This article is about a woman tried for witchcraft and tested by ducking in water in 1706. We, the co-nominators, have put in a lot of effort, with help from many other editors, to get this former FA back to FA status. It has just completed a Peer Review. We look forward to your comments to make this article even better. PumpkinSkytalk 21:53, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
Just a comment as co-nominator. We've done quite a bit, and asked others to weigh in, to eliminate the problems with this article which are fairly well known. That being said, if there is residue, we'll deal with it. I believe the article is of sufficient quality to gain the community's consent to have the star restored.--Wehwalt (talk) 21:53, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
Checklinks: I put the article through Checklinks and a couple minor issues popped up:
The "Something From The Cellar" reference needs an access date.
It is my understanding books, even if web-accessible, do not require an accessdate. I see many FA's with google books links with no accessdate. If I am mistaken, this can be easily added. PumpkinSkytalk 12:20, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
My very humble opinion is that it may be unneeded for hardcopy, but everything eventually winds up in Google books, and so having it would make a future update a little easier. But I'm too involved with editing this to be a reviewer, so JMO and FWIW. --Montanabw
Definitely no access dates for Google books links; the source is the book. EricCorbett 19:19, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. I've cut that book accessdate (only one I found). If I missed one let me know. The two items mentioned on my talk page have also been taken care of. PumpkinSkytalk 19:53, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
I wasn't sure, but I'm glad we got that cleared up. :) - Neutralhomer • Talk • 03:30, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
"The Witch of Pungo: 300 Years After Her Conviction" reference from the Virginia Historical Society redirects back to the Society's main website.
Added the archive url for this. PumpkinSkytalk 12:20, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
The "Grace Sherwood Day at Ferry House Plantation" reference is coming up 404 and showing it has been dead since August 8.
Cut since it's just an ext link. PumpkinSkytalk 12:20, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
By the way, the practice on Google books is that it's OK to skip the accessdate but you have to be consistent, either have all of them or none of them. I'm indifferent.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:25, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
Important Note. PumpkinSky will be offline and unavailable for an undetermined amount of time. See: this notice. Thank you. — Ched : ? 21:20, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm still around and the FAC will be continuing as normal. Best wishes to PumpkinSky, obviously.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:03, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks to all for the concern and to Wehwalt for babysitting the FAC on Grace. For those interested, here's a Cliff's Notes version of what happened: User_talk:PumpkinSky#IMPORTANT. PumpkinSkytalk 13:25, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
Comments from Crisco 1492
Wehwalt had asked me to weigh in at the PR, but I was just flying back from HK and was exhausted. I'll try and help here though.
File:GraceSherwoodCloseB.jpg - Needs to fill in the low resolution parameter. Also, you need to indicate that it is the statue which is copyrighted and not the photograph itself.
Can do. Do I need to put a free tag for the photo? PumpkinSkytalk 13:08, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
Not particularly, no
I haven't done a low res parameter before that I can recall. Any tips? PumpkinSkytalk 18:10, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
OK, I've got the parameter and fair use is for the statue bit in there. Pls review. PumpkinSkytalk 21:40, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
Was in another source which is now a dead link. Should I put that link back in with a note? Will look around more. PumpkinSkytalk 13:08, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
Not necessarily the same link, but one that shows when this engraving was published. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 13:44, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
Found the original using the wayback machine, put the now dead link and the wayback archive link in the commons info. The archive page clearly has the dates at the end of the photo caption. PumpkinSkytalk 21:54, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
Okay, looks to be almost done. Let me just do a couple spot checks. Based on this revision.*That's the first batch of references. I'm getting a little ... — Crisco 1492 (talk) 08:55, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
First batch moved to talk page
If you don't mind, could you do a few that are not used so many times?--Wehwalt (talk) 09:19, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
For the next batch, no problem. I'd like to see these concerns taken care of first, however. As a note, however, usually when I spotcheck sources I go for the most-used ones first, simply because that will a) allow me to conserve bandwidth and b) often be a general indication of issues. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 09:23, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
OK, I've gotten through most of yours. I want PumpkinSky to look at 13k, the rest are either explained or dealt with.
Crisco and Wehwalt. Thanks for the thorough reviews. I can get to this later today and we will get through it. All the "not supported" ones are the results of copyediting moving refs around. Everything is in a good ref. I'll work that later too.PumpkinSkytalk 11:08, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Looks like 13k was taken care of and moved as closed to the talk page. PumpkinSkytalk 21:19, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Okay, it looks like all I have time for on this article. Leaning support, but as with Laser brain I'd like to have some further spotchecks from other editors. No matter how this turns out, I congratulate you both on bringing Sherwood back here and working to put the past behind us. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 23:44, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Support on prose and images. Good to have a quality article again. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 22:30, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
Thank so much for the thorough checks, just what we were looking for. That's 4 supports now. PumpkinSkytalk 22:36, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
Additional source spot-check by Laser brain
Ref 24 - I can't figure out what this is supposed to be supporting. Was there text about the lucky horseshoe that was removed at some point?
Within the article (I have the full PDF), it talks about how lucky horseshoes could keep witches away. It also talks about punishment, or lack thereof, of witches at that time. PumpkinSkytalk 22:41, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Ref 25, not OK
Article text: "Virginia's witchcraft fears were more often rooted in folklore than in theology"
Source text: "witchcraft beliefs in Virginia 'had more to do with folklore than theology'"
I think these are too close. Also, the thesis is actually quoting a different paper in this section, so your citation needs to reflect that (an entry needs to go in your Bibliography for the Davis paper, and then you have to make your citation something like "Davis 1973, as cited in Newman 2009, p. 37."
I'll do a tweak of ref 25, as I have deliberately not read any of the underlying material, just in case a close paraphrase concern arises. Montanabw(talk) 19:24, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Ref 26, OK
Ref 27a, OK
Ref 27b, OK
Ref 27c, OK
I would encourage further spot-checks to make sure all items are ironed out, especially since PumpkinSky indicated some refs have been moved. I accept that others may not share my definition of close paraphrasing, so I'll leave it to the nominators and other reviewers to determine if my note is actionable. --Laser brain(talk) 13:31, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Comments by Drmies
Well, it's a pretty article. I made a few tweaks here and there, but there's a few issues left for me. Mind you, I did not look at the references to see what they do and do not support.
I don't like, in the infobox, how the birthdate and possible location are run over three lines. Adding "in" might help, but it's still not pretty; maybe putting "most likely" after the place, in parentheses, is best.
It's going to be a minimum of two no matter what based on the coding. I've cut the word "most", does that help?--Wehwalt (talk) 09:32, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
The "Witchcraft and Virginia" section is a bit long (given that there is a main article), but the link with the subject is nicely done.
Thanks on behalf of both of us. I'm inclined to let it stand. I think it's necessary exposition.--Wehwalt (talk) 09:32, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
I have to agree with Wehwalt. 99.9% of the people have no idea how pervasive the fear of witchcraft was back in those days. The topic needs to be covered extremely well for people to understand what occurred better. I think it should stay too. PumpkinSkytalk 18:08, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
I concur with Wehwalt and Psky, and I did a fair bit of copyediting on that section. (Full disclosure: I also teach American History as an adjunct prof at a local college, and this cultural/regional history stuff is sort of "my" area) Given the much better-known Salem witchcraft hysteria in Massachusetts (where a significant number of people were executed for witchcraft), as well as the general cultural differences between Virginia and the New England colonies, I think the section is critical to understanding the rest of the story. The "main" article doesn't discuss Virginia at all, and is mostly focused on witchcraft in Europe in earlier times, so the material is not repeated elsewhere, and perhaps a bit too geographically limited to add to the main article. So I'd urge it to stay pretty much as is. Montanabw(talk) 20:33, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
My main problem, really, is the next three sections, "Initial accusations", "Ducking", "Aftermath". That is, as far as I'm concerned this whole thing should be one section with level-3 headings, and "Ducking" as a title is out of parallel with the other two titles (I really think it ought to be changed).
Done. I've done my best with the titles, if you have further suggestions there, feel free.--Wehwalt (talk) 09:32, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
Who is Nash? The person is talked about as if she was mentioned before.
She is, in "Family background".--Wehwalt (talk) 09:32, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
I see that now--but that's a lot of ground to cover for the eyes and the memory. Drmies (talk)
Fair enough. Tweaked.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:46, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
That's a lot of External links. "Coyote Run" gets top billing; do they deserve that? They're not mentioned in the article. The Carolshouse link, that does not strike me as in agreement with WP:EL (it's just a website with some pictures but no additional information, and it's not an RS). Same really with the White Moon link (unreliable personal meditation, maybe), and the World History Blog is nothing--well, it's a reposting, it seems, of the article by Batts that's already linked and used in reference 52. In fact, the other links strike me as redundant as well. I don't see the need for (more) pictures of the marker, rootsweb is not a reliable source and adds nothing that's not already in the article, and that the Girl Scouts cleaned the statue is not of encyclopedic relevance. In other words, scrap the entire section... Sorry, gotta run--baby is crying. Drmies (talk) 03:02, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
You're not screwing around, Wehwalt. Drmies (talk)
I rarely do anything with external links in my article improvements. It's not much to me if they stay or go.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:46, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
I did them alphabetically, not by a perceived importance. I also don't particularly care if the go away. PumpkinSkytalk 18:10, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
I see now why we're here. Well, as I said before, I didn't look at the sources (I know that I'm doing a half-ass job here), but I will try to do that in days to come. But let me note that one of the FA criteria, 1c, requires high-quality, representative sourcing. I read over Uncle G's comments at Wikipedia:Featured article review/Grace Sherwood/archive1, and while he's usually verbose he's also usually right. Anyway, my uncle makes some suggestions for scholarly sources, six of 'em, but only one is currently in the article. That suggests that it might not pass as not broad or properly researched enough. (Update: I'm browsing through JSTOR, which lists a number of articles not yet in here, but more importantly, the reviews lead me to recent scholarship such as this book, Witchcraft in Early North America (2010), with a sizable chunk on Sherwood.) In fact, I hope my uncle will come by to maybe do some article work. Drmies (talk) 03:41, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
Ah, good point. I've downloaded a couple of the JSTORs (forgive us, we had taken material from there but missed those). We'll revise and add hopefully some stuff today.--Wehwalt (talk) 09:53, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
Looking over the Games book you cite, there really isn't much on Sherwood. There are three references to her, and an appendix with an introductory paragraph, and then the primary source material people have been working from on Grace basically over the past 120 or so years. Plus the pardon by Kaine. Might be useful for further reading.--Wehwalt (talk) 09:59, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
Is it overkill to cite [www.jstor.org] for the 1656 trial? It cites the names of accused and accuser. Drmies (talk) 17:12, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
No harm in adding it as an additional resource, but I do think the name of the defendant unnecessary though I won't argue about it if someone things otherwise. I've got to go out now, but I'll add it as an additional reference at that point in the article if no one else has later.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:43, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
[Notes on scholarship and ducking--a bit rambling, I'm afraid.] I have some doubt about the manner in which she was bound during her ducking. The reference given is to Beach: A History of Virginia Beach, not the most academic of publications, and it cites (for the entire ducking passage) an article in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot (a 1949 article not cited in our article and seems to be inaccessible). Anyway, a review of Johnson, Witches and demons in history and folklore, criticizes that book for a picture of the (?) ducking of Sherwood in the fashion described in our article, "which shows a woman tied thumbs-to-toes (as recommended) dangling under water from a rope fastened under her arms. This drawing not only fails to convey the horror of the event, but shows a deplorable lack of research, since the victims of most public duckings were tied to a ducking stool." Or, what other sources are there that corroborate the rather weak History of Virginia Beach? (Speaking of unreliable sources, this is a review of a book which claims, apparently, that she was an African-American conjurer...)
Richard Beale Davis, "The Devil in Virginia in the Seventeenth Century", has a page or two on Sherwood; it's well-written stuff and really ought to be cited, in the Witchcraft section and in the Allegations. For instance, it comments that she must have been considered a nuisance, which is why in 1705/6 the circus started all over again. But more importantly, it contradicts our article in one or two points: our article says that the first jury searched the house and the second her body (or was ordered to); Davis says that a first jury was ordered to search her house, and a second to search both house and body, but that both refused. That strikes me as an important difference, and Davis's article is based on Burr--note that the section in our article is based on two much less reliable sources, Hume and Newman, the first a local book and the second an MA thesis. Whoever has Burr at hand needs to check this carefully.
Back to ducking, while Davis does not describe it, he has a telling footnote, "For a description of a ducking platform and stool, see Susie M. Ames, Studies of the Virginia Eastern Shore in the Seventeenth Century (Richmond, 1940), p. i9o; or E. M. Earle, Curious Punishments of Bygone Days (New York, 1896), pp. 18-20." [copied without formatting from the PDF] This clear suggestion that the expectation is that a ducking stool was involved led me to browse around a bit more, and I found plenty of instances: "sentenced to a seat in the famous ducking-stool" (cited here as well) and here, though this hit "infers" the opposite. To cut a long story short, while the evidence for either stool or rope (so to speak) is missing and all these sources seem to draw inferences (and again, I don't know what Burr says), we cannot state categorically that she was bound finger to toe, and thus the image needs qualification as well. Unless Burr or some other source gives positive evidence, both options (or none!) should be given equal treatment, and we should cite Davis and give his article the proper weight--that is, more weight than Hume and Newman. Phew, this is much longer than I foresaw. Drmies (talk) 17:49, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
Excellent observations, Drmies. Thanks to Wehwalt for starting on these comments. Real life precluded me from working on them til now and I'm working on what's left now. PumpkinSkytalk 18:22, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
A quick note on the ducking...in this ref you mention "sentenced to a seat in the famous ducking-stool", a few lines down, it says "a sentence never inflicted", referring to the ducking seat. Also see the photo of the site, very flat land, wide body of water. I agree that ducking by being tied to a stool was more common, but being thrown in for the "float test" did occur. In the 1893 W&M Quarterly ref, it says..."subjected to the water test--being cast into the river"...""she swimming therein and being bound contrary to custom""--this second part I have in double quotes becaused it's quoted in the ref itself. Davis quotes this same passage and says "the poor woman floated even though bound". IMHO this is clear evidence she was thrown into the river, it says "cast into" and she couldn't go swimming from a chair. PumpkinSkytalk 19:26, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
Davis and Burr notes...Burr gives much credit to the Edward James W&M Quarterly articles, which we already have in as refs. On the ducking, Burr says "assistance of boats (wouldn't need boats if she were dunked from a chair hanging over the river's edge)....put her in above a man's depth and try her how she swims therein (seems to refer to "float test")". I see Burr mentioning one jury refused, not clear on other one but Davis clearly says they refused.--I've changed the article. PumpkinSkytalk 19:44, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
Note on being African-American....We saw that somewhere and dismissed it. Good refs state her parents English and Scottish, yet very few Africans were in the UK at the time. The book review says the book is full of errors. The paragraph about Sherwood starts off "the book contains other questionable assertions...", listing Sherwood being African as one of the shaky claims. The Johnson book review you link to also criticizes it for "carelessness in editing and proofreading". I cannot support this African claim nor the chair claim. PumpkinSkytalk 20:45, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
I've added Cushing as a ref. PumpkinSkytalk 21:37, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
┌─────────────────────────┘ Thanks Pumpkin. So, let's get this straight: Burr doesn't say "ducking stool", so it is not likely that it was a ducking stool. Right? Let me make a suggestion (more work): devote a brief section to documentation. That is, if Burr's is the authoritative account on which all subsequent articles and books are based, then say so, and say something about what's in there--it looks like transcripts and commentary, no? (Are there reviews of his book that support some statements? I'll look around.) Then, in the account of the proceedings, lean on Burr for footnotes--don't lean on those really not so great sources (signaled above); after all, they're middle men. What I like to see in articles like this (where we have primary documentation) is what I saw in another witchy article, Pendle_witches#The_Wonderfull_Discoverie_of_Witches_in_the_Countie_of_Lancaster. Thanks, Drmies (talk) 22:54, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
To make a note on documentation--this says Burr reprints "several important accounts". This one I'd use: it talks of "masterly introduction", "classic", "edited by a master hand", etc., and mentions the reprint of the 1950s (our bibliography should mention that, besides his full names, George Lincoln). And here is a contemporary review: "Professor Burr's editing is all that could be desired. The notes are copious, accurate, and illuminating wherever light is needed". Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying we should have a section singing Burr's praises, but these reviews can be helpful in fleshing out a paragraph on the documentation that underlies the entire article. Drmies (talk) 23:07, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
As mentioned above, Burr isn't the first and he says he relied heavily on Edward James. Cushing is now used, which has transcripts of the legal records. Thanks for all the great pointers. We'll be working on this. PumpkinSkytalk 23:22, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
I did not find anything that talks in any great detail about the sources, so I've settled for a footnote. If there's more, we can move it into the body of the article. I am hesitant to express too much praise for Burr (even though he's dead 3/4 century), but did a bit of it.--Wehwalt (talk) 18:24, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
Drmies, those three refs certainly establish Burr as a preeminent scholar of witchcraft in America. Burr's book was from 1914; he mentions James by name, which we have from 1893-1894. He does not seem to mention Cushing (1833), from whom we have legal transcripts, by name, but he does mention transcripts of the proceedings, so he may well have known of Cushing's work. The three refs you found are almost totally about the Salem trials, which were in Massachusetts, not Virginia. Burr devotes 10 pages to Sherwood. Levermore just two lines, and Norton none. Therefore, I think it would be hard to have a whole section like the one you link to in Pendle witches, maybe a small paragraph. I am willing to give it a shot if you like, no problem at all. For now I've added Norton and Levermore to further reading. For the record Burr must have seen the original legal records (then 207 years old) as in a footnote to the intro section on Sherwood, he says "1 Though the old record book through which these entries are scattered is still in good condition, the passages relating to this interesting case are begin- ning to suffer from wear, and from the first four lines of the entry for July 5, which come at the bottom of a page, a few words have crumbled away, and are preserved only by the transcripts. In the margin of the entry for May 2 are the words "Ag* Grace Sherwood for witchcraft," and in that of the entry for June 6 the words " Bousch Att r for Queen vs. Sherwood". They would have been in better shape in Cushing's time, when they were only 127 years old. PumpkinSkytalk 21:59, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
He had to have known of Cushing's work. According to the reviews Drmies was kind enough to supply, Burr was a librarian at Cornell, having in his charge a significant reference library on this subject matter. He had to have had Cushing.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:55, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
I think my comments have been dealt with; I have no objection to an FA listing. Drmies (talk) 17:52, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
Comment: I was heavily involved in the recent peer review, during which time the article changed quite significantly. Some of those changes were instigated by me; I don't feel, though, that my involvement is sufficient to prevent me from supporting the article's promotion. However, I think it is appropriate to wait until the issues arising from Drmies's sourcing enquiries are settled before doing so. In the meantime, I have one minor question of wording in the first lead paragraph, which reads: "She was tried several times for witchcraft; at her final trial, in 1706, she was accused of bewitching Elizabeth Hill..." etc. It appears from the text, however, that although she was charged with witchcraft several times before her 1706 trial, these charges were not actually brought to trial. Her "final" trial was in fact her only trial. That being so, the wording should be changed. Brianboulton (talk) 21:49, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
Correct. Change made. Good catch! PumpkinSkytalk 21:59, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
Support: Now that the sources issues have been resolved, and my own minor issues (above) dealt with, I am happy to support this article's promotion. Brianboulton (talk) 21:13, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for all your great help on this and the support. PumpkinSkytalk 23:31, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
Yes, we are very appreciative, thank you. Given the history. ...--Wehwalt (talk) 23:45, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
Comments from Gerda
I am pleased with the way my suggestions were taken in the PR. A few minor points:
Infobox: how about mentioning "healer" and "midwife"?
Thank you very much. We will do the image comments, I need PumpkinSky to look at them.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:54, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. Did the photo bit. PumpkinSkytalk 23:27, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
More spotchecks Ok, I did a second (third?) round of spotchecks since it was requested. It looks to me like the citations are accurately paraphrased and represent the sources well. I checked references# 7, 11, 20, 31, 32 (in two locations), 42, 53, 54, and 58. I've included the text of the article's sources along with the article's text for reference on this review's talk page in case anyone wants to check my work. Mark Arsten (talk) 17:08, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
That looks like 50+ spot checks have been done by at least 4 reviewers. Good. We want people to be thorough here. Thanks to all invovled for their hard work on this. PumpkinSkytalk 17:44, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
Yes, thank you Crisco and thank everyone, we really appreciate your being willing to stick your necks out for us.--Wehwalt (talk) 23:24, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
Support Had the time to do a review of the old FAC, the old FARC and the current PR and FAC. I found a few issues with close paraphrasing, mainly off the USA Today source which I hope I have adjusted with some wording tweaks. Just ran Citation Bot and cleaned up a few issues with the cites, nothing of real issue. The main concern in the past was the issue with copyvio and close paraphrasing which now seem to be rectified. Automated peer review suggests watching out for weasel words, but I didn't spot anything that wasn't backed up. The article is neutral, comprehensive and follows summary style.--MONGO 22:14, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
Thank you much for your work with the article and review.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:17, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
Indeed! Thank you for this thorough and dedicated work, not to mention the support. That's 5 supports now. PumpkinSkytalk 22:19, 7 September 2013 (UTC)