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Anne Marbury Hutchinson

HUTCHINSON, Anne (Marbury), religious teacher, born in Lincolnshire, England, about 1590; died near Stamford, Connecticut, in September, 1643. She was a daughter of the Reverend Francis Marbury, and descended from the Blunts, a distinguished family. About 1612 she married William Hutchinson, of Alford, Lincolnshire, a distant cousin of the celebrated Colonel John Hutchinson. Mary, a younger sister of William Hutchinson, married the Reverend John Wheelwright, a Lincolnshire preacher. In 1633 Mrs. Hutchinson's eldest son, Edward, accompanied the Reverend John Cotton to Massachusetts, and in the course of the next year he wits followed by his father and mother. Mrs. Hutchinson, says Winthrop, brought with her to Massachusetts "two dangerous errors: first, that the person of the Holy Ghost dwells in a justified person; second, that no sanctification can help to evidence to us our justification." To these opinions Mrs. Hutchinson attached so much importance that she held meetings in Boston and gave lectures expounding them. In this she was ably supported by her brother-in-law, Wheelwright, who came to Boston in 1636. She violently attacked the Massachusetts clergy, all except Wheelwright and Cotton, whom she declared to be "under a covenant of grace," while the rest were only "under a covenant of works." Great excitement was aroused by her preaching, and for a while Boston was divided into two hostile theological camps. Mrs. Hutchinson went far toward winning to her cause not only the powerful preacher, Cotton, but also the youthful and enthusiastic governor, Harry Vane. The doughty Captain Underhill was one of her converts. The agitation was fraught with danger to the infant colony. On the eve of the Pequot war a company of militia was found unwilling to march, because its chaplain was held to be "under a covenant of works." When things had come to such a pass, it was thought to be high time to put Mrs. Hutchinson down. She was tried for heresy and sedition, and banished from Massachusetts, along with Wheelwright and several others of her followers, who were known as "Antinomians." Wheelwright and others went northward and founded the towns of Exeter and Dover, in New Hampshire. Mrs. Hutchinson, with her husband and fifteen children, bought for forty fathoms of wampum the island of Aquidneck from the Narragansett Indians, and founded the town of Portsmouth, while Coddington, one of her followers, founded Newport. After the death of her husband in 1642, Mrs. Hutchinson left Rhode Island, and settled upon some land to the west of Stamford, supposed to be within the territory of the New Netherlands. There in the following year she was cruelly murdered by Indians, together with most of her children and servants, sixteen victims in all. Her child, Susanna, ten years old, was carried into captivity by the Indians, but four years afterward was ransomed, and in 1651 married John Cole, of Rhode Island.--Edward, eldest son of William and Anne Hutchinson, born in Alford, Lincolnshire, 28 Nay, 1613; died in Brookfield, Massachusetts, 2 August, 1675, left Boston in 1638, at the time of his mother's banishment, but returned some years afterward, and from 1658 till 1675 was deputy to the general court. He was a captain of militia, and in July, 1675, after the disastrous beginning of Philip's war, was sent to Brookfield to negotiate with the Nipmuck Indians. The treacherous savages appointed a place for a rendezvous, but lay in ambush for Hutchinson as he approached, and slew him, with several of his company.--Thomas, royal governor of Massachusetts, born in Boston, 9 September, 1711; died in Brompton, near London, 3 June, 1780, was a great-grandson of Captain Edward Hutchinson, just mentioned. His father, a merchant in high standing, and at one time quite wealthy, was for twenty-six years a member of the council of assistants. At five years of age Thomas was admitted to the North grammar school, and in 1727 he was graduated at Harvard. While in college he began carrying on a little trade by sending ventures in his father's vessels. He was not very attentive to his studies at college, but afterward acquired a thorough knowledge of Latin and French. From early childhood he took great delight in reading history. After leaving college he spent four years in his father's counting-house, and showed himself extremely methodical, exact. and business-like in his habits. On 16 May, 1734, he married Margaret Sanford, a beautiful girl of seventeen, with whom he lived happily until her death in 1753. He never married again. In 1737 he was chosen a selectman for the town of Boston, and about a month afterward was elected representative to the general court. The people were there greatly agitated over the question of paper money. Bills of credit had been issued since the beginning of the century, partly to meet the expenses of the French and Indian wars on the northern frontier. In all the New England states the depreciation of the paper wrought serious disturbante to trade, and then, as "always, ignorant people and tricksome demagogues sought a cure for the trouble in fresh issues of paper. Wildcat banking schemes were devised, two of which, the "silverscheme" and the "land bank," were especially prominent. (See ADAMS, SAMUEL.) Upon all financial questions Hutchinson had a remarkably clear head, and there was nothing of the demagogue about him. He would not falter with a question of public policy, orseek to hide his opinions in order to curry favor with the people He was a man of strong convictions and dauntless courage, and he opposed the paper-money scheme with untiring zeal. In spite of this, he was re-elected in 1738. Shortly afterward in town meeting a set of instructions were reported, enjoining it upon the representatives to vote for the further emission of paper. Hutchinson then and there exposed such instructions, argued against them as iniquitous, and flatly refused to observe them. There were cries of "Choose another representative, Mr. Moderator!" But this was too silly. Hutchinson opposed the instructions in the general court, and next year failed of a re-election. About this time Mr. Hutchinson was seized with typhoid fever. In 1740 the public confidence in his ability and integrity prevailed over the general dislike for his policy, and he was again chosen as representative. In this year there was an outburst of excitement in Boston, not unlike those that ushered in the Revolutionary war. The land bank and the silver scheme had both been put into operation in spite of the opposition of Governor Belcher, who had appealed to parliament for assistance. Parliament now declared the old " Joint Stock Companies Act," passed in 1720 after the South Sea bubble, to be of force in the colonies. Both the Massachusetts companies were thus abruptly compelled to wind up their affairs, and many of the partners were ruined, among them the elder Samuel Adams. The question as to the authority of parliament over the colonies, which had been discussed as long ago as 1644, was now warmly agitated. The friends of the land-bank loudly denounced the act of 1740 as a violation of the chartered rights of the colony, and the bitter feelings engendered by this quarrel must be set down among the causes of the American Revolution. Mr. Hutchinson's conduct at this time was eminently wise and patriotic. On theory he was a firm believer in the ultimate supremacy'of parliament over every part of the British empire; but he saw distinctly the foolishness of enlisting such a wholesome feeling as the love of self-government in behalf of such an institution as the land bank, and he accordingly advised Governor Belcher to bide his time and suppress it in some other way than by an appeal to parliament. This was the first but not the last time that trouble between England and the colonies was occasioned by disregard of Hutchinson's sagacious advice. In the autumn of 1740 Mr. Hutchinson visited England as commissioner for adjusting the boundary line between Massachusetts and New Hampshire. with regard to which some complaint had arisen. After his return in the following year he was again chosen representative, and annually thereafter until 1749. in 1746-'8 he was speaker of the house. By the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748, the stronghold of Louisburg', which New England troops had captured in 1745, was restored to France, in exchange for Madras in Hindostan. To appease the indignation of the New England people at this transfer, parliament voted that adequate compensation should be made for the expense of the capture of Louisburg. The sum due to Massachusetts in pursuance of this vote was £138,649, which was nearly equivalent to the total amount of paper circulating in the colony at its current valuation of one eleventh of its face value. To attempt to raise such a currency to par was hopeless. Hutchinson proposed that parliament should be asked to send over the money in Spanish dollars, which should be used to buy up and cancel the paper at eleven for one. Whatever paper remained after this summary process should be called in and redeemed by direct taxation, and any issue of paper currency in future was to be forbidden. "This rather caused a smile," says the diary, "few apprehending that he was in earnest; but upon his appearing very serious, out of deference to him as speaker, they appointed a committee." After a year of hard work, Hutchinson's bill was passed, amid the howls and curses of the people of Boston. "Such was the infatuation that it was common to hear men wish the ship with the silver on board might sink in her passage." They wanted no money but cheap paper money. At the election in 1749 Hutchinson was defeated by a great majority, but was immediately chosen a member of the council. People soon found, to their amazement, that a good hard dollar had much greater purchasing-power than a scrap of dirty paper worth scarcely more than nine cents; and it was further observed that, when paper was once out of the way, coin would remain in circulation. The revival of trade was so steady and so marked that the tide of popular feeling turned, and Hutchinson was as much praised as he had before been abused. His services at this time cannot be rated too highly. To his clear insight and determined courage it was largely due that Massachusetts was financially able to enter upon the Revolutionary war. In 1774 Massachusetts was entirely out of debt, and her prosperity contrasted strikingly with the poverty-stricken condition of Rhode Island, which persisted in its issues of paper currency. In 1749 Mr. Hutchinson was at the head of the commission that made peace with the Indians at Casco bay. He had formed an intention to retire from public business and live in scholarly seclusion at Milton, where he had built a fine house, which is still (1887) standing. But his plans were entirely changed in 1753 by the sudden death of his idolized wife, and he sought distraction in public affairs. He had some time before been appointed justice of common pleas for Suffolk county. In 1754 he was one of the commissioners at the famous Albany congress, where he was associated with Franklin on the committee for drawing up a plan of union for the thirteen colonies. Two years afterward, when Shirley was succeeded in the governorship of Massachusetts by Thomas Pownall, Mr. Hutchinson was appointed lieutenant-governor. In 1760 Pownall was succeeded by Francis Bernard, and soon afterward, on the death of Stephen Sewall, Mr. Hutchinson was appointed chief justice of Massachusetts, while still retaining the office of lieutenant-governor. During the following year he presided in the famous case of the writs of assistance, when James Otis made the speech that heralded the Revolution. The enforcement of the navigation acts was now making much trouble in Boston, and Governor Bernard became very unpopular through his zeal in promoting seizures for illicit trade, he having a share in the forfeitures There is no good evidence that Hutchinson was concerned in these affairs, but sundry depositions attested by him as chief justice were placed on file at the Plantation office in London, and there were seen by Briggs Hallowell, a Boston merchant. In these depositions, John Rowe and other merchants of Boston were named as smugglers. Reports of this came to Boston in the summer of 1765, just as the people were riotous over. the stamp-act. On the night of 26 August, Hutchinson's house at the North End was sacked by a drunken mob. The money, plate, and wearing apparel were carried off, the handsome furniture was shattered, and, worst of all, the valuable library, with its manuscripts and priceless documents, which Hutchinson had been thirty years in collecting, was almost completely destroyed. To the student of American history the damage was irreparable, as many of the lost manuscripts can never be replaced. In town meeting next day at Faneuil Hall the riot was emphatically condemned by the people. Several of the perpetrators of the outrage were arrested and sent to jail, but were rescued by a mob before the day of trial. Mr. Hutchinson ultimately received indemnification in the sum of £3,194 17s. 6d. As in most instances of mob violence the villainy of the assault upon the chief justice's house was fully equalled by its stupidity, for Hutchinson had done his best to dissuade the Grenville ministry from passing the obnoxious stamp-act. Here, as before, much trouble might have been avoided if his advice had been heeded In August, 1769, Governor Bernard returned to England, leaving Hutchinson, as lieutenant-governor, at the head of affairs. On the occasion of the so-called "Boston massacre," 5 March, 1770, he showed vigor and discretion, and but for his prompt arrest of Captain Preston and his men there would probably have been much bloodshed. In October, 1770, he was appointed governor of Massachusetts, and for the next two years his administration was comparatively quiet. In the summer of 1772 the excitement in Massachusetts again rose to fever heat over the royal order that the salaries of the judges should henceforth be paid by the crown. This measure, which struck directly at the independence of the judiciary, led Samuel Adams to the revolutionary step of organizing the famous committees of correspondence. In the following January, Hutchinson sent a message to the legislature, containing a very learned and masterly statement of the Tory position, which is well worth the study of historians. It was carefully and successfully answered by Samuel Adams In the spring Hutchinson met the governor of New York at Hartford, and adjusted the long-disputed boundary line between New York and Massachusetts to the entire satisfaction of the latter colony. On his return he was greeted with the furious excitement occasioned by the publication of the letters sent over from England by Franklin. (See FRANKLIN, BENJAMIN.) These letters created the impression that Hutchinson had advised, and was chiefly responsible for, the most odious measures of the ministry. The impression was incorrect and unjust to Hutchinson, but was natural enough at the time. It led to a petition from the general court that Hutchinson and the lieutenant-governor, Oliver, should be removed, and it was on the hearing of this petition before the privy council that Franklin was insulted by the rascally Wedderburn. The petition was refused. In June, 1774, Hutchinson was superseded by General Gage, and sailed for England, followed by the execrations of the people. His house at Milton, with all the rest of his property, was confiscated, and his best coach was next year carried over to Cambridge for the use of General Washington. The town of Hutchinson, in Worcester County, on its incorporation in 1774, dropped the name of the Tory governor and took instead that of Colonel Barr6, who defended the American cause in parliament. Mr. Hutchinson was received with distinguished favor by the king, who offered him a baronetcy, which he refused. He cared little for such honors or emoluments as England could give him. Although a Tory on principle, because he could see no alternative between anarchy and the universal supremacy of parliament, he was not the less animated by an intense love for New England. Until after Burgoyne's surrender, he cherished the hope of returning thither, and regarded his stay in the mother country as little better than exile. His diary of events then occurring has been recently published by his great-grandson, Peter Orlando Hutchinson, " Diary and Letters of Thomas Hutchinson" (2 vols., Boston, 1884-'6), and has done much to confirm historical students in the more favorable view that has recently been taken of his character and motives. For intellectual gifts and accomplishments, Hutchinson stood far above all the other colonial governors. His "History of Massachusetts Bay" (vols. i.-ii.. Boston, 1764-'7; vol. iii., London, 1828, posthumous) is a work of rare merit, alike for careful research, for philosophic acuteness, and for literary charm. For thorough grasp of the subject of finance, he stands nearly on a level with Hamilton and Gallatin. In 1809 John Adams said of him: " He understood the subject of coin and commerce better than any man I ever knew in this country." In his private life Mr. Hutchinson was genial and refined; in religion he was a strict Puritan, like his great antagonist, Samuel Adams, whom he resembled in purity, integrity, and unswerving devotion to principle. His life has never been properly written. The best accounts of its incidents are to be found in his own diary, and the most intelligent general view is presented in James K. Hosmer's "Samuel Adams" (Boston, 1885). The portrait on page 332 is from the painting by Copley, an excellent photograph of which is prefixed to the second volume of the "Diary."

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