Anne Hutchinson - Death by Massacre

Anne Hutchinson - Death by Massacre American History Biographies Censorship Civil Rights Famous Historical Events Disasters

Anne Hutchinson - and some of her children - died unfortunate deaths of mistaken identity in the summer of 1643.

After Anne's husband died - and she moved, with her children, to an area now known as Pelham Bay, New York (today a part of the Bronx) - the Dutch settlers of "New Netherland" (who were friendly with Anne and her family) killed members of the Algonquian tribe. 

Seeking to take revenge against the Dutch, the Native Americans ended up taking revenge against the Hutchinsons - an English family.

We learn more about what happened from Darlene R. Stille in Anne Hutchinson: Puritan Protester:

Serious trouble broke out in 1643 between Dutch settlers and Native Americans.  A tribe of Algonquian, who were fleeing from an Iroquois tribe, thought they would be safe in Dutch territory and set up camp on Manhattan Island.  Willem Kieft, however, thought the Indians were planning an uprising, so he sent Dutch soldiers to kill them

More than 100 men, women and children were killed.  All the Algonquian tribes in the area vowed revenge, including a group called the Siwanoy.

The Algonquian began their attacks on the Dutch of New Netherland in August.  Hutchinson's Dutch neighbors warned her that the Siwanoy were coming.  They told her to take her small colony and "disappear."  But Hutchinson refused to leave her home.  She even refused to arm herself, her servants or her family members. 

Trusting in God's protection, she thought she had nothing to fear.  After all, she had nothing to do with the attacks on the Algonquian.  She and the Native Americans had always gotten along very well.

August 20, 1643, was the last day of Anne Hutchinson's life:

August 20, 1643 was a clear, beautiful day.  A chief named Wampage led the Siwanoy war party up a hill on Pelham Bay to a small settlement.  He was no doubt surprised to find Hutchinson and her family at home. 

The family showed no fear of him or his warriors.  He asked them to tie up the family dogs, which they did.  Then quickly, the warriors grabbed Hutchinson and her family members, killed them, and cut off their scalps.  They dragged the bodies into a house and burned it to the ground.

One of Anne's daughters fortunately escaped the massacre:

...Nine-year-old Susanna had gone off to pick blueberries some distance away from the houses.  According to legend, she hid in the crack of a boulder after she heard the screams of her family and saw smoke from the burning house. 

When the Siwanoy found her, they likely realized they had made a mistake.  They had not killed a Dutch family.  They had killed the English family of Anne Hutchinson.

What happened to young Susanna?

Wampage took Susanna captive and later adopted her as his own daughter.  She lived with the Siwanoy until she was about 18 years old.  She then went to Boston and married a man named John Cole.  They had 11 children.  Susanna died in 1713, at the age of 80.  (Quoted passages, above, from Anne Hutchinson: Puritan Protester, by Darlene R. Stille, pages 86-89.)

Anne Hutchinson - and six of her children - perished that day.

Click on the image for a better view.

Media Credits

Drawing - "Massacre of Anne Hutchingson, by William Ludwell Sheppard (in 1881) - online, courtesy New York Public Library, image 808190

Source of drawing"Popular history of the United States, from the first discovery of the western hemisphere by the Northmen to the end of the Civil War."


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"Anne Hutchinson - Death by Massacre" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Jan 18, 2020.
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