I've always had a fascination with the Salem Witch Trials. I actually enjoyed learning about that part of history. Ancient Greece, not so much. As a kid we even went to Salem, Massachusetts, and visited all the historical sites. So cool!
Imagine my surprise when years later I realized I had married into a name associated with the witch trials. Okay. So, he wasn't really a good guy. But still.
Of course then when I started writing REACH, I had to add that historical element. Write what you're passionate about, right?
And it was really fun doing those chapters.
William Stoughton (July 7, 1631 – September 30, 1701) was in charge of what have come to be known as the Salem Witch Trials, first as the Chief Justice of the Special Court of Oyer and Terminer in 1692, and then as the Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Judicature in 1693. He ruled over the trials with the determination to eradicate all witches from Massachusetts Bay Colony - heavily influenced by his conservative religious convictions.
-excerpts taken from Wikipedia [link above] and Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project.