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Echoes of the Witch

Jake Eshelman | United States

A tree with hammock chairs on the present-day campus center lawn of St. Mary’s College of Maryland overlooks the small hill that is the likely execution site where Rebecca Fowler was hanged in 1685. St. Mary's, MD. 2019

Echoes of the Witch is a photographic documentary project exploring cultural memory, power, and the land as they manifest through the history of American witch executions. 

This project is a collaboration between visual artists Margaux Crump (www.margauxcrump.com) and Jake Eshelman (www.jakeeshelman.com). 

What we choose to remember—and how—has a profound impact on how we understand ourselves and our world.

In 2019, Margaux Crump and I travelled across present-day America to document the locations where records indicate fifty-four individuals were accused of #witchcraft and executed by the state. Operating on the premise that place holds memory, Echoes of the Witch investigates how the land and the people in these sites have honored, altered, hidden, perverted, or neglected the memories of these persecutions.

Richly imagined by Western culture, the archetype of the witch occupies the liminal spaces between past and present, real and fantasy, fear and desire. It exists in the periphery—a metonym for danger and difference. Hag, healer, beggar, heretic, seductress; the witch has long haunted our stories. Yet we have not made it a priority to remember those who were condemned and executed. Why is this? Why does the witch thrive as a cultural construct, while individuals executed for witchcraft are largely forgotten or excluded?

By confronting these questions, Echoes of the Witch strives to help bring these memories back into our collective consciousness, contributing to the process of (un)learning, healing, and evolving together.


Dedicated project website: www.EchoesOfTheWitch.com

EOTW's research, primary sources, and further readings on the ongoing practice of witch persecution: www.EchoesOfTheWitch.com/Resources

1647    Alse Young, Hartford, Connecticut 
1648    Mary Johnson, Hartford, Connecticut
1648    Margaret Jones, Boston, Massachusetts
1650    Alice Lake, Boston, Massachusetts
1651    Mrs. Kendall, Boston, Massachusetts
1651    Mary Paine Bassett, Straftord, Connecticut
1651    Joan Carrington, Hartford, Connecticut
1651    John Carrington, Hartford, Connecticut
1653    Goody Knapp, Fairfield, Connecticut
1654    Lydia Gilbert, Hartford, Connecticut
1654    Mary Lee, Atlantic Ocean
1656    Ann Hibbins, Boston, Massachusetts
1658    Katherine Gradey, Atlantic Ocean
1658    Elizabeth Richardson, Atlantic Ocean
1662    Mary Sanford, Hartford, Connecticut
1663    Mary Barnes, Hartford, Connecticut
1663    Rebecca Greensmith, Hartford, Connecticut
1663    Nathanial Greensmith, Hartford, Connecticut 
1675    [Unknown], Jemez Springs, New Mexico
1675    [Unknown], location respectfully witheld
1675    [Unknown], location respectfully witheld
1675    [Unknown], Santa Fe, New Mexico
1685    Rebecca Fowler, St. Mary’s, Maryland
1688    Ann Glover, Boston, Massachusetts
1692    Susannah Martin, Salem, Massachusetts
1692    Sarah Wildes, Salem, Massachusetts
1692    Bridget Bishop, Salem, Massachusetts
1692    Rebecca Nurse, Salem, Massachusetts
1692    Sarah Good, Salem, Massachusetts   
1692    Elizabeth Howe, Salem, Massachusetts
1692    George Burroughs, Salem, Massachusetts
1692    George Jacobs Sr., Salem, Massachusetts
1692    Martha Carrier, Salem, Massachusetts
1692    John Proctor, Salem, Massachusetts
1692    Giles Corey, Salem, Massachusetts
1692    John Willard, Salem, Massachusetts
1692    Martha Corey, Salem, Massachusetts
1692    Mary Eastley, Salem, Massachusetts
1692    Mary Parker, Salem, Massachusetts
1692    Alice Parker, Salem, Massachusetts
1692    Ann Pudeator, Salem, Massachusetts
1692    Wilmot Redd, Salem, Massachusetts
1692    Margaret Scott, Salem, Massachusetts
1692    Samuel Wardwell Sr., Salem, Massachusetts
1692    Ann Foster, Salem, Massachusetts
1692    Mercy Good, Salem, Massachusetts
1692    Sarah Osborne, Salem, Massachusetts
1692    Roger Toothaker, Salem, Massachusetts
1693    Lydia Dustin, Salem, Massachusetts
1766    Agustin Tagle, Santa Fe, New Mexico
1766    Diego Tagle, Santa Fe, New Mexico
1766    Juan Tagle, Santa Fe, New Mexico
1766    Antonio Ulibarri, Santa Fe, New Mexico
1766    Antonio Chimayo, Santa Fe, New Mexico

And others yet unknown.

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