The Portsmouth Post
Township, Newport County)
was established on July 1, 1808
under Postmaster Thomas Cory, Jr.
This Post Office is currently in operation under
Postmaster Bruce K. Whitehead appointed on
December 29, 1990.
Pawtucket was founded in
1638 by Ann Hutchinson.
Hutchinson Marbury was born
either in 1590 or 1591 (She
was baptized July 20, 1591 in Alford, Lincolnshire, England.)
Ann was a religious liberal who became one of the co-founders of
Rhode Island after her banishment from the Massachusetts Bay
Ann was the
daughter of a Deacon in Christ's Church, Cambridge, England. She
married William Hutchinson, a merchant, in 1612 and they moved
to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1634. Ann was an outspoken
and deeply religious person who organized her own weekly
meetings of the women in the colony to discuss recent sermons
and to express her own theological views. She stressed the
individual's intuition as a means of reaching God and salvation,
rather than the observance of institutionalized beliefs. Her
detractors accused her of "antinomianism"
-- the view that God's grace has freed the Christian from the
need to observe established moral precepts.
highly critical of the Massachusetts Puritans for what she
considered to be their narrowly legalistic concept of morality.
A leading preacher of the colony, John Winthrop, was violently
opposed to Ann's views and was active in her prosecution after
he became governor. Ann was tried by the Massachusetts General
Court for "traducing
convicted in 1637 and sentenced to banishment from the colony.
Ann was imprisoned at the house of Joseph Weld, Marshall of
Roxbury from 1637 to 1638 in an attempt to get her to recant her
beliefs. When Ann refused to denounce her beliefs she was tried
by the Boston Church Council and formally excommunicated.
In 1638 Ann
and several of her followers were taken to the
Massachusetts/Rhode Island border and banished. Ann and her
followers established a colony on the island of Aquidneck in
what is now Portsmouth, RI. (This
was a common practice of the times in the Bay Colony for anyone
who didn't conform to the colony's rules. Colonists of the
Quaker belief were frequently banished in this way. The usual
practice was to sentence them to be flogged in the various towns
of the colony before banishment.)
After the death
of her husband in 1642, Ann moved to Pelham Bay on the Long
Island Sound where she and all of her children with the
exception of two still living in Rhode Island were massacred by
Indians in 1643.
Hutchinson was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony as a
religious dissenter the real reason for her persecution may have
been that she challenged the traditional role of male
superiority in Puritan society by expressing her own religious
convictions. Ann Hutchinson should be considered as one of the
first crusaders in the struggle for
Women's Equal Rights.