History of Magic in North America, Lesson 3: The 18th Century

Mar 10, 2016

Posted by: Catherine

J.K. Rowling, News, Pottermore

We all thought that the Salem Witch trials were bad (because they really were tragic), and the trials were what drove Wizards away from America, and more underground. However, as we discover in today’s background story from J.K. Rowling, the story gets a lot more complicated than than.

This morning, Pottermore released the third out of the four background writings about the Wizarding World in North America. Today’s writing focuses on the 18th century, in a piece titled “Rappaport’s Law.” Emily Rappaport was a president of MACUSA in the 1790’s. (Yes, another woman president!) She thought it best to totally segregate the magical and non-magical communities. Segregation happens quite a bit throughout American history.

It all began with a ignorance and a forbidden love all gone wrong. J.K. Rowling writes:


“The matter was that much more serious because the breach came from within MACUSA itself.

“In brief, the catastrophe involved the daughter of President Rappaport’s trusted Keeper of Treasure and Dragots (the Dragot is the American wizarding currency and the Keeper of Dragots, as the title implies, is roughly equivalent to the Secretary of the Treasury). Aristotle Twelvetrees was a competent man, but his daughter, Dorcus, was as dim as she was pretty

“One day, at a local picnic, Dorcus Twelvetrees became greatly enamoured of a handsome No-Maj called Bartholomew Barebone. Unbeknownst to Dorcus, Bartholomew was a Scourer descendant. Nobody in his family was magic, but his belief in magic was profound and unshakeable, as was his conviction that all witches and wizards were evil.

“Totally oblivious to the danger, Dorcus took Bartholomew’s polite interest in her ‘little tricks’ at face value. Led on by her beau’s artless questions, she confided the secret addresses of both MACUSA and Ilvermorny, along with information about the International Confederation of Wizards and all the ways in which these bodies sought to protect and conceal the wizarding community.”


Read more at Pottermore, here.

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