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Religion and Social Movements

Puritan Easter, or The Devil’s Holiday

  John Winthrop famously wrote in this journal that the Arbella departed for the New World on Easter Monday – March 29, 1630. But upon arriving in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Winthrop and his fellow Puritans took pains to avoid ...

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Six Oldest Libraries in New England

Identifying New England’s oldest libraries is no easy task, as the first colonists valued literacy and education for boys and girls. The Puritans, after all, wanted everyone to read the Bible. Many New England libraries evolved over time from private collections ...

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Black Sheep: The Rev. John Cotton Jr. Story

john cotton jr.

Is black sheep a fair description of Rev. John Cotton Jr.? His father, after all, condoned casting Anne Hutchinson out of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, branded as a heretic. And his nephew Cotton Mather famously celebrated the Salem Witch Trials. ...

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A Mayflower Christmas

The Pilgrims celebrated a Mayflower Christmas in 1620 with holly, ivy, plum pudding and a gift exchange with Indian children – at least according to a romanticized version written by suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton of all people. The Christmas on ...

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