96-H 9032

Passed in House

Apr. 25, 1996.


WHEREAS, More than three hundred and fifty years ago, Anne Hutchinson was a dynamic spiritual leader and mover of events that led to the founding of the first settlement on Aquidneck Island, Portsmouth. She is honored so many years later for the courage of her public voice and her willingness to argue for her religious ideals; and

WHEREAS, Born in London in 1581, Anne Marbury married William Hutchinson and immigrated to Boston in 1634, where she led discussion groups in her home and preached individual salvation through love and not obedience to church law; and

WHEREAS, Tried and convicted for her beliefs, she and her followers were banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1637. Undaunted by this hearsh treatment, Anne Hutchinson and her devoted acolytes walked all the way from Boston to Portsmouth and established the first settlement on Aquidneck Island; and

WHEREAS, Anne Hutchinson left Aquidneck Island in 1642 to live in New York, where she and her family were killed by Native-Americans one year later; and

WHEREAS, In 1976, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts rectified the injustice perpetrated on Anne Hutchinson, "signifying an end to all discrimination against women and to mark the beginning of a new era of recognition of the value of all people in the life of the Commonwealth," by officially revoking her 1637 banishment; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations hereby honors the memory of Anne Hutchinson, a woman who helped to shape the tradition of free speech and religious tolerance that has become so important to modern Americans, by proclaiming April 27, 1996 to be "Anne Hutchinson Day in Rhode Island". A loving wife, mother, midwife, visionary, spiritual leader and original settler, the dedication of the Anne Hutchinson Memorial at Founders Brook Park in Portsmouth on this special day will not only honor the memory of this extraordinary lady, but will also promote the preservation and dissemination of the ideals she professed so many years ago; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to Valerie Debrule, Chairwoman of the Anne Hutchinson Memorial Committee.

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