Student Research Projects

Disquieted Ladies and Language: The Influence and Transformation of Disorderly and Acceptable Speech during the 1692 Salem Witch Trials

Student Meagan Jones
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department History


This research focused on the impacts and alterations of unruly and acceptable language during the 1692 Salem witch trials. Using recorded court testimonies, I discovered the use of disorderly language and speech manipulations by accused women prior and during the trials often meant the difference between release and execution. Salem authorities also seemed to transform their expectations of acceptable speech throughout the questioning; previously satisfactory speech, such as devotions, were rejected, while disruptive speech, like vocal outbursts, were sought.


Phi Alpha Theta Virginia Regional History Conference, Feb 2009, Bridgewater, VA


Phi Alpha Theta Virginia Regional History Conference - Third Place, Undergraduate U.S. Presentations