Thomas Putnam Quotes
In The Crucible, what does Thomas Putnam say about the land dispute between him and Giles Corey?
I need a quote of Thomas talking about the land dispute.
This part of the play occurs in Act III, when Giles Corey, Francis Nurse, John Proctor and a reluctant Mary Warren come to the court to try and put a stop to the madness that is going on. Giles Corey delivers a paper to Danforth stating that Putnam prompted his daughter to "cry witchery" on George Jacobs so that he could seize his land. Actually, throughout this entire scene, the only thing that Putnam says is "It is a lie", which Giles meets with customary vim and vigour by responding: "A fart on Thomas Putnam, that is what I say to that!"
Giles Corey goes on to unfold his case. He states:
If Jacobs hangs for a witch he forfeit up his property - that's law! And there is none but Putnam with the coin to buy so great a piece. This man is killing his neighbours for his land!
In addition, Giles Corey adds:
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.
Of course, it is his reluctance to give the court the name of his informer that gets him into trouble and leads eventually to his death. Thus, in response to your question, unfortunately Putnam only says four words, but what is tragic is that he doesn't need to say more - the rules of the court are stacked against Corey and Proctor and others like them, providing Putnam with the loopholes he needs to commit his evil crime of getting his daughter to cry witchery on others for personal gain.
The first instance concerning Thomas Putnam's comments regarding a land dispute occurs in act one. While Thomas Putnam, John Proctor, and Giles Corey are visiting Reverend Parris's home, the men begin to argue about Reverend Parris's decision to call Reverend Hale to investigate witchcraft. Before Proctor leaves Parris's home, he asks Giles Corey to follow along and help him drag some lumber home. Thomas Putnam then interrupts and asks Proctor where the lumber is located that he plans on hauling home. When Proctor says that it is from his land by the riverside, Thomas Putnam responds by saying,
Why, we are surely gone wild this year. What anarchy is this? That tract is in my bounds, it’s in my bounds, Mr. Proctor (Miller, 32).
When Proctor responds by saying that he purchased the land from Goody Nurse's husband five months ago, Putnam insists that all the land in between the river belonged to his grandfather, who happened to write it in his will. Proctor and Corey immediately dismiss Thomas Putnam's threats to "clap a writ" on them before they leave the Reverend's home.