Salem Witch Trials Memorial

Designed by the architect/artist team of James Cutler and Maggie Smith, the Salem Witch Trials Memorial was made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and has won national critical acclaim. It was dedicated on August 5, 1992, by Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel. The Memorial is designed to be a place of respect and reflection.

Striking in its simplicity, the memorial, which is located on Charter Street behind the Peabody Essex Museum, is surrounded on three sides by a handcrafted granite dry wall. Inscribed in the stone threshold entering the memorial are the victims‰ protests of innocence. These protests are interrupted mid-sentence by the wall, symbolizing society‰’s indifference to oppression. Five locust trees, the last to flower and the first to lose their leaves, represent the stark injustice of the trials. At the rear of the memorial, visitors view the tombstones of the adjacent 17th-century Charter Street Burying Point, a reminder of all who stood in mute witness to the hysteria.

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