The American woman in fact and fiction; A woman speaks
The following program is produced and recorded in the studios of KPFA Berkeley California under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. We present the American woman in fact and fiction from Colonial Times to the present day series of 13 programs written and directed by Virginia Maynard and produced by Virginia Maynard and Charles Levy. Part two a woman speaks. In the early 17th century. Men came to America in order to establish for themselves such basic rights as freedom of religion freedom of thought and action. There were courageous women among these early Puritans among them. Anne Hutchinson who followed the eminent theologian John Cotton to the New World in 16 34. Mr. Hutchinson was a devout believer in cottons teaching of the Christian doctrine but she was too much the original thinker and individual as to not to have her own ideas on the interpretation of the
Scriptures. Further she was a woman who dared to speak her mind. These characteristics of Anne Hutchinsons would approve both her greatest strength and her undoing. Even before she reached America and Hutchinson had incurred the enmity of several members of the Puritan clergy because of her questioning on the passage from England of various points of doctrine touched upon in their shipboard sermons and because she assumed the right to discuss what she termed their errors with her fellow travelers on the voyage it was not only that Mistress Hutchinson's ideas were often at variance with the opinions and teachings of certain of the ministers but women had been expressed and joined by St. Paul in the New Testament to keep silent in regard to scriptural matters. It was only because of the intercession of John Cotton that Ann Hutchinson was admitted to church membership at all after her arrival in Boston and then only with profound reservations on the part of certain of the Puritan elders. There was much in the new life of the Massachusetts Bay settlement which Anne Hutchinson found acutely
distressing. By 16 34 the Puritan doctrine under Governor Winthrop and the Reverend John Wilson had become a rigid dogma backed up by a strict code of law. As Roger Williams had already been banished from the colony because of what were deemed his dangerous and revolutionary opinions the idea of freedom in religious beliefs had given way to the necessity of adherence to the established Puritan code. The emphasis was on obedience rather than on freedom of thought on the letter of the law rather than the spirit of it. There was no democracy in the church government and Hutchinson who had crossed the sea in order to find religious freedom rebelled against these new restrictions. She took her problem to Father cotton. She still had faith in but cotton advised her to find peace in good work. It's an Hutchinson however was not a woman to be silent. Let us turn back now to the year 16 34 to the house of Mistress Jane Dyer in the little town of Boston where Ann Hutchinson has come to assist with the birth of a
child. How many how many in good mistress had twins and do you think the Jayne Hawkins. I trust I come in time plenty of time mistress. Nothing exciting for a while yet. We're all sitting in the kitchen gossiping hears ministers Hutchinson friends to show us how to make the new Tea their use and in the old country mistress Dyer's wrist and quiet the bliss of the years mistress Aspinwall your neighbor her good day to you Mr. Hutchinson. Good day madam. And here is M. dying lay the surgeon when he is not the cotton hay or come to see if he was wanting. Good day sir. I was about to take money of my own name. They sit in have a cup of tea with Mr. Hutchinson a valid have much to do with her and she was a doctor in the old country. Yes mam. Scarcely a Doctor Master Dinah and this is Mistress Marshall the ferryman's good wife how do you do.
Good day to you know sit down mistress Hutchinson and have your tea here to year's end steamin hot and there so I shall go thank the dean Hawkins me thinks before I sit though I'd best set my Herb's a brewing so they'll be ready when they're needed. This pan will do Jane that's good. And here's a spoon and a pint cup on the waters right here in the book. Here let me get it for you. They say you have great skill with poultices endorsements as well as herbes good Mr. Hutchinson. I would be pleased to learn some of that art. I have worked with them since I was a child in England Madame. I would be glad to teach you what I can like you indeed. There that will do methinks. Now we must bring it to a boy I'll put it to the fire madam. Now for my tea. Good mistress Aspinwall. I did see you at the meeting. How did you like the sermon. I found it goodly goodly but somewhat hard to understand I
thought hard to understand. Indeed it was on several points. Jane Hawkins I have not yet seen that I think's interchange name nor either of you other good folk mistress that church is not for such as I am not I indeed. And why not pray what they they say I haven't got enough o peel in the head. And indeed I haven't. That's a fact. I can't make head nor tail of what they mean or they wouldn't take me. And then there are some things I do with a dinner like I do. Brew posits drafts and such for them as asks me to cause conception. You know I missed this diary I did Drew one for her and it didn't work. And yet they say it's devil's work. They wouldn't let me in. It's Jewish listening to try in many cases the jerk just for the few for the elect. Four fifths of Boston is outside the church.
All this is wrong all wrong. My good wife and myself pray daily and do keep the word as best we can but we are not of the drive for the enemy. Christ came into the world to speak to every man to save the soul of everyone who would receive just not the laws their good ministers set forth. We are damned. We have not graves. Only those who are of the elect can hope we are damned from birth to still believe that truly master died. It is the law the law the law there is no law but Christ and his voice speaks within the heart of that will hear. Look into your hearts do you believe that little baby which is coming into life in the next room is damned to hell because another tells you so. Listen to the voice within ye. What did Christ say. Except that you become as a little child. Can you not hear
him in your hearts. The Lord is good and just and merciful. He loves you all and asks only that you receive Him within the high sales. Then you are born again into eternal life. Divine is Christ Himself. All anyone can hope for these godly folk that walk about in their black cloaks and go through all the forms prescribed by law have nothing if they have not the spirit within them. I have not gleaned this from the sermons but M. cotton does believe that. I have listened to him for years and years. He uses the gospel of divine grace in all its glory that God ministers to so can follow their sermons with noble words and phrases that well it's hard to puzzle them out there to talk as much as I make out. Is your hair on fire and damnation. It functions that you're going to defeat sometimes. Is there there word for loving kindness in the
scripture. Read the Bible good man died early. Thou shalt see. Alas I cannot read my good man always says he views the church love hard and is great puzzled to see all God should set his wrath on babes and goodly fall. And is there hope for such as I. Simple Jane hearkens can she hope to sit down up in heaven with with the mightiest in the land. There will be none there more mighty than the good Jane your style has the spirit in the heart. We're all equal in God's sight. All men are brothers. Did not Christ say ye are all equal no equal in opportunity for salvation with the mightiest in the land. Mistress thou talks better Scripture than any of those black frocks from the university. Good mistress Hutchinson though perhaps no US there are weekly meetings held to discuss the sermons. Why does them not join us at the woman's meeting and give us the interpretation there.
But those Me thinks are but for church members I would speak where any one might listen. Why do y'all not come to my house. We will hold a meeting there. Go to the church on Thursday. This in the specially to master card. Then come and we will talk. When you do that good friend I'll Come mistress you have the light of God upon you I can see and I will come. If my good men can sin and I'll bring madame once she is a seeker after light. We all need light but I must send my good wife to the mistress HUTCHINSON She will teach me. It is not fitting I should go to a woman's beauty as you will master dine Mr. Stier is awake. Come mistress Hutchinson. Look in and she will love thee that the one she has the Light within I like I know when. Come talk to or up it. O mistress how goes it with you no good mistress Aspinwall. Pray watch my brew. It must not boil only
simmer gently. The meetings which were thus established in an Hutchinson's home became immediately popular. It was not long before 60 to 80 women were attending regularly a large number for the little town of Boston and soon mistress Hutchinson was asked to hold a separate meeting for the men. Her encouragement of men and women to think for themselves to believe in what they felt was right according to their consciences had much appeal for these people who had braved the hardships of a wild uncivilized land in order to practice what they believed in. But it also encouraged a democratic tendency among the people which was looked upon with suspicion by the autocratic clergyman and magistrates of the colony. Since church and state under the theocratic system of government were so closely bound together it was not long before Anne Hutchinson and her followers began to exert a powerful political influence in the community. They were able to unseat Governor Winthrop of who was extreme legalism they disapproved and elect in his stead the governor who sympathized with their view. Their influence
in the church government was likewise becoming powerful for a time with the support of Governor vane the Rev. Cochran mistress Hutchinson's brother in law the Reverend Wright the Hutchinson party held the balance of power. But in 16 37 Winthrop by skillful political maneuvering managed to get himself re-elected then ex-governor vein was on a trip to England. The whole machinery of church and state was turned against mistress Hutchinson and her antinomian faction as her followers were sneeringly call the powerful clergy angered by the hutch and Sony an obvious preference for the teachings of John Cotton joined with Winthrop and the other magistrates who civil authority had been threatened to destroy the Hutchinson party and Hutchinson was accused of heresy and sedition and imprisoned the minister wheelwright who made a speech on her behalf was immediately arrested tried and banished from the colony. The signers of a petition protesting real rights banishment were drastically dealt with. Most of them were disenfranchised deprived of their
arms and their citizenship revoked. Many were dismissed from their post some imprisoned and others banished. The trial of Anne Hutchinson later that year was a mockery during the period of her confinement. Mr. Hutchinson had been subjected to ceaseless questioning by members of the clergy who hoped to trap her into some dangerous admission or error that they might have proof of their charges of heresy. Her husband and family since the outcome of her trial was a certainty had already left Boston to locate a home for her after her sentence of banishment. Most of her friends who might have been expected to vote in her behalf were disenfranchised. Her adored M. cotton. She had faithfully supported for the three years of her residence in Boston and had been intimidated and no longer dare give any real support to his disciple. Thus virtually friendless and so ill that it was necessary to support her in the courtroom and Hutchinson faced her accusers. Governor Winthrop opened the questioning.
You know that. Right here. Mistress Hutchinson you are called here as one of those who have trouble the peace of the Commonwealth and the churches here. You are known to be a woman that have had a great share in the promoting of those opinions that are causes of the trouble you have spoken diverse things prejudicial to the churches and the ministers thereof and you have named taint a meeting in your house that have been condemned by the General Assembly. I think not tolerable in the sight of God not fitting for your sex. The apple we have thought good to send to you that if you be obstinate in your course. The court may take such measures that you trouble us no further. Therefore I wouldn't treat you to express whether you do not assent and hold in practice to those opinions and factions that have been handled and caught already. That's
a matter of conscience your conscience you may keep on the self. But if your conscience comes in to act you must be called into question for your action. So if you do countenance those who are transgressors of the law you are the same in fact. What law did they try to suppress the law of God yes. The fifth commandment. Which commands us to honor our father and mother and this includes the fathers of the Commonwealth. But I am to obey you only in the Lord. This honor you broke in giving countenance to those transgressors put the case that I do fear the Lord and my parents do not. May I not countenance them that fear the Lord because my parents will not give me leave. We do not mean to discourse with those of your sex. And that you do it here to these others. You dishonor us. I do not acknowledge that I ever did dishonor you. What do you say to your weekly public meetings. There were such meetings in use before I came. We began with the five or
six and though it grew to more in future time yet being tolerated at first I knew not why it might not continue. There were private meetings indeed of some neighbors but not so frequent to the public as yaws where 60 or even hundred persons did attend but answer by what authority you uphold them by Titus to wear by the elder women are to teach the younger. That gives no warrant to set meetings for that purpose. No why did you teach these women that which the Apostle commands to keep at own will you please give me a law against it and I show you you have a plain rule against it. I permit not a woman to teach. Yet you call me to teach this court will you show us not a rule I have given you a rule for it. Must I show my name written there in your process not to they suffered for we find it greatly prejudicial to the state. We say not that any should have authority to set up any other exercises besides what authority have already set up your
worship. All right we're going to talk further with Mistress Hutchinson. Three years ago we were all at peace. This just by chance and from that time she came half made disturbance. And she had a party in the country. She in particular has disparaged all our ministers in the land save one that they have worked. I don't need a master copy of the covenant of grapes that they were not able ministers of the New Testament but Pastor Carter normally if ever I spake that last I proved it by God's word. But you are bringing here in open court statements made in private conference wherein I was there to free discussion at the bidding of my conscience. It is well the sun to the court that mistress in Scn can tell when to speak and when to hold her tongue. I find no difficulty however though these things were spoken in private. Yet now coming to us to deal with them is public. Reverend
Peters will it please you to give your testimony as having been present at this meeting with Mr. Atkinson along with Father Wills and Reverend cotton and the others. Honorable elders friends we desire that we may not be thought to come as informers against this gentlewoman but it may be serviceable for the country to give you a brief account. The accused among other things that of all the ministers only Most couples speak a covenant of grace that the rest did speak a Covenant of Works. And that they were not able ministers of the New Testament your worship. I object. The meeting was a private not a friendly one provided for the good of my soul. Reverend Peters himself did kindly urge me to speak openly and freely that we might discover the root of our differences. Further I spake not the words that only master copy spake a covenant of grace merely that the
others did not breach the covenant of grace as positively and distinctly as did Mastercam that they spake somewhat as did the Apostles before they received at the feast of Pentecost a more complete knowledge of the spiritual mysteries. Reverend Wilson can affirm this. He himself took notes of what was said if it please the court my lips are not as complete as they might be. If you know me I may not have written down all that was said on the occasion. At any rate I myself have a copy of these notes given to me by our ex-Gov Vane at his departure for England. Good Master Winthrop I have with me you several ministers who will testify to the truth of the words I have just spoken. Then let them be sworn enemies. That's our way not the godly elders and alcohol is barren we already know the mind of the party without their testimony. Please not the cook to swear the witnesses I desire to speak a word in Mistress
Hutchinson's behalf. CONSUL. Whatsoever he says we will believe the minister was present at the famous meeting. And I guess by testifying that Mistress Hutchinson did not make such remarks as Brother Peters has alleged but only such remarks or she herself reported muster Cup can affirm this. So Pastor cotton do you speak on this. Worship I must say I did not find her saying the other ministers preach only of works or laws or rules but only she liked them to be apostles pull their spiritual inspiration even had she said all that our brother Peters has alleged what Homer Stone thinks the godly ministers might be complimented in being compared to the Apostles. Even the Paul the critical of them. If the court please let me explain. Having no solicitor I'ma speak for myself when I was in Old
England. I was much troubled by the churches there. Whereupon I set apart a day of humiliation for myself to seek direction from God. Then God did discover unto me the unfaithfulness of these churches and the danger of them just as he did to you. Most reverend ministers and magistrates that none of these ministers could preach a Right now I had none to open the scripture to me but the Lord and I did take the Lord for light that I have not atheism in my heart. And after 12 months together the Lord did discover unto me all sorts of ministers and how they taught and to know which voice I heard. Now if you do condemn me for speaking what is in my conscience I do know to be the truth I must commit myself and do the lower part of the real reverse the Spirit of St.. How did Abraham know that it was God that did believe him slay his son Ryan a
million boys. So to me by an immediate revelation how are the many years of Revelation by the voice of his own spirit to my soul. After our teacher master cotton and my brother wheelwright were put down. There were none in England that I durst here. Then the Lord again revealed to me yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more but thine eye you shall see thy teachers. After this the Lord carrying master cotton to New England it was revealed to me that I must go thither also. Yet I must not fear nor be dismayed and I will give you one place more which the Lord brought to me by immediate revelation. That did concern you all and that is Daniel 6. When the presidents and princes could find nothing against him for he was faithful. They sought matter against him concerning the law to come.
Him into the lion's den and see this scripture fulfilled this day in my own eyes. Therefore take heed what you go about to do unto me. For you have no power over my body. Neither can you do me any harm for I am in the hands of the eternal just over. The bounds of my habitation are cast in heaven. No further do I esteem any mortal man than creatures in his have I I fear none but the great joy of over and I do verily believe that he will deliver me. Therefore take heed how you proceed against me for I know that for this you go about to do unto me God will ruin you and your posterity. Just burger from the Legion of the Spirit speaks it was. We have been hearkening about the truth of this thing and now
the Providence and said our desires and made a open house so. I think. The groundwork of our teaching is the immediate revelation of the Spirit. Not the ministry of the law. Oh I would that all those of such mind work cut off from us. OK we're all going to see our star caught on teacher watch say you want to read it. I don't know whether I understand this I say she doesn't expect the deliverance by way of miracles. Then I would suspect it by a probability of God I expect to be delivered in the sense that she does speak. I cannot bear witness against M. cotton You weary me. I think it is very disputable which all brother contant has spoken. Day's Revelation says they call them and. Have cause. To take up on such topics as I am persuaded that Mistress Hutchinson is denoted by the
damn you already. We live up to what we're not sentence of unprecedented so that a case for hair as the foundation of all this mischief all has come from this task that I found it right here. The Coke please I do not see any witness against mistress Hutchinson and you know that no man may be a judge and an accuser to pacify all that have been said formally in our own speeches I ground it up for us to proceed. Unlike you I do beseech you to consider that no man must be a witness against himself. I see no equity in these proceedings there is no love God that you have broken nor any love the country cart had already declared themselves satisfied concerning these things and concerning the danger of a cause amongst us which is not to be suffering. Therefore if it be the mind of the court that Mr Jensen is unfit for our society and should be cast off from us let them
signified by saying nay. The motion is carried. Miss the sentence. Cole What is that you are banished from out of our jurisdiction as being a woman unfit for our society and not to be imprisoned until the court shall send you away. Like that. Nothing remained. No all except the formality of excommunication confined for four months during which time she was seriously ill and questioned daily by the ministers mistress Hutchinson was confronted at last in Boston church with a list of twenty nine errands which she answered with John Compton's health. But Mr. Cotton deserted her utterly at the last and he himself delivered the censure of the church and Hutchinson was calm. The Lord to
judge if not his man judge it she said. Better to be cast out of the church than to deny Christ. Then she went forth to join her husband to continue her search for a place where every man and woman might live in spiritual freedom. A few years later and Hutchinson and her family were massacred by Indians near Long Island Sound New York and event which was regarded at the time in the Massachusetts Bay settlement as a manifestation of Divine Providence. But the community of Boston which once repudiated her and cast her forth into the wilderness has since erected a statue to the memory of this courageous pioneer of religious and political freedom. That was part two of the American woman in fact and fiction from Colonial Times to the present day. A series of 13 programs written and directed by Virginia Maynard. The cast included Charles Levy Angela Goldsby Virginia Maynard Edwin
- A woman speaks
- Producing Organization
- KPFA (Radio station : Berkeley, Calif.)
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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- Episode Description
- The second program in this series features a dramatization of a part of Margaret Hutchinson's life.
- Series Description
- This series, written and directed by Virginia Maynard, dramatizes various stories of women from colonial times to the Twentieth century.
- Media type
Actor: Taylor, Joshua C. (Joshua Charles), 1917-1981
Actor: Goldsby, Angela
Director: Maynard, Virginia
Producing Organization: KPFA (Radio station : Berkeley, Calif.)
Writer: Maynard, Virginia
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 59-19-2 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- APA: The American woman in fact and fiction; A woman speaks. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-zg6g6165