Bridget Bishop was a brash and independent woman. She spoke freely, even with her male neighbors. She dressed a little flashily for the time and played shuffleboard. She had two taverns and three husbands. And she was the first person executed for witchcraft during the Salem witch trials.
While Bridget Bishop’s role in history wasn’t as significant as Martha Washington or Abigail Adams, her life had an impact on those who would come after her, for better or for worse. As the first person executed during the Salem trials, Bridget set the precedent for what people could be accused of and executed for. Was the neighbor woman a scold? Witch. Did she dress promiscuously? Witch. Was she independent of men? Witch.
While most of the people of that time would’ve seen Bridget as the prime example of a woman in need of punishment, people today look at Bridget and see a brave, strong, unfortunate woman that should be honored. What happened to her was definitely a tragedy, but I think people visiting her grave and telling her story and honoring her memory is a wonderful step in the healing direction. Truly, her spirit hasn’t died at all.
Over the course of this assignment, I became well acquainted with Bridget. I hope that we can all learn from her life and be true to ourselves and be brave in the face of adversity. Someone will always see our tragedies as stories of hope.