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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Woman Hanged for Having Clean Shoes

Longtime friends Philip Reyer and Steve Latham of Limestone County, Alabama, have a bond that goes back more than three hundred years. Both are descended from women convicted of witchcraft in Salem.

“Our grandmothers rode the same wagon to be executed, up to Gallows Hill, and now how many hundreds of years later we meet," said Latham.
Reyer, who has worked at Limestone County Archives for more than 20 years, was a descendent of Susannah North Martin, as well as Edward Bishop and Sarah Wildes Bishop. The Bishops escaped hanging. Martin was not as fortunate. She was known for being a strong and independent woman, Reyer said. She was also a stickler for cleanliness.

“Susannah was a very liberated woman. Very clean,” said Reyer. "On a rainy day, she visited her neighbor and had no mud on her shoes when she arrived. Then they thought she had to be a witch." [Link]

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