Descendants of persecuted Connecticut ‘witches’ ask for justice

Decades before the infamous Salem witch trials in Massachusetts, Alse Young was killed at the gallows in Connecticut, becoming the first person on record to be executed in the American colonies for witchcraft.

The Windsor town clerk registered the death on May 26, 1647, in a diary entry that read: “Alse Young was hanged.” Ms. Young was the first of nine women and two men executed by the colony of Connecticut for witchcraft over 15 years, a period during which more than 40 people faced trial for having ties to Satan.

Now, more than 375 years later, amateur historians, researchers, and descendants of the accused witches and their accusers hope Connecticut lawmakers will finally offer posthumous exonerations.

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