Skip to main content

tv   Religion the Massachusetts Bay Colony  CSPAN  April 16, 2021 9:18am-10:05am EDT

9:18 am
story every weekend. 60 years ago this weekend, more than 1,400 cia-trained cuban exiles launched a failed invasion to overthrow fidel castro's government at the bay of pigs. live saturday at 9:00 a.m. history, on american history tv. we will look back at the invasion and its consequences with historian nicholas dumovich and sunday, four films on u.s./cuba relations. an edited version of the nbc report, "cuba, bay of pigs," president kennedy's speech after the failed invasion. a compilation of news reels from 1959 to 1961 on the cuban revolution through the bay of pigs invasion. a 1960 broadcast, cuba, the battle america. exploring the american story. watch american history tv this weekend on cspan3.
9:19 am
founded in the early 17th century, the massachusetts bay colony had a predominantly puritan population. up next, we hear a presentation from the nantucket historical association about the history of the new england settlement and the period when quaker missionaries arrived. >> what we wanted to do today -- there's going to be a merging of styles. i need to turn you into puritans, if you are to understand where we are going to go with the quakers. i taught freshman english for six years. one of my courses was on sensored books in the 1950s. i realized, my students were young and came from a different moral climate.
9:20 am
my students were so very young that payton place was not shocking to them at all. i needed to understand just how radical the novel was. so we're going to take a little time to give you the puritan mentality so when the quakers enter your world you can understand how frightening it is. we're going to be looking at a time when the world was turned upside down between the year 1649 and 1660 or 1661. we're all sweltering in the quaker meeting house, i need you to imagine the coldest day in monday. bitterly cold. and there is a very small man, smaller than i am, about five feet getting dressed in the morning for his execution. the king is very frightened that those who have come to witness his beheading will think him frightened. he commissioned a thick undershirt that survives in the british museum that he put on under his clothing so that he wouldn't shiver as he stood
9:21 am
there before the block. king charles was going to his death. we're at the banqueting hall at white hall. imagine the windows covering both walls so you are in a room of pure light, which is so strange. and up above are the rubens murals that king charles had painted in honor of his father, king james. his killers have purposely chosen this room, and a scaffold has been put outside of the banqueting hall and this very small king, only about five foot tall. he was carried around by a servant until he was 4 or 5. he is in a silk suit. his hair has been bound. a silk night cap has been put
9:22 am
over it so that the ax man can get a clean break, and his hair will not make the execution more difficult. the crowds are there to witness the king's death, but they're kept so far back from him that he cannot say anything that will be heard and might possibly move those there to witness it. the two executioners are wearing masks so they can never be known, and the king says to them, may i pray for a moment, and i'm going to put my head on the block and when i stretch my arms, that is when i'm ready to go. imagine this very small man on a bitterly cold day, and it is the end of an entire dynasty at this point. when his head is cut off, and he lifts the head to yell behold the head of a traitor, one witness says it is a groan as i
9:23 am
have never heard before, in that moment all order is unleashed. these are people that for thousands of years believed in the divine right of kings and they have just killed their king. now disorder has come. the church of england is destroyed. and it affects everything that goes on here in the colonies as well. those royal governments that gave permission to be here in new england are no longer -- they are a weak government struggling upon themselves, it causes unrest. to understand the communities that the quakers enter, there are three basic structures to community in new england. the civil body, the church body and what is the little commonwealth, the family. the basic household. the civil body politic is held
9:24 am
together by a social contract. men coming together and agreeing they will submit to such just and equal laws as they create. the difference between ourselves and the modern world, and the past, is that we receive a majority at the age of 18 and as americans can hold the right to vote whether male, female, rich, or poor. in the 17th century, it is your neighbors. it is not that you are a man and you come of an age and you are given the right to vote. may i ask how old you are? >> 32. >> perfect age. >> this man is coming into the age when the neighbors are going to be looking at him as having more maturity, more important, and often at the age of 32 or 33 that legally, at 21 you can be majority, it's more in the early 30s that you're being given the right to vote.
9:25 am
essentially all of the other men in your community are watching you and you may apply for that right, but they assess you and then they will give it to you. so you understand what every man -- and even women. women had their own type of oath, if they were new to the colony they had to give an oath of residency. they would submit to the government. so what i'm going to ask what you do right now is just repeat after me and become good puritans and listen to how it encourages conformity and the connection between the church body and the state. can you tell i do a lot of weddings in my real life? repeat after me. i shall be truly loyal to the
9:26 am
state and government of england as it now stands. i shall not speak or do, devise or advise anything, things, act, or acts. directly or indirectly by land or water. that shall or may tend to the destruction or overthrow. of the plantation of new plymouth. neither shall i suffer the same to be spoken or done but should
9:27 am
hinder, oppose, and discover to the governor and assistant governors. i shall faithfully submit onto such good and wholesome laws. as are or shall be made for the ordering and government of the same. excellent. and shall endeavor to advance the growth and the good of the plantation, all of which i promise and swear by the name of god in heaven. simply, truly, and faithfully to
9:28 am
perform as i hope for help from god. who is the god of truth and the punisher of falsehood. excellent, you're now all well reformed members of the community. the civil body is to keep order, to advance business, to defend the town. the church body may not be everyone in the room. in the 17th century you're not a member of the covenant unless you express your faith in christ. and it may be that even though you're attending church, you may not be a member of the church. this is very important to talk about when you're thinking about thomas macy and how he ends up here on the island. you're compelled to worship, not compelled to membership, but
9:29 am
that compulsory worship is hope that the minister will open your heart. so you have the civil covenant holding people together as a political body, you have the church covenant holding people together who are promised to walk in a common way in the faith of the lord, and you have the third, the littlest. husband and wife, master and servant joined by a contract, and a parent and child. all of you, you would have the
9:30 am
power as parents to take your child to a minister and have infant baptism performed, because you could make promises on behalf of that child. that is a very important thing to remember when we start talking about thomas macy in particular and what brings him to the island. the people that we have just been talking about all think that the age of miracles is over. and that you come to know the lord completely through the word of god. that god no longer speaks to people directly as he did to abraham or on the side of mount sinai to moses. in the 17th century they feel that anyone that thinks they heard the word of god directly is a danger and a blasphamer. and this is what is going to happen as more and more people believe they have access to the
9:31 am
holy spirit. for reformed christians, what is the nature of god? it is god the father, the son, and the holy spirit. god the holy spirit controls everything. this is a pre-scientific people. the rising of the sun, the coming of the moon, is all the holy spirit ordering it. there is no natural law. so when a fellow looks and says, without you all chaos comes again, that is the most horrifying thing that is imaginable. it means going back to before creation, before the ordering of the world by god. and that is potential for all of these people at any moment. the holy spirit can withdraw itself from company and everything return to chaos.
9:32 am
the holy spirit is not inside the individual. they are going to be very quickly confronted by people who believe the holy spirit is indwelling. during the period of the english civil wars that happen not just in england, but also in scotland and ireland, with the church of england's power being diminished, you find rising sex. various people having revelations. george fox who is considered the greatest of the quaker teachers, he believes that the voice of god is within himself. and it is revealed to him that if you listen to the still small inner voice within, that is the holy spirit within you directing your life. one of the things to think about
9:33 am
is how much is going on. we put most of our focus on george fox, and why is that? he lived. so many of those having similar revelations to george fox would die in english prisons and they had momentary influence, but he was savvy enough to keep himself alive for decades and consequently his influence is huge and we see him as the founder of the quaker faith. how many sects are there? in the 1650s a man started to catalog the different sects. at a minimum he counts 150 different sects in a nation that perceived itself to have one national church. that is how fragmented it has become.
9:34 am
they want peace, stability, one mind and one vision of god. that's going to be tested when the quakers arrive. i want to talk about three stories, three instances when families or communities stepped forward in defense of the quakers and what it cost them personally. it truly affected the founding of this island, the presence of quakers in the life of thomas macy, one of the island's founders. you have the indwelling spirit, which is frightening to those in new england. the other is a lack of hierarchy. the man is all powerful. the man is the head of the household. he knows that his wife has her own willfulness, but he expects her to swallow it and submit to whatever he decides in the final way. there is submission expects on
9:35 am
all those not of the head of the household. one of the things in the 17th century where you show honor is removing your hat. hot honors are incredibly important within the period. when you meet people, you take off your hat. offer a courtesy, a bow. if you come into the courtroom the hat is instantly off in a courtroom. quakers refused and their hats are knocked off by officers. james has agreed to demonstrate hat honors with me. now, we meet, you already have -- okay. so you take it off with your right hand, you make make a sweep, sweep, excellent. now if we are of the same age
9:36 am
and same class, james, watch this, do exactly what i do at the same time, excellent. this is actually happening in the 17th century that people of the same social status honor each other by taking off the hat and the hat goes back on at the same instance. now you -- i'm going to walk toward you, you just touch your hat, and i will take off my hat and bow to you and you give me indication of when i can put the hat back on. mine is on, clearly i'm your social inferior. that's all you get kid.
9:37 am
you can just give me a look, and i would wait until that. think of an active culture where if you have these six women suddenly together in the marketplace, tashima because of her youth will try to figure out how to please them. children and servants had the best understanding of social hierarchy. it's where the rewards and punishments came from. if they didn't read the social signals right. excellent. thank you, sir, excellent job as a quaker hat. also, in the 17th century if you were worshipping together, this male/female thing is not working to the. men were on one side of the church, women on the other side, after the practice of the
9:38 am
ancient christian churches. quakers, they enact what is the priesthood of all believers. they believe all can teach and all can hear the inner light of god within themselves. now think of how frightening that is to a community that has always privileged the holy bible. how old are you? 13-year-old, she could be filled with insight. she could be teaching at the age of 13. that is how shocking and new all of this is. simplicity in dress and simplicity in speech. so for those of you that had foreign languages, french or
9:39 am
spanish, you know the informal form in french and the formal form for respect from one individual to another or one individual addressing the group. in getting ready for today, i was listening to a lot of podcasts, watching lectures. my mother is a virginian. i'm not speaking out of church. there was one done by a southern scholar that cracked me up. he is doing it for his 12th grade class. they are supposed to watch this and come back to school. he says, i'm trying to explain the difference between the and thou. all right. there's y'all for when you are talking to someone and when you are talking to a group, there's all y'all. you is kind of like all y'all. that's how he explained the
9:40 am
informal. she would never in her life as a 13-year-old speak to an older person than herself and say thou. it would be you. it would we deferring and showing respect. a quaker, everyone is thee and thou in between not taking off the hat, not using the formal form to honor. this is throwing everything into disarray. this is the world we are about to enter with three stories. the first quaker missionaries arrive in boston in the summer, two women, mary fisher and ann austin. they are seized. they are taken by women, stripped naked, their bodies are
9:41 am
searched for extra teats or extra appendages. they are put in a prison cell. the windows are boarded up. drummers are paid to work 24/7 so that no one can hear them speak. within days, other quakers appear in boston. they are beaten. they are imprisoned. their windows are boarded up and drummers placed beneath their windows that no one can hear thgotten out of boston is as quickly as possible. what we are going to is look at a year into the crisis in the summer of 1657. that's what touches very closely on the history of this island.
9:42 am
thomas macy is in new salsbury in the summer of 1657. there's a storm. he is caught in the storm. his clothing is soaked. there are four men standing in front of his house. instead of telling about you it i'm going to let thomas macy tell about you it. what i'm going to do for the moment is go into 17th century dialect so you can get a sense of what macy might have sounded like. in summer of 1657, he lets these four men into his house. the troubles are still besetting him in late october 1659, right before he leaves for this island with his wife and five children. this is a letter that he writes october 27, 1659, two years after the event, to the general court explaining why he has not been able to appear. the dialect you are going to hear is the universal.
9:43 am
it has all the basic sounds of the period. what you might find is the vowels are different. say the word wife. >> wife. >> in the 17th century that's an oy sound. excellent. the word wit is wet. this is the letter that was written to the general court of massachusetts bay just days, possibly, before thomas macy left salsbury to come here to nantucket. we know macy had impeccable handwriting and that he had probably just stepped down from being the clerk of the town, because the next week after this letter is written, the clerk's handwriting is different and it's awful. let me put on a hat. it helps to have a hot on to be somebody else.
9:44 am
this is to entreat the court. have been for some weeks past very ill. am so at present. notwithstanding my illness, yet i desire to appear, have done my utmost to endeavor to hire a horse but cannot procure one at present. i being at the present destitute have endeavored to purchase one. but at present, cannot attain it. i shall relate the truth of the case as my answer would be to the honored court. more cannot be proved nor so much. on a rainy day, there come to my house edward and three men more.
9:45 am
the said spoke to me saying that they were traveling eastward and desired me to direct them to hampton and never saw any of these men afore. neither did i inquire their name or what they were. by their carriage, i thought they might be quakers. i said so. therefore, desired them to pass on saying to them, i might possibly give offense in entertaining them. soon as the violence of the rain ceased, for it rained hard, they went away and i never saw them since. the time that they stayed in my house was about three quarters of an hour. they spoke not many words in the time. neither was i at leisure to talk to them. i come home wet to the skin. immediately before they came to the house.
9:46 am
if this satisfy not the honored court, i shall submit to their sentence. i have not willingly offended. i am ready to serve and obey you and the lord, 27th of the eighth month, 1659. what's really happening here, to think that an incident of two years ago is still haunting this man. family tradition identifies two of the three other men with edward wharton as marmaduke stephensons and william robinson, the two quakers hung in boston in october of 1659. in august of 1659, those two men are captured. they are imprisoned in boston and they write a volatile letter to the court that somehow becomes public. what i want you to think about is thomas macy, in the time that he is taking to prepare to bring his family to this island, he is
9:47 am
seeing events speeding, speeding, speeding in the suppression of quakers. he knows these men face to face as he is about to leave town have just been executed on boston common. one of the reasons that he may have wanted to get out is that he himself was living in secret. not as a quaker but as a baptist. baptists were living with liberty of conscience. there is a distinction. freedom of religion means you can practice anything you would desire. liberty of conscious is such that you outwardly conform to the church practices of the day. when at home, as long as you practice what you desire in secret, you will never be endangered. by taking in the men and making himself public in such a way, he now draws the neighbors in for
9:48 am
greater surveillance of his life. life becomes intolerable. when i was very young, i had a conversation with patrick collinson who was the great historian. you know the difference between the separatists in plymouth and the puritans in boston? separatists wanted to separate from the church, not the world. they wanted to get away from a worship they thought was deformed. they didn't decision like their neighbors. they wanted to be with them socially and do business with them. puritans, they were willing to worship with their neighbors the entire time they despised them. they only -- they wanted to withdraw from the world but not the church. what thomas macy and his family may have been experienced after this moment of entertaining these four quakers who were caught in a horrific summer storm, that they were now in the public eye much more than before. we talked about the rights of parents in the reformed
9:49 am
christian churches to bind and loose for children and have children baptized as infants. a baptist would have said, that is not true baptism. you must express your faith before you are immersed and not a baby sprinkled. we know based on the record that if, indeed, a baptist, thomas macy drew no attention to himself, many baptists in churches in this period, when an infant was to be baptized, they would rise up and turn around so that they did not have to witness the sacrament. that drew them into problems. we have no evidence that thomas macy did that. he was a clerk. he was the supervisor of schools within town. this was a respected man. this pivotal moment of kindness to these four men would change the trajectory of his life hereafter and would bring him
9:50 am
here and then would then shape the religious culture of this particular community. how wonderful it was to get 25 miles away from the closest one of them and be here and to have a bit more freedom. get 25 mile the closest one of them and to have a bit of freedom. the other thing going on in the summer of 1675, and this may seem as if i'm firing buck shot at you, and in some ways it helps you understand the flood of quaker missionaries. imagine d-day, imagine what it was like to be those young men hitting the beaches one after another, after another and knowing that awaiting you on the shore were those that intended to kill you. that's exactly what's happening here with the quakers. they're arriving, arriving, arriving, into communities that do not welcome them. so in the summer of 1557, you have the four men trying to get eastward to maine for some degree of safety before coming
9:51 am
back refreshed to preach again. in the summer of 1657, manhattan and long island had been experiencing the same thing. and peter, the director general of the new netherlands company in the summer says, you can no longer entertain shelter or provide for quakers. and there is an english community on long island, flushing, that 30 men come together and sign a petition in december asking if they could, indeed, ignore this prohibition by peter and entertain these people because they are baptists from the north shore. so shortly before thomas maisy leaves to come here, there are baptists who go to long island for safety's sake and to get away from the suppression in massachusetts bay.
9:52 am
they take a petition directly to peter, the 30 men sign it, december 27th. two days later the town sheriff appears before the director general of the new netherlands and he is immediately arrested. the other officers of the community, the magistrates who signed it, the clerk who made a caught of it, they are all brought into custody. none of the other signers are molested. in peter's eyes, the desire to protect the quakers is considered civil treason on the part of those particular officers. so the other men, the other 26 that sign are unmolested, but the four officers, their lives are shattered financially and some will later leave long island and go to connecticut because they cannot rebuild their lives in flushing. peter will step in and say, no longer can there be strictly english officers in these
9:53 am
communities and they must be biligual, they must be dutch leaning and speaking because we can't have these foreign elements here in new england. third and final is james cudworth. he is the son of a well respected pure tan minister in england. his brother is one of the most respected platonic scholars at cambridge in mid century and he comes over in 1634 with a liberal church founded in london. he rises to great status. he's one of six men to write plymouth's new law code. in the town of scituate, he's a respected member of the church
9:54 am
and with the quakers that all comes to a horrific end. what you find is plymouth was willing to listen to quakers because they were trying to debate with them, but they only wanted authorized officials there. almost in a way of keeping what they considered to be evil away from everybody, i'll send you in because you look really good at arguing. so you can go in and listen and use your rhetorical skill to battle with them, but not everyone can go. james cudworth on his own chose to bring quakers into his house so that he could listen to them and not simply revile them and that he could argue with them, if he couldn't agree with them. and by the act of doing that, he utterly destroyed himself within the life of his community. one of the things i'm going to read you one of the most moving things that he ever wrote. he wrote a letter to a friend in england because he was deeply
9:55 am
disturbed by the persecutions that he saw. unknown to him his friend published the letter. and so, what he thinks are private concerns about the plymouth colony government and the plymouth colony churches are put in print and come back to boston and he is now caught by his own words. but this is what he says of himself. as for the state and conditions of things amongst us, it is sad and like so to continue. the antichristiane persecuting spirit is very active, and that in the powers of this world, he that will not whip, lash, persecute and punish men that differ in matters of religion, must not sit on the bench nor sustain any office in the commonwealth. i was called before the court.
9:56 am
and so i signified to the court i was no quaker but must bare my testimony against things that they held as i had occasion and opportunity. but with all i told them, as i was no quaker, so i would be no persecutor. and for speaking these words, he lost all social standing whatsoever. not only had he called people in to talk to them that he could learn of them, on one night, in the middle of a blizzard, two elderly quakers, who had been banished from boston and were trying to get to sandwich to be among the sandwich because the natives were very protective of them, they appeared at his home in the middle of a blizzard and he took them in. an elderly man by the name of william brand and a younger man named john copeland and they were with him for two or three nights.
9:57 am
so he entertained them, he fed them, and here is a man who said, i cannot close with these quaker but neither can i be their persecutor. in the two or three days that they are snow bound, these two men convert his wife and some of his children to become quakers. so now the very man who has lost his social standing has also lost control over his family. the people that he protected. but he was a man of such spirit that he made sure that they had safe convey yens. a warrant was delivered to his house for their arrest. he went to another more sympathetic magistrate and had a warrant written that was given to the two that was supposed to get them to safety in sandwich without being molested. they were stopped in the town of plymouth, what i want you to imagine is three fingers, long
9:58 am
rods, bound together the width of the human finger. william brandon, elderly man, was whipped ten times with those three rods bound together. the younger man, john copeland, was beaten with six rods bound together, 22 times on the chest, 22 times on the back, and they were set out into the storm bleeding. after the beating. this is the kind of horror that was witnessed. we know of the fact that james cudworth lost his children to the quakers, because his teenage daughter married in secret, without telling him, to another quaker teenager. and they were arrested because they had stood before a quaker and just exchanged vows and there was no civil authority in that. civil marriage started in plymouth colony in 1620. there was no ministerial
9:59 am
marriage in plymouth at any point. it was all two people with legal witnesses before a magistrate. and so, james cudworth has to go to a jail cell, where his teenage daughter has been placed after her illegal marriage and must convince her to go and get married before a magistrate. for years he will suffer. he is loved within the town of situate. he starts to rebuild his reputation. and the town petitions the general court. we would like pick to be our captain again. there is uprise, but he suppresses it for the sake of social order. ultimately by the time of king phillip's war, his reputation will be made again because he's a man of such military skill that they could no longer condemn him, they needed him on the front, so he regains his
10:00 am
status again. but this is a man who walked through the darkness and truly stood for what he believed and paid the price for it both socially and financially. the horror comes to an end in 1660 with the restoration, with the failure of the government in england and the restoration of king charles. the tolerance of quakers in new england is not ordered. what the king orders, that all quakers be returned to england to stand trial. so the bulk of persecution of the quakers is taken away from new england and removed back to england itself, because king charles despised the quakers. he saw them as one of the forces that rose up in fighting his father in the execution of his father, and that's where quaker pass fichl comes from, that the only way to save the faith was
10:01 am
for george fox to make a statement that quakers would never take up arms again. it was the only way for them to maintain. four quakers die in new england. all of them die at the hands of mass bay colony. but hundreds of hundreds of them die in english prisons because they would not do what i asked you to do at the start of the morning. they would not take an oath, because quakers believed that every word that came out of your mouth should be a word of truth, and, therefore, an oath was not required to prove that your speech was extra truthful or extra binding. so he could not suppress the faith, because one of the ways he got the crown back was a guarantee of religious diversity in england, but he could destroy them by creating a law that said you must take an oath of loyalty. and in refusing to do it, off
10:02 am
they go to the prisons. so when we look back at the past, there is diversity of faith, there are those that are living openly like the quakers, there are those like thomas maisy who may be living a closeted life and practicing their faith out of the the eyes of their neighbors and longing for a day of religious freedom and tolerance. so there are a complexity of stories, but as we see today, those that will make their own personal sacrifices for civil liberties, there were those that did it in the past. thank you so much. thank you. week nights we're featuring american history tv programs as a preview of what's available every weekend on cspan3. tonight, milton jones recalls his experiences as a u.s. marine
10:03 am
during the vietnam war. he talks about his initial reluctance to serve in vietnam and his journey to met hiez unit. part of vietnam war, oral histories. watch tonight beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern and enjoy american history tv every weekend on cspan3. american history tv on cspan3, exploring the people and events that tell the american story every weekend, 60 years ago this weekend, more than 1,400 cia-trained cuban exiles launched the bay of pigs live saturday at 9:00 a.m. on american history tv and washington journal we'll look back at the invasion and the
10:04 am
consequences with a former cia historian. and sunday at 4:00 p.m. eastern on reel america, four films on u.s. cuba relations, an edited version of the report, cuba bay of bigs, president kennedy's speech after the failed invasion. a compilation of newsreels on the cuban revolution. and a 1960 broadcast, cuba, the battle of america. exploring the american story, watch american history tv this weekend on cspan3. american history tv on cspan3, every weekend documenting america's story. funding for america history tv comes from these companies who support cspan3 as a public service.

25 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on