Gloucester VS Salem Monsters in America (interview with Scot

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Gloucester VS Salem Monsters in America (interview with Scot

Post by munsterspeek » Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:37 pm

I loved the last episode, and most of what Scott Poole said I have no disagreement about, but early in the conversation, he did conflate the very different societies in Gloucester and Salem, as if they were the same thing. I could see the average person doing that, but I was surprised where he had looked at this closely that he would not be aware of how often at odds they were on religious questions. Calling Gloucester a "Puritan Society" is sort of a hard sell for me.

Although they were all part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, "the posterity of the puritans" when referring to Gloucester is severely misleading. Actually, historically speaking while Salem and Boston were Puritan or Congregational, other areas of New England were not of the same persuasion. Gloucester was a fishing village, famous in Salem mostly for rowdiness, disorder, and tendency to ignore the conservative religious institutions in Salem and their prohibitions.

It's a little like confusing the "Pilgrims" with the "Puritans", when actually these two groups were at odds religiously and socially. It's nothing I would correct at a cocktail party, but as a matter of history it's a bit off.

You can say that Gloucester was initially settled by Englishmen, it's a bit counter factual to call the inhabitants of "Dog Town" and it's environs "Puritans". What I got from reading is the strong sense that Gloucester was a little hamlet run by Satan himself to very conservative Puritans. It features as their single biggest migraine in their minds when imagining the "new Jerusalem".