 August 2002. http://www.gwhs.phila.k12.pa.us/students/projects/2001/Altomare/salem/picspage.htm Lesson plans, The Crucible. Dr. Arthea J. S. Reed and W. Geiger (Guy) Ellis, eds. ©2000-2002. Teachervision.com. 6 August 2002. http://www.teachervision.com/lesson-plans/lesson3498.html#before%20reading%20the%20play Samuel Parris. Douglas Linder, ed. June 1998. Law School, University of Missouri-Kansas City.org. 20 August 2002. http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/FTrials/ftrials.htm Parting Ways artifacts taken to Boston. Jack Stewardson. ©2000. Standard-Times.com. 2 January 2003. http://www.s-t.com/daily/05-00/05-20-00/a03sr017.htm Parting Ways links Cabo Verde & Africa with America’s hometown. No ed. ©2001. Caboverdeonline.com. 2 January 2003. http://www.caboverdeonline.com/contents/top_stories/2001/10/24/parting_ways01102401.asp Photos of Salem. David C. Brown, ed. 26 Jan. 1998. Salem Witch Museum.com. 21 August 2002. http://www.salemwitchmuseum.com/ Puritanism in New England. David Cody. 1988. The Victorian Web. 11 June 2002. http://184.108.40.206/victorian/religion/puritan2.html Rebecca Nurse. Allan Gilbertson, ed. 11 Nov. 2001. Frontline Communications Corp. 16 April 2002. www.wizard.net/~aldonna/rn.htm Rev. John Hale. Charles E. Wainwright, ed. ©2002. The Wainwright Family of Essex County, MA. 6 August 2002 http://members.tripod.com/wainwrights/halefhr.html Roger Williams. No editor. © 1994, 2000, 2001, 2002. The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia. 6 Aug. 2002 <http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0852336.html>. Salem Meeting House. No editor. © 2000. Ibiscom.com. 21 August 2002. http://www.ibiscom.com/salem.htm The Salem Witchcraft Papers, Essex County Archives. Margo Burns, ed. 01/22/98. The University of Virginia. 18 April 2002. http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/salem/witchcraft/archives/essex/ecca/P-R.html Sandy Ground, NY; Star Hill, DE; Bailey, Horse (Horse Island), Malaga Island, ME. Morris Turner III, ed. ca. 1998. Soul of America.com. 13 Dec. 2002. http://www.soulofamerica.com/towns/nytowns.html Seven Deadly Sins. William E. Rushman, ed. 17 July 2002. The Rushmans. 7 August 2002. http://www.rushman.org/seven/
70 Judge Samuel Sewall. Douglas Linder, ed. June 1998. Law School, University of MissouriKansas City. 22 August 2002. http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/SAL_ISEW.HTM —. Dave Wieneke, ed. © 2002. State of Massachusetts. 22 August 2002. http://www.state.ma.us/statehouse/articles/murals.htm Sloan, Irving J. Blacks in America, 1492-1970: A Chronology and Fact Book. Dobbs Ferry, NY: Oceana Publications, Inc., 1971 E 185 S57 1971 Judge William Stoughton. Dave Wieneke, ed. © 2002. State of Massachusetts. 22 August 2002. http://www.state.ma.us/statehouse/massgovs/wstoughton.htm Turner III, Morris. America’s Black Towns and Settlements: A Historical Reference Guide, Vol. One, Rohnert Park, CA: Missing Pages Productions, 1998. E185 T875 1999 v.1 Quakers and Free Blacks (Sources for the excerpts are listed in order of their appearance.) Lick Creek Settlement. No ed. 11 September 2002. USDA Forest Service.us. 16 January 2003. http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/hoosier/docs/lick_creek.htm Free Blacks in Chatham Co. NC. Sue Ashby. ©2000-2002. Rootsweb.com. 17 January 2003. http://www.rootsweb.com/~ncchatha/freblks1.htm African-American Freedom in Alexandria (VA). No ed. 11 December 2002. Alexandria.Va.us. 17 January 2003. http://oha.ci.alexandria.va.us/archaeology/ar-exhibits-witness-2.html The Underground Railroad in Delaware. Iris R. Snyder, ed. 15 September 1998. University of Delaware.edu. 21 January 2003. http://www.lib.udel.edu/ud/spec/exhibits/undrgrnd.htm Founding of Pennsylvania Abolition Society. No ed. © 1998, 1999 WGBH Educational Foundation/PBS.org. 17 January 2003. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part3/3p249.html Philadelphia, The Early Years. No ed. ©2003. Concierge.com. 17 January 2003. http://www.concierge.com/philadelphia/resources/history/ Longwood Gardens: The Underground Railroad. No ed. ©2000. Longwood Gardens.org. 21 January 2003. http://www.longwoodgardens.org/Tour/TouristInfoCenter/MeetingHouse.htm Who Was Peter Mott? Hoag Levins, ed. ©2001. Historic Camden County (NJ).com. 22 January 2003. http://historiccamdencounty.com/ccnews24.shtml Yorktown (NY) and Slavery. Linda L. Kiederer, ed. 29 October 2002. Yorktown History.org. 17 January 2003. http://www.yorktownhistory.org/homepages/february01.htm Key People: The Role of the Quaker Community. Paul Stewart, ed. © 2000. Underground RailroadWorkshop.com. 21 January 2003. http://www.ugrworkshop.com/people.htm
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