Ann Putnam, Jr.

Ann Putnam (October 18, 1679 – 1716), along with Elizabeth "Betty" Parris, Mary Walcott and Abigail Williams, was an important witness at the Salem Witch Trials of Massachusetts during the later portion of 17th century Colonial America. Born 1679 in Salem Village, Essex County, Massachusetts, she was the eldest child of Thomas Putnam (1652–1699) and Ann Carr (1661–1699). She was friends with some of the girls who claimed to be afflicted by witchcraft and, in March 1692, proclaimed to be afflicted herself.

In 1706, Ann Putnam publicly apologized for the part she had played in the witch trials.

I desire to be humbled before God for that sad and humbling providence that befell my father's family in the year about ninety-two; that I, then being in my childhood, should, by such a providence of God, be made an instrument for the accusing of serveral people for grievous crimes, whereby their lives was taken away from them, whom, now I have just grounds and good reason to believe they were innocent persons; and that it was a great delusion of Satan that deceived me in that sad time, whereby I justly fear I have been instrumental, with others, though ignorantly and unwittingly, to bring upon myself and this land the guilt of innocent blood; though, what was said or done by me against any person, I can truly and uprightly say, before God and man, I did it not out of any anger, malice, or ill will to any person, for I had no such thing against one of them; but what I did was ignorantly, being deluded by Satan.

And particularly, as I was a chief instrument of accusing Goodwife Nurse and her two sisters, I desire to lie in the dust, and to be humble for it, in that I was a cause, with others, of so sad a calamity to them and their families; for which cause I desire to lie in the dust, and earnestly beg forgiveness of God, and from all those unto whom I have given just cause of sorrow and offense, whose relations were taken away or accused.

Some historians have speculated that her parents, Thomas and Ann (Carr), Sr., coerced Putnam to accuse those they were feuding with or sought revenge on. Many of the accused had some sort of relationship with the powerful Putnam family.

When her parents died in 1699, Putnam was left to raise her nine siblings aged 7 months to 16 years. Putnam never married.

She was a first cousin once removed of Generals Israel Putnam and Rufus Putnam.

In Arthur Miller's play The Crucible, her name is Ruth, to avoid confusion with her mother, Ann Putnam Sr.

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