17th-century England and New England culture
I have wondered for a long time if they took the Bay Road via Taunton to Providence or the Old Post Road, the latter, the beginning of the route that the Connecticut pilgrims from New Towne had taken in 1635 and 1636. Living closer to Bay Road, I have preferred to think of them going that way, but now find it more likely that they went the Post Road route, passing Wainman's Ordinary, on the current Sharon-Foxborough border, a shelter of unknown dimensions built by the earlier group.
Thanks for commenting! There's no proof, of course, but after studying old maps of England and New England, it looks like they capitalized on existing trails and roads when they enlarged them for new use. The English used Roman roads and ancient trackways, and their modern motorways follow the same paths. Here in America, there were Native American paths that were enlarged for wagons. As land was apportioned, it was along the existing roads, and in that way the roads were (sort of) enclosed, or forced to keep the same configuration. There were boundary disputes, as we see by court cases, but the early colonials were required to give several days a year to working on public roads, and the roads were necessary for the movement of domestic animals, goods, messengers, and militia. As for the route between Boston and Providence, my best guess is the Old Post Road and the general track of modern US 1 because it's the most direct.For more info on this road, see the article in this blog, http://marybarrettdyer.blogspot.com/2013/05/mary-dyers-last-44-miles.html
Reply from Jo Ann Butler: Great analysis, Christy! I tried 3 times to respond to the comments which about path the Hutchinson party took, but Blogger wouldn't publish. My research for "The Reputed Wife" indicates that the Taunton River path would have been rough to travel. Plymouth's Indians were hard hit by disease, leaving their untended woods choked by brush. They were known as the Ragged Lands because they tore traveler's clothes to shreds. The Pequot Path/Post Road was the main route south, and its hard-packed snow would have been easier to cross.
Comments from Facebook:Janine Edmée Hakim –Thank you Christy K Robinson for sharing this very moving, fascinating, compelling "read" on American history and what the impact of theocracy on those who lived under it here.Charlotte Knight Watkins –Excellent!! Very interesting. I must share!!Nate Eaton –Excellent! Wonderful piece, Christy. Quite a few of my ancestors escaped Puritan extremism by moving to Connecticut, Rhode Island or New Jersey.Margaret Ellen Michaels –Excellent article Ken Horn –Excellent account, as usual, with fresh material (also as usual). Appreciate all you write on the subject.Sandi DeVore –This is an excellent article. Thanks for all the research you do Christy K. Robinson. I'm beginning to feel like I actually knew my great great grandparents, Anne Hutchinson, William & Mary Dyer, and Samuel Dyer. You've brought them to life for me.
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