Portsmouth Residents Celebrate Town Founder Anne Hutchinson

Jul 22, 2013

Portsmouth residents are celebrating that town’s 375th anniversary this year.  Sunday, the focus was on one of the town’s founders: Anne Hutchinson. 

A quotation from Anne Hutchinson is carved into new bench, that was unveiled as part of a celebration honoring her in Portsmouth.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

Protecting themselves against the heat of the sun with a red, white and blue striped tent, about 200 Portsmouth residents showed up at Founders Brook Park to celebrate the life of founder Anne Hutchinson.  Three new granite benches, each bearing a quotation attributed her, were unveiled.  And documentary maker Elizabeth Vangel was on hand to fill in the uneducated about her life.

"There’s something about her that seems to resonate in America and worldwide. It has to do with freedom and being willing to put everything on the line for it. That’s still highly attractive," said Vangel.

Hutchinson was a 17th century wife, mother, midwife, herbalist and spiritual leader. Banished from the Boston colony for blasphemy, she, along with William Coddington and John Clarke, founded Portsmouth in 1638 as a haven for religious tolerance.   Hutchinson died in an Indian massacre in New York State along with several of her relatives.