Daniel Spofford is a notable figure in witchcraft history, because he was the very last person to be legally accused of practicing the craft in the United States. His case isn’t just notable for being the last of its kind in America, but also because of how recent it actually was. Furthermore, the setting of this notorious case is also of interest.
Lucretia Brown accused Daniel Spofford of practicing witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts in the year 1875 in a civil case that can only be described as a big messy can of worms. According to documents from what is called “The Second Salem Witch Trial,” Brown accused Spofford of using “mesmerization” in order to negatively impact her health, among other misfortunes in her life.
Ultimately, the case was dismissed, but it became known as the last actual witch trial in the United States.
Genealogy of Daniel Spofford
For being the subject of a famed “witch trial” in the late 1800s, Daniel Spofford is a hard man to trace. There happens to be a handful of men by the same men who lived in the 1700s — most of whom died many years before the 1875 witchcraft accusations. These men are clearly not our Daniel Spofford. He may have been a son (a junior) of one of these earlier Daniel Spoffords, but that can’t be confirmed at this time.
Further research into who Daniel H. Spofford was hasn’t returned much information. At this time, all that is known about this man is that he was a Christian Scientist who was brought up on accusations of witchcraft in a Salem courthouse in the 1870s. No marriage records are available in this name — during this era — to indicate that Spofford ever married or had children.