Connecticut: Centuries later, family seeks to exonerate relative convicted of witchcraft | US News

US politicians are considering exonerating 11 witches who were executed and dozens more accused of having ties to Satan more than 375 years ago.

Decades before the infamous Salem witch trials in Massachusetts, Alse Young became the first recorded person to be executed for witchcraft in the American colonies on May 26, 1647.

She was the first of nine women and two men to be executed for witchcraft in Connecticut over a 15-year period, during which time more than 40 people faced trial for their ties to Satan.

The town clerk of Windsor recorded her death in his diary, which read: “Alse Young hanged.”

Now, activists including amateur historians, researchers and descendants of accused witches and their accusers hope state lawmakers will finally provide a posthumous disclaimer.

Connecticut Senator Saud Anwar and State Rep. Jane Garibay introduced resolutions formally exonerating victims of witch trials in the state.

Ms Garibay, who has had letters from eighth and ninth generation relatives of accused witches, said: “They’re talking about how this has been passed down through the generations and they want someone to say, ‘Hey, this is wrong’ .To me, if it brings peace to people, it’s an easy thing to do.”

Mr Anwar said he expected that some might mock or ridicule the campaign, but added that there were “serious things” felt by the family, including one voter who urged him to act.

“His wish was if there was a way for these families to end … that would be a way for him to be able to say he had done his one job, even though his ancestors might not have done the right thing,” Ann said. Mr Val said.

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Other states and countries have tried to make amends for their history of persecuting people as witches.

Last year, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon formally apologized Around 4,000 Scots, mostly women, accused of witchcraft until 1736.

In 2022, politicians in Massachusetts officially acquitted Elizabeth Johnson, Jr., convicted of witchcraft in 1693 and sentenced to death.

In 2006, former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine unofficially pardoned Grace Sherwood. The widowed midwife was accused of being a witch after being accused by her neighbors of destroying crops, killing livestock and creating storms.

She was thrown into the river to see if she floated, which is said to show her guilt. She managed to regain her freedom and spent seven years in prison.

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