The authoritative cultural history of Virginia’s most famous accused witch

In 1706, Grace Sherwood was “ducked” after her neighbors in Princess Anne County accused her of witchcraft. Binding and throwing her into the Lynnhaven River, they waited to see whether she would float to the top (evidence of her guilt) or sink (proof of her innocence). Incredibly, she survived. This bizarre spectacle became an early piece of Virginia folklore as stories about Sherwood, the “Witch of Pungo,” spread. Her legend still looms large in Tidewater. In 2006, Governor Tim Kaine even issued an informal pardon of Sherwood, read aloud by the mayor of Virginia Beach before the annual reenactment of Sherwood’s ducking.

This is the first book to explore Grace Sherwood’s life and cultural impact in depth. Anyone interested in colonial Virginia, American folklore, and the history and legacy of witch trials will find much to enjoy in this spellbinding book.
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