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Anne Hutchinson Reconsidered

McLoughlin, William G. “Anne Hutchinson Reconsidered.” Rhode Island History. Vol. 49, February 1991.

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 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. Access the article here or below.


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?

Next to Roger Williams & the First Baptist Church