Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Townspeople

August 15, 2013

Bewitching times; New book chronicles Andover's place during infamous trials

New book chronicles Andover's place during infamous trials

(Continued)

“That has always fascinated me,” she said.

In Faulkner’s case, her sister, nieces and even her own daughters testified against her in court and confessed to committing witchcraft themselves, according to Mofford, who writes about the humiliation of being accused, then arrested and the torments of being imprisoned in chains.

“How did Abigail Faulkner manage to save herself from the noose when 19 others, dubbed `Firebrands of Hell,’ were executed that September day?” she writes.

Mofford said she will always be intrigued by the town’s witch history and how Andover got to be the town that it is. She researched 17th century documents to give some weight to her novel.

“What makes my book unique ... is this historical novel explains what became of those who survived the witch trials and their treatment when they were finally released and returned home,” Mofford said.

The book also chronicles the Wabanaki Indians’ devastating attacks on Andover. In fact, a sister of Faulkner’s husband, Francis Faulkner, died after their childhood home in Andover was torched by Native Americans and she was slaughtered.

Faulkner and her father, Rev. Francis Dane, Andover’s senior minister, ultimately fought to end such tragedies and eventually helped bring an end to Puritan New England’s deadly witch hunts, Mofford said.

“The determined petitions by father and daughter are landmark documents of free speech and serve to remind us all of the ongoing struggle for human rights,” Mofford writes.

“They helped put a halt to the madness and bigotry of that tragic time,” she said.

Mofford had been working on the book since 1995. She also wrote another book about the Salem witch trials for young adults. Titled “Cry Witch,” it was published in 1995 by Discovery Enterprises for its Perspectives on American History series.

Her community play, “Cry Witch — The Andovers Remember 1692,” was performed in town by local storyteller Susan Lenoe in 1998 and 1999, supported by grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Townspeople
  • AT HOWARD KOH

    U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES/Courtesy photo Dr. Howard Koh will step down as U.S. assistant secretary for health after five years to rejoin Harvard School of Public Health this fall in a new position in its Department of Health Policy and Management.

    Koh to rejoin Harvard School of Public Health Posted 6 days ago 1 Photo
  • 48 locals to pedal in Pan-Mass Challenge Posted 6 days ago
  • AT HANNAH CURRIE

    Courtesy photo Hannah Currie is spending 10 days this summer becoming immersed in the music industry at GRAMMY Camp in Los Angeles.

    Currie hits note at LA's GRAMMY Camp Posted 6 days ago 1 Photo
  • South Church names new senior pastor Posted 13 days ago
  • AT BOYS GIRLS CLUB GOLF1

    COURTESY PHOTO Andover residents Patrick James, left, Adam Geaslen, Ryan Byrd and Dan Bryant claimed first place at the 35th annual Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence Golf Tournament at Indian Ridge Country Club in town.

    Local foursome aces Boys & Girls Club tourney Posted 13 days ago 2 Photos
  • AT LOCKS SISTERS2

    COURTESY PHOTO The Marble sisters --Anna, 8, left, and Isabel, 11 -- post-donatin to Locks of Love.

    Sisters pair up to donate pony tails to Locks of Love Posted 13 days ago 4 Photos
  • AT HOST1

    DESI SMITH/Staff photo Former Andover residents Dana Cohen and his wife, Ginny, back, left, have regularly hosted foreign exchange students since 1989. Farrah Moussa, back right, from Egypt, and Paula Valverde, front right, from Spain, are the latest students to spend a year with the Cohens, who now live in Gloucester.

    Former Andover couple welcomes exchange students for quarter-century Posted 13 days ago 4 Photos
  • Thursday, July 3, 2014
  • LENO1

    FILE PHOTO Jay Leno, who honed his comedy skills growing up in Andover, will receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor this fall during a performance at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.

    In good comedy company Posted 20 days ago 2 Photos
  • COMMUNITY TRUST2

    ACT 3.jpg Susan Stott, third from left, accepts the Opening Doors to Affordable Housing in Andover Award from Andover Community Trust directors, from left, Don Schroeder, treasurer; John Pearson, president; and Joan Johnson, clerk.

    Affordable housing advocates honored Posted 20 days ago 2 Photos
  • AT TABIT

    Salim Tabit

    Townspeople in the News Posted 20 days ago 1 Photo

Pictures of the Week
Stocks