Puritan Women

Men ruled the colonial world, including New England, which had the greatest proportion of females of any European settlement. The Puritans did not tolerate dissent, and certainly not from women. Anne Hutchinson eloquently defended her right to conduct prayer meetings, but elders hounded her from the community for her disobedience. Her friend, Anne Bradstreet, restricted her thoughts to her poems, posing less of a challenge to the leadership. Bradstreet became the first published poet of the English colonies when in 1650 her brother arranged for her verse to be printed in London.

view large image

Testimony of Anne Hutchinson in John Winthrop, A Short Story of the Rise, Reign, and Ruine….

London: Ralph Smith, 1644. Tracy W. McGregor Library of American History (A 1644 .W55)

view large image

Anne Bradstreet, The Tenth Muse….

London: Stephen Bowtell, 1650. Tracy W. McGregor Library of American History (A 1650 .B73)