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A Matter of Conscience: The Trial of Anne Hutchinson
A Matter of Conscience: The Trial of Anne Hutchinson
(Joan Kane Nichols, Alex Haley, Dan Krovatin)

A Matter of Conscience: The Trial of Anne HutchinsonA Matter of Conscience (1992)
A Matter of Conscience recounts Anne Marbury Hutchinson's struggle with the Puritan Church over its rigid theocratic control of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, her trial for heresy and sedition, and her banishment from the colony.
Anne Hutchinson defends her religious faith against the leaders of the Puritan community in colonial Boston. Put on trial for following her conscious, she faces imprisonment and possible banishment in a contest of wills.
Information about the events in this story comes mainly from the transcripts of Anne Hutchinson's trial and from John Winthrop's journals and letters. All words shown in quotation marks were actually spoken by the people in the story. Speeches and thoughts not in quotation marks. are paraphrases based on the beliefs, values, thoughts, attitudes, and opinions held by those involved.
Joan Kane Nichols is a published author of several young adult and children's books. Some of her published credits include: A Matter of Conscience: The Trial of Anne Hutchinson (Stories of America), Mary Shelley: Frankenstein's Creator (Barnard Biography Series) and The Civil War Sisterhood (Scott Foresman Social Studies).
Dan Krovatin is a published illustrator of several young adult and children's books. Some of his published credits include: A Matter of Conscience: The Trial of Anne Hutchinson (Stories of America), Frenchtown Summer (Paperback) and Alien Alert (Ghostwriter).
Alex Haley, as General Editor, wrote the following introduction:
Introduction By Alex Haley, General Editor
This is not a story about religious freedom. It is, in fact, a story in which there is no religious freedom and very little religious tolerance. It is a story in which there is little tolerance of any kind. Why tell it then? Because sometimes bad examples can be as useful to us as good ones, sometimes even more useful.
The people in this story are all good people. They are filled with high ideals. And they are all very much alike, all English Puritans. Despite their common background and beliefs, their community becomes divided by conflict. They cannot allow what they need most—tolerance.
Today we are a nation of diversity. We are not all English Puritans. We are all colors, all religions, all backgrounds. If tolerance fails us, what will be the result? This story provides a clue. ~ Alex Haley.
(The above Foreword by Alex Haley is presented under the Creative Commons License. © 1993 Dialogue Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.)
A Matter of Conscience: The Trial of Anne Hutchinson • Reviews
"If you look upon the rule in Titus it is a rule to me. If you convince me that it is no rule I shall yield." - Anne Hutchinson.
"This book recounts Anne Hutchinson's struggle with leaders of the Puritan Church about how much religious freedom should be allowed. She ends up challenging the church's rigid control of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. She is tried for heresy and sedition, and as a result, she is banished from the colony. The book helps readers understand how serious the Puritans were about their religious beliefs and how these affected government." - California Online Resources For Education.
"The courage, commitment, and vision of individuals both famous and ordinary are celebrated through stories that reveal the rich, multicultural tapestry of the American experience. The texts, most of which incorporate material from primary sources, such as letters and journals, are based on historical fact. A Matter of Conscience and A Place Called Heartbreak are the most compelling of the solid, but not outstanding, books. Competent black-and-white drawings illustrate the selections." - Horn Book Review.
"A Matter of Conscience tells the story of Bostonian Anne Hutchinson in the 1600s. She believed that the local church ministers preached the Covenant of Works, which taught that one could enter heaven by doing good deeds. Hutchinson adhered to the Covenant of Grace, which deemed that one's salvation was based on accepting God's grace." - Gale Group.

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