Ann Putnam (October 18, 1679 – 1716), known as Ann Putnam, Jr., along with Elizabeth Parris, Mary Walcott, Mercy Lewis and Abigail Williams, was an important witness at the Salem Witch Trials of Massachusetts during the later portion of 17th century Colonial America. Born 1679 in Salem Village, Essex County, Massachusetts, she was the eldest child of Thomas (1652–1699) and Ann (née Carr) Putnam (1661–1699). She was friends with some of the girls who claimed to be afflicted by witchcraft and, in March 1692, proclaimed to be afflicted herself. These accusations resulted in the executions of a number of people.
In 1706, Ann Putnam publicly apologized for the part she had played in the witch trials.
I desire to be humbled before God for that sad and humbling providence that befell my father's family in the year about ninety-two; that I, then being in my childhood, should, by such a providence of God, be made an instrument for the accusing of several people for grievous crimes, whereby their lives was taken away from them, whom, now I have just grounds and good reason to believe they were innocent persons; and that it was a great delusion of Satan that deceived me in that sad time, whereby I justly fear I have been instrumental, with others, though ignorantly and unwittingly, to bring upon myself and this land the guilt of innocent blood; though, what was said or done by me against any person, I can truly and uprightly say, before God and man, I did it not out of any anger, malice, or ill will to any person, for I had no such thing against one of them; but what I did was ignorantly, being deluded by Satan.
And particularly, as I was a chief instrument of accusing Goodwife Nurse and her two sisters, I desire to lie in the dust, and to be humble for it, in that I was a cause, with others, of so sad a calamity to them and their families; for which cause I desire to lie in the dust, and earnestly beg forgiveness of God, and from all those unto whom I have given just cause of sorrow and offense, whose relations were taken away or accused.
The surviving victims of the witch trials, and the families of those who had been executed as a result of her accusations, accepted her apology and were reconciled with her.
When both her parents died in 1699, Putnam was left to raise her nine surviving siblings. She never married. She died in 1716 and is buried with her parents in an unmarked grave in Danvers, Massachusetts.
She was a first cousin once removed of Generals Israel and Rufus Putnam. In Arthur Miller's play The Crucible, her name is Ruth, to avoid confusion with her mother, Ann Putnam (Sr.)