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THE HUTCHINSON FAMILY
one's self." Bancroft says of the Antinomians, that "they sustained with intense fanaticism the paramount right of private judgment. The founder of this sect was Anne Hutchinson, a woman of such admirable understanding and profitable and sober carriage, that she won a powerful party in the colonics, and even her enemies could not speak of her without acknowledging her eloquence and ability. She received encouragement from Mr. Wheelwright and Governor Vane, and a majority of Boston people sustained her against the clergy. Scholars and men of learning, members of the magistracy and the general court adopted her opinions."
I would record here the noticeable fact of which my cousin makes mention, that the honored name of Edward Hutchinson was borne by the father of Anne Hutchinson's husband, who lived and died in Alford, England, not far from Old Boston, in Lincolnshire. It was very probably borne before his day, as the family can be traced back to 1282. But he was the first Edward Hutchinson we know, and the name has been borne by some descendant in every one of the ten generations since, a period extending over nearly two hundred and fifty years. The grandson of Anne Hutchinson, who bore the name of Edward, was one whom we should remember with peculiar gratitude. He removed to Boston in 1644-45, was chosen deputy from Boston in 1651, and in 1658, when the sanguinary laws against Quakers were made, he and his friend Thomas Clarke requested that their dissent might be recorded. The daughter of Thomas Clarke had mar
ried the son of Edward Hutchinson. In Drake's "History of Boston" he mentions that "these two eminent merchants Thomas Clarke and Edward Hutchinson entered their dissent against the cruel laws in regard to the Quakers, which seems a more potent expression in regard to the only men who appear to have been influenced by motives of humanity towards an oppressed class."
So much for Anne Jean's Hutchinson ancestry. I have heard her say, in later years, that the virtues of one's ancestors were as much a subject for personal humiliation as for family pride. For if we have only taken the virtues handed down to us, without adding to them or exalting them, we are like the receiver of talents who has laid them up in a napkin.
"Assist us, Lord, to act, to be
What Nature and Thy laws decree:
Worthy that intellectual flame
Which from Thy breathing spirit came."
NNE JEAN'S early childhood was passed on Milton Hill, and through life she retained the happiest associations with that beautiful scenery. As any other healthy child would, she lived much in the open air, and roved about the hill, rejoicing in the distant view of the Blue Hills in one direction, and Boston Harbor in the other, and the rising and falling tide of the Neponset below the hill, which gives such variety to the whole scene at different hours of the day. She was a remarkably vigorous child, and delighted in climbing trees and walking on stone walls, and in all other out-of-door sports. She was a great favorite with Dr. Holbrook, who was the esteemed and beloved physician of that scattered neighborhood. He often took her in his chaise when he went to visit his patients; and in his old age he spoke to me of her beautiful childhood, her witty little remarks, and her ceaseless activity. He never tired of relating his difficulty in keeping her quiet, after she had broken her arm in falling from a stone wall, where she had
climbed to witness a raising; and what a miracle it was that the bone knit so nicely when she was in such perpetual motion.
When I was a child, and visited at the Forbes mansion house on Milton Hill, the little old-fashioned school-house was still standing on the opposite side of the road, where Anne Jean went to school in her childhood. The little belfry, from which the bell sweetly called the children to school, seemed to me then a fine structure. At one time Miss Ann Bent, a woman of rare and noble character, and a life-long friend of the family, kept the school; and Anne always loved to recall the months that she passed under her instruction.
The recollections of childhood seldom leave, in later life, especially if that life be overflowing with activity, any very marked incidents to dwell on. And this was the case with Anne Jean's. She once spoke of being much pleased that, when the funeral celebration of George Washington occurred, she was dressed in white with a broad black ribbon around her straw hat, and a black sash around the waist.
Some years the family were in the habit of going into Boston in the winter, and they either took a furnished house for a few months, or went to a boarding-house. They were always forced to practise habits of close personal economy; but an open-handed hospitality, united to simplicity of living, made them rich in the best sense of the word. And so Anne grew up in an atmosphere of cordial giving; and that quality which was hers by nature and inheritance must have become a second nature,
HER EARLY SELF-CONFIDENCE
from the habitual influence of those around her. My grandmother was kind to old family friends or dependants, never forgetting the humblest servant who had at any time formed a part of the household; and Anne inherited this trait, along with that wider humanity which belonged peculiarly to her father a humanity that took in every one, of any name or race or color, that needed kindness.
When Anne was ten years old, and many years after there had ceased to be any young children in the family, my grandmother had a little daughter, whose birth excited the warmest emotions of affection and delight in Anne's heart. Her sister, my aunt Mary Revere, tells me that when it was stated in the family a month later, that the baby was to be sent to a wet-nurse who lived three miles away, Anne's grief and indignation knew no bounds. When the nurse was starting from the front door with the baby, she cried and screamed loudly, calling out, "I can take care of the baby, I can bring her up by hand; I know I can." And when, in spite of her protestations, both nurse and baby disappeared, she cried till she was nearly worn out. In this behavior at ten years of age, a prophetic eye might have scen a foreshadowing of that grand self-confidence that never in later years shrank from any responsibility.
After passing her childhood alternately at the Milton village-school and a few months of nearly every year at some school in Boston, until she was between thirteen and fourteen years of age, Anne was sent to Dorchester for what was considered a