Grace Sherwood (c. 1660 – c. 1740), called the Witch of Pungo, is the last person known to have been convicted of witchcraft in Virginia. A farmer, healer, and midwife, she was charged with witchcraft several times. In 1706, she was accused of bewitching Elizabeth Hill and causing her to miscarry. The court ordered that Sherwood’s guilt or innocence be determined by dunking her in water: if she sank, she was innocent; if she did not, she was guilty. Sherwood floated to the surface, and may have spent up to eight years in jail before being released. After being freed from prison and recovering her property from Princess Anne County, she lived on her farm in Pungo from 1714 until her death at the age of about 80. On July 10, 2006, the 300th anniversary of Sherwood’s conviction, Governor Tim Kaine reversed the miscarriage of justice and restored her good name. A statue depicting her was erected in Virginia Beach, close to the site of the colonial courthouse where she was tried.
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