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Deliverance Dane

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"Why in the name of Deliverance Dane did you let that thing loose?"
-- Tina Goldstein on Newt's Niffler (WFT)

Definition

A reference by American witch Tina Goldstein in 1926 invoking the name of a woman accused of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials in 1693 (WFT).

Tina wondered “Why in the name of Deliverance Dane?” Newt Scamancer would allow his pet Niffler to roam free and pillage a bank vault for coins in New York City. Newt explained the creature was “incorrigible, you see, anything shiny, he’s all over the place” (WFT).

Commentary

Notes

Deliverance Dane was a real woman who lived in Andover, Massachusetts, in the 1600s. She was married to Nathaniel Dane, son of the Reverend Francis Dane who spoke out against the Salem Witch Trials. Deliverance was accused of witchcraft, along with Nathaniel Dane's two sisters. One sister, Abigal, only escaped execution because she was pregnant. (Source: Wikipedia)

Deliverance and her husband Nathaniel had eight children, several born during and after the Witch Trials. Although she confessed under pressure, she and several other women later petitioned to have their names cleared by the court.

From Women's History on About.com:

On January 2, the Rev. Francis Dane wrote to fellow ministers that, knowing the people of Andover where he served as senior minister, "I believe many innocent persons have been accused and imprisoned." He denounced the use of spectral evidence. A similar missive signed by 41 men and 12 women of Andover was sent to the Salem court.
... In 1693, Deliverance Dane appears again in the record. On February 20 Deliverance Dane gave birth to a baby girl also named (appropriately) Deliverance – the mother was to go on to have one more child about five years later.
And also in 1693, there is on file a petition by Nathaniel Dane, asking the sheriff, clerk and jail keeper for an accounting of the “prison fees and money and provision necessarily Expended” for his wife, Deliverance Dane, and his manservant (not named). In 1700, Deliverance’s niece Abigail Faulkner Jr. asked the Massachusetts General Court to reverse her conviction.

Legally, Deliverance Dane's name was never fully cleared. She died in 1735.

Author Katherine Howe wrote a novel called The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane about a Harvard graduate student uncovering secrets about the Salem Witch Trials.

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