Do not confuse the true story of the Putnams in Salem with the story portrayed in Miller's 'Crucible'! Thomas Putnam, Jr. was born on January 12, 1651 in Salem, Massachusetts and died on May 24, 1699 in Salem, Massachusetts. He was involved in the Salem witch trials, and is a character in the play, The Crucible by Arthur Miller. He was the son of Lt. Thomas Putnam (1615-1686) and Ann Holyoke (1621-1665). He was also a nephew of Elizur Holyoke and great uncle of General Israel Putnam.
Thomas was the husband to Ann Carr, and father of Ann Putnam, Jr. Together they blame Goody Osbourn, the midwife of Salem, for killing the seven babies that Goody Putnam had many years ago. Not only do they blame her, but they blame many of the wealthier and well respected citizens of Salem during the time. Unfortunately, their accusations are not dismissed, but actually believed, because of the climate of fear and hysteria. In one of the most dramatic scenes in The Crucible, Giles Corey accuses Putnam of killing his neighbors for their land, so Danforth calls Putnam in to the court. Putnam denies the charge.
Minutes later Corey rushes at Putnam and tries to tear him limb from limb.
Putnam owns much of the land, and money. He is respective of the church, and is close to Reverend Parris. His brother is Deacon Edward Putnam. That does not stop him from subtly manipulating Parris. Putnam has often been viewed as unscrupulous and amoral, but his subtle machinations are often overlooked. He leads Parris by the nose to the conclusions he wants to hear, and faces down John Proctor, a man not lightly intimidated.
Putnam and his wife Ann act as a group in The Crucible, particularly in Act I, where they allow their fears and demands to override Parris' inherently weak personality.