Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Payoff of Persistence
1630s: Mary Barrett Dyer sides with preacher Anne Hutchinson who taught that the Holy Spirit resides within the justified individual. She, along with her husband and the Hutchinsons, is banished from the Massachusetts Colony. They settled in Rhode Island.
1652: During a trip to England, Mrs. Dyer becomes a Quaker, a follower of George Fox whose teachings were similar to Anne Hutchinson's.
1657: Mary Dyer returns to Boston. She is imprisoned for her Quaker beliefs. She was released when her husband promised to keep her quiet.1
1658: Law passed making Quaker affiliation punishable by death.
1659: Mary Dyer visits two Quaker friends in jail, is herself jailed. They are released, but assured that they would be executed if they returned. A month later, Mary was back in Boston to "look the bloody laws in the face."2 She was again thrown in jail. She and others were led to the hanging site, where she watched two Friends hanged, but Governor stayed her execution. She returned to Rhode Island under duress. But persistence prevailed. She was determined to stand against the "wicked law."
1660: June 1. Boston Common. Mary Dyer is hanged.
"The faith of Mary Dyer inspired a new tolerance, which was enshrined in Massachusetts Constitution, which later became the model for the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights."3
Mary Dyer c.1611 - 1660 RIP
1You might imagine how difficult it was for me to avoid straying down this road; but I'm trying to be serious here.
2Smitty's Genealogy, Quaker, and Civil War Pages
3The Official Website of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Smitty's Genealogy, Quaker, and Civil War Pages
The Official Website of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts