Forgotten Bronx History Part 3 - Anne Hutchinson

Forgotten Bronx History Part 3 - Anne Hutchinson

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The amazing borough of the Bronx has so much rich history, but it is often overlooked. As a reporter/producer Bronx native Derek Woods has brought many of these stories to light. Here is a few of them presented in their original format from his television series Bronx Magazine (courtesy Bronxnet).


Governors William Bradford and John Winthrop discuss Anne Hutchinson, the "American Jezebel," and the Quaker martyr, Mary Dyer

From the Winthrop family papers.
The item is comprised of a large sheet of paper that was folded in half, and then folded again. Bradford wrote his letter (page 1) on one half of the paper. On the other half, Bradford wrote the address (on the top of page 2) and John Winthrop wrote notes about his response to the letter (on the bottom of page 2).

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In a letter from Governor William Bradford of Plymouth Colony to Governor John Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, dated 11 April 1638, Bradford refers to "Mrs. Huchingson" (Anne Hutchinson), who soon would be exiled from Massachusetts Bay in the aftermath of the Antinomian Controversy of 1636-1638. Bradford clearly was concerned that Hutchinson and her followers might move into the territory of the Plymouth Colony. While he does not refer to her by name, Bradford also asks Winthrop for more information about a "monsterous & prodigious birth," to Mary Dyer, then a supporter of Hutchinson, who would die as a martyr to religious freedom in 1660.


Forgotten Bronx History Part 3 - Anne Hutchinson - History


If you happen to be driving up the Hutchinson River Parkway tomorrow, you might pause a moment to think about the road's namesake, religious dissenter Anne Hutchinson, who was killed on August 20, 1643, somewhere in the vicinity of Split Rock, where the parkway meets the New England Thruway.

Anne Hutchinson, born in England in 1591, came to Massachusetts in 1634 with her husband, William. A "woman of ready wit and bold spirit" (as John Winthrop called her), Hutchinson's religious views soon ran afoul of the Puritans in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Among other things, she promoted the role of women in the church--a challenge to the male-oriented orthodoxy of Puritan religion--as well as deviating from their teachings. Most importantly, she challenged the Puritan establishment over the age-old conflict of grace vs. works. Hutchinson believed that the Puritans were teaching people to achieve salvation through "good works," which made them little different in her eyes than Roman Catholics. Hutchinson argued that it didn't matter whether those who were saved did good works or not--they were members of the body of the elect no matter what. Hutchinson also claimed that she could tell who those saved souls were.

Branded a heretic, she was banished from Massachusetts and she and her followers moved to Portsmouth, Rhode Island. But soon after her husband's death, Hutchinson moved farther south to what was then New Netherland and settled in the Bronx near the Split Rock, a giant glacial erratic that had calved in two sometime during the last Ice Age.

On August 20, 1643, Hutchinson's family was attacked by a group of Native Americans. This was during the era in Dutch Colonial history known as Kieft's War. Not so much a war as a series of skirmishes between the Dutch and the Native Americans, it was a bloody period marked by a high number of civilian deaths. Hutchinson and her family, living in an isolated area, were likely easy targets. Only one of Hutchinson's daughters survived--legend has it by hiding in the split of the Split Rock--and she was taken and raised by the Natives.

Today, it is difficult, but not impossible, to visit the site of the massacre. Blake Bell gives instructions on his informative Historic Pelham blog.


Historical Collections

T he Bronxville History Center holds and makes available for research personal papers, organizational records, photographs, printed materials, artifacts, and other materials relating to the history of Bronxville. The History Center's collections complement, as a historical resource for the history of Bronxville, the records of the Village of Bronxville, which are kept in Village Hall.

The History Center’s collections include personal papers organizational records materials organized around a place or an event (Bronxville School Collection, Hotel Gramatan Collection, Westchester County Historical Pageant Collection) audiovisual materials maps, blueprints, and posters artifacts and printed materials Finding aids will be linked to the collection listings as they are completed.

The History Center is a department of the Village of Bronxville. It is managed by the Village Historian, who is a volunteer.

Contact the Village Historian, at [email protected], to make an appointment to use the History Center’s collections.

A list of the History Center’s collections follows:

Records and Personal Papers

  • American Field Service, Bronxville Chapter Collection
  • Architects of Bronxville Collection
  • Boulder Ledge Garden Club Collection
  • Village of Bronxville Collection
  • Records of the Bronxville Architectural and Historical Survey, 1973-1977
  • Records of the Bronxville Camera Club
  • Records of the Bronxville Friends of Rotary Park, Recreation and Conservation Project, Inc. (Bicentennial Park)
  • Bronxville Historical Conservancy Collection , 1 linear foot (about 1500 pages), 1853-present. The collection includes individual documents or small groups of documents that are not part of any other collection. Organized by names of individuals and organizations.
  • Records of the Bronxville Public Library
  • Bronxville School Collection
  • Records of the Bronxville Women’s Club--The Villager, 1928-2003
  • Barbara B. Buff Papers--Will Low Research Materials
  • Bertrand Burtnett Papers , 1818-1960 (bulk c.1900-mid 1950s), 2.2 linear feet (about 4,000 pages). Correspondence, photographs, printed material, reports, speeches, and other materials relating to the history of Bronxville, to Burtnett's several jobs and enterprises during his life, and to his family history. , 1866-1964, about 300 pages. Correspondence, photographs, an autobiographical manuscript, and other materials relating primarily to the lives of Frank Ross Chambers and his wife Kate Waller Chambers, and to their house in Bronxville, called "Crow's Nest." , 1909-c.1992 (bulk 1917-1919), about 600 pages. Correspondence, primarily, and reports, college records, and other materials relating to Colt's activities as a member of the Smith College Relief Unit (Red Cross) during World War I.
  • Anita Inman Comstock Papers
  • Records of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Anne Hutchinson Chapter
  • “Dear Gang” Collection of World War II Letters
  • Records of the Earnest Workers Circle of the King's Daughters , 1945-1968, about 600 pages. A scrapbook, photographs, correspondence, school football schedules, school newspapers, and other documents relating primarily to the Bronxville Broncos football team of 1947 also relating to other school sports and to Frey's membership in the Boy Scouts.
  • Hotel Gramatan Collection
  • Girl Scout Collection , 13 linear feet (about 26,000 pages), 1888-1985. Includes ten very detailed accounts ledgers, three of them entirely or largely kept by William Van Duzer Lawrence two bound volumes of copies of out-going correspondence written by Lawrence and his two sons, 1916-1918 the business records of forty Lawrence-owned companies and a large collection of deeds and mortgage-related documents relating to individual properties. , 1974-1979, about 800 pages. Legal briefs, documents relating to a hearing, correspondence, briefing papers, and other materials relating to the business affairs of the company.
  • Records of the Lawrence Park Hilltop Association
  • Records of the League for Service
  • Records of Leonard Morange Post No. 464, American Legion , 4 linear feet (about 8,000 pages), 1918-1983. Includes reports of the Post commander minutes of Post meetings and of the meetings of its executive committee Post event programs, including those for all the Night of Sport events and correspondence, financial statements, membership data, and newspaper clippings. Partly processed preliminary inventory only.
  • Records of the Little Forum
  • Records of Miss Covington’s of Bronxville, Inc., 1981-1996
  • Abijah Morgan House (339 Pondfield Road) Collection
  • Eloise Morgan Papers--Research Materials
  • Nondescript Club Collection
  • Records of the Oral History Project, 1984
  • Records of the Prescott Square Company, Inc.
  • Records of the Sagamore Development Company
  • Robert Scannell Papers
  • Scrapbook Collection
  • Penrose V. Stout Papers
  • Ward Leonard Electric Company Collection
  • Charles Weber, Jr. Papers
  • Westchester County Department of Planning--Portfolio of Maps, 1944
    , about 100,000 pages of historic newspapers from Bronxville, Tuckahoe, and Eastchester, 1902-2009, accessible and searchable online at news.hrvh.org . , about 365 items. Books about Bronxville, its history, people, and institutions books written by Bronxville residents, including Roy Chapman Andrews, Elizabeth B. Custer, Tudor Jenks, Charles R. Knight, Will H. Low, Jack Paar, Eddie Rickenbacker, Alice Wellington Rollins, Edmund Clarence Stedman, and Louise Beebe Wilder books by and about members of the family of Joseph P. Kennedy autogbiographies of William Van Duzer Lawrence and Kate Waller Chambers and histories of Eastchester, Westchester County, and New York City. , 5.3 linear feet, 1895-2019. Includes items about the history of Bronxville and surrounding communities Bronxville's village government, its neighborhoods, its artists and architects, its schools, churches, civic organizations, veterans and patriotic organizations, and country clubs its real estate developments its political parties and campaigns and Lawrence Hospital, the Hotel Gramatan, the Bronxville Public Library, and the Bronx River Parkway Reservation. , 2.1 linear feet. Includes two city directories (1916 and 1929) several other business and resident directories and extracts from directories (1891-1966, 2000) issues of the Bronxville Guide, published by the Chamber of Commerce (1965-2012, 2019) issues of the Bronxville Handi-Book (1979-1985) and issues of Directory--Village of Bronxville (1967-2012). , 14 items. Includes yearbooks from Brantwood Hall (1921, 1925, 1928, 1941-1946), Concordia College (1913, 1915, 1919, 1953), and the Edison Vocational and Technical High School of Mount Vernon (1947). , 39 items, 1895, 1977-2010. Includes catalogs from the Bronxville Public Library, the Bronxville Historical Conservancy, Christie's, the Hudson River Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, the OSilas Gallery (Concordia College), the Spanierman Gallery of New York, and other galleries and auction houses. , about 515 items, 1906-1960s. Includes images, often the best images of their subjects in the History Center's collection, of many of Bronxville's public buildings, past and present, and some of its residential streets.
    , about 60 videos, 40 sound recordings, 200 photographs, and 130 documents, 1964, 1979-2018. Includes item featuring Bronxville citizens and others talking primarily about Bronxville and its history. , about 4,700 photographs, 1870 to the present. Photographs of Bronxville organized under headings such as Artists, Celebrations, Education, Houses and Buildings, Individuals and Groups, Religion, and Social Organizations .
  • Bronxville History Center Slide Collection
  • Bronxville Mayors Photograph Collection
  • Bronxville Photograph Collection--Judith Watts Photography, Inc., 238 photographs, 2005-2006. Includes color photographs of Bronxville's commercial and residential buildings, and aerial photographs.
  • John Gass Photograph Collection
  • Girl Scouts Photograph Collection
  • Hotel Gramatan Photograph Collection--Eric Aitken, 1972
  • Kraft Family Photograph Collection , about 1,200 photographs, 1887-1916. The photographs depict primarily Meigs family members and friends and the places they lived in and visited many depict their vacations in the Adirondack Mountains Bronxville is also a frequent subject, and New York City, Washington, DC, rural England, and William Van Duzer Lawrence's home in New Hampshire are also shown.
  • Westchester County Historical Pageant, 1909--Caroline Parsons
    , about 130 artifacts, including twenty-eight works of art by Bronxville artists or featuring Bronxville subjects items manufactured by Bronxville firms J. Ward & Co. and Ward Leonard Electric Company ten items from the Hotel Gramatan the historic marker regarding Chief Gramatan and the alleged donation of land in 1666 and other items relating to Bronxville's history.

Bronxville History Center Vertical File, 14.3 linear feet (about 28,000 pages). Primarily a collection of newspaper and magazine clippings, reprints, and photocopies, but also including correspondence, printed material, and other items. Organized under subject headings such as Artists, Education, Houses and Buildings, Individuals, and Organizations.


HARDING PARK, BRONX

Resembling Silver Beach along the southern edge of Throgs Neck, the Bronx community of Harding Park features inlets, reeds, and small houses and bungalows clustered along the confluence of the East and Bronx Rivers, and its topography is also shaped by Pugsley’s and Westchester Creeks.

Rocky shore of the East River Harding Park bungalows along an inlet

Just a little specification is in order: the small abutment of the Bronx defined by the Bronx River (and Soundview Park which stretches alongside it) Pugsley’s Creek* and the East River is known as Clason (pronounced Clawson) Point, named for an 18th Century merchant named Isaac Clason who purchased what was previously known as Cornell’s Neck in 1793 the land stayed in the family until the family sold it in 1855. Harding Park is the maze of little unnamed streets and bungalows found along Bronx River, Leland, Gildersleeve and Cornell Avenues in the southwest sector of Clason Point. Like Silver Beach and Edgewater Park, it seems independent from the rest of the Bronx, since its street pattern is different and it’s cut off by water from the rest of the borough. It’s very, very odd.

*Nothing to do with the heir to the Addams Family fortune played by Ken Weatherwax this was a Talman Pugsley, who owned land here in the late 1700s.

Kayaker along East River inlet. The NYC skyline can be seen dramatically from Harding Park.

A hypothetical resident of the planet Pluto, observing the bright dot in what must be a perpetually pitch black Plutonian sky, would have no idea, unless his race had mastered astronomy, that the especially bright dot was in fact the sun around which his planet orbited similarly, if you were kidnapped, blindfolded and stuffed in a car trunk and dumped in Harding Park, would you have any idea that these distant towers were in the same town as the one where you stand?

The region’s first residents of course were the Siwanoy Indians, who spoke Algonquin. Europeans began settling the region in the early 1600s, and the Cornell family built the first permanent European settlement in the spit of land first known as Snakipins by the Indians, then Cornells Neck and later Clason Point. In the 1640s a series of skirmishes between the Cornells and the Siwanoy, known as the Pig Wars, were led by Wampage, the Siwanoy scahem believed to be the Indian leader who killed Anne Hutchinson and her children in 1643 at Split Rock in the northern Bronx. This act was done, some historians believe, in retaliation for New Netherland governor Willem Kieft‘s February massacres of refugee Weekwaeskeek at Corlaer’s Hook and Pavonia in today’s New Jersey. A passing ship rescued the Cornells, and they persisted, returning to their adopted Bronx home the year after Wampage’s last raid. Britisher Thomas Pell arrived at a treaty in 1654 with several Siwanoy sachems, including Wampage, that the Dutch authorities didn’t recognize. This disagreement was rendered moot in 1664 when the British fleet appeared in the harbor and the Dutch capitulated.

Manhattan appears as a far-off promise to the fishers working the East River. In the foreground we see the the South Bronx Marine Transfer Station, a facility once used by the Department of Sanitation to offload collection trucks into barges for transfer to Fresh Kills. The domed structure to the right is a salt storage dome.

By the mid-1800s, as we’ve seen, the area was called Clason Point. Families such as the Lynches, Ludlows, Schieffelins, and Lelands, some of which are still seen on street signs, all built farmhouses in the area, though its swampy, waterlogged nature made it a non-starter for commerce. (Even today the main shopping area is at a fairly distant remove, along Story Avenue, the Bruckner Expressway and White Plains Road.) Its seaside location and terrific views as shown here made it a logical locale for seaside resorts, dancehalls and amusement parks, of which plenty were constructed in the early 20th Century with an accompanying ferry from College Point, Queens.

By 1900 the Higgs family maintained a beach and amusement area on the western end of Clason Point, and in the early 1920s Thomas Higgs, who owned about 100 acres of beachfront property, began leasing tents to visitors and the area formalized its own street layout and summer bungalow colony. Good patriots that they were, they named the colony for the US President at the time, Warren Gamaliel Harding (1865-1923). After World War II these became permanent year-round residences due to a housing shortage, eventually sheltering over 250 families.

Though Robert Moses attempted to tear down what he called the “Soundview Slums” (Moses didn’t like anything that wasn’t a Corbusian-esque housing project or an expressway his Utopia would have been a city composed of residential skyscrapers connected by superhighways), Harding Park survived, but became City property in 1979.

3 years later, though, in 1982, Harding Park Homeowners Association, the first cooperatively owned low and moderate-income community in the city was formed. Harding Park now appears as if it will carry on in the future indefinitely with its city views, great fishing, and relative privacy.

Leland Avenue along Soundview Park leads into the heart of Harding Park.

Bronx River Avenue curves around the bungalows, but despite its name, does so here along the East River.

The NY Botanical Garden (also in the Bronx) has sponsored a roadside garden along Leland Avenue.

ForgottenFan consensus seems to be that this is a 󈧹 or 󈧺 Pontiac Catalina with 60s Buick Riviera tires.

White Plains Road, which eventually gains an el and becomes the main shopping drag to Bronxdale, Williamsbridge and Wakefield, begins here in Clason Point.

However, it doesn’t go to White Plains.

The New York Times profiled the area in November 2004…

There were numerous ferries, and during Prohibition, gangsters unloaded bootlegged hooch. Boatyards lined the shore, and the Castle Hill Pool was an immediate hit when it opened in 1927. Clason Point …once boasted an amusement pier said to rival Coney Island, according to an area historian, Arthur Seifert, who has lived in the neighborhood for more than 70 years.

“When I moved here in 󈧥, there were still farms,” he said. “I remember trying to plow the field behind a horse.”

The farms are gone and so are most of the boatyards, but entertainment possibilities abound. The Y.M.C.A. on nearby Castle Hill Avenue has indoor and outdoor pools, the Harding Park Homeowners Association is building a new community center and the Point Yacht Club still flies its burgee from the tip of Clason Point. It was a few blocks away, on stage at the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club on Randall Avenue, that Jennifer Lopez first strutted her stuff. Every spring, proceeds from the Kips Bay Decorator Show House benefit this center, which has the area’s only ice rink.

The “entertainment possibilities” are unintentionally amusing, seeing that we just got through with District, Meatpacking, but anyway, the YMCA offerings are more your webmaster’s speed, and I’m more likely to gain ready admittance there.


Anne Collins

Anne was born in Alford, Lincolnshire, England to William Hutchinson and Anne Marbury. She immigrated to America with her parents, her grandmother, Susanna Hutchinson and her siblings in 1634.

Anne married William Collins in 1641 and they had one son, named William. On a fateful day, Anne was visiting with her mother at the Hutchinson home. In the early morning hours of August 20, 1643 a group of marauding Mohegan Indians raided the Hutchinson home and slaughtered the family, burning their home to the ground. Her husband was away with their son or they would have been killed. [SIC!]

Anne Hutchinson. baptised 5 May 1626, married William Collins, and both of them went to New Netherland and perished in the massacre with her mother.[143]

The Indians mistook the Hutchinson's for Dutch settlers, the intended target. Anne's sister, Susanna Hutchinson, was the only survivor. And she was held as a captive for several years, until her older brother Edward paid a ransom for her release.

The Hutchinson cabin was located in Pelham Bay Settlement, Long Island, which today is called the Bronx, New York.


What They Don’t Teach Us

The pretty brick building at 283 Washington Street in Boston is still known as the Old Corner Bookstore. In 1832, William Davis Ticknor and a business partner turned the space into what would become a bustling bookshop as well as the publishing house and hangout spot of Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, and dozens of other famous authors, including Oliver Wendell Holmes, who called Boston “The Hub of the Solar System.” Abolitionist and editor George William Curtis, enchanted with the bookstore, called it “the hub of the Hub.” Today it is a Chipotle.

In the 17th century, an earlier building on the site served as the residence of Anne Hutchinson, an English-born Puritan colonizer kicked out of the Massachusetts Puritan cult for being too culty. Today it’s not far from a very convenient parking deck with rather lovely views of Boston’s historic downtown core. Across from the Old South Meeting House, where several thousand angry white men once gathered to complain about taxes they were made to pay on the stolen land they occupied, there is a profoundly elegant Walgreens.

Hutchinson and six of her children were later killed, a couple hundred miles to the south, in the colony of New Netherland, on land the Dutch West India Company stole from the local Indigenous peoples. The people who killed the family had apparently given a warning ahead of time that they would invade the tiny settlement near Pelham Bay.

I cannot tell you why 283 Washington Street caught my eye, or why I had to learn more about it, and who had lived in the buildings that were built before this one. I am not a historian. I am piecing this together on my own.

I wanted to write about an old bookshop. I did not want to write about this, because I did not know about this. They did not teach us this in school. They never do, when it’s like this. It’s ugly. There is nothing scenic about this story.

The Hutchinson murders constituted an act of retribution for the mass extermination of over 120 Lenape people, including women and children, by Dutch settlers during the so-called Pavonia Massacre, also known as the Slaughter of the Innocents. This took place in what is now Hudson County, New Jersey, near or perhaps in what is now Jersey City. Dutch navigator and farmer David Pieterszoon de Vries, who had apparently urged against the attack, wrote a graphic and horrifying description of the February 25, 1643 act of terror in his journal:

Infants were torn from their mother’s breasts, and hacked to pieces in the presence of their parents, and pieces thrown into the fire and in the water, and other sucklings, being bound to small boards, were cut, stuck, and pierced, and miserably massacred in a manner to move a heart of stone. Some were thrown into the river, and when the fathers and mothers endeavored to save them, the soldiers would not let them come on land but made both parents and children drown.

The mass murder served to unite regional tribal factions in an effort to oust the European colonizers once and for all, in what came to be called Kieft’s War. Several members of the Hutchinson household were casualties.

Anne Hutchinson, once an infamous religious leader in Boston, died in August of 1643 what is now is the Bronx, in the city where I live. A plaque near the Old State House in Boston memorializes her as follows:

IN MEMORY OF ANNE MARBURY HUTCHINSON

BAPTIZED AT ALFORD

LINCOLNSHIRE ENGLAND

20 JULY 1595 [sic]

KILLED BY THE INDIANS

AT EAST CHESTER NEW YORK 1643

COURAGEOUS EXPONENT

OF CIVIL LIBERTY

AND RELIGIOUS TOLERATION

That bit about “religious toleration” is, of course, incorrect — Hutchinson was not so much a proponent of religious tolerance as a proponent of her own specific version of Puritanical Christianity, first articulated at women’s Bible study meetings — but historical plaques are not always known for accuracy, especially in cities like Boston where History, Inc. is the primary driver of business.

I do not know if there is a plaque or memorial to the babies and others killed at the Pavonia Massacre in Hudson County, New Jersey. There is, however, still a statue of Christopher Columbus in Jersey City.

Growing up in New Jersey, they never taught us about the Pavonia Massacre. But that’s the story of America, and American “history,” and what we leave in and what we leave out.

I am a New Yorker now, as I have been in the past, in a city where the 2005 New York Historical Society Museum exhibition Slavery in New York broke all previous attendance records. I was an intern there back then. What I saw and heard was deeply moving, not just from the historians and the tour guides, but from the students and visitors. A lot of visitors, adults and children alike, hadn’t even known there were ever enslaved persons in New York City. Nobody had ever talked about it on such a large scale.

There are so many things we still don’t say, and they need to be said. But to say them, we first need to know them.

I drove from New York to Boston to take a little road trip, to jog my mind into creativity. I almost lost said mind during endless hours on the Merritt Parkway in Connecticut, a stretch of road that is very pretty and which apparently turns into a 38-mile long Trader Joe’s parking lot on weekends now that the pandemic is releasing its grip on the region. This traffic is, of course, mainly the fault of people from Massachusetts and New Jersey, not people from Connecticut, who presumably just want to stare at their grass and their trees and their abandoned railroad tracks in peace.

While stuck on that parkway in Connecticut, I looked outside the passenger side window of my car and saw a doe, not ten feet away.

“Is this the way to Boston?” I asked, like she would laugh, like we would do bits, just two fun gals hanging out at Cheers, or at the Old Corner Bookstore, back when it wasn’t Old®.

The doe looked back at me and kept eating. Nobody in Connecticut had time for my nonsense, not even the deer. After approximately one hundred thousand hours in Connecticut, I got to Massachusetts.

If I could say only one thing about Boston, a city that cherishes its giant Citgo sign, it would be this: Boston is spooky. I lived there for a couple years, until I dropped out of college. Whenever I go back I can’t quite shake the feeling that an earlier part of me is stuck there, while the rest of the city has kept moving forward, as it always has, as perhaps it always will, while clinging relentlessly to a past real and imagined, to all of its pasts, layered atop one another like translucent maps smudged with the dirt of time.

Everything that survives there becomes important one day, when the people who built it are long dead. It won’t be long before the Citgo sign (erected 1940 updated 1965) is the Old Citgo Sign, I have no doubt.

I have tried to find more to say about Boston, and I will. But at present I can only register my complaint that there is no public bathroom at the aforementioned Walgreens. The story I was looking for was not, as it turned out, a Boston story. It’s not even a 283 Washington Street story. Anne Hutchinson’s home burned long before the current building was erected.

I thought I was researching the history of a Chipotle that used to be a pretty important bookshop. But then I learned what came before the bookshop, and who lived there, and where she went afterwards, and what happened to her, and why, and the story took me to my current home of New York City and then to my forever home of New Jersey.

And that story, the story of the Pavonia Massacre, the Slaughter of Innocents, is the story of this country, and of so many others. Colonizers destroy those who occupy a place that has what the colonizers want: gold, oil, diamonds, wild game, water, and land, always land. The colonizers try to kill what is in the people who become the colonized, or they simply kill the people. This is the same story, over and over again, and it never stops.

215 children in a mass grave at a residential school in what we call Canada. 120 men, women and children slaughtered somewhere in what we call New Jersey. Where is the dust of their bones? Where do their teeth sleep? First molars freshly pushed through the flesh of a child’s gums, old incisors barely hanging on — the colonizers killed infants and old people and everyone they could find. Did anyone escape? Who took them in?

I’ve heard the body remembers, and those who survive pass the memories down to their children’s children’s children. These stories are walking around in bodies. They are screaming from beneath the ground.

You try to tell a story about one thing, maybe something light or funny or airy, a little travelogue, maybe with a joke about a fast-food restaurant where an historic landmark used to be (this is America!) but a truth finds you and it won’t let go until you speak it aloud, or write it down.

This is America. You can’t smell the blood in the grass, or in the water, or in the air, but it’s there, and so are the tears. Everything here is haunted, and it all tastes like iron and salt.


Study Guide: The New Adam (Episode 1)

The New World challenged and changed the religious faiths the first European settlers brought to it. In New Mexico, the spiritual rituals of the Pueblo Indians collided with the Catholic faith of the Spanish Franciscan friars who came to convert them, ultimately exploding in violent rebellion. In New England, Puritan leader John Winthrop faced off against religious dissenters from within his own ranks, and a new message of spiritual rebirth from evangelical preachers like George Whitefield swept through the American colonies, upending traditional religious authority and kindling a rebellious spirit that fused with the political upheaval of the American Revolution.

On Oct. 12, 1492, Christopher Columbus set foot on an island he named "San Salvador," or "Holy Savior," claiming it for Spain and declaring its Native inhabitants subjects of the Crown. Columbus had sailed for "Gold, God and Glory," sharing with the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella an apocalyptic vision of a New World full of "heathen" souls ripe for harvesting in the name of Christ.

Spain moved swiftly to claim land, search for gold and spread the Catholic faith in the New World. From Mexico City, Franciscan friars fanned out into New Mexico, Arizona, Texas and eventually California. In New Mexico, they encountered indigenous peoples they called the Pueblos, after the townlike structures they inhabited. Religion animated the lives of both Franciscans and Pueblos, but in very different ways. Sin, suffering and salvation stood at the core of the Franciscan faith, but the Pueblos had no concept of sacrifice, redemption or punishment in an afterlife. They had no word for "religion" in the sense of an institution with dogma or creed. What they did have was "religiousness," a way of living deeply attuned to the spiritual forces of the universe that pervaded every movement and every breath, every living thing.

But the friars were determined to convert the Pueblos, convinced they would otherwise suffer eternal damnation. In just 10 years, the Franciscans built 40 missions along the Rio Grande. Friars instructed the Native inhabitants in the catechism, the Eucharist and other sacraments. They organized the workday, sending men into the fields and shops, women to looms and laundry pits. Unmarried men and women were kept in separate quarters. Everyone was required to say grace before meals. Thousands were baptized. Those who resisted were punished. In the process of imposing their faith, the Franciscans tore the fabric of the Native culture that had sustained the Pueblos' spiritual traditions.

Resentment festered and grew. Drought came. Crops withered. Native religious leaders were punished and hanged. In 1680, the Pueblos' opposition broke out into open rebellion, led by a man named Po-pay. The Pueblos killed settlers and friars, smashing crucifixes and sending the Spanish survivors fleeing down the Rio Grande. For the time being, they rid themselves of the remnants of the Catholic faith, returning to their ancestral ways.

Some historians have called John Winthrop "America's forgotten founding father." Others have described his words, written in 1630 -- about the duties of community and the establishment of an exemplary new society in the Massachusetts Bay Colony -- as one of the greatest American sermons. Winthrop's language about being a "city upon a hill" was drawn from the Sermon on the Mount in the New Testament. Read the famous closing words of "A Model of Christian Charity" below or the full speech here: http://religiousfreedom.lib.virginia.edu/sacred/charity.html

How did the Puritans see themselves? Read one modern description in this excerpt from the preface to "God's Plot," a book on Puritan spirituality edited by historian Michael McGiffert:

Anne Hutchinson has been lauded as an outspoken advocate of religious freedom and a feminist hero. But history gives us a more complex picture. The daughter of a preacher, Hutchinson was a literate and pious woman deeply versed in Scripture. A follower of the minister John Cotton, she hosted meetings of women in her home to discuss his sermons. Gradually men joined the group. Having a woman preside over discussions of theological issues tested the accepted limits of women's roles in Puritan society.

Hutchinson insisted that the assurance of salvation did not come from outward conduct, but from the essentially mystical experience of grace -- "an inward conviction of the coming of the Spirit." Convinced of her own connection with the Spirit, she believed she was right. She and her followers were not fighting for the freedom to believe what they wished, but rather for the suppression of the errors of her opponents. Each side became self-righteous and closed to further discussion. The Massachusetts Bay Colony reeled under suspicion and intolerance. John Winthrop, heretofore known for his tolerance, was convinced Hutchinson was destroying his "city on a hill." Called before the General Court and sure of her personal union with the Holy Spirit, Hutchinson freely acknowledged God spoke to her directly. This amounted to blasphemy. The court voted to banish her as "a woman not fit for our society."

In the aftermath of the trial, John Winthrop was criticized by those who believed he had allowed too much diversity of opinion and had been too tolerant. But in the end, his determination to save the Boston community prevailed. The center had held. The city on a hill survived the crisis that had threatened its undoing.

Historians have often been sympathetic to Anne Hutchinson, and John Winthrop has been judged as rigid. But Hutchinson was at least as adamant in her views and as intolerant as her opponents. Winthrop understood that a measure of dissent and disagreement was inevitable. He recognized that Hutchinson posed a threat not simply because of her insistence on matters of doctrine, but also because of her conviction that she had a special relationship with the Spirit that set her apart from the community and beyond its judgment. That claim was her undoing.

Read a contemporary assessment of Anne Hutchinson and the importance of religious individualism in America in an excerpt from the book "Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life" by Robert N. Bellah, et al. (University of California Press, 1985):

What role did religion play in the cultural misunderstandings and colonial relations of Europeans and Native peoples in the New World? How did the religious worldviews of the Europeans and Indians differ?

What is religion? How do you define it? Is it a matter of doctrines, creeds, rituals and traditions, as it was for Catholic Spain? Is it an all-encompassing way of seeing and experiencing the natural world, as it was for the Native inhabitants encountered by the Franciscans?

How would you describe John Winthrop's vision of a Puritan community, and how attainable do you think it was? What advice was he giving to his companions?

What did the Puritans hope to achieve? What was the goal of their religious and political community? Why did they consider conformity so necessary for their cohesion?

How did the Puritan religious community define itself, and how would you compare it to the ways contemporary religious communities define themselves today?

What did conversion mean for the Puritans, and what does it mean today? Is it a single, blinding moment of faith, or is it a prolonged and arduous journey that proceeds in fits and starts, a process that requires commitment and tenacity?

"Anne Hutchinson is the future," says religion professor Stephen Prothero. What links do you see between her 17th-century understanding that "God is speaking to each of us," as Prothero describes it, and contemporary American spirituality? Between her religious experience and George Whitefield's understanding of "inward change"?

Evangelical preacher George Whitefield embodied "this perennial radical Protestant idea of immediate connection between God and the individual soul," as religion professor Stephen Marini puts it. Historian Harry Stout calls Whitefield "the divine dramatist," and Daniel Dreisbach, a law and religion scholar, says Whitefield brought Americans together "by a common message of revival." How would you describe Whitefield's message of rebirth?

George Whitefield challenged prevailing church authority and upset the religious establishment when he preached wherever people could be gathered, usually outside of churches. His new form of religion was more in tune with changing 18th-century society than it was with the standing social and religious order. What were the basic differences between George Whitefield and Charles Chauncy, between those who supported revivalism and those who opposed it? Where did each of them think religious authority resides, and who decides?

What democratic overtones do you hear in early expressions of both Puritan and evangelical Protestantism in America? How did religion penetrate early American political thought? What did religious choice and freedom have to do with political choice and freedom in American history? How did personal religious experience of the revivals and Great Awakenings of the 18th century influence the American Revolution?

The American story is many things, including the story of "us in relationship with God," says religion professor Stephen Prothero at the beginning of this episode. At the end, he compares the American story to the Exodus story in the Bible. Why do you think the Puritans saw themselves as a New American Adam and Eve -- new people with a new identity? How was the American experience of freedom and liberty like the story of the Exodus? What made Americans see themselves as "chosen people"?

The Spanish Frontier in North America by David J. Weber

The Pueblo Revolt by David Roberts

The Religious History of America by Edwin Gaustad and Leigh Schmidt

Retelling U.S. Religious History edited by Thomas A. Tweed

Religion in American Life: A Short History by Jon Butler, Grant Wacker and Randall Balmer

A Religious History of the American People by Sydney E. Ahlstrom

Religion in American History: A Reader edited by Jon Butler and Harry S. Stout

America: Religious and Religion by Catherine L. Albanese

American Religions: A Documentary History edited by R. Marie Griffith

A Documentary History of Religion in America to 1877 edited by Edwin S. Gaustad and Mark A. Noll

The New England Mind and Errand Into the Wilderness by Perry Miller

The Puritan Dilemma by Edmund S. Morgan

John Winthrop: America's Forgotten Founding Father by Francis J. Bremer

The Puritan Experiment by Francis J. Bremer

The Times and Trials of Anne Hutchinson: Puritans Divided by Michael P. Winship

Making Heretics by Michael P. Winship

Dissent in American Religion by Edwin S. Gaustad

Sisters and Saints: Women and American Religion by Ann Braude

The Divine Dramatist: George Whitefield and the Rise of Modern Evangelicalism by Harry S. Stout

America's God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln by Mark A. Noll

Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life by Robert N. Bellah, et al.

National Humanities Center TeacherServe: "Divining America: Religion in American History"
This online curriculum enrichment service includes essays by scholars, bibliographies and primary resources to help students gain a greater understanding of the role of religion in the development of the United States.

Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
A gateway to American history online, with resources for educators, teachers and students

Library of Congress: Religion and the Founding of the American Republic
Online version of an extensive exhibition that explores the role religion played in founding the American colonies, shaping early American life and politics, and forming the American republic

PBS: The West: "The Pueblo Revolt"
The companion website for the eight-part PBS documentary series from 1996.


'Combative' patient tries to attack paramedics: video

A $2.9 million project to improve waterfront access in the Bronx unearthed a priceless find — more than 100 pieces of Native American artifacts dating back to 200 AD.

Experts are calling the trove of ceramics, pottery, stone tools and other artifacts found in the southeastern section of Pelham Bay Park one of the most important archaeological finds in New York City history.

“The findings are pretty spectacular,” said Amanda Sutphin, director of archaeology for the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, who gave The Post an exclusive tour of the tree-lined site overlooking Eastchester Bay.

Tests show the rare artifacts date back to between 200 AD and 1000 AD — centuries before European settlers made contact with Native Americans, she added.

Sutphin was especially impressed with the condition of the ceramics, which she believes were once used for eating and food preparation.

“I’ve never seen anything like it found in New York City before,” she said.

The first of the artifacts were dug up in 2012, but more extensive excavation work and testing done in the past year through last month made it clear to city officials they were sitting on history worthy of additional exploration.

Some of the artifacts were uncovered just two feet below ground, and city officials said early evidence shows the site was likely once a meeting place for Native Americans who would go there to harvest clams and other food.

The findings have now put the Parks Department “in an unusual place to be in,” said Marcha Johnson, a landscape architect with the agency.

The waterfront-access project — which includes removing a deteriorating seawall and adding a walking path, dog run and other amenities — will “eventually” be completed, but the “top priority” now is ensuring the artifacts are protected, she added.

Construction on the project was formally put on hold last month.

The blast from the past may now force the city to redesign the waterfront project to go around the archaeological site, officials said. The city may also attempt to protect the historic area from future development by declaring it a landmark, although no decisions have yet been made.

A Brooklyn College archaeology class will explore the site further for the city as part of a three-week class project in August. All significant artifacts uncovered will be publicly showcased at the city’s Archaeological Repository in Midtown.

To avoid looting, the city has already covered up the dig areas located within a mere acre of 2,772-acre Pelham Bay Park, the largest park in the city.

The Brooklyn College class and other future city-sanctioned digs will have to rely on GPS tracking equipment to find these areas.

The site is not far from where religious rebel Anne Hutchinson and her family were famously killed in 1643 by Siwanoy Native Americans. The English immigrant set up a small colony there in a bid to escape religious persecution.

It’s unknown if the Siwanoy Native Americans who attacked Hutchinson were descendants of the Native Americans whose artifacts the city uncovered, Sutphin said.


(Photo: Mark Vergari/The Journal News)

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Hutchinson River navigable from the Bronx to Mount Vernon
  • Hutchinson advocacy group pushing for increased public access
  • Regulators developing plan to reduce polluting stormwater, sewage inputs

MOUNT VERNON – Credit curiosity.

That’s what led my wife and me to wake up before dawn, tie our canoe to the roof of our car, drive down to Pelham Bay Park and carry a canoe across Shore Road, behind a bus stop, along an unmarked footpath and through the woods to a small, rocky beach on Eastchester Bay.

From there, 77 minutes past sunrise and about an hour after high tide, we shoved off toward the mouth of the Hutchinson River. Our destination, that of every great explorer: As far as we could go.

For Magellan, that turned out to be most of the way around the world. In our case, it was just beyond the Sandford Boulevard overpass in Mount Vernon, where we ran aground, ate a sandwich and turned around.

The lower third of the Hutchinson River, our route, is, among other things, a polluted, industrial waterway with little public access. But it has its champions.

(Photo: Mark Vergari/The Journal News)

In an attempt to learn more about the namesake of the Hutchinson River Parkway, a reporter and his wife paddle their canoe up the Hutch from the Bronx to Mount Vernon. Video by Ned P. Rauch. Music by Ned P. Rauch and Liz Rauch. [Click here to watch the video:

Pelham Manor has a long-term plan to create a walkable greenway along its portion of the eastern bank. Mount Vernon has commissioned a study to explore potential uses for its riverfront territory.

Farther south, from her home on City Island, Eleanor Rae has been leading the Hutchinson River Restoration Project.

“Our goal is a clean, beautiful river that honors its namesake,” said Rae, an 80-year-old with a doctorate in theology. “That’s the ultimate goal.”

The Hutchinson River is about eight miles long and named not after the parkway that runs beside it, but for Anne Hutchinson, an early settler and religious pioneer. It surfaces from an underground spring near the New Rochelle and Scarsdale border, follows a viaduct beneath Jane Cammarata’s backyard and then re-emerges in a narrow culvert behind the homes on Forest Lane.

(Photo: Mark Vergari/The Journal News)

“You get more wildlife, for sure, when you have a river in your backyard,” Cammarata said.

From Scarsdale, the river flows south, feeding a series of reservoirs that long ago stopped supplying the region’s drinking water. One former reservoir, known variously as Lake Isle and Lake Innisfree, is bordered by townhouses and a collection of co-op units. Residents swim and boat on the lake, essentially bathing in and playing on the Hutch.

The river’s lower portion is navigable for about three miles, from Eastchester Bay into Mount Vernon. It took us about an hour and a half to travel up it, avoiding barges, irking geese and gawking at the scale of industry — car-crushers, cement plants, oil tanks — still quite active along the river’s banks.

We threaded a gantlet of contrasts. Co-Op City’s towers loomed on one side, an egret waded among the reeds on the other. Farther north, a backhoe picked through a pile of scrap metal while, in the woods on the opposite bank, a makeshift tent billowed in the wind.

Construction workers at the base of a bridge waved as we passed. A man sleeping beneath the ramp connecting the Hutchinson River Parkway to Sandford Boulevard raised his head and said hello as we glided by.

When we rested beside the athletic fields between Pelham and Mount Vernon, a man in the midst of a morning power-walk stopped and said, “That’s the first time I’ve seen this. I’ve been here eight years. I saw you and said, ‘You all don’t look like geese to me.’ ”

The Hutch is a dirty river. Sewage still occasionally pours into it through CSOs, or combined sewer overflows. The state Department of Environmental Conservation says the river’s ability to support aquatic life and activities such as bathing and boating are “impaired” or “stressed.” The Bronx River earns similarly dismal marks.

It remains busy with industry. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports that 739,000 tons of cargo move through the river every year. By the corps’ count, 39 storage tanks hold nearly a quarter-million barrels of oil on the river’s banks. It was last dredged in 1989, though industry has been clamoring ever since to have the channel deepened.

Not surprisingly, oil, grease and other industrial waste pollute the river. Its popularity isn’t helped when, during heavy rainstorms, it jumps its banks and floods the parkway, as it did May 1.

Still, people care about it.

“We think it’s an asset for our community,” Pelham Manor Village Manager John Pierpont said. “It’s a workaday river, but we think it has the potential for being more than that.”

He said the village is working with commercial and industrial property owners on the river to create a path that would trace the Hutch to the athletic fields.

Eleanor Rae, founder and president of the Hutchinson River Restoration Project.

Mount Vernon Mayor Ernest Davis said he envisions riverside restaurants and parks.

Eleanor Rae and the Hutchinson River Restoration Project continue their work, leading cleanups of the river and its banks pleading with local governments to devote resources toward improving its health advocating for increased public access. When she has time, she cruises the river and Eastchester Bay in her skiff, the Anne Hutchinson, whose life inspired Rae’s interest in the river.

At the end of April, accompanied by a pack of teens and other members of the organization, Rae helped yank invasive plants from the river’s banks in Pelham.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection is now developing plans to reduce the amount of stormwater and sewage spilling into its waterways, including the Hutch.

On our paddle, my wife and I spotted egrets, geese, red-winged blackbirds, cormorants and countless gulls. At times the air smelled of seawater, other times of heating oil.

As we passed beneath Sandford Boulevard, the cement underside of the span close enough for me to run my hand along, our boat got stuck on a submerged, broken toilet. A moment later, we were standing on a sandbar, surrounded by lush vegetation, accompanied by the hum of traffic on the parkway and the officious honk of a lone goose wading upstream.

We climbed into our boat and let the current and the outgoing tide carry us back down to the Bronx, the Hutch’s waters sparkling in the morning sun.


Watch the video: Forgotten Bronx History Pt 3 Anne Hutchinson