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Salem Witchcraft and Cotton Mather A Reply   By: (1802-1875)

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First Page:

SALEM WITCHCRAFT AND COTTON MATHER.

A REPLY.

BY CHARLES W. UPHAM, Member of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

MORRISANIA, N. Y.: 1869.

TO HENRY B. DAWSON, ESQ., PROPRIETOR AND EDITOR OF THE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE , THIS REPRINT FROM ITS PAGES IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED BY ITS AUTHOR.

SALEM, MASS., December 10, 1869.

Transcriber's Note:

Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note. Superscript text is preceded by the ^ character. Variant spellings, including the inconsistent spelling of proper nouns, remain as printed. Spelling errors in quotations have been retained, despite the generally poor quality of the original typesetting.

PREFATORY NOTE.

The Editors of the North American Review would, under the circumstances, I have no reason to doubt, have opened its columns to a reply to the article that has led to the preparation of the following statement. But its length has forbidden my asking such a favor.

All interested in the department of American literature to which the HISTORICAL MAGAZINE belongs, must appreciate the ability with which it is conducted, and the laborious and indefatigable zeal of its Editor, in collecting and placing on its pages, beyond the reach of oblivion and loss, the scattered and perishing materials necessary to the elucidation of historical and biographical topics, whether relating to particular localities or the country at large; and it was as gratifying as unexpected to receive the proffer, without limitation, of the use of that publication for this occasion.

The spirited discussion, by earnest scholars, of special questions, although occasionally assuming the aspect of controversy, will be not only tolerated but welcomed by liberal minds. Let champions arise, in all sections of the Republic, to defend their respective rightful claims to share in a common glorious inheritance and to inscribe their several records in our Annals. Feeling the deepest interest in the Historical, Antiquarian, and Genealogical Societies of Massachusetts, and yielding to none in keen sensibility to all that concerns the ancient honors of the Old Bay State and New England, generally, I rejoice to witness the spirit of a commemorative age kindling the public mind, every where, in the Middle, Western and Southern States.

The courtesy extended to me is evidence that while, by a jealous scrutiny and, sometimes, perhaps, a sharp conflict, we are reciprocally imposing checks upon loose exaggerations and overweening pretensions, a comprehensive good feeling predominates over all; truth in its purity is getting eliminated; and characters and occurrences, in all parts of the country, brought under the clear light of justice.

The aid I have received, in the following discussion, from the publications and depositories of historical associations and the contributions of individuals, like Mr. Goodell, Doctor Moore, and others, engaged in procuring from the mother country and preserving all original tracts and documents, whenever found, belonging to our Colonial period, demonstrate the importance of such efforts, whether of Societies or single persons. In this way, our history will stand on a solid foundation, and have the lineaments of complete and exact truth.

Notwithstanding the distance from the place of printing, owing to the faithful and intelligent oversight of the superintendent of the press and the vigilant core of the compositors, but few errors, I trust, will be found, beyond what are merely literal, and every reader will unconsciously, or readily, correct for himself.

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