Things to remember while reading the Examination of Rebecca Nurse

• Historians have concluded that long-standing boundary disputes between the Putnam family and other Salem villagers (see Chapter 4) played a major role in Nurse's arrest. Although her husband had not been an active member of the anti-Putnam group, he had had conflicts over land with Nathaniel Putnam, a relative of Thomas Putnam, who was the father of Ann Putnam, Jr., and himself a main force in the witch-hunts.

• Abigail Williams was a niece of Samuel Parris (see biography entry), an ally of the Putnams, she and lived in the Parris household, which was the center of witchcraft allegations.

• Nurse's own family, the Townes, had been bitter enemies of the Putnams; her sisters, Sarah Cloyce and Elizabeth Procter, were soon arrested as witches.

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