Today in History – September 18

Courtesy of our friends at History.com, I am pleased to begin each and every day of the week here at Bulldog Pundit with a snippet of some important event that occurred on this date sometime in the past. Some events might come readily to mind while others may take a bit of effort to recall. Not all are historically portentous and some may even seem whimsical. Nevertheless, each and every one is a grain in the hourglass of human history.

Anne Hutchinson, an Englishwoman who would become an outspoken religious thinker in the American colonies, arrives at the Massachusetts Bay Colony with her family.

She settled in Cambridge and began organizing meetings of Boston women in her home, leading them in discussions of recent sermons and religious issues. Soon ministers and magistrates began attending her sessions as well. Hutchinson preached that faith alone was sufficient for salvation, and therefore that individuals had no need for the church or church law. By 1637, her influence had become so great that she was brought to trial and found guilty of heresy against Puritan orthodoxy. Banished from Massachusetts, she led a group of 70 followers to Rhode IslandRoger Williams‘ colony based on religious freedom–and established a settlement on the island of Aquidneck.

After the death of her husband in 1642, she settled near present-day Pelham Bay, New York, on the Long Island Sound. In 1643, she and all but one of her children were massacred in an Indian attack. She is recognized as the first notable woman religious leader in the American colonies.

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