A brave life ends in a colonial Bronx massacre

You could say Anne Hutchinson was the original tough Bronx chick.

Born in England, she, her husband, and their 15 children arrived in the fledgling colony of Massachusetts in 1634.

Hutchinson was a Puritan, and in Massachusetts, she expected to be able to practice her religion freely.

Problem was, feisty, intellectual Anne interpreted the bible her own way. Accused of being a heretic, she was put on trial and then banished from the colony in 1637.

She lived in Rhode Island until her husband died, then in 1643 moved to New Netherlands colony—specifically, today’s eastern Bronx.

That’s where this defender of religious freedom met a terrible end. Local Indians, long mistreated by the Dutch, had been fighting back in a standoff called Keift’s War.

In 1645, a group of Indians murdered Anne and her entire family—except for her daughter Susannah, who legend has it wiggled into the crevice of Pelham Bay Park’s Split Rock and hid out there, saving her life.

Split Rock (above) still stands in the park today. And the Bronx’s Hutchinson River Parkway is presumably named after Anne.

[Top image: Edward Austin Abbey's 1901 depiction of Anne Hutchinson's Massachusetts trial]

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3 Responses to “A brave life ends in a colonial Bronx massacre”

  1. focusoninfinity Says:

    What a fantastic story; but that’s a big crack; how could anyone miss seeing her in it?

    I think it was a kinsman of my Puritan ancestor Hatevil Hall, Hatevil Nutter; or it was Capt. Wm. Hilton, Jr., brother of my Edward Hilton, Sr.; anyway whomever? He had one or two Quaker women stripped to their waists, and their hands tied to the back of a cart, and towed to two or three villages, and had them publicly whipped or beat, for preaching the wrong religion. Here supposedly the Puritans came to America for it’s coveted religious freedom; and then denied religious freedom to those they disagreed with.

    I think it was the same man that in his wife’s divorce trial transcript, said he frequented “three-penny…” (ladies of loose virtues). I wondered why the specific mention of the presumably exact price? Then I remembered my last time in England (30+ years ago?), the English then still used the very big English penny and the “thrupence”. In diameter it was about the size of a U.S. penny, but three times as thick, like three-pennies stacked upon each other; and slightly, semi-octagon in shape. Unlike the big deep brown copper penny, the “thrupence” had a more bronze color. Thus the price for colonial purchased feminine favors was this one favorite, convenient coin. Ladies: the ‘thrupence’.

    The colonial price was right, and so was the coin.

  2. petey Says:

    kieft’s war was a piece of insanity.

  3. JJT Says:

    There’s a sign on the Hutch that mentions it was named after Anne Hutchinson.
    You can see it on the Wikipedia here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:HRP_Pelham.jpg

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