Although the well-known Salem witchcraft trials of 1692 took place in Massachusetts, it was clearly related to events in Maine and elsewhere on the New England frontier. In recent years scholars have increasingly pointed to the many participants in the trials who had ties to Maine. These connections go beyond the accused witches and afflicted girls who were war refugees in Massachusetts, to include many residents of the Bay Colony caught up in a wave of speculation in frontier Indian lands during the 1680's. Most of the witchcraft judges and their families owned such land in Maine. Staunch Puritans such as Cotton Mather saw this speculation as another sign of the declining religious fervor that was making New England increasingly vulnerable to attack from Satan. The fact that this speculation involved “heathen” Native Americans and perceived radical or even Godless Englishmen living on the frontier, made the threat all the more severe. Emerson W. Baker is an associate professor of history at Salem State College and James Kences is an independent scholar. Both authors live in York, Maine and are currently at work on other projects related to witchcraft. Kences is tracing the politics of the factions in Salem Village with contemporary political events in England. Baker is writing a book on witchcraft in the 1680s, titled Lithobolia: The Stone-Throwing Devil of New England.
Baker, Emerson W., and James Kences. "Maine, Indian Land Speculation, and the Essex County Witchcraft Outbreak of 1692." Maine History 40, 3 (2001): 158-189. https://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/mainehistoryjournal/vol40/iss3/2