Founding Father and Mother
I am a descendant of Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson.
Roger Williams was the founder of Providence (now in Rhode Island). He was persecuted for his religious beliefs. He also taught the importance of the separation of church and state. He believed in the fair treatment of the Native Americans in the New England area.
Anne Hutchinson was a mid-wife and healer. She was an intelligent and outspoken woman. She was sent from the Boston area for her religious views. Roger Williams helped her attain land in what is now Portsmouth, RI. She spent just a few years in Portsmouth. When her husband died she moved to the New York area. She was concerned that the Massachusetts Bay Colony was about to take over the colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.
I am a descendant of Anne’s son Edward Hutchinson and Roger Williams daughter Mercy (or Mary) Williams. I feel amazed and humbled to be the descendant of two such strong personalities who followed their beliefs no matter what the consequences. Learning of this heritage has made me think differently about the area I live in where my ancestors settled. I’ve tried to imagine the hardships they must have suffered.
Roger Williams left the Boston area and came to Providence in the winter. He managed to survive with the help of the local Native Americans. He purchased the land for Providence from them. He treated them as equals and earned their respect.
Anne came to Portsmouth in March 1638. How cold and harsh her life must have been. She was eventually murdered in a raid on the village in which she had moved to in New York.
They were strong in their beliefs. They are two people I admire greatly.