The Witches’ Tree

Envy, turmoil, and perhaps even boredom, intertwine like the gnarled branches of an ancient tree in this story.

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The ease with which those deemed as other can be persecuted and made to suffer has been engraved on the hearts of men, inscribed in the annals of history, and continues to admonish humanity.

The year 1692 is remembered with sadness.

Rebecka Nurse, née Towne, (known to many as Rebecca Nurse from Arthur Miller’s The Crucible) was a cousin of Roger Conant, who had founded Salem after leaving Plymouth, which all at her trial knew.  Myles Standish, the governor of Plymouth was a relative of Rebecka Nurse and Roger Conant.

Nothing could save Rebecca Nurse from the gallows, that had been made of the Witches’ Tree in the ancient Wampanoag settlement called Naumkeag, now Salem.


“The Witches’ Tree” as a Teaching Tool

The author presented this book in projected format in four High school English classes in which Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” was being read.

The instructor commented that “Grandma Rebecka and the Witches’ Tree” underscored Miller’s phrase “There are wheels within wheels in this village and fires within fires.”

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Rebecka’s acquisition of the Endecott Estate adds yet another layer combining with many “fires” to create an image of an ancient tree with gnarled and intertwined branches.”

Rebecka’s cousinship with Salem founder, Roger Conant, both being related to Myles Standish adds to the story.

Zach Braff and Mitt Romney ‘related through a witch’

The link between Braff and Romney was discovered when a family history expert made the discovery “sort of by accident” when he looked into Braff’s background

via Zach Braff and Mitt Romney ‘related through a witch’ – Storyful.

Rebecca Nurse, the shared ancestor in question, was executed for witchcraft by the government of the Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England in 1692, during the Salem witch trials. Nurse’s story inspired the 1952 play ‘The Crucible’, written by Jewish playwright Arthur Miller.