Anne Hutchinson Versus Massachusetts


John Winthrop later described Anne as an “American Jezebel.” He could not have failed to think that like Ahab’s wicked wife, who had led another chosen people in the way of false worship, Mrs. Hutchinson had also met a violent end as part of God’s judgment. In any event, the trial and banishment of Anne Hutchinson were only the beginning of the Puritan theocracy’s repression of religious and social deviation. Her punishment was relatively mild, but it foreshadowed the fate of the unhappy “witches” who were to die by hanging in the hysteria that swept over the colony at the end of the seventeenth century; and it was to be another hundred years before true freedom of conscience would be tolerated in Massachusetts.