A number of the dead were indeed witches, though utterly innocent of the crimes for which they had been arrested.Others were merely No-Majs who had the misfortune to be caught up in the general hysteria and bloodlust.As time went on, the Scourers became increasingly corrupt.Far away from the jurisdiction of their native magical governments, many indulged a love of authority and cruelty unjustified by their mission.The Native American magical community and those of Europe and Africa had known about each other long before the immigration of European No-Majs in the seventeenth century.
Various modes of magical travel – brooms and Apparition among them – not to mention visions and premonitions, meant that even far-flung wizarding communities were in contact with each other from the Middle Ages onwards.
The Puritans were happy to accuse each other of occult activity on the slenderest evidence, and New World witches and wizards were right to be extremely wary of them.
The last, and probably the most dangerous problem encountered by wizards newly arrived in North America were the Scourers.
Back home, they had only to visit the local Apothecary to find the necessities for potions: here, they had to forage among unfamiliar magical plants.
There were no established wandmakers, and Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which would one day rank among the greatest magical establishments in the world, was at that time no more than a rough shack containing two teachers and two students.
As the wizarding community in America was small, scattered and secretive, it had as yet no law enforcement mechanism of its own.
This left a vacuum that was filled by an unscrupulous band of wizarding mercenaries of many foreign nationalities, who formed a much-feared and brutal taskforce committed to hunting down not only known criminals, but anyone who might be worth some gold.
Secondly, the actions of their fellow No-Majs made the non-magical population of most wizards’ homelands look lovable.
Not only had conflict developed between the immigrants and the Native American population, which struck a blow at the unity of the magical community, their religious beliefs made them deeply intolerant of any trace of magic.
As the Native American Animagi and potion-makers demonstrated, wandless magic can attain great complexity, but Charms and Transfiguration are very difficult without one.
As No-Maj Europeans began to emigrate to the New World, more witches and wizards of European origin also came to settle in America.