Anne Hutchinson is one of few women from the early colonial period that we are taught about in school, at least in the case of my education. Her unusual story has given her a special place in history, as it is one of both familiar themes and unthinkable details. Hutchinson has a special place within the context of American history, too, as she represents the rebellious spirit that has driven our nation since the Pilgrims and Jamestown settlers washed ashore in the 17th-century.
My job in creating this “Remember the Ladies…” project will be to interpret not only Anne Hutchinson’s life and the time in which she lived, but also her place in the story of the United States, and why she is still as relevant today as she was in the 1630s. Hutchinson’s stand against the overwhelming entity that was the Puritan church is timeless, and is luckily still taught in high school history lessons (again, in my experience). The fact that she is a woman is reason enough to delve into her story of disobedience, as no other woman in Puritan society from that time has left as large an impression as she has, apart from the fictional Hester Prynne from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter (1850).
Given that gender is the most important and interesting component of Hutchinson’s stand against the Puritan church’s unchanging divine beliefs, blog posts subsequent to this will interpret those relevant events through the lens of her position as a woman in 17th-century Boston, so soon after the unsteady founding of the religion-based colonies in that region. From her origins in England to her slaughter in the New Netherlands, I will do my best to honor Anne Hutchinson as I may, and hopefully add a new angle to how historians view this truly incredible woman.