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Anne Hutchinson

            Summary of 5A: Anne Hutchinson stood trial alone, with no lawyer to defend her. She faced a panel of powerful and well-educated men. She was accused of trying to overthrow the government and she faced banishment if convicted. Hutchinson believed that people could communicate directly with God, without the help of ministers or the Bible. This challenged the established religion of Massachusetts Bay. Local ministers taught that people could only find God by following the teachings of the Bible and that only they could interpret the Bible correctly. Governor John Winthrop was the driving force behind Anne's banishment. Hutchinson, he said, held meetings that were "not tolerable" in the sight of God. In addition, she had stepped beyond the bounds of what was allowed for women. Winthrop had very strong feelings about the place of women, and he wielded enough power to do something about it when Hutchinson overstepped her bounds. Hutchinson's real crime was expressing religious beliefs that were different from the colony's rulers. In the year 1637, in Massachusetts Bay Colony, that was against the law--especially for a woman. In the end, the court ruled against her. She was banished from Massachusetts Bay Colony.
             Summary of 5B: Anne Hutchinson held meetings in her home and preached that one could achieve salvation through a direct intuition from God. Anne Hutchinson's meetings deeply divided the colony--and caused alarm among the colony's leaders. The powerful religious leaders and the Governor John Winthrop opposed her. They believed that women should obey men at all times, and that women should be forbidden to teach about religion. And they feared that if people followed Anne Hutchinson, the ministers would lose their influence over the people. The colony might even dissolve into a civil war. After she left Massachusetts Bay Colony, Anne Hutchinson lived out her years in exile, first on.

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