between act 1-2 of the crucible
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From the text:
His vindictive nature was demonstrated long before the witch-craft began. Another former Salem minister, George Burroughs, had had to borrow money to pay for his wife’s funeral, and, since the parish was remiss in his salary, he was soon bankrupt. Thomas and his brother John had Burroughs jailed for debts the man did not owe. The incident is important only in that Burroughs succeeded in becoming minister where Bayley, Thomas Putnam’s brother-in-law, had been rejected; the motif of resentment is clear here. Thomas Putnam felt that his own name and the honor of his family had been smirched by the village, and he meant to right matters however he could.
Another reason to believe him a deeply embittered man was his attempt to break his father’s will, which left a dispropor-tionate amount to a stepbrother. As with every other public cause in which he tried to force his way, he failed in this.
So it is not surprising to find that so many accusations against people are in the handwriting of Thomas Putnam, or that his name is so often found as a witness corroborating the super-natural testimony, or that his daughter led the crying-out at the most opportune junctures of the trials, especially when - But we’ll speak of that when we come to it.