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John Proctor's family emigrated from England to America in 1635, when he was 3 years old. They settled in Ipswich, Massachusetts, but later bought land and built a farm in Salem. According to "The New England Historical and Genealogical Register," Proctor was married twice and had 9 children. The Elizabeth Proctor in the play is the second wife, and she was spared execution because she was pregnant. The register also notes that some of their children were also imprisoned for suspicion of witchcraft, but were released.
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All of the characters in The Crucible are based on real people. Their exact background and characteristics may not exactly mirror the real person, but it is a close match. The real John Proctor was born in 1632. He died August 19, 1692 when he was hanged for witchcraft. He had 18 children by three different wives. In the play, The Crucible, he had two boys and one on the way.
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