Talk:Anne Hutchinson/Archive 1

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Original source

I just added a transcript of her trial to the references, since the article lacks original sources. Maybe that will help clarify the difference between what she said, what her accusers said, and what modern interpreters claim she said. Mdmcginn (talk) 15:40, 29 January 2008 (UTC)


That would be affirmative. Good job; you got one right! Danman111111 (talk) 07:53, 19 December 2007 (UTC)


Whoever wrote this sentence in, I would think needs to cite some type of source for it. "Three U.S. Presidents (Franklin D. Roosevelt and both Bushes – George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush) are her descendants."

That sounds like utter nonsense to me. I added the fact template after the section. HoCkEy PUCK 17:43, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
I changed my mind. That part of the article is going under the "Disputed-Section" template. It just sounds too far-fetched to be real.HoCkEy PUCK 17:51, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

User Tracadero. 3.15. Dear "experts". Please read books before you dispute=express your ignorance!!! About her descendants Franklin Delano Roosevelt, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, see, Eve LaPLante, American Jezebel,San Francisco, 2005.

Eve LaPlante isn't a major genealogical source, but it's true that the earliest American settlers have hundreds of thousands of descendants. Experts now claim that most Europeans have some royal blood. Mdmcginn (talk) 15:45, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure why you think it's "fucking nonsense". A large number of our presidents have early colonial ancestors and there has been enough time and intermarriage among colonial families that many of the presidents with such ancestry are distant cousins to other such presidents. For example, George W. Bush is definitely a distant cousin to President Franklin Pierce, through his mother. Herbert Hoover and Richard Nixon were also distant cousins. And President Bush and Senator Kerry are ninth cousins, twice removed. The same article notes that both men are related to Hugh Hefner, General MacArthur, President Washington, and President Franklin Roosevelt. However, there's also a lot of "wishful thinking" in various genealogies on the web and a statement like this definitely needs an authoritative source. The few web genealogies of Bush that I looked at over lunch didn't have Anne Hutchinson as an ancestor; however, most of those are poor references. I agree it ought to remain disputed until sourced (and removed if a source doesn't come reasonably soon). I don't have a particular position on this question, but I've looked at enough presidential genealogies to find the assertion itself unremarkable on its face; I'm far distant counsins to President Nixon and both Presidents Bush (through lines that don't make them cousins to each other).studerby 18:03, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

I did not write the sentence first mentioned above, but here is the source for it: Gary Boyd Roberts, Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants to the American Colonies or the United States, with 2006 Addendum and Coda (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2004, 2006), pp. 278-281.--MichaelERay 03:05, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

This article is biased and largely unreferenced. 04:48, 11 October 2007 (UTC)nathan

Date of Birth?

There seems to be some uncertainty about the date of birth. The article used to say "July 17, 1591", but User: recently changed it (in one place, but not the other) to be "July 20, 1591". The only reference I can find[1] says she was "christened 7/20/1591", which could very well mean she was born three days earlier on the 17th, but that's just a guess. Does anybody have a better citation? --RoySmith 02:16, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

I think it would be credible to say that if her christening date was July 20th, her birthdate could have been the 17th. If she was sickly even, as a child, then you could say she was born on the 19th, because many sick newborns are christened immediately after their births. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by JanieDough (talkcontribs) October 21, 2006.

Her birth date was July 17, 1591, according to LaPlante, American Jezebel, at 31. LaPlante is a descendant of Hutchinson. Douglas Richardson,Plantagenet Ancestry, at 493, states she was baptized on July 20, 1591, as do Weis, Ancestral Roots, Eighth Ed., at 21 and Watson, Royal Families, Vol. II, Rev. Francis Marbury, at 3.--MichaelERay 05:39, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

The reported DOB of the subject's mother seems dubious. If Bridget Dryden was born in 1523, she would be 68 in 1591.--Anonymous

Men at Hutchinson's Meetings

An anonymous editor removed the statement that men began to join Hutchinson's meetings. Here are her own words from the transcript of her trial:

"Ey Sir, I shall I not equivocate, there is a meeting of men and women and there is a meeting only for women."

It is an important fact, because it is one of the things for which she was prosecuted. I will return the statement. Logophile 01:20, 29 December 2005 (UTC)


Can someone who can check (or knows) confirm if Lincolnshire is mispelt on the real inscription, or is that just an error in the article?John 12:11, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Religious teachings

What ideas did Anne Hutchinson promote to the general public? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by[[Special:Contributions/{[[User:{ (talk · contribs)|{ (talk · contribs)]] ([[User talk:{ (talk · contribs)|talk]] · [[Special:Contributions/{ (talk · contribs)|contribs]] · [{ (talk · contribs)


}}|{[[User:{ (talk · contribs)|{ (talk · contribs)]] ([[User talk:{ (talk · contribs)|talk]] · [[Special:Contributions/{ (talk · contribs)|contribs]] · [{ (talk · contribs)


}}]] ([[User talk:{[[User:{ (talk · contribs)|{ (talk · contribs)]] ([[User talk:{ (talk · contribs)|talk]] · [[Special:Contributions/{ (talk · contribs)|contribs]] · [{ (talk · contribs)


}}|talk]]) 08:11, January 12, 2006

Anne taught that the Covenant of Works, is not good enough for a salvation in Heaven. She emphasised the idea that if you felt Christ dwelling inside you, you would be admitted into Heaven. The Covenant of Works is a Puritanical belief that states that a person can be saved and enter the kingdom of Heaven by simply becoming a member of the church, doing routine prayers or devotions, or by having a successful business. Anne Hutchinson expanded and further taught the teachings of Reverend John Cotton

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by JanieDough (talkcontribs) 00:36, October 21, 2006.

Does anyone have a source for this so we can add it in the article itself? 06:53, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Addition and amendment on the explanation of the Covenant of Works, concise as possible: The Covenant of Works is the covenant instituted before the Fall, which continues past the fall. It's opposed to the Covenant of Grace, in function, requiring that the Law (as typified by the Decalogue and, to a good extent, the Mosaic Law, in precepts) be kept perfectly or the consequence is eternal damnation. However, Puritans, by owning a good business cannot simply get a pass into heaven. That is both inaccurate and preposterous. But, as stated in the existing article, and elsewhere, she had a large focus on experience and emotion and held that the Covenant of Grace gave the Christian, to some degree, license to sin.Freeasinjazz (talk) 01:51, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Place of death

I see she was killed in Pelham Bay Park, but I was wondering if anyone knows precisely where the killing took place. Thanks for any help!

See LaPlant at p. 266, map of area, and text associated with it. Her house would have been near Split Rock, where Hutchinson's daughter Susan hid from the Siwanoy. --MichaelERay 05:23, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

The place of Anne Hutchinson's death is now regarded to be on the west side of the Hutchinson River and not in Pelham Bay Park where it has been traditionally located. Older sources naming Pelham Bay Park and Split Rock as the location of the massacre have been so pervasive that the naming of those places continues to this day. The actual site of Anne's farm on the west side of the Hutchinson River and is now occupied by a portion ofCo-op City, construction in the area having obliterated any potential traces of the Hutchinson settlement long ago. A full study and analysis may be found in the article, Anne Hutchinson's Refuge in the Wilderness (with Maps and Illustrations), Publications of the Westchester Historical Society, White Plains, NY, Vol. VII (1929), pp 3-20. The actual farm is believed to have been located between Rattlesnake Brook and Black Dog Brook. Both streams have now disappeared. Robaro (talk) 18:16, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Date of banishment

Date article March 22 currently claims the following:

  • 1638 - Anne Hutchinson is expelled from Massachusetts Bay Colony for religious dissent.

Do we have a source for this information? If so, we ought to add the date to this article. ~ Jeff Q (talk)00:54, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

By the way, I'm talking about an authoritative source, like a biography, history text, or encyclopedia article. All the Google references I found are centered around the date, not the subject, which smacks of Internet-speed copying of convenient but unsourced information. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 00:57, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Unfortunately I do not have access to paper sources where I am, but I did some searching, and have come up with a timeline for Hutchinson's expulsions. It's a bit complicated. According to my sources,[2],[3], and [4], it goes like this:
Civil trial in November of 1637, which resulted in Hutchinson's banishment. She was allowed to stay through the winter because of a difficult pregnancy. Church trial in March 1638, resulting in her excommunication from the church and reaffirming her banishment. At that time she went to Rhode Island. Logophile 16:39, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm still wondering where the exact date comes from. None of your sources are that specific. I suppose we'll have to dig a bit further. I'm in no hurry; I have a dozen or so issues with erroneous or conflicting dates to bring up with the editors of the month-date articles (some of which apparently require sysop attention, as there are read-only segments included in some). ~ Jeff Q (talk)03:05, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

LaPlant, American Jezebel at p.70, begins her description of the last day of the civil trial on November 8, 1637. The sentence of banishment is pronounced on that day, described at p. 130. At pp. 195-207, LaPlant describes the last day of Hutchinson's church trial on March 22, 1638 (p. 195) that resulted in her excommunication. --MichaelERay 05:12, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Descendants Dispute

This section seems too far-fetched to be true. Until somebody can verify this section, the dispute tag remains up. HoCkEy PUCK17:56, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

I don't know how likely this supposed descent info is, but it certainly is unsourced, so I've requested a specific citation. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 20:04, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

User Tracadero. 3.15. Dear "experts". Please read books before you dispute=express your ignorance!!! About her descendants Franklin Delano Roosevelt, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, see, Eve LaPLante, American Jezebel,San Francisco, 2005.

Something that outlandish should have more than one source. Just because something was written in a book doesn't mean it's true.Worldruler20 (talk) 16:27, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Photo of Statue

"statue of Hutchinson stands in front of the State House in Boston, Massachusetts"

Can we get a photo of that from anyone in the Boston area?

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Pathaugen (talkcontribs) September 28, 2006.

Posted at

--MichaelERay 14:21, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Source for inscription

I've fact-tagged the supposed inscription of the Hutchinson statue because (A) it has no source, and anything like this in a Wikipedia article should have a reliable source; and (B) I feel reasonably certain that the phrase "For its genesis, jump to West Farms Information", complete with an embedded URL, does not appear on the plaque. ☺ Without a source, we can't know what part of this is accurate and what part was apparently intended as further discussion. (Yes, we can make deductions, but the point of sourcing things is to avoid original researchand allow editors to verify the information.) ~ Jeff Q (talk) 05:22, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

By the time I read this article today, it had been significantly vandalized and the inscription was clearly part of that. I pulled the actual inscription from two sources, and cited (footnoted) one of them in the article. -- Lisasmall 16:23, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Plagiarism, Vandalism

This article had been vandalized in several spots and I removed all I could detect. I also started providing footnote cites for unattributed statements. The article appears to suffer heavily from a series of edits plagiarized from other sources. I removed, re-wrote, and cited where I could, but the piece needs more work. -- Lisasmall 16:23, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

I added back sections that appeared to have been deleted by vandalism. Perhaps Lisasmall correctly removed them. The article needs these background sections, so if they've been plagiarized as written (I don't know) perhaps they can be re-written without plagiarizing and citing to sources. I drafted part of the first sentence of Early Life myself, so I know that's not plagiarized. There is ample material in the Bio section from which to provide summaries. So please view these sections as placeholders for now.--MichaelERay 04:06, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

User Tracader. 3.15. 07. There was a good article about her but some ignorant who even cannot spell English spoiled it. The article is reinstated and it is very good like it was. User Tracader.4.13.07

What happened next?

Nice article. Next time I am near the State House, I'll try to get a picture of the statue I can donate as well as a picture of the inscription for confirmation.

My question is: What happened next? The article cuts off at the time she was banished from MA with only the smallest reference to Rhode Island and her later death in NY. Couldthis be built out a little?

Dan in Lexington, MA

Date issues

Has anybody noticed a)the age of her mother at death, and b)the age discrepancy between her and her mother? What are the sources for these dates? Turns out I'm a distant descendant (well, she is the sister-in-law to one of my ancestors) and my genealogy program pointed out the date issues.↔NMajdantalk 05:38, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

On the William Hutchinson article, it lists her mother as living from 1563 to 1645.↔NMajdantalk 05:41, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
Welcome to the distinguished ranks of George Bush, FDR, and Charles Manson ;) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ramorum (talkcontribs) 20:41, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Dates corrected based on cited Weiss reference. --MichaelERay 02:28, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

In one area of the article it is stated: "In 1635, she moved with her family from Alford to London."

Then in the Migration to the New World section it is stated: "Hutchinson emigrated from England to Massachusetts in 1634." —Precedingunsigned comment added by (talk) 03:06, August 27, 2007 (UTC)

Early dates?

Says "In 1936, she moved with her family from Alford to London. At the age of 5, she married William Hutchinson,". Somehow I doubt that :-) Anybody got the right dates to correct this vandalism? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Igodard(talkcontribs) 19:12, 17 September 2007 (UTC)


I just cleaned up a little vandalism in the first paragraph of this article. Someone had changed the text to read:

Anne Hutchinson' (July 1591 – August 1643) was the authorized Puritan chicken of a dissident church discussion group and a pioneer settler in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Netherlands. Her brilliant wings and her beak won admiration and a following.

You guys might want to keep and eye out for more poultry-related editing.RedPen 23:57, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Is the feminist slant to this article accurate?

Her particular "heresy" was to maintain that it was a blessing and not a curse to be a woman.

The book I have on the Puritans says that she preached a form of Antinomianism and makes no mention of her as a feminist. Is all this talk of her progressive stance on woman's rights really true? Atropos 21:59, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

She began holding Bible discussion groups in her home, initially for women. Then the men also began coming. They outgrew her home and had to move the meetings into the local church. She was an unauthorized Puritan preacher, and the longer she was in the colony, the louder she was about preaching, teaching, and criticizing the "establishment" for holding back women. She was an example of a woman who would not be held back. They used the Antinomianism issue to have something to try her for in the two courts: the first was a government trial, and the second was a church trial. One of the charges leveled against her was sedition. From all of my research on her, it seems clear that she was a Christian feminist far ahead of her time. She taught equality of the genders, practiced it, and finally was brought down for refusing to "be quiet" about it.Afaprof01 14:21, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

It's easy to read our own desires into history, but the article seems to lack some of the objectivity an encyclopedia should have. Shouldn't we emphasize primary sources rather than our interpretations of them? For example, the statement "Her particular "heresy" was to maintain that it was a blessing and not a curse to be a woman," if true, could be sourced from her court records, not a modern devotional book. The article depends much too heavily on Ellsberg. Any private religious gathering in the 17th century could be considered seditious. John Bunyan was imprisoned for leading them, and he wasn't a woman. Mdmcginn (talk) 15:11, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree with the above poster. Also, the fact that she was a woman who stood up for truth and taught others does not make her a feminist, just a principled, rational human being (which, contrary to the claims of some feminists, is not the same thing). Ramorum (talk) 20:38, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Hutchinson had feminist tendencies, that much you can get from LaPlante's biography (American Jezebel) but right now I don't have time to find the place. I'll check my notes to see if I have it written down though... —Preceding unsigned comment added by66.153.81.2 (talk) 17:06, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
That Hutchinson was a woman was an irritation to Withrop (who took over as Governor after Vane left for England), and the other magistrates. But the prosecutors are clear in the trial that had she been teaching the same doctrine that was being taught in the churches of the colony, that she would have been applauded for her good works. Instead, she was not only teaching a different doctrine,she was declaring that she was receiving personal communication from God. And when the other ministers of the colony opposed her, she began to rail agains them as teaching heretical doctrine. She was told repeatedly to stop defaming the ministers, and would not, hence the 'Jezebel' accusation. But Roger Williams was banished by the Colony a few years before for the very same reason. Not because he was a man, but because he would not stop defaming the Ministers, and John Cotton in particular - accusing them of all sorts of heresy. It was her declaration of personal communication from God during the trial, at a point when she had defeated Wintrop's every other argument against her and made him look foolish, that caused her to be banished (both non-Calvinist as well as non Puritan - see John Winthrop's writings against the Quakers).
The overly feminist POV of Hutchinson is a 20th century addition to her story. She was not even allowed to sign the covenant when Portsmouth was founded, and was not mentioned on the Charter from the King of England.
The overly feminist POV may violate the POV guidelines of Wikipedia.
I would cite "The Journal of John Winthrop, 1630-1649, edited by Richard S. Dunn, James Savage,and Leatitia Yeandle, Harvard University Press, 1996." and "The Puritan Dilemma: The Story of John Winthrop (2nd Edition, Edmund S. Morgan, Longman, 1998 (2nd Edition)."

Useful Source

This article is somewhat outside my areas of interest, but editors may find the ODNB article useful - Michael P. Winship, ‘Hutchinson , Anne (bap. 1591, d. 1643)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 16 Nov 2007. Editors with a library card from most British public libraries can access the online ODNB for free.DuncanHill 13:33, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Colony of Rhode Island and Roger Williams

I don't claim to be a history expert, but my understanding doesn't coincide with the article's names and founder of the colonies. Rhode Island was the actual island on which Newport and Portsmouth (called Pocasset in Anne's time) now stand. The island was called Aquidneck and was later changed to Rhode Island Roger Williams was not the founder of that colony. He was the founder of Providence Plantations. Two other colonies formed: Newport on Aquidneck and Warwick. Eventually they all united to be called Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.[5] PattiH (talk) 02:43, 26 November 2007 (UTC)Patti

Actually Pocasset was renamed "in Anne's time" to Portsmouth, so it was called by both names during her time. Roger Williams was the founder of the "colony" of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, which many people commonly refer to as Rhode Island, so you're correct on that. The Hutchinsons did come to the Rhode Island/Providence area because of an invitation by Roger Williams, although there was not yet an established settlement or claim on Aquidneck. Maybe this is why Anne is called the "co-founder" of Rhode Island ["and Providence Plantations" is implicit here, although perhaps you're suggesting it should be explicit], taken as one colony... I'm not sure when the colonies explicitly united, but in some sense they already were united in terms of the philosophical (and historical) spirit of their founding as a place of liberty, especially religious freedom, by former members of the Massachusetts Bay Colony within a period of a few years; and by the fact that the Aquidneck settlement was only founded because Providence was already established nearby. (my main source here is Rothbard's Conceived in Liberty, chapters 21-22 of volume I --an excellent history, by the way). Ramorum (talk) 20:33, 9 April 2008 (UTC)


In his Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, Richard Hofstadter sees Hutchinson as an early proponent of religious "enthusiasm" – an inherently anti-intellectual movement that stressed individual emotion over rational (and therefore scholarly) biblical interpretation and religious approach (see chapter 2, page 58). I think that Hutchinson as an early example of the American anti-intellectual is worth mentioning in the article.Laneb2005 (talk) 07:54, 22 May 2008 (UTC)


To the chagrin of clergy and colony officials, she began espousing the "covenant by grace" instead of the "covenant by works," a theological position that during the later Protestant Reformation was also taught by John Calvin and others.

There's something deeply screwy here. Calvin lived and died before Hutchinson was so much as a twinkle in her father's eye. If I knew the story better, I'd edit it. As it is, someone who actually knows what this is meant to mean might consider editing it to clarify. Wooster (talk) 20:17, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Francis Marbury

Some of the cited facts about her father Francis Marbury were wrong. Charles Matthews (talk) 21:12, 29 January 2009 (UTC)


There's simply no concrete evidence that Anne Bradstreet had the slightest connection with Hutchinson; it is also highly subjective to characterize Bradstreet as "outspoken," especially since the verses quoted stem from a book published in London through the services of her brother-in-law. In many respects, Bradstreet was an opposite of Hutchinson (see Bradstreet's spiritual autobiography "To Her Dear Children," which was NOT published until 1867). The closest connection between the two MIGHT be through Bradstreet's sister, Sarah Dudley Keayne, who is reputed to have become a preacher of sorts in London in the 1640s (she later returned to New England; her husband divorced her and she was disciplined by the Boston church). —Preceding unsigned comment added by DustySkies (talkcontribs) 20:33, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

NPOV dispute

Sorry to do this, but I believe there is some pretty obvious non-neutral language being used unneccesarily in this article.

"gradually the opposition was expressed in openly misogynistic terms" Misogyny is obviously a bit of a hand-grenade of a word - would a less explosive word do the job just as well? E.g. "gradually the opposition was expressed in terms that centred on her gender."

"The Puritan leaders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony gloated in her suffering and that of Mary Dyer, one of her followers who also suffered a miscarriage, labelling their misfortunes as the judgment of God" Labelling suffering as the judgement of God does not necessarily mean it is gloating. It is possible to be very sad about a deserved judgement. The author also clearly disagrees with the Puritan interpetation of the misscarriage, labelling it a 'misfortune', implying it was due to chance rather than the hand of God.

Could we either substantiate these two claims, of gloating and misogyny, or use more neutral language? — Precedingunsigned comment added by Sambostock (talkcontribs) 13:41, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

I will have to second this notion. There is quite a few subtle modifiers and descriptors that make this article lack the neutrality it should have. Freeasinjazz (talk) 20:11, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

This is fine, as long as the source matches what we are saying. We need to take care not to add our interpretation and misrepresent the source. If the source specific misogynistic we shouold acurately reflect the source or find an y equally credible source that uses more generic language.(I don't see that necessarily as a hand grenade of a word if it is aptly describing the situation. If we are instead stating that the remarks revolved around her gender, we are not changing any of the meaning imparted by misogyny) We can't second-guess and re-interpret sources. However, if it's just filler text that's not directly referenced, then I think gloated, and misogynistic to a far lesser degree, are probably candidates for change. But not without checking the sources first. —Preceding unsignedcomment added by (talk) 22:04, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

"Misogynistic" would imply that the charges against Hutchinson were partially motivated by a hatred of women in general which I don't think is supportable. As for "gloated," I apologize for not having it handy to quote, but I recently read Winthrop's journal and his bizarre fanciful description of Hutchinson's miscarriage could I think fairly be called gloating as there is a perverse indulgence in the grotesque details absent any sense of the tragic.--Joseph McGrath — Preceding unsignedcomment added by (talk) 00:03, 22 July 2011 (UTC)


I've removed the ancestral references from the lead, and placed them with Hutchinson's early life, and lined up the references to be consistent with the others in the article. Since the lead is there to summarize what is in the article, the ancestral info really belongs in the body of the article. While her ancestry is filled with royalty, it was not particularly germane to her prominence as an individual, and I doubt if she even knew of her royal connections. Nevertheless, she has a prominent lineage, and this aspect of her life could be expanded if appropriately referenced, and I am now toying with the idea of including an ancestral chart, as I have done with a few of the other articles I've created or edited. Any comments are welcomed!Sarnold17 (talk) 13:46, 1 November 2011 (UTC)


I've reworded this section of the article, and removed the names of some of her descendants that had been included, with the following reasoning. Hutchinson certainly has thousands of living descendants, myself included, and of these there are certainly scores, or maybe even hundreds, who have had wikipedia articles written about them. It is inappropriate for this article to become a laundry list for her descendants who have reached some level of notoriety. Therefore, I've removed mention of those whose names were added after the section was originally created. Descendants with almost universal name recognition, such as U.S. Presidents and presidential candidates should certainly be mentioned as descendants. I am planning to push this article up to higher status in a few months, and the sections need to be clean, balanced, and appropriate. Thanks to all who have contributed, and I would suggest that if someone wants to go further with Hutchinson's descendants, then a separate article be written, but that it include some well researched material, with appropriate references.Sarnold17 (talk) 18:22, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

Five graphs in lead

Per MOS:LEAD, "The lead should normally contain no more than four paragraphs", I notice this article currently has five, and the lead is verbose IMO. Can someone more familiar with the subject please rectify this, ideally via summarry/re-structure? Thanks. — GabeMc(talk) 02:27, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

  • I am planning to update the article for advancement in July/August, and can tweak the lead then. It is a long lead, but it is also a long article, and the first and last paragraphs are more or less summary paragraphs.Sarnold17 (talk) 09:15, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Descendants of Anne Hutchinson--how many?

I've seen comments from incredulous people as to how many descendants that some colonial American personages might have. I think people who haven't dabbled in genealogy are often surprised by the number of descendants a colonial person has. First, there are easily American settlers who have tens of thousands of descendants today. Before I try to qualify this, let's begin with written genealogies. There are books written on the descendants of thousands of early Americans. These books usually show hundreds, but more often thousands of descendants from a single individual. And often these are only the descendants that have the same last name as the early ancestor. Furthermore, these books, due to gaps in the data, do not show all of the descendants. Next, take a look at the size of the earliest colonial families. How does one get a sense of this? A great, very well documented, place to look is at the recent set of books done by Charles Anderson at the New England Historical Genealogical Society. This is known as the Great Migration series, and I believe the books are now up to ten volumes. These books show the known families of every single person known to have arrived in New England between 1620 and 1635. If you look at the families of these people, you will sometimes see two or three children listed, but more often you see eight, ten, or fifteen children listed. The Hutchinsons had 15, and this was not unusual. So lastly, take a look at things mathematically. A typical birth year for an immigrant coming to colonial America may have been 1600. If a span of 30 years is assumed between generations, then by the year 1990 (390 years after 1600), we would be seeing descendants of the 13th generation from this early settler (even though some early settlers already have descendants to the 15th generation by now, and maybe even 16th). Now, take the unlikely example that every couple has only two children, but each child survives and in turn has two children. Then, the immigrant (with spouse) has two children, four grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, etc. In other words, generation 2 has two descendants, generation 3 has four (2 squared) descendants, generation 4 has eight (2 cubed) descendants, and finally, generation 13 has 2 raised to the 12th power of descendants. This is 4096 descendants in the 13th generation, but then you need to nearly double this for all the descendants in generations 1-12! But also, historically, couples had more than two children, lots more than two children. Yes, many died young, and many did not have children, but the majority had children, and the majority of children survived, and generated more descendants.

Saying that any early American colonist has thousands of descendants is not a stretch; it is a mathematical probability, and a historical reality. Even though Hutchinson had only five children known to have children, the number of her descendants is easily in the thousands, and likely in the tens of thousands. And what of the other early American colonists? ditto. Just take a look at the Great Migration series. These people did not come here to practice celebacy (sp?). They came to populate the land, and that they certainly did.Sarnold17 (talk) 21:47, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

I've been watching the progress here, happily I might add because I'd wanted to work on the page but never got around to it. So first, nice job on the expansion. I think that sentence could probably do with a little tweaking - perhaps add "early" in front of colonial, because these were the earliest settlers and the colonial period lasted for another century and more. Also if any of what's been written above can be attributed easily to a source, then that would solve the problem. Just some thoughts from one of Hutchinson's thousands of descendents.Truthkeeper (talk) 22:00, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
Unfortunately, I don't think the book has been written about the descendants of William and Anne Hutchinson. A reason for this may be that most of their descendants come from their three surviving daughters, and therefore do not carry the name Hutchinson. But a good place to begin with the numbers is to just look at the four Hutchinson children whose families are well documented: Edward, Faith, Bridget, and Susanna. Susanna is my ancestor, and she had 11 children of which at least 9 grew to adult hood. This alone makes the potential numbers quite staggering. I'm not sure who has written what about the likely numbers of descendants of typical immigrants. Maybe Anderson has some numbers in the preface of his first volume. I'll take a look when I get a chance.Sarnold17 (talk) 22:14, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
I have some material about her stashed away, or I may have to retrieve it, but I'll dig around and see what I can find too. If it becomes an issue then a source will be necessary, so just a heads up. Now I'm curious and will have to check my family site to see which of her children was my ancestor. Truthkeeper (talk) 22:18, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Revamping of article

I've begun the process of revamping the entire article, to prepare to put it on the block for good article status. I've gone through and cleaned up the references, and redone all the citations so that they are done properly. I'm in the process of transferring completed sections from my Sandbox to the main article. Unfortunately, I've had to remove some material from previous editors because it is either unsourced or improperly sourced. I wouldn't mind using the material, but it has to be referenced. I've already spent many hours looking up items that have not been sourced, but some things I just can't look up, so have had to remove the material. I should have all of the cleaned up sections done within 24 hours, and then it will be a matter of going through the article over and over again to clean up loose ends.Sarnold17 (talk) 17:24, 4 August 2012 (UTC)


The article currently mixes AE and BE spellings, which is wrong (except for preserving the original spelling in verbatim quotations). The question is which way to standardize it.

When someone is born in one country but notable primarily as a citizen/resident of another, our normal practice is to use the spelling associated with the latter country. For example, T. S. Eliot crossed the ocean in the other direction -- he was born in the U.S., but all his significant publications came while he lived in the U.K. Accordingly, his article uses BE spellings. By that criterion, the Hutchinson article should use AE spellings. The article does not indicate that there was anything notable about her before her move to Massachusetts.JamesMLane t c 17:13, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Here's my pitch for BE: (1) the article is already written in BE, and that may have already been done before my involvement with it; (2) Anne Hutchinson was an English woman. She was English when she lived in England, and she was English when she lived in the colonies. Using BE is more appropriate to the timeframe of the article, because Daniel Webster had not yet arrived on the scene to change Anglicisms into Americanisms. (3) If spellings are in AE, that's because my spell checkers are all calibrated to AE, and not BE. I'm aware of a good many BE spellings, but not all of them. British readers of the article in the past have done a nice job of converting the occasional AE words into BE spelling, and I find it instructive when they do so.
I think this article has floated along for a good long time with BE, and with a large number of viewers. I don't see changing the style as being at all productive. While many wikipedians expect articles written about "American" subjects to be written in AE, some Americans are very partial to having dates written in dmy order. American genealogists use that order for expressing dates, and the American military establishment uses dmy as well. I am a member of both of these communities. It just makes sense to put dates in a logical order, rather than express them in a convoluted way just so that American English becomes distinct from British English.
We are living in an increasingly global environment. In the world of ornithology, the American Ornithological Union is changing long-standing American bird names back to the names that have been used in England for centuries. I don't think we need to get excited about distinctions between AE and BE. Why not let the creator of an article make the decision, and then not worry about it? It's good for Americans to get used to reading BE, and for the remainder of the English speaking world to get used to AE.
One more point of contention. You have removed the word "prophet" from the opening sentence of the article. Knowing the word would be somewhat provocative, I put it there anyway, because it is a direct quote from a recent scholarly book on the Antinomian Controversy. Whether you believe in prophesy or not, this was a very REAL part of Hutchinson's life, and a very REAL part of what she was banished for, and thus what made her famous. While provocative, characterizing Hutchinson as a prophet is not a stretch of the truth, and prophecy was an important element of her life. The quote from which this opening sentence is made, I believe, appears somewhere near the end of the article, and comes from one of Michael Winship's recent books on Hutchinson and the controversy of which she was a part.Sarnold17 (talk) 18:47, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
I've gone back and looked over the article and didn't see Winship's quote about her being a prophet, etc. I therefore added it in near the end of "Historical impact."Sarnold17 (talk) 20:05, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia has a Manual of Style, which means that, when it comes to spelling, we don't need to start from scratch every time and discuss which spelling to use. We just follow the MoS. On this question, the MoS adopts your suggested solution (go with the spelling chosen by the creator, or more precisely by the first person who does substantial work on the article), but only for articles that have no clear connection to any particular country. "An article on a topic that has strong ties to a particular English-speaking nation should use the English of that nation." (Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Strong national ties to a topic)
Hutchinson was born in England but her bio article obviously has strong ties to the U.S. John Winthrop was more notable in England than she was, but his bio, following the MoS, is standardized in AE, because his principal notability was on this side of the water. It also doesn't matter that he and Hutchinson both predated Webster because we don't go by time frame. Otherwise, the bio of Chaucer would have to be extensively rewritten! Just to double-check, I went to the bio of another prominent pre-Websterite born in the British Isles but notable for his life in America, and I found, as I expected, that Andrew Hamilton (lawyer) is all in AE.
The same rule applies to dates: "Articles on topics with strong ties to a particular English-speaking country should generally use the more common date format for that nation. For the US this is month before day; for most others it is day before month. Articles related to Canada may use either format consistently." (Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers#Strong national ties to a topic)
If you think any of these rules should be changed because a different rule would be more logical, you have to take it up on the appropriate MoS talk page. You should note, though, that our current rule does further your idea of having people get used to reading the other variant of English.
As for "prophet", I removed that because, to my mind, it suggested that she could foretell the future. That's an opinion. It's not an assertion that should be made in Wikipedia's voice. Reporting that some significant person called her a prophet is in keeping with NPOV, however, so the way you've rewritten that is fine.JamesMLane t c 07:02, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
I've read over the "Strong national ties" guidelines. While the article has national ties to the US, it has been plugging along happily with BE since my acquaintance with it. I also see some very strong words in the guidelines about NOT CHANGING THE STYLE of an article, except for strong national ties. But this article has a lot of readership, and after nine? years, this issue seems to be coming up for the first time. I, of course, am totally in favor of staying with what we have. It has worked nicely over the years without raising eyebrows. Until yesterday, I haven't heard any clamor for a change.Sarnold17 (talk) 10:38, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
You capitalize the point about not making changes, but then downplay the exception, which is directly applicable here. A long-repeated error doesn't thereby become immune to correction, in any event this error isn't a longstanding one. I switched to viewing 500 revisions and went to the bottom of the list, and found the February 2011 version with AE spelling ("Anne Hutchinson is a contentious figure, having been lionized, mythologized and demonized by various writers."). That sentence is also found, with that spelling, in what seems to be the version after your first edit ([6]) -- which, you'll note, also begins with the date she was "baptized". It's only sometime in the past year that "baptized" and "lionized" have been changed to BE spellings (seethis comparison). This is an error and doesn't even have the unpersuasive excuse of long use to recommend it.JamesMLane t c 15:04, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
All my edits were made using AE, because I wasn't aware that BE was being used. I don't know what date the BE label was put on there, but it was probably put on there long before my association with the article, and instead of making a big stink, I adjusted to it. It's fine, and it's there. I don't think we need to change it. If you are so intent on making a legal issue out of a guideline, then that's your prerogative. I disagree with you, and I'm going to get back to my editing.Sarnold17 (talk) 15:59, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
It seems the basis of our disagreement is that we read the history differently. As of this version from August 2011, immediately after what I think is your first edit, the article was almost entirely in AE (there was one instance of "Saviour" but that was the only BE spelling I notice). Also, the tag wasn't there. (Thanks, by the way-- I didn't even realize the tag was on there until you mentioned it.)
In sum, this article about a prominent American was properly written in AE. About a year ago, however, someone (not you), totally without talk page discussion that I can find, added a BE tag, and over the ensuing year some spellings were changed to BE. The article clearly needs to be edited to make the spelling consistent. On authority of the MoS, and the examples of Eliot, Winthrop, and Hamilton, it's the BE spellings that should be changed. I'll undertake that over the weekend. If you feel strongly enough about changing the article to BE (or leaving the spellings mixed) that you think this would be improper of me, then we can instead set up an RfC to get others' opinions.JamesMLane t c 14:36, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

OK, let's take this to RfC. I've poured my heart and soul into this article, and can claim about 70% ownership of it. While the changeover from AE to BE was insidious, and totally missed by me, during my editing I've come to accept the article as being presented in BE, and when editors have made changes from AE to BE I've noted the changes, and have been happy for the education. Despite the examples of Eliot, Winthrop, and Hamilton, using BE is much more authentic for Hutchinson (and would be for Eliot and Winthrop as well). Anne Hutchinson was not American (in the usual sense of the word) because there was no United States during her lifetime. She was born English and she died English, and anything written by her or about her in her lifetime would have been written in the King's English (to the educational ability of the writer). And it is on this philosophical point that I'm willing to elevate this argument to a higher authority. I'm happy to write articles on post-revolutionary subjects in AE, but before this timeframe we are talking about English subjects, whether they lived in England, the American colonies, or anywhere else in the world.Sarnold17 (talk) 14:25, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

The RfC goes here if you want to argue that Hutchinson should be treated differently from Winthrop, Hamilton, and a host of other pre-Websterite/pre-independence Americans. (By the way, I have great respect for all the work you've put into this article, but whether it's 70% or 100%, it's irrelevant to this question, per WP:OWN.) On the other hand, if you want to argue that bios of all people meeting that dscription ("anything written by her or about her in her lifetime would have been written in the King's English") should be in BE, then the RfC goes on the MoS talk page. What's your preference?JamesMLane t c 15:16, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
The issue will likely come up again with other articles, so it may need to be tabled in the larger forum.Sarnold17 (talk) 21:30, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
I have no objection to doing that, but it will mean more work on your part, because you'll have to specify what the new rule should be. BE for everyone who died before Webster was born? BE for everyone who meets the description "anything written by him or her or about him or her in his or her lifetime would have been written in the King's English"? BE for everyone born in the British Isles and achieving notability before American independence?
I've set up RfC's before. Here's an example of the format I use: Talk:Barney Frank/Archive 1#Request for comment. To follow this format, we have to have "Version 2", the proposed new language for the MoS. Regardless of the format for the RfC, though, people have to be told exactly what proposed new standard they're commenting on, which is why I said that it means some work for you.
Let me know if the format is OK with you and what your proposal is. Then we each write the argument for our position. I personally think this is better than telling commenters to go wade through a whole long discussion.JamesMLane t c 06:16, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
OK, let's keep this focused on this article. That's where my interest is, and I'm not in favor of specifying "rules" for a wide range of articles. My desire is to keep this article the way it has been during my tenure with it.Sarnold17 (talk) 10:06, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
That will certainly make the RfC simpler. Just so you don't feel blindsided, however, please realize that my main argument will be that we should follow the MoS. The whole point of having the MoS is to achieve uniformity across Wikipedia and to avert the kind of discussion represented by this whole thread. If you're comfortable arguing that Hutchinson and Winthrop should be treated differently, we can go ahead on that basis.JamesMLane t c 17:21, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
I've set up the framework for the RfC, below. My basic idea is that, instead of forcing commenters to read a whole long thread, we each write a single statement of position, so people can comment intelligently without having to read anything but the two statements. If this framework seems OK to you, please write up and insert the statement of your position. We'll post on the RfC page once both statements are ready.JamesMLane t c 17:44, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

Request for comment


Please don't anybody comment yet. This RfC will go "live" only after each side has finalized (or finalised) the statement of its argument.

The issue is whether this article should use American English (AE) spelling and "mdy" dates, or British English (BE) spelling and "dmy" dates. In either case, verbatim quotations would preserve the spelling and date format in the original source.

The article was in AE spelling with "mdy" dates, with an exception or two here and there, until about a year ago. Bythis edit on August 27, 2011, User Ohconfucius added tags calling for BE and "dmy" dates, but there was no discussion on the talk page. The article is now using all "dmy" dates but a mixture of spellings.

It's agreed that the article should uniformly use one system or the other, and the question is which one.

Argument for AE spelling and mdy dates

Argument for BE spelling and dmy dates

1. OPENING REMARKS: I will open with the following quote from the wikipedia Manual of Style, WP:MOS (emphases are mine):

<no wiki>===Retaining the existing variety===</no wiki>

In general, disputes over which English variety to use in an article are strongly discouraged. Such debates waste time and engender controversy, mostly without accomplishing anything positive.

When an English variety's consistent usage has been established in an article, it is maintained in the absence of consensus to the contrary. With few exceptions (e.g. when a topic has strong national ties or a term/spelling carries less ambiguity), there is no valid reason for such a change.

2. STRONG NATIONAL TIES. I've made the point earlier, and I'll make it again. Anne Hutchinson was English the day she was born, and she was English the day she died. If one says she has stronger national ties to the United States than to England, my response will be that's a matter of opinion. There was no United States when Anne Hutchinson was alive, and she would have never identified herself as being anything other than English.

When I began doing genealogical research more than four decades ago, I used to think that when the immigrants landed in America they instantly became American. It wasn't until two years ago when I began doing intense research and writing wikipedia articles that I realized how wrong this notion was. For the Puritans especially, those founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the ties with the mother country were extremely important. Yes, they wanted to get away from the prying eyes of Archbishop Laud and the practices of the Anglican Church, but they came to North America not only to worship as they saw fit, but to also show the Puritans back in England that such a model society was plausible and working (even if not all agreed that it worked). John Winthrop did not write his journal or his Short Story (about the Antinomian Controversy) for the consumption of people on the west side of the Atlantic Ocean. Uh uh; these were for the folks back in England. There might as well have been a paved highway from London to Boston, because the intercourse between the two worlds was intense. People went both ways, and probably the only thing keeping most colonists from going back to England for a visit was the cost of a voyage, in both money and time.

3. COMPARISON TO OTHER ARTICLES. It has been stated that examples of other articles of the same ilk as Anne Hutchinson use American English and American dates. Yes, most use American English, but let's take a look at the dates. My area of great interest this summer has been theAntinomian Controversy, and the players that were involved in that controversy. If you go to that article and look at the infobox, there is a list of the key players in the controversy. I checked every article from that list: John Winthrop, Thomas Dudley, John Endecott,John Wheelwright, Henry Vane the Younger, John Wilson (Puritan), John Cotton (Puritan), Thomas Weld (minister), Hugh Peter,John Eliot (missionary) and Thomas Shepard (minister). Only two of those articles use mdy dating, John Cotton and Thomas Shepard, and they are both stub/starts; they have not yet been expanded by a serious editor. Every one of the full length articles above uses dmy dating, and I only wrote two of them. What this clearly says to me, is that there is some kind of consensus in the community of writers on colonial New England that thinks that dmy dating is more appropriate.

4. THE LANGUAGE OF THE SETTLERS. Because Hutchinson was English, and lived in an English world (though away from England), everything she wrote, and everything written about her in her lifetime was written in English that would have been appropriate for the King (to the writer's ability). This is also true of John Winthrop, Thomas Dudley, John Endecott, John Cotton, etc., etc, and some of these people wrote a lot. Therefore any source document that we as editors get our hands on will be written in a form of English that is much more similar to BE than to AE.

5. GENEALOGICAL FORMAT. While I hear a lot of people say that wikipedia should not be a forum for genealogical accounts, there is still genealogical information that is useful and appropriate in presenting a person's life. Regardless of the amount of genealogical information included in an article, no early New England biography should be begun without consulting Robert Charles Anderson's Great Migration series (now at ten volumes). Yes, this is genealogical, but it is also historical and biographical. Web sources are notorious for messing up the facts, so if you want the facts correctly, you go to Anderson. Thousands of published sources and tens of thousands of other documents have been scoured to create these ten volumes, which to date include every English person known to have sailed to New England from 1620 to 1635. Oh, and why do I bring this up? Because guess what the date format is--you guessed it if you said dmy. And this is true of almost all genealogical sources. Yes, genealogists use dmy; that's how you are going to find most general genealogical works formatted. Also, Patriotic organizations use dmy: the Daughters and Sons of the American Revolution, Daughters of the Confederacy, Colonial Dames, Founders and Patriots, etc...dmy, dmy, dmy, dmy... How do you fill out an application form? dmy.

6. VESTED INTEREST IN AN ARTICLE. I find it highly inappropriate that someone without a vested interest in an article would want to come in and change the format. This really smacks of outside interference. It's like the kids playing nicely together, and then here comes the neighbourhood bully, letting them know they're now going to do things his way. There are a handful of editors who have worked on the Hutchinson article in the past year, quietly making changes, or adding material, or shooing away the vandals, and I haven't heard any of them complain about the format. No, no one has even mentioned it. It's there and it's fine and it's no big deal. If any of them thought a change would be for the better, then I would listen to them much more intently than to someone who has shown no editorial interest.

7. CLOSING REMARKS. My closing remarks are these: IF IT AIN'T BROKE, THEN DON'T FIX IT. Yes, I agree that the spelling should be consistent. I would ask my fellow editors across the Atlantic to help out with correcting spelling and style errors. My fingers natural[y put dates in dmy order, but they struggle with BE. My thinking is that this article should be otherwise left alone, and that all the other articles mentioned above should be left alone. They are just fine. Other than that, I would ask everyone to go back and review the five pillars of wikipedia, particularly the last one. This is supposed to be a fun and enjoyable experience, not a legal exercise. Some of us spend a lot of time creating content in a way that does our hearts good. Please let us enjoy the fruits of our labours.Sarnold17 (talk) 09:52, 19 August 2012 (UTC)


Your comment about strong national ties is half right. She was an English subject, but her notability is tied to United States history and not to English history. She is notable for being an American settler. The fact that the US didn't exist during her lifetime is irrelevant. Her notability, as well as a lot of other settler articles is forever tied to US history. --JOJ Hutton 01:58, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Peer review

A peer review for this article can be found at Wikipedia:Peer review/Anne Hutchinson/archive1.Sarnold17 (talk) 22:51, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

late FAC comments

I was in the process of posting some comments on the FAC at the same time as one of the delegates promoted it. I haven't made it all the way through the article, but I did find a few things that need work:

  • The article links to Bronx. Do you mean the county (Bronx County, New York) or the borough (The Bronx)? The name of the borough always takes a definite article, even when it's a giant grammatical pain in the neck.
  • I've reworded as "The Bronx."Sarnold17 (talk) 10:15, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
  • In the lead, everyone is introduced nicely except poor Roger Williams, who gets only his name; can we call him 'the theologian Roger Williams', or some such?
  • This is the big one: punctuation near quotes needs some attention. WP:MOSLQ prescribes logical quotation, but I'm finding punctuation both before and after close quotes, seemingly regardless of whether it originated from the quote.

Let me know here if clarification is needed. This is great writing! Maralia (talk) 03:42, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

  • Hi Maralia, if the quote from the source ends with punctuation, then per LQ I put the punctuation outside of the quotation marks, otherwise not. It looks inconsistent but is consistent with LQ as I understand it. Anyway, some of those are because I repunctuated that way. They can all be moved inside the punctuation marks if you prefer. I agree, the writing is great. I'll leave the rest of the points to Sarnold17.Truthkeeper (talk) 03:52, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

FAC comments

The comments made during the FAC nomination can be found at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Anne Hutchinson/archive1. Sarnold17 (talk) 10:25, 16 November 2012 (UTC)