J.K. Rowling released the second entry in The History of Magic In North America web series, this time covering the immigration of European settlers up through the Salem Witch Trials.
Read it now!
Now, let’s talk about what we learned from the latest installment:
1) Many immigrants with magic were friendly with Native populations.
Unlike many of the non-magical settlers in America who relentlessly warred with the Native populations, witches and wizards were able to bond with the Native Americans because they knew and (at least partially) accepted magic in a way that immigrants from Europe, particularly the Puritans, did not.
2) Perhaps the first slave traders in America were wizards known as Scourers.
With no clear laws or law enforcement in America, a band of wizard mercenaries known as Scourers rose up. Longing for a sense of power, they were down for just about any devious deed so long as they were paid. Perhaps the most prominent was the kidnapping and sale of other witches and wizards for a mighty profit. Of course, they made life particularly difficult for honest wizards who just wished to start over somewhere new.
3) The Salem Witch Trials led to an increase in No-Maj born witches and wizards in America and less Pureblood fanaticism.
Many of the victims of the Salem Witch Trials were indeed magical thanks to the involvement of Scourers in the persecution, though Rowling notes that plenty of unfortunate No-Maj were caught in the mix. Because of this, wizards and witches started to flee from the Americas or change their minds about emigrating. And because of the natural propensity of magic to distribute itself evenly discussed in the last entry, that meant more witches and wizards born to No-Maj parents. Thanks to this occurrence, America did not have the same Pureblood fanaticism issues that plagued Europe straight through to Harry Potter’s era. Almost everyone in America could trace their roots back to non-magical peoples, after all!
4) The Magical Congress of the United States of America formed long before the No-Maj Americans got their government together.
The Magical Congress of the United States of America or MACUSA, as it’s abbreviated, came together just after the Salem Witch Trials in 1693, long before the No-Majs of America made moves to form their own policies and government. Once again, wizards progressed just a wee bit faster than everyone else!
5) Law and punishment against Scourers lead to No-Maj biases against magic.
MACUSA’s first order of business was putting Scourers on trial. However, many escaped by marrying into No-Maj families, hiding their powers, and most horrifically, destroying any kin that displayed magical ability. These Scourers in hiding preached that magic was real and the true source of evil in the world with such vehemence that the sentiment stuck in the families throughout the generations. Here’s looking at you, Laura Mallory!
Rowling will released two more installments tomorrow and Friday to give fans a better understanding of North American magic before Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which is set in 1920s New York, hits theaters on November 18, 2016.
In case you missed it, check out 5 things we learned from Rowling’s first installment on Native American magic!