Jersey Devil Legend

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The Jersey Devil, a devil-looking creature originating in New Jersey, or as Pinelands Alliance Preservation puts it, “...the Jersey Devil is described as a kangaroo-like creature with the face of a horse, the head of a dog, bat-like wings, horns and a tail” (1).The legend of the Jersey Devil is one with lots of controversy. Since the legend started in the 1700’s, many have wondered about it’s origin. However, to understand the origin, you have to know the full story. The legend starts with Mrs. Leeds. According to Jacob Leach, “How this monster came about is said to have occurred sometime in the 1700s with the Leeds family. The mother, simply known as Mother Leeds, had twelve children but upon realizing she was pregnant with her thirteenth…show more content…
There was still a lot of belief in witchcraft at this time. According to Grace-Ellen McCrann, “People in the 1700s still believed in witchcraft and many people of the period felt a deformed child was a child of the devil or that the deformity was a sign that the child had been cursed by God. It may be that indeed Mrs. Leeds gave birth to a child with a birth defect and given the superstitions of the period, the legend of the Jersey Devil was born” (McCrann, 1). According to Alex Boese, an article appeared in the Pennsylvania Gazette on October 22, 1730, “The story would have been remarkable if it were true, because in 1730, a witch trial had not occured in America for many decades...John Bach McMaster cited it as a satirical work by Benjamin Franklin” (Boese, 1). So, the witch trial was not real, it was a writing from Benjamin…show more content…
“His son Titan stood accused by Benjamin Franklin of being a ghost, and of having been resurrected from the grave. The family crest had winged dragons on it. In a time when thoughts of independence were being born, these issues made the Leeds family political and religious monsters. From all this over time the legend of the Leeds Devil was born” (Regal, 1). Basically, when Titan Leeds died Benjamin Franklin decided to mock the Leeds family by saying he was a ghost that was in the form of the Leed’s family crest. This is how the legend of the Jersey Devil also known as the Leeds Devil originated. The Jersey Devil is a legend with an extremely confusing origin, but with lots of research, I have determined what exactly the origin is. Benjamin Franklin and the Leeds family had a very long feud over their almanac publishings. When Titan Leeds died Benjamin Franklin essentially said he was resurrected as the Leeds Devil just to make fun of their family. Ben Franklin was not very

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