It didn’t take long for our President to declare the appointment of a special counsel for the Russia inquiry “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history.” Historical literacy has never been for everyone. Even the ancients complained of ignorance about the past and inaccuracies on the page. The greatest witch hunt in American history, of course, occurred in 1692, not 2017. It’s worth revisiting, as it happens to offer a few lessons about name-calling, special prosecutors, and abuses of power. Strictly speaking, the Salem witch trials were less a hunt than a free-for-all. Beginning with three more or less usual suspects, they ended in a colony-wide epidemic. Fingers pointed in every direction as friends and families accused one another. By some counts as many as seven hundred witches flew about Massachusetts. A special court prosecuted the cases according to the law of the land. Nineteen innocent men and women hanged. Over several days, a twentieth would be crushed under stones, for contempt of court.