George Jacobs, Sr.

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George Jacobs, Sr. (c.1620–1692) was accused of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials in Salem Village, Massachusetts, in 1692, and was found guilty and hanged on August 19, 1692. His son, George Jacobs, Jr. was also accused but evaded arrest. His accusers included his daughter-in-law and granddaughter, Margaret. [1]

Trial of George[edit]

The painting below was created by Thompkins H. Matteson in 1855, and is based on the accounts of George Jacobs' granddaughter.[2] By moving your cursor across the painting you can identify Jacobs who is consoled by his son who was also called George. The painting is entitled "Trial of George Jacobs, August 5, 1692".

Margaret JacobsGeorge Jacobs Sr.William Stoughtonprob. Judge John HathorneRebecca JacobsStephen Sewall (clerk)The Grand Jury?George Jacobs' son George Jr.Sarah Churchill or Ann PutnamBoy possessed?Use cursor to investigate or button to enlarge
George Jacobs accused by his granddaughter - a reconstruction of his trial by Thompkins. H. Matteson

On the left of the painting is William Stoughton, who was the chief magistrate and went on to be a Governor thrice in Massachusetts. George's principal accuser was his own granddaughter, who was accusing George in order to save her own life. Jacobs' daughter-in-law is the woman standing who is being held back. She was thought to be mentally ill (brain tumor). The judge who is leading the accusation is thought to be an ancestor of Nathaniel Hawthorne, John Hathorne, who holds a book and points at George's granddaughter as if challenging her to substantiate her earlier written statements. In the foreground are a girl and boy who are having fits allegedly caused by Jacobs' wizardry. The boy is unknown but the girl may be Jacobs' servant or a principal accuser Ann Putnam.

Jacobs appears as a minor character in the 1996 film The Crucible, based on the 1953 play about the Salem witch trials, portrayed by William Preston.

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ Enders A. Robinson. The Devil Discovered: Salem Witchcraft 1692. Waveland Press, Prospect Heights, IL. 2001 (1991). pp. 336–339.
  2. ^ George Jacobs, Sr., Salem Witch Trials,, accessed 22 August 2008
  3. ^ HABS MASS,5-DAV,7