Anne Hutchinson, 1591 - 1643

Anne Hutchinson was a New England Puritan, religious dissenter, poet, and woman of God whose integrity, sincerity, and piety provided an inspiration to New England Transcendentalists such as Caroline H. Dall.  Hutchinson's beliefs, including her favoring the primacy of grace over works in one's salvation and her opposition to the doctrine of predestination, caused trouble among the orthodox Puritan religious establishment.  She followed her inner light with such conviction and defended her views with such spiritual authority that a number of ministers became jealous of her power and feared her leadership.  The fact that she was a woman who refused to submit to the prescribed role of women in the colonial period--namely, that of having no will or mind of her own--clearly did not help matters.  In 1637 she was brought to trial at Newton, Massachusetts and found guilty of "being a woman not fit for our society."  Like Roger Williams, she was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony, another casualty to the inflexibility and arrogance that eventually led to the downfall of the Puritan church.