The following announcement was written by the Hutchinson Foundation:
Five Day, Three State Event-Series (July 20-24, 2016): The 2016 Founding Mothers Celebration
July 13, 2016—Boston, Massachusetts—Puritan castaway and Founding Mother Anne Marbury Hutchinson turns 425 this summer. A five-day learning-event series, in three states along the “Hutchinson Trail,” will commemorate the occasion (July 20-25, 2016). Featuring nearly 20 events, the series is called the 2016 Founding Mothers Celebration™.
Why? Anne Hutchinson (b.1591-d.1643) is widely regarded as America’s prototypical feminist— an intelligent, forceful, and charismatic woman who challenged the male-dominated hierarchy of the early American culture and society, and its treatment of women. “In doing so, founding mother Anne Hutchinson had a formative hand in shaping the America we know today,” says Eve LaPlante, Hutchinson biographer and author of American Jezebel: The Uncommon Life of Anne Hutchinson, the Woman Who Defied the Puritans.
LaPlante continues, “Anne Hutchinson is an extraordinary figure who has inspired generations of Americans. She’s the only woman who cofounded an American colony—Rhode Island. She had a significant role in the creation of America’s first college—today’s Harvard University. Most important, she stands for many principles that Americans take for granted today: freedom of speech and thought, religious liberty, and gender equality.”
It all kicks off Wednesday, July 20, with The Honorable Michael S. Dukakis officiating a ceremony in front of the Hutchinson statue on the Mass. State House grounds (he pardoned Hutchinson in 1987 while serving as Massachusetts’ 65th governor). The event series will then trace Hutchinson’s path from Boston, MA (on July 20-21), to Portsmouth, RI (July 22), to BronxEastchester, NY (July 23), and then back to Boston for closing events (July 24).
Organized by the Anne Marbury Hutchinson Foundation, the birthday series will feature engaging activities including genealogy presentations, scholarly panel discussions, walking tours, and convivial dinners. Each event will be produced in partnership with fellow history-loving nonprofits: The New England Historic Genealogical Society, the Partnership of Historic Bostons, Boston by Foot, First Church of Boston, the Portsmouth Historical Society (RI), Friends of Anne Hutchinson (RI), the Eastchester Historical Society (NY), The East Bronx History Forum (NY), The Anne Hutchinson Year 2016 (NY), and many others.
LaPlante, a descendant of Hutchinson, highlights the importance of Mother Anne: “Most 17thcentury female voices are silent, but Anne Hutchinson’s voice can still be heard. In an era when a woman could not vote, hold public office, sign legal documents, or teach outside the home, Hutchinson brazenly told the Massachusetts General Court, ‘I will give you the ground of what I know to be true.’ Let’s join in celebrating this and other courageous founding mothers like Anne Hutchinson—let’s Stand Strong With Anne.” (#StandStrongWithAnne)
- STATE HOUSE STATUE. A statue of Hutchinson stands in front of the Mass. State House with a plaque honoring her as a “courageous exponent of civil liberty and religious toleration.”
- COLONY FOUNDER. Hutchinson and scores of her adherents cofounded Rhode Island, and formed a “body politic” that separated church and state, a revolutionary concept unheard of until then.
- HUTCHINSON QUOTE: “I will give you the ground of what I know to be true.” —Anne Marbury Hutchinson (from her civil trial, Nov. 1637)
- 100K+ DESCENDANTS. Hutchinson’s descendants are numerous, probably numbering in the hundreds of thousands. They include Franklin D. Roosevelt; George H. W. Bush; Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Melville Weston Fuller; Associate Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.; and Colonial Governor of Rhode Island, Peleg Sanford (grandson); among many others. With the advent of internet genealogy research, more and more people are able to trace their heritage to this founding mother of colonial America.
While the 2016 Founding Mothers Celebration‘s inaugural theme centers on the life of Anne Hutchinson, the purpose reaches beyond one year. The vision is to both highlight her nationshaping contributions and springboard enthusiasm for celebrating the lives of our nation’s other courageous founding mothers—role models and mentors from our past.™
ABOUT ANNE MARBURY HUTCHINSON FOUNDATION: The Anne Marbury Hutchinson Foundation is a Boston-based nonprofit charged with the responsibility of celebrating the life and example of its namesake and the stories of other courageous Founding Mothers like Anne—role models and mentors from our past.™ To realize that mission in the 425th birthday year of Anne Hutchinson, the foundation is launching the Founding Mothers Celebration™ (July 20-24, 2016.) For more information visit www.TheHutchinsonFoundation.org.