In act one, Arthur Miller mentions that Thomas Putnam is a vindictive man, who resents the ruling faction in Salem that prevented his brother-in-law and selected candidate, James Bayley, from being elected as the town's spiritual leader. Thomas Putnam currently resents Reverend Parris for attaining the same position and is focused on moving him "toward the abyss." Thomas Putnam views the rumors of witchcraft surrounding the Parris household as his way of ruining Reverend Parris's reputation and eventually removing him from office. Unlike Rebecca Nurse and John Proctor, Thomas Putnam is quick to believe the rumors of witchcraft and does his best to connect them to Reverend Parris. In act one, Thomas Putnam is carefully constructing a way to benefit from the witchcraft hysteria and believes that he can successfully remove Reverend Parris from office. As the play progresses, Thomas Putnam uses the witch trials as a land grab and has his daughter falsely accuse innocent citizens of witchcraft so that he can purchase their forfeited land.