In the 1600s, Puritanism was on the rise in England. This conservative religious movement sought to “purify” the Church of England. Puritans believed in predestination, hard work, and living a simple life. However, they also believed that God had a specific plan for each person’s life. 

John Smith and Anne Hutchinson were two well-known Puritans who lived in America during this time. They were both influential figures in early American history but had a lot in common. So what did john smith and Anne Hutchinson have in common?


Both Were Prominent Figures in Early American History

John Smith is best known for his role as the governor of the Jamestown colony in Virginia. He led the colony through some of its toughest years and is credited with helping it survive. On the other hand, Anne Hutchinson was a midwife and herbalist who settled in Massachusetts. She was also a religious leader and considered one of Rhode Island’s founders. 

Both Changed the Lives of Those Around Them

John Smith

John Smith had a profound impact on early American history. He helped establish the Jamestown colony and encouraged English settlement in North America. Anne Hutchinson also changed the lives of those around her. She was an outspoken critic of Puritanism and was eventually driven out of Massachusetts. However, her case helped establish religious freedom in Rhode Island. 

Both Were Expelled From Their Communities 

Despite their different backgrounds, John Smith and Anne Hutchinson were eventually expelled from their communities. John Smith was expelled from Jamestown after disagreements with the colony’s leaders. Anne Hutchinson was expelled from Massachusetts because she challenged Puritan doctrine. 

Both Had Large Families

Another similarity between John Smith and Anne Hutchinson is that both had large families. John Smith had 12 children, while Anne Hutchinson had 15. This was not unusual for couples in those days; families often had ten or more children because so many died young. However, it is still impressive that both John Smith and Anne Hutchinson were able to raise such large families considering all that they had to deal with (including adversarial church leaders and difficult living conditions).

Both Were Controversial Figures

One of the most striking similarities between John Smith and Anne Hutchinson is that both were controversial figures in their time. For his part, John Smith was an outspoken critic of the Puritan church leaders. He was also known for his sometimes rebellious behavior; on one occasion, he even punched a fellow colonist who had accused him of being a heretic! As for Anne Hutchinson, she was an equally controversial figure. She openly challenged the Puritan church leaders and questioned their teachings. This led to her ultimately being banished from the colony.


Though they lived centuries apart, John Smith and Anne Hutchinson have much in common. Both were prominent figures in early American history who changed the lives of those around them. Unfortunately, they were both expelled from their communities because they didn’t conform to the status quo. If you’re interested in learning more about Puritanism or early American history, check out our other blog posts. 

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