13 More Facts We Just Learned About American Wizards

Puritans and Salem Witch Trials and a magical Congress, oh my!

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Wednesday morning, J.K. Rowling released the second installment of her new writing (you can read about the first here) about magic in America on Pottermore. Here’s what we learned:

1. In the 17th century and beyond, European witches and wizards emigrated to America along with their No-Maj counterparts.

Pottermore / Via Twitter: @EW

Sometimes it was out of adventure, but mostly it was to escape persecution or the wizarding authorities. (Again, No-Maj is the American version of Muggle.)

2. The new witches and wizards tried to blend in with the No-Majs or hide among the existing Native American magical community.

Pottermore / Twitter: @EW

3. America was a harsher environment for the newcomers compared to Europe because there were unfamiliar magical plants, no established wandmakers, and only one wizarding school — Ilvermorny — but in its roughest early stages.

Pottermore

4. Conflict brewed between the European emigrants and the Native Americans, especially because the highly religious Puritans were intolerant of magic and often accused each other of “occult activity.”

Pottermore / Via Twitter: @EW

5. Because the American wizarding community lacked its own law enforcement agency at the time, a brutal group of wizarding mercernaries formed called the Scourers.

Warner Bros.

Consisting of wizards of many foreign nationalities, the Scourers hunted down criminals and anyone worth gold.

6. The Scourers grew increasingly feared and corrupt, used cruelty and torture, enjoyed bloodshed, trafficked their fellow witches and wizards, and sometimes passed off No-Majs as wizards to get rewards from other gullible No-Majs.

Warner Bros.

Sound familiar? Hmm.

7. At least two of the Puritan judges of the Salem Witch Trials were Scourers. The trials were a tragedy for the wizarding community, and some of the victims were real witches who were innocent of their accused crimes.

Pottermore / Via Twitter: @EW

8. The Salem Witch Trials led to many witches and wizards leaving America, or convinced others not to settle there.

Warner Bros.

As a result, there were fewer magical folk in North America compared to other continents.

9. Pure-bloods, who read the newspapers and knew what the Puritans and Scourers were up to, rarely came to America — so there was a much higher percentage of No-Maj-born witches and wizards there.

Warner Bros.

Accordingly, the pure-blood ideology wasn’t as popular in America as in Europe.

10. The Magical Congress of the United States of America was created in 1693, and pre-dates the No-Maj version.

Pottermore / Twitter: @EW

It’s known as MACUSA (pronounced Mah — cooz — ah), and created laws for the North American wizarding community.

11. MACUSA’s first act was to put the Scourers to trial, convicting and executing them for their crimes.

Warner Bros.

12. Some Scourers, however, vanished into the No-Maj community, marrying No-Majs and passing onto their children the belief that magic was real and witches and wizards should be exterminated.

Warner Bros.

13. North American No-Majs seem harder to fool about magic possibly because of the anti-magic beliefs of these Scourer families and their descendants, which has had repercussions for the government of the American wizarding community.

Warner Bros.

You can read J.K. Rowling’s new piece on Pottermore here.

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