Execution at Boston Common - Preface

Execution at Boston Common (Illustration) Government History American History Social Studies Trials Civil Rights


She did hang as a flag
For others
To take example
(Puritan On-looker
June 1, 1660)


As Mary Dyer hanged from the great elm tree at Boston Common, few Puritans felt responsible for her death.  After all, people in the Massachusetts Bay Colony were governed by a theocracy.  That meant religious life and political life were intertwined.

Puritan leaders, who had left England because they didn't want to conform to England's religious principles, were themselves requiring everyone to live by the leaders' prefered religious principles.  

Intolerance, in the Bay Colony, was especially fierce toward a group of people called "Quakers."

In such an environment, hardly anyone thought the charges against Mary Dyer - a Quaker - were unjust.  In fact, the on-ooker likely expressed what most Puritans must have been thinking that day: 

This is what happens to heretics.

This is the story of Mary Dyer's journey through a theocratic legal system which sent a similar message:  "This is what happens to heretics."

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 01, 1999

Updated Last Revision: Nov 09, 2016

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"Execution at Boston Common" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 01, 1999. Feb 28, 2020.
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