Anne Bradstreet and her time/Chapter VI

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a theological tragedy.

IT was perhaps Anne Bradstreet's youth, and a sense that she could hardly criticise a judgment which had required the united forces of every church in the Colony to pronounce, that made her ignore one of the most stormy experiences of those early days, the trial and banishment of Anne Hutchinson. Her silence is the more singular, because the conflict was a purely spiritual one, and thus in her eyes deserving of record. There can be no doubt that the effect on her own spiritual and mental life must have been intense and abiding. No children had as yet come to absorb her thoughts and energies, and the events which shook the Colony to the very center could not fail to leave an ineffaceable impression. No story of personal experience is more confounding to the modern reader, and none holds a truer picture of the time. Governor Dudley and Simon Bradstreet were both concerned in the whole course of the matter, which must have been discussed at home from day to day, and thus there is every reason for giving it full place in these pages as one of the formative forces in Anne Bradstreet's life; an inspiration and then a warning. There are hints that Anne resented the limitations that hedged her in, and had small love of the mutual criticism, which made the corner stone of Puritan life. That she cared to write had already excited the wonder of her neighbors and Anne stoutly asserted her right to speak freely whatever it seemed good to say, taking her stand afterwards given in the Prologue to the first edition of her poems, in which she wrote:

"I am obnoxious to each carping tongue
Who says my hand a needle better fits,
A Poet's pen all scorn I should thus wrong,
For such despite they cast on Female wits;
If what I do prove well, it won't advance,
They'l say it's stol'n, or else it was by chance.

"But sure the antique Greeks were far more mild,
Else of our Sexe, why feigned they those Nine
And poesy made Callippi's own Child;
So 'mongst the rest they placed the Arts Divine,
But this weak knot they will full soon untie,
The Greeks did nought but play the fools and lye."

This has a determined ring which she hastens to neutralize by a tribute and an appeal; the one to man's superior force, the other to his sense of justice.

"Let Greeks be Greeks, and women what they are,
Men have precedency and still excell,
It is but vain unjustly to wage warrs;
Men can do best and women know it well,
Preheminence in all and each is yours;
Yet grant some small acknowledgement of ours."

Plain speaking was a Dudley characteristic, but the fate of Anne Hutchinson silenced all save a few determined spirits, willing to face the same consequences. In the beginning, however, there could have been only welcome for a woman, whose spiritual gifts and unusual powers had made her the friend of John Cotton, and who fascinated men and woman alike. There was reason, for birth and training meant every gift a woman of that day was likely to possess. Her father, Thomas Marbury, was one of the Puritan ministers of Lincolnshire who afterward removed to London; her mother, a sister of Sir Erasmus Dryden. She was thus related in the collateral line to two of the greatest of English intellects. Free thinking and plain speaking were family characteristics, for John Dryden the poet, her second cousin, was reproached with having been an Anabaptist in his youth, and Johnathan Swift, a more distant connection, feared nothing in heaven or earth. It is no wonder, then, that even an enemy wrote of her as "the masterpiece of women's wit," or that her husband followed her lead with a devotion that never swerved. She had married him at Alford in Lincolnshire, and both were members of Mr. Cotton's congregation at Boston.

Mr. Hutchinson's standing among his Puritan contemporaries was of the highest. He had considerable fortune, and the gentlest and most amiable of dispositions. The name seems to have meant all good gifts, for the same devoted and tender relation existed between this pair as between Colonel Hutchinson and his wife. From the quiet and happy beginning of their married life to its most tragic ending, they clung together, accepting all loss as part of the cross they had taken up, when they left the ease of Lincolnshire behind, and sought in exile the freedom which intolerance denied.

It is very probable that Anne Hutchinson may have known the Dudley family after their return to Lincolnshire, and certainly in the first flush of her New England experiences was likely to have had intimate relations with them. Her opinions, so far as one can disentangle them from the mass of testimony and discussion, seem to have been in great degree, those held by the early Quakers, but they had either not fully developed in her own mind before she left England, or had not been pronounced enough to attract attention. In any case the weariness of the long voyage seems to have been in part responsible for much that followed. Endless discussions of religious subtleties were their chief occupation on board, and one of the company, the Rev. Mr. Symmes, a dogmatic and overbearing man, found himself often worsted by the quick wit of this woman, who silenced all objections, and who, with no conception of the rooted enmity she was exciting, told with the utmost freedom, past and present speculations and experiences. The long fasts, and continuous religious exercises, worked upon her enthusiast's temper, and excited by every circumstance of time and place, it is small wonder that she supposed a direct revelation had come to her, the nature of which Winthrop mentions in his History.

"One Mrs. Hutchinson, a member of the church of Boston, a woman of a ready wit and bold spirit, brought over with her two dangerous errours:

  1. That the person of the Holy Ghost dwells in a justified person.
  2. That no sanctification can help to evidence to us our justification. From these two, grew many branches; as, 1st, Our union with the Holy Ghost, so as a Christian remains dead to every spiritual action, and hath no gifts nor graces, other than such as are in hypocrites, nor any other sanctification but the Holy Ghost himself. There joined with her in these opinions a brother of hers, one Mr. Wheelwright, a silenced minister sometime in England."

Obnoxious as these doctrines came to be, she had been in New England two years before they excited special attention. Her husband served in the General Court several elections as representative for Boston, until he was excused at the desire of the church, and she herself found constant occupation in a round of kindly deeds. She denied the power of works as any help toward justification, but no woman in the Colony, gave more practical testimony of her faith or made herself more beloved. Though she had little children to care for, she found time to visit and nurse the sick, having special skill in all disorders of women. Her presence of mind, her warm sympathy and extraordinary patience made her longed for at every sick bed, and she very soon acquired the strongest influence. Dudley had made careful inquiries as to her religious standing, and must have been for the time at least, satisfied, and unusual attention was paid her by all the colonists; the most influential among them being her chief friends. Coddington, who had built the first brick house in Boston, received them warmly. Her public teaching began quietly, her ministrations by sick beds attracting many, and it is doubtful if she herself realized in the least the extent of her influence.

Governor Vane, young and ardent, the temporary idol of the Colonv, who had taken the place Governor Winthrop would have naturally filled, visited her and soon became one of her most enthusiastic supporters. Just and unprejudiced as Winthrop was, this summary setting aside by a people for whom he had sacrificed himself steadily, filled him with indignation, though the record in his Journal is quiet and dignified. But naturally, it made him a sterner judge, when the time for judgment came. In the beginning, however, her work seemed simply for good. It had been the custom for the men of the Boston church to meet together on Thursday afternoons, to go over the sermon of the preceding Sunday, of which notes had been taken by every member. No women were admitted, and believing that the same course was equally desirable for her own sex, Anne Hutchinson appointed two days in the week for this purpose, and at last drew about her nearly a hundred of the principal women of the Colony. Her lovely character and spotless life, gave immense power to her words, and her teaching at first was purely practical. We can imagine Anne Bradstreet's delight in the tender and searching power of this woman, who understood intuitively every womanly need, and whose sympathy was as unfailing as her knowledge. Even for that time her Scriptural knowledge was almost phenomenal, and it is probable that, added to this, there was an unacknowledged satisfaction in an assembly from which men were excluded, though many sought admission. Mrs. Hutchinson was obliged at last to admit the crowd who believed her gifts almost divine, but refused to teach, calling upon the ministers to do this, and confining herself simply to conversation. But Boston at last seemed to have gone over wholly to her views, while churches at other points opposed them fiercely. Up to this time there had been no attempt to define the character of the Holy Ghost, but now a powerful opposition to her theory arose, and furious discussions were held in meetings and out. The very children caught the current phrases, and jeered one another as believers in the "Covenant of Grace," or the "Covenant of Works," and the year 1636 came and passed with the Colony at swords points with one another. Every difficulty was aggravated by Vane, whose youth and inexperience made it impossible for him to understand the temper of the people he ruled. The rise of differences had been so gradual that no one suspected what mischief might come till the results suddenly disclosed themselves. That vagaries and eccentricities were to be expected, never entered the minds of this people, who accepted their own departure from authority and ancient ordinances as just and right, but could never conceive that others might be justified in acting on the same principle.

To understand even in slight degree the conflict which followed, one must remember at every turn, that no interests save religious interests were of even momentary importance. Every member of the Colony had hard, laborious work to do, but it was hurried through with the utmost speed, in order to have time for the almost daily lectures and expoundings that made their delight. Certain more worldly minded among them had petitioned for a shortening of these services, but were solemnly reproved, and threatened with the "Judgment of God on their frowardness."

With minds perpetually concentrated on subtle interpretations, agreement was impossible. Natural life, denied and set aside at every point, gave place to the unnatural, and every colonist was, quite unconsciously, in a state of constant nervous tension and irritability. The questions that to us seem of even startling triviality, were discussed with a fervor and earnestness it is well nigh impossible to comprehend. They were a slight advance on the scholastic disputations of the preceding century, but they meant disagreement and heart-burnings, and the more intolerant determined on stamping out all variations from their own convictions.

Any capacity for seeking to carry out Robinson's injunction in his final sermon at Leyden seems to have died once for all, in the war of words. "I beseech you," he had said, "remember that it is an article of your church covenant, that you be ready to receive whatever truth shall be made known to you from the written word of God." There was small remnant of this spirit even among the most liberal.

Dudley was one of the chief movers in the course resolved upon, and mourned over Cotton, who still held to Anne Hutchinson, and wrote and spoke of her as one who "was well beloved, and all the faithful embraced her conference, and blessed God for her fruitful discourses."

Mr. Welde, on the contrary, one of her fiercest opponents, described her as "a woman of haughty and fierce carriage, of a nimble wit and active spirit, and a very voluble tongue, more bold than a man, though in understanding and judgment inferior to many women."

How far the object of all this confusion realized the real state of things cannot be determined. But by January, 1637, dissension had reached such a height that a fast was appointed for the Pequot war and the religious difficulties. The clergy had become her bitterest enemies, and with some reason, for through her means many of their congregations had turned against them. Mr. Wilson, once the most popular minister in Boston, had been superseded by her brother, Mr. Wheelwright, and Boston began the heretical career which has been her portion from that day to this.

Active measures were necessary. The General Court was still governed by the clergy, and by March had settled upon its future course, and summoned Wheelwright, who was censured and found guilty of sedition. Governor Vane opposed the verdict bitterly. The chief citizens of Boston sent in a "Remonstrance," and actual anarchy seemed before them. The next Court was held at Newtown to avoid the danger of violence at Boston, and a disorderly election took place in which the Puritan Fathers came to blows, set down by Winthrop as "a laying on of hands."

The grave and reverend Wilson, excited beyond all considerations of Puritanical propriety, climbed a tree, and made a vigorous speech to the throng of people, in which many malcontents were at work urging on an opposition that proved fruitless. Vane was defeated and Winthrop again made governor, his calm forbearance being the chief safety of the divided and unhappy colonists, who resented what they settled to be tyranny, and cast about for some means of redress. None was to be had. Exile, imprisonment and even death, awaited the most eminent citizens; Winthrop's entry into Boston was met by gloomy silence, and for it all, Welde and Symmes protested Anne Hutchinson to be responsible, and denounced her as a heretic and a witch.

She in the meantime seems to have been in a state of religious exaltation which made her blind and deaf to all danger. Her meetings continued, and she in turn denounced her opponents and believed that some revelation would be given to show the justice of her claims. There was real danger at last. If the full story of these dissensions were told in England, possession of charter, which had already been threatened, might be lost entirely. Dudley was worked up to the highest pitch of apprehension, believing that if the dissension went on, there might even be a repetition of the horrors of Munster. Divided as they were, concerted action against enemies, whether Indian or foreign, could not be expected. There was danger of a general league of the New England Indians, and "when a force was ordered to take the field for the salvation of the settlements, the Boston men refused to be mustered because they suspected the chaplain, who had been designated by lot to accompany the expedition, of being under a covenant of works."

Such a state of things, if known in full at home, would shut off all emigration. That men of character and means should join them was an essential to the continued life of the Colony. Setting aside any question of their own personal convictions, their leaders saw that the continuance among them of these disturbing elements meant destruction, and Winthrop, mild and reasonable as he sought to be, wrote: "He would give them one reason, which was a ground for his judgment, and that was, for that he saw that those brethren, etc., were so divided from the rest of the country in their judgment and practice, as it could not stand with the public peace, that they should continue amongst us. So by the example of Lot in Abraham's family, and after Hagar and Ishmael, he saw they must be sent away."

With August came the famous Synod of Cambridge, the first ever held in New England, in which the Church set about defining its own position and denouncing the Hutchinsonians. Eighty-two heresies were decided to have arisen, all of which were condemned, and this being settled, Cotton was admonished, and escaped exile only by meekly explaining away his errors. Wheelwright, refusing to yield, was sentenced to imprisonment and exile; Mrs. Hutchinson's meetings were declared seditious and disorderly, and prohibited, and the Synod separated, triumphant. The field was their own.

What they had really accomplished was simply to deepen the lines and make the walls of division still higher. In later years no one cared to make public the proceedings of the body, and there is still in existence a loose paper, described by the Rev. George E. Ellis in his "Life of Anne Hutchinson"; a petition from Mr. John Higginson, son of the Salem minister . . . by which it appears that he was employed by the magistrates and ministers to take down in short hand, all the debates and proceedings of the Synod. He performed the work faithfully, and having written out the voluminous record, at "the expense of much time and pains," he presented it to the Court in May, 1639. The long time that elapsed may indicate the labor. The Court accepted it, and ordered that, if approved by the ministers, after they had viewed it, it should be printed, Mr. Higginson being entitled to the profits, which were estimated as promising a hundred pounds. The writer waited with patience while his brethren examined it, and freely took their advice. Some were in favor of printing it; but others advised to the contrary, "conceiving it might possibly be an occasion of further disputes and differences both in this country and other parts of the world."

Naturally they failed to agree. The unfortunate writer, having scruples which prevented his accepting an offer of fifty pounds for the manuscript, made probably by some Hutchinsonian, waited the pleasure of the brethren, reminding them at intervals of his claim, but so far as can be discovered, failing always to make it good, and the manuscript itself disappeared, carrying with it the only tangible testimony to the bitterness and intolerance of which even the owners were in after years ashamed.

In the meantime, Harry Vane, despairing of peaceful life among his enemies, had sailed for England early in August, to pass through every phase of political and spiritual experience, and to give up his life at last on the scaffold to which the treachery of the second Charles condemned him. With his departure, no powerful friend remained to Anne Hutchinson, whose ruin had been determined upon and whose family were seeking a new and safer home. Common prudence should have made her give up her public meetings and show some deference to the powers she had always defied. Even this, however, could not have saved her, and in November, 1637, the trial began which even to-day no New Englander can recall without shame; a trial in which civil, judicial, and ecclesiastical forces all united to crush a woman, whose deepest fault was a too enthusiastic belief in her own inspiration.

Winthrop conducted the prosecution, mild and calm in manner, but resolutely bent upon punishment, and by him sat Dudley, Endicott, Bradstreet, Nowell and Stoughton; Bradstreet and Winthrop being the only ones who treated her with the faintest semblance of courtesy. Welde and Symmes, Wilson and Hugh Peters, faced her with a curious vindictiveness, and in the throng of excited listeners, hardly a friendly face met her eyes, even her old friend, John Cotton, having become simply a timid instrument of her persecutors.

The building in which the trial took place was thronged. Hundreds who had been attracted by her power, looked on: magistrates and ministers, yeoman and military, the sad colored garments of the gentry in their broad ruffs and high crowned hats, bringing out the buff coats of the soldiers, and the bright bodices of the women, who clung to the vanities of color, and defied the tacit law that limited them to browns and drabs. Over all hung the gray November sky, and the chill of the dolorous month was in the air, and did its work toward intensifying the bitterness which ruled them all.

It is doubtful if Anne Bradstreet made one of the spectators. Her instinct would have been to remain away, for the sympathy she could not help but feel, could not betray itself, without at once ranking her in opposition to the judgment of both husband and father. Anne Hutchinson's condition was one to excite the compassion and interest of every woman, but it had no such effect on her judges, who forced her to stand till she nearly fell from exhaustion. Food was denied her; no counsel was allowed, or the presence of any friend who could have helped by presence, if in no other way.

Feeble in body, depressed and anxious in mind, one reacted on another, and the marvel is not that she here and there contradicted herself, or lost patience, but that any coherence or power of argument remained.

The records of the trial show both. Winthrop opened it by making a general charge of heresy, and Anne demanded a specific one, and when the charge of holding unlawful meetings was brought, denied it so energetically and effectually, that Winthrop had no more words and turned the case over to the less considerate Dudley, whose wrath at her presumption knew no bounds. Both he and the ministers who swore against her, used against her statements which she had made in private interviews with them, which she had supposed to be confidential, but which were now reported in detail. Naturally she reproached the witnesses with being informers, and they justified their course hotly. Mr. Cotton's testimony, given most reluctantly, confirmed their statements. The chief grievance was not her meetings, so much as the fact that she had publicly criticized the teaching and religious character of the ministers, insisting that Mr. Cotton alone had the full "thorough-furnishing" for such work. Deep but smothered feeling was apparent in every word the initiated witnesses spoke, and the magistrate, Mr. Coddington, in vain assured them, that even if she had said all this and more, no real harm had been done. Cotton sided with him, and spoke so powerfully that there was a slight diversion in her favor, rendered quite null by her claim of immediate inspiration in what she had done.

The records at this point, show none of the excitement, the hysterical ecstacy which marked the same declaration in the case of some among the Quakers who were afterward tried. Her calmness increased instead of lessening. On the score of contempt of the ministers it had become evident that she could not be convicted, but this claim to direct revelation, was an even more serious matter. Scripture might be twisted to the point of dismemberment, so long as one kept to the text, and made no pretence of knowledge beyond it; contention within these bounds was lawful and honorable, and the daily food of these argumentative Christians who gave themselves to the work of combining intellectual freedom and spiritual slavery, with perpetual surprise at any indication that the two were incompatible.

The belief in personal revelation, actually no more than a deep impression produced by long pondering over some passage, was really part of the Puritan faith, but the united company had no thought of discovering points of harmony, or brushing aside mere phases which simply concealed the essential truth held by both. Such belief could come only from the direct prompting of Satan, and when she firmly and solemnly declared that whatever way their judgment went, she should be saved from calamity, that she was and should remain, in direct communion with God, and that they were simply pitiless persecutors of the elect, the wrath was instant and boundless. A unanimous vote condemned her at once, and stands in the records of Massachusetts as follows:

"Mrs. Hutchinson, the wife of Mr. William Hutchinson, being convicted for traducing the ministers and their ministry in the country, she declared voluntarily her revelations, and that she should be delivered, and the Court ruined with their posterity, and thereupon was banished, and in the meanwhile was committed to Mr. Joseph Welde (of Roxbury) until the Court shall dispose of her."

Her keeper for the winter was the brother of her worst enemy. She was to be kept there at the expense of her husband, but forbidden to pursue any of her usual occupations. Naturally she sunk into a deep melancholy, in no wise lessened by constant visits from the ministers, who insisted upon discussing her opinions, and who wrought upon her till she was half distracted. They accused her of falsehoods, declaring that she held "gross errors, to the number of thirty or thereabouts," and badgering the unhappy creature till it is miraculous that any spirit remained. Then came the church trial, more legitimate, but conducted with fully as much virulence as the secular one, the day of the weekly lecture, Thursday, being chosen, as that which brought together the greatest number of people.

The elders accused her of deliberate lying, and point by point, brought up the thirty errors. Of some she admitted her possible mistake; others she held to strenuously, but all were simply speculation, not one having any vital bearing on faith or life. Public admonition was ordered, but before this her two sons had been publicly censured for refusing to join in signing the paper which excommunicated her, Mr. Cotton addressing them "most pitifully and pathetically," as "giving way to natural affection and as tearing the very bowels of their souls by hardening their mother in sin." Until eight in the evening, an hour equivalent to eleven o'clock with our present habits, the congregation listened to question and answer and admonition, in which last, Mr. Cotton "spake to the sisters of the church, and advised them to take heed of her opinions, and to withhold all countenance and respect from her, lest they should harden her in her sin."

Anne Bradstreet must have listened with a curious mixture of feelings, though any evidence of them would naturally be repressed. Once more all came together, and once more, Anne Hutchinson, who faced them in this last encounter with a quiet dignity, that moved the more sympathetic to pity, denied the charges they brought, and the three years controversy which, as Ellis writes, "had drawn nearly the whole of the believers in Boston—magistrates, ministers, women, soldiers, and the common multitude under the banners of a female leader, had changed the government of the Colony, and spread its strange reports over Protestant Europe, was thus brought to an issue, by imputing deception about one of the most unintelligible tenets of faith to her, who could not be circumvented in any other way."

The closest examination of her statements shows no ground for this judgment. It was the inferences of her opponents, and no fact of her real belief that made against her, but inference, then as now, made the chief ground for her enemies. Excommunication followed at once, and now, the worst having come, her spirits rose, and she faced them with quiet dignity, but with all her old assurance, glorying in the whole experience so that one of the indignant ministers described her manner with deep disgust, and added: "God giving her up, since the sentence of excommunication, to that hardness of heart, as she is not affected with any remorse, but glories in it, and fears not the vengeance of God which she lies under, as if God did work contrary to his own word, and loosed from heaven, while his church had bound upon earth."

Other ministers were as eager in denunciation, preaching against her as "the American Jezebel," and even the saintly Hooker wrote: "The expression of providence against this wretched woman hath proceeded from the Lord's miraculous mercy, and his bare arm hath been discovered therein from first to last, that all the churches may hear and fear. I do believe such a heap of hideous errors at once to be vented by such a self-deluding and deluded creature, no history can record; and yet, after recantation of all, to be cast out as unsavory salt, that she may not continue a pest to the place, that will be forever marvellous in the eyes of all the saints."

Even the lapse of several generations left the animus unchanged, and Graham, usually so dispassionate and just in statement, wrote of her almost vindictively:

"In the assemblies which were held by the followers of Mrs. Hutchinson, there was nourished and trained a keen, contentious spirit, and an unbridled license of tongue, of which the influence was speedily felt in the serious disturbance, first of domestic happiness, and then of the public peace. The matrons of Boston were transformed into a synod of slanderous praters, whose inquisitional deliberations and audacious decrees, instilled their venom into the innermost recesses of society; and the spirits of a great majority of the citizen being in that combustible state in which a feeble spark will suffice to kindle a formidable conflagration, the whole Colony was inflamed and distracted by the incontinence of female spleen and presumption."

Amidst this rattle of theological guns there was danger that others might be heard. To subdue Boston was the first necessity, and an order for disarming the disaffected was issued. The most eminent citizens, if suspected of favoring her, had their firearms taken from them, and even Capt. John Underhill was forced to give up his sword. An account of the whole controversy was written by Mr. Welde and sent over to England for publication in order that the Colony might not suffer from slanderous reports, and that no "godly friends" might be prevented from coming over. For the winter of 1637, Boston was quiet, but it was an ominous quiet, in which destructive forces gathered, and though never visible on the surface, worked in evil ways for more than one of the generations that followed. Freedom had ended for any who differed from the faith as laid down by the Cambridge Synod, and but one result could follow. All the more liberal spirits saw that Massachusetts could henceforth be no home for them, and made haste to other points. Coddington led a colony to Rhode Island, made up chiefly of the fifty-eight who had been disarmed, and in process of time became a Quaker. This was the natural ending for many, the heart of Anne Hutchinson's doctrine being really a belief in the "Inward Light," a doctrine which seems to have outraged every Puritan susceptibility for fully a hundred years, and until the reaction began, which has made individual judgment the only creed common to the people of New England. It was reasonable enough, however, that Massachusetts should dread a colony of such uneasy spirits, planted at her very doors, enfranchised and heretical to an appalling degree and considered quite as dangerous as so many malefactors, and an uneasy and constant watch was kept.

The Hutchinsons had sold their property in Boston and joined Coddington at Pocasset, of which Mr. Hutchinson soon became the chief magistrate. His wife, as before, was the master spirit. She even addressed an admonition to the church in Boston, turning the tables temporarily upon her enemies, though the end of her power was at hand. In 1642, her husband died, and various circumstances had before this made her influence feared and disliked. Freedom in any English settlement had ceased to be possible, and as Massachusetts grew more powerful, she resigned any hope of holding the place won by so many sacrifices and emigrated to the Dutch settlement, forming a small colony of sixteen persons at Pelham in Westchester County, New York, where a little river still bears her name.

One son had remained in Boston, and was the ancestor of the Tory Governor of Massachusetts during the Revolution, and a daughter also married and settled there, so that her blood is still found in the veins of more than one New England family, some of whose ancestors were most directly concerned in casting her out. But her younger children and a son-in-law were still with her, with a few of her most devoted followers, and she still anticipated peace and a quiet future. Both came at last, but not in the looked-for guise. No date remains of the fate of the little colony and only the Indian custom of preserving the names of those they killed, has made us know that Wampago himself, the owner of the land about Pelham, was the murderer of the woman, whose troubled but not unhappy life went out in the fire and blood of an Indian massacre.

To the Puritans in Boston, such fate seemed justice, and they rejoiced with a grim exultation. "The Lord," said Welde, "heard our groans to heaven, and freed us from our great and sore affliction." No tale was too gross and shameless to find acceptance, and popular feeling against her settled into such fixed enmity that even her descendant, the historian Hutchinson, dared not write anything that would seem to favor her cause. Yet, necessary as her persecution and banishment may have been to the safety of the Colony, the faith for which she gave her life has been stronger than her enemies. Mistaken as she often was, a truer Christianity dwelt with her than with them, and the toleration denied her has shown itself as the heart of all present life or future progress.