Thursday, March 22, 2012

This Day in History March 22, 1638

Since the summer before my junior year in high school, Anne Hutchinson has been one of my favorite people in American history.  I was privileged to read a book about Massachusetts Bay Colony, and she figured prominently into it.  I was so excited to discover that this day in history was a significant time in her life.  Even though it is a sad occasion, it is one that bears repeating.

Anne Hutchinson was an early American colonist, and she was a Puritan.  Her problem was that she was outspoken and didn't believe exactly like the church leaders wanted her to.  She had the audacity to challenge them.  Her "heresy" was advocating grace and faith in Christ being enough to save people.  Imagine--she actually believed what the Bible said!

Well, the Puritans believed that you had to work hard and could not even know if you were going to heaven or not.  There was a group called the "elect," and only God knew who was in that group.  So they didn't like what Hutchinson said.  So they put her on trial, and it was on this date in 1638 that she was kicked out of their colony.  She was pregnant at the time, and she had to leave with her family.  She met up with Roger Williams (another dissident from the colony) who had founded Rhode Island, the first colony that promoted religious liberty in this country.

I absolutely love this woman's story, and I always make it a point to tell students about her when I have the chance.  I got to tell about her a few weeks ago when I was subbing in a fifth grade class.  I find it ironic that the colonists came here because they were being persecuted for religious beliefs in their country, and then they came here and did the same thing to others!

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