In "The Crucible,"what accusation does Giles Corey make about Thomas Putnam?
Giles Corey comes to court in ACT III to file a deposition that Thomas Putnam is essentially encouraging his daughter to accuse people of witchcraft so that he can claim their land. When someone is tried and convicted of witchcraft, their land goes up for auction and can be purchased at an extremely reduced rate; therefore, if Putnam wanted someone's land, Giles Corey's claim is that he asks his daughter to accuse that person of witchcraft so that he can eventually buy their land:
Giles: My proof is there!
Pointing to the paper. If Jacobs hangs for a witch he forfeit up his property - that’s law! And there is none but Putnam with the; cointo buy so great a piece. This man is killing his neighbors for their land!
Danforth: But proof, sir, proof.
Giles,pointing at his deposition: The proof is there! I have it from an honest man who heard Putnam say it! The day his daughter cried out on Jacobs, he said she’d given him a fair gift of land.
Another important development here is that Giles refuses to reveal the name of the man who told him this information, because he hears that people who have signed the first deposition are being taken into custody. Giles refuses to damn another person to hang, and he is eventually pressed to death because he won't cooperate with questioning. Because he says nothing when asked if he is guilty of witchcraft, his sons are able to inherit his land and his property is not auctioned.
Giles Corey accuses Thomas Putnam of being an opportunist of the worst kind, attempting to benefit from the witch-trials by putting himself in a position to purchase the land of those individuals condemned to hang.
"Giles Corey accuses him of taking advantage of accused landowners' plights. Knowing that the convicted will be forced to sell their land for much less than it is worth, Putnam is all too eager to attain these properties at cut-rate prices."
"He has many grievances, and his vengeful, angry behavior seems to stem from his desire for power and possessions."
There are already disputes over land rights swirling around the town, so Corey just points out how Putnam is ready to add to his holdings.