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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Primary Analysis 1112-03: The Cottons

Examine the letter between Cotton Mather and John Cotton.  Comment on this letter, after careful analysis.

  • Which themes in the letter relate back to the themes and ideas within the Chapter 4 reading?  
  • List 2 things within the letter you thought were important ideas relating back to Unit 2?  
  • What does the document reveal about life in the United States in the time it was written?  What evidence within the document demonstrates this?
  • How does this relate to the other letters you've read?

26 comments:

Willy said...

The execution of the five witches relates to the salem witch trials in chapter four. Witches were executed because they were believed to be heretics during this time.

The execution of the witches and the act of being honest when the witches gave the names of many more witches out there.

This document reveals that the churches were focused strongly on religious purification by executing heretics such as witches. An example of this is the salem witch trials.

This letter relates to the letter from Roger Williams for Williams mentioned that if you don't obey your leaders bad tyhings will come to you. An example of this in this letter is that the witched were executed for being heretics.

Brian said...

One of the themes included in this letter and the Chapter 4 reading is the witch trials. They happened mainly in New England when people of God believed people to be heretics, or witches.

2 things that are important relating back to unit 2 are Salem being the main hub of the witch trials and the inclusion of the earthquake in Jamaica.

This document reveals information about the witch trials from a point of view from a Protestant minister, who really ran the witch hunts.

This relates to the other letters because the other two were from people seeking freedom from the Church of England while this one was from a Protestant minister.

matt hollo said...

The Salem Witch trials relate back to chapter 4. Witches were excecuted because the people believed them to be heretics.

2 things that I think are important in the letter relating back to unit 2 are that religion is still very important and the earthquake in Jamaica

This document reveals that the United States was very strict when it came to religion. An example of this would be the excecution of the witches because they believed something different.

This letter relates to the others because this letter is also about people who have different beliefs and views.

Marissa Esposito said...

-Some themes in the letter that relate back to the Chapter 4 reading are that people started to be persecuted as witches. For example in the Salem witch trials, five witches were believed to be heretics, and so they were found guilty and executed.
-Two important things within the letter that relate back to Unit 2 include: once the Salem witch trials were held and they were executed, other people had confessed, and I don't remember the book talking about an Earthquake that did that much damage.
-This document reveals about life in the United States in the time it was written, that the church gave harsh punishments to anyone who were hertics. In the letter it states," Five witches were lately executed". This shows how the church had a very strong religious belief and anyone who didn't have such a strong belief was given consequences.
-This letter relates to the other letters I read becuase in the letter written by Roger Williams it talks about how people shouldn't be punished if they are a heretic. However, in this letter it says the opposite: people should have a severe consequence if they are a heretic. In the letter written by John Winthrop it explains even further how strong the belief in the Puritan church is.

Abby Lynch said...

The execution of the five witches connect back to the Salem Witch trials in chapter four where people were being easily accused as heretics; and then being hung. Most of these "withes" were really just social outcasts but the town wanted a reason to get rid of them.

Important ideas in this letter from unit two i thought were The Salem Witch Trials with the execution of the women, and the earthquake in Jamaica.

This document reveals how serious the Puritans took religious purification. It shows how paranoid the people were of evil that they started seeing a social outcast as evil and just wanted to get rid of them. I know this because Cotton mather said the "our God is working on a miracle". He is referring to being able to get rid of the witches with ease.

I think that this letter realtes to the other letters and what comes from different people havinf different views and religons.

Rob Lazzaro said...

This relates to the reading in chapter 4 because the initial discovery of the original 5 witches started a whole chain of events that led to many more discoveries of this version of heresy. This was a serious crime at the time and there was very little tolerance for it.

One thing that relates to unit two is that most people had no toleration for heretics at all. This includes religious heretics and heretics such as the Salem witches. Also, the Salem witches were held to a higher degree of punishment. They were actually executed for their offenses.

Life in America at this point was extremely unstable, the government officials were beginning to think that everyone was a heretic and that everyone had something to hide. They were focusing less on other things and spending almost all their time searching for people they could charge with heresy.

This can be compared to the other letters because the underlying message in all of these letters was religion. The government felt threatened by the witches because they were afraid that people would begin to lose belief in religion and start falling for the tricks of witchcraft. This is very closely related to how they were also afraid people were practicing other religions as it stated in the other letters. Heresy was a crime that was not tolerated in any sense.

Damian Litwa said...

The them in this letter that relates to chapter 4 is that people began seeing and accusing people of being witches or in other words heretic. Just like in the salem witch trails people were afraid that the witches would convince people to change there religion so in other words they were being heretic.

Two important things from this letter is that people executed these pretend witches because they thought that they were heretic. Also, this letter talks about a earthquake in Jamaica that caused a lot of damage which wasn't in the book.

This document shows that the churches were strongly against those who opposed their religion because in the letter it says, "Five witches were lately executed, impudently demanding of god a miraculous vindication of their innocency." So they killed heretics just for believing in a different religion.

All three of these letters reveal that most people were concerned with religion. In john Winthrop's letter he shows how strongly the puritans believed in god no matter what happened to them. In Roger Williams' letter he shows that is for religious freedom so he starts his own colony in rhode island. And in this letter it shows that people were strongly opposed of heresy in their colonies.

Owaiss L. said...

the only theme i found that relate to chapter 4 that i found while i was reading was the theme of god has all the power and everyone else should have none and if someone does, he/she should be killed.

2 things in the letter that relate to chapter 2 are: 1, the Salem Witch Trials and 2, the Jamaican earthquake.

This letter shows how life in america at this time was different. It shows how slow news spread. this letter was written on the fifth of August. Yet, he said how he was received news of an earthquake that occurred the seventh of June during the morning of the day he wrote it.

This letter relates to all the other letters I've read so far. All three letters have something to do with persecuting others.

Laura said...

The themes of the letter relates to Chapter 4 because pages 76 amd 77 are about the persecution of witches and how there were so many.
2 things: The persecution of witche & the way the people responded to it.
The document reveals that the people in the United States still had strong beliefs within the church. This is shown through the persecution of whiches.

Zack Sirowich said...

The themes in the letter that relate back to the themes and ideas within the Chapter 4 reading are the witch trials and the accusing of heretics.

1. There was no tolerance for heretics.
2. The Jamaican Earthquake.

The document reveals that life in the United States at this time had a lot of accusing of heretics. The Salem witch trials were mentioned in this piece because people believe the witches were practicing an act of heresy.

This relates to the other letters I've read because in the document written by Roger Williams, he says people shouldn't be punished for heresy, whereas in this document it says people should, just like the Salem witch trials.

Nick Kuzia said...

The five witches that were executed as told by Cotton Mather relates to the Salem witch trials in Chapter 4 when people were believed to be heretics.

2 important ideas discussed in this letter that are important are the Salem witch trials and the harsh earthquake in Jamaica.

This document shows that government and punishments were based mainly off relgious beliefs. Even if the person was innocent they may still be executed if the others feel it is proper to do so based on their religion. An example being the 5 witches killed at the witch trials.

This document relates to the other letters because they all have something to do with religion. This shows that America back then was focused on finding the right religion and rules and laws for religions.

Nicole E said...

The theme of the execution of heretics or witches directly relates back to the textbook in chapter 4. In this chapter, the Salem witch trials took place an those who were believed to be witches were then executed. This is exactly like the document, which tells about 5 witches being executed.

Two things that I found in the letter that relate back to unit 2 are the killing of the witches, who are supposedly heretics (like the Salem witch trials) and the witches' confessions that was taken as a miracle from God, which also shows somewhat of a religious aspect.

In the time the document was written, it shows that the United States depended heavily on religion because they would execute those who were considered heretics or witches, and even consider them dying as a miracle. Also, the fact that "no less than 1,700 souls of that one town are missing" after the earthquake shows how that region was not well prepared for a natural disaster and focused more on religion rather than safety.

This document is similar to the other letters because of the religious point of views in each. In this letter, it showed the execution of witches (heretics) for religious purposes. In the other letters, Roger Williams provided a haven for those of different religions, while John Winthrop was a very thankful Puritan. So, this letter relates to both letters since all three people share very strong religious views.

haleyhicks said...

-The witch trials in this letter relates back to chapter four, it relates to one another because people of god thought that many other people for witched or more technically heretics.
-two things that i found and thought where really important is one, the Salem witch trials and two, the Jamaican earthquake even thought i do not remember the book explaining much about it.
-the document that we read uncovered that religion was very important and strict in the united states. it shows this because they didn't tolerate people who believed in something different such as heretics.
-i think this relates by showing us that people should be able to have their own beliefs, but it was not like that back then.

Rebecca M said...

the themes in the letter that relate back to the themes in chapter 4 are slavery and the salem witch trials.

two things that i thought were important that relate back to unit 2 is, "five witches were lately excecuted impudently demanding of god a miraculous vindication of their innocency." and,"i live in pains, and want your prayers." this shows the witch trials, slavery, and religon.

This document reveals that during this time in the united states it was a tough form of living and people were killed, tourtured, or even sold for money as slaves.

This relates to the other letters that i have read because it talks about god and religon just like all of the other letters did. it also talks about certain people and how they are feeling and living at that moment.

Jess Harkey said...

The themes in the letter that relate back to the themes and ideas in Chapter 4 are: Salem witch trials, the dependency people had on their religion as well as the Yankee commercialism of the Salem witch trials.

Two things that I thought were important ideas in the letter are how much cotton mater depends on his God and how much he believes in the miracles God can create. Like when he said, “our God miraculously sent in five Andover witches’, who made a most ample, surprising, amazing confession of all their villainies.” Its almost as if he was praying for more witches to come forward. Which also relates to the commercialism of the trials. Cotton wrote as if he was swept up in the fake excitement of the trials.

What this document reveals about life in the U.S. in the time it was written are how bore people were with their routine lives that they would do anything for a little excitement. This was demonstrated in the document at the end of the second paragraph. Cotton states that, “about this prodigious matter my soul has been refreshed with some little short of miraculous answers of prayer.” Cotton writes as if he was hoping for these events to happen.

This letter relates to all the other letters in the sense that they are telling of the problems they are encountering. Like in Williams’ letter he is writing about the problems that he has gone through since Cotton kicked him out of the Massachusetts Bay so those two letters are connected in a way. Also in Winthrop’s letter he tells his wife of the problems he faces in the New World.

TheRobBrito said...

The theme that relates back to chapter four is the persecution and execution of people believed to be witches.

Two things in the letter that were important relating back to Unit 2 were the executions of the so called witches. And the Jamaican earthquake that was devastating was never mentioned in the book.

this document reveals how churches punished nonbelievers and heretics and any oppositions of the church.

this letter relates to the others because they all are about religion. religious freedom or to follow a religion.

Jake Walkinshaw said...

--The execution of these accused witches relates to the theme of the salem witch trials in Chapter four that took place during the 1600s because these accused witches were believed to be heretics. Because of this, many innocent people were killed.
-- Two things in this letter that were important ideas relating back to Unit 2 were that the idea of some people being heretics caused many people to die in Salem and that the Earthquake Jamaica did a lot of damage.
--This reveals that people in the US were not as civilized as we were because they allowed the power of religion decide who was innocent and who was guilty, this caused many people to die that didnt have too. It also shows how big of an impact religion has on everyday life. Evidence of this is the Salem Witch trials.
--This relates to the other letters I've read because Roger Williams letter is all about religion and religious tolerance while this letter is about the intolerance of certain people due to their beliefs.

Makayla O'Hara said...

The theme in the letter that relates back to the themes and ideas within chapter 4 are the Salem witch trials. Cotton Mather said that 5 witched were executed and chapter 4 talks about how many people were executed and considered witches.

2 things within the letter that i thought were important ideas relating back to unit 2 are the Salem witch trials and how Mather talked about God and what he did for him and his life. Many people talked about in unit 2 refer to god quite often; they were very religious people. Unit 2 also talks about the Salem witch trials and how women were executed.

This document reveals that life in the United States at the time it was written was very religious. The document states, "Our good God is working of miracles" which shows Mather talking about God and many other people believe because it uses the word "our".

This article relates to the other articles i have read. All articles talk about religion or God. John Winthrop said how he "praised the lord", Roger Williams helped religions with freedom, and Cotton Mather says "our good God is working of miracles" which is also saying that he beleives in God. All articles say information about religions and God.

KC Backus said...

The themes that relate back to the chapter from the reading are that of the Salem witch trials.

I think two important things from this letter where that people turned themselves in they weren't just convicted by someone else. Also how dangerous and terrible the earthquake was.

I think the letter reveals that people were cared of what they didnt know so they jumped to conclusions and ended up killing people (witch hunt).

Claudia Majkner said...

Themes in this letter that relate back to chapter four are the witch trials that were being performed, since the witches were believed to go against God.

Two important ideas in this letter include the witch trials and how Jamaica was affected by an earthquake.

This letter reveals that the people were frightened by the witches because they were believed to be heretics, so they had them executed, which was what the Salem Witch Trials were based on.

This letter relates to both Roger Williams and John Winthrop's because all three letters talk about how important religion was for all of them and the colonies.

caittrzaski said...

The theme and idea that relate to the reading of Chapter 4 are how the 5 witches were executed like the "witch hunt" in 1692 with the killing of 20 people and 2 dogs because of heresy in the colony.

2 things that were important relating back to Unit 2 are about the damage from the earthquake and how seriously people take heresy and witchcraft.

This letter reveals that the church during the colonial time had very harsh punishments for heretics, like death and used God as an excuse. "Our good God is working of miracles. Five witches were lately executed, impudently demanding of God a miraculous vindication of their innocency."

This letter relates to the other two because they all have something to do with the author's belief, like Winthrop's is focused on God and all the things He does for him, Williams is about religion tolerance and how there is none, and Mather's is asking Cotton for God's blessing to fix the damage the earthquake has caused.

Katie P said...

The execution of the witches in the letter relates to the Salem Witch Trials discussed in Chap. 4.

Two ideas the letter shows us that relates back to Unit 2 is that people who were different in Colonial New England, particularly women, were considered witches and were abominations to society, and the beliefs in a society change over time.

The document reveals that during this time in the U.S., innocent people, known as "witches", were executed because they lived lives different from the majority. Also, people were obsessed with witches, and those considered witches would even bring it upon themselves to admit to witchcraft and essentially kill themselves. This shows how crazy and confusing people's beliefs were at this time. This is demonstrated when Cotton Mather states, "...my soul has been refreshed..." in regard to the witches' executions.

This letter relates to the other letters I've read in that it tells of a particular belief during a certain time in history, and allows for students to see the changes in society that lead up tp where we are now.

kamila z said...

The Salem witch trails relate back to chapter four.The witches were executed because the people thought that the witches were heretics.

Two important things from this letter is the witch trails and the way they believed in their religion.

This document reveals about life in the U.S. in the time it was written, was that the churches did not tolerate any one that was a heretic. And that anyone who did not have the same religious belief would have consequences

This letter relates to the other letters because they all include people that had different religious views and were searching for religious freedom

Lee M said...

Ideas presented in this letter that relate to the reading in Chapter 4 are the witch trials held as mentioned in the reading and letter.

Two important ideas in the letter are the evidence of no tolerance of even slight suspicion of heretics and the earthquake in Jamaica and how they reacted to it.

This letter reveals that at the time, the United States was still very dependent on religion and very strict about it. An example of this is the Salem witch trials and," Our good God is working of miracles".

This relates to the other letters because it again shows a different view of religion in early colonies in the new world.

Claudia said...

The theme of the witch trials relates back to Chapter 4, when people were accused and executed under suspicion of witchcraft.


The executions of witches, social outcasts who people like Cotton Mather wanted an excuse to get rid of, are discussed in Unit 2. This important idea gives way to the use of God and religion in the colonies to persecute those who may or may not have gone against the Puritan beliefs; in this case, it was those who people like Cotton Mather genuinely believed were doing the work of the devil.


This document reveals that life in the United States was very dangerous for all of the colonists with people like Cotton Mather around. People who had not been mentioned at all in the witch trials came forth and "confessed" to witchcraft, thereby doing everything but signing their death warrants. His reaction to this:
"Our good God is working in miracles."
For a grown man to immediately implicate the people of his colony of witchcraft, and then to thank god for it, makes life in this period very unstable and unjust.


This letter is the adverse account to the previous two. John Winthrop wrote of the hard work and struggles they faced in the new colonies, and discusses his beliefs as though the rest of the colony shares them; he shows no intolerance whatsoever. Roger Williams, on the other hand, writes his letter because of intolerance: he is advocating religious freedom in the town of Providence, speaking out against people like Cotton Mather. This letter presents opposite side of the argument, a skewed vision of the colonies and of the unjust execution of the witches. Cotton Mather presents the intolerance that John Winthrop overlooks and that Roger Williams makes his life goal to abolish.

Kevin Saksa said...

1.This relates to the reading in chapter 4 because the accusations of witches. This started a whole chain of events that led to more discoveries of this version of "heresy". This was a serious crime and there was no tolerance for it.

2.This document shows that the churches were strongly against those who opposed their religion. They killed heretics just for believing in a different religion.

3.This relates to the other letters because the other two were from people seeking freedom from the Church and this is also about people who have different beliefs and views.