A detailed account of the life of Anne Hutchinson, focusing on her specific belief system and motivations, (i.e. having 15 children and like her mother becoming a midwife; her concerns for women’s health and her early exposure to the dissonance and religious theory of her father). She believed that one could not work themselves into God’s favor by leading an industrious life, or that that industrious pursuits specifically signaled a spiritual being. Hutchinson was more forward thinking than the religious leaders of the Bay Colony could tolerate, and they saw this as seditious and undermining the Colony’s governance. McLoughlin provides an in-depth analysis of several historians’ representations of Hutchinson, and the trend to cast her as a feminist heroine. He contends that while Anne Hutchinson’s outspoken independence did not align with 17th century Puritan ideals surrounding women’s proper place in society, feminism – that is, the equality of the sexes – does not appear to have been a part of her vision.
Seditious: Causing people to rebel against the authority of a state
List some of Anne Hutchinson’s beliefs. Why do you think these beliefs would make modern-day historians classify Hutchinson as “forward thinking?”
How did other people react to Hutchinson’s ideas?