As follows are the important take points from each section that point to a final conclusion.

From the Master Network:

1. The Advancing Group controlled the network as shown by its expansive reach.

2. Eigenvector Centrality was skewed to a sliver of the network, so only a few people maintained a substantially influential position.

3. It mattered more how a person connected to the Advancing Group than other sections of the network as shown by the Betweenness Centrality table.

From the Newton Network:

1. Power shifted from officials to accusers and family, specifically Ann Putnam Jr. and her father.

2. Confessors were less influential, or at least perceived as less, in court.

3. Ann Putnam Sr.'s position in the network is likely intentional.

From the Spectral Network:

1. Accusations crafted a narrative based on what was necessary to accuse a suspect.

2. If specters were seen together, it was intentional.

3. Confessions focused accusations inward towards suspects already accused, not new ones.

From Accusations:

1. A significant amount of accusations originated from Ann Putnam Jr.

2. Thomas Putnam used his influence to craft a timeline of accusations.

3. Accusations originated from afflicted accusers, not confessors.

What do these points reveal? 

Everything that occurred in Massachusetts returns to the Advancing Group in the Master Network.  The reach and power over the networks by this group dominated everyone else in the graph.  The relationships with this group determined a person's role in the Salem Witch Trials.  Upon a closer examination of case files in the Newton Network, it shows how the Advancing Group is steered by the accusing girls of Salem Village.  Thomas Putnam Jr. yielded a lot of power through his daughter.  He created the timeline of accusations which allowed accusations to start with her to exert his influence in the trials.  These accusations he encouraged created the narrative of the Spectral Network.  The narrative of Thomas Putnam's timeline allowed suspects like Rebecca Nurse to hang.  His wife Ann Putnam Sr. played an important role, accusing Rebecca Nurse, but few others.  While the entire scope of the trials was in no way premeditated, individual accusations appear well thought out.  Thomas Putnam's daughter accused people at the right time to slowly build up accusations when his wife joined in against Nurse.  Other followed a similar pattern to lesser extends which kept the power of the accusers in the hands of a few.  There was no way to challenge those with the skew of influence in the network directed towards the judges and accusers.  It puts a Putnam influence on the entire trials since accusations began with Ann Jr., although a direct or indirect influence of her father will never be determined, and continued within a network under Putnam control.

The takeaway here is not that Thomas Putnam Jr. premeditated the Salem Witch Trials in some conspiracy, as Enders A. Robinson once suggested.  A situation presented itself: young girls fell ill to symptoms attributed to witchcraft.  Thomas Putnam strategically placed his daughter in the network with important accusations.  Even if Putnam never directed his daughter to name someone like Rebecca Nurse, Ann Jr. likely knew her father's grievances with other members of the community and named these ideal suspects.  Without Thomas stopping his daughter or with Thomas directing his daughter, he manages to take part in an event that allowed his political manipulation to place the Putnam family at the top of the hierarchy at a time when the family faced economic and political problems.  He took advantage of these situations, and those decisions drove the witch trials forward.

  • Grey Google+ Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey LinkedIn Icon
  • Grey Facebook Icon

© 2023 by Talking Business.  Proudly created with