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Notable Women In Faith: Past & Present

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Anne Hutchinson

ANNE HUTCHINSON

A spiritual advisor and religious reformer, Anne Hutchinson was an important voice in helping to shape the establishment of the church movement as the Puritans and Anglicans arrived in New England from England.  Hutchinson, who was a prominent voice and speaker, held meetings and hosted large groups in her home, advocating God’s covenant of grace over works.  This created what was hugely known as the Antinomian Controversy.  Hutchinson claimed to possess direct revelations from God and prophesied ruin upon the new English colony.  She was charged with contempt and sedition, and banished from the colony.

The bold and resilient Anne Hutchinson remained steadfast even after her excommunication from the church, which at the times was directly linked to the colony.  She left and settled in Rhode Island, and eventually continued her journey to New Netherland (the North Bronx), where she presumably bought land and hired a builder to build a house for her family.

Unaware of the tension between the colonial settlers and the Indians, and moving on the strength of her favorable relationship with the Indians in Rhode Island, the Hutchinsons (a family of about 16) began to settle in but soon thereafter they were killed by the Indians in one clean sweep during a series of battles with the Dutch settlers called the Kieft’s War.

“She was a woman of ready wit and bold spirit.  Her ordinary talk was about the things of the kingdom of God, and her usual conversation was in the ways of righteousness and kindness,” said John Winthrop, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

The Hutchinson River and the Hutchinson River Parkway were named in her honor.

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