Mildly curious as to whether Cotton Mather had really learned anything from witches—not that I believed Momus—I went back to the Magnalia Christi Americana and scanned the index (this being the tedious era before books were searchable) for any reference to witchcraft. In this way I discovered the story of Anne Hutchinson (or Hutchison), for whom a suburban parkway would one day be named.
In 1637, Anne H. was banished from the Massachussetts Bay Colony, for “traducing the ministers” of the Colony, by which her accusers meant, inviting women to her house to talk about theology, and not apologizing to anyone for it. She taught that divine grace was accorded at birth, and no amount of polite behavior afterwards could make up for its absence. Anne knew that she was saved; why should she apologize? Those who accused her were “Baals, Priests, Popish Factors, Scribes, Pharisees and Opposers of Christ himself,” she said.
Her punishment was terrible. John Winthrop, the governor of the Colony, wrote in his Journal:
Mistris Hutchison being big with child, and growing towards the time of her labour, as other women doe, she brought forth not one (as Mistriss Dier did) but (which was more strange to amazement) 30. monstrous births or thereabouts, at once; some of them bigger, some lesser, some of one shape, some of another; few of any perfect shape, none at all of them (as far as I could learne) of humane shape.
Then she was banished. Anne and her husband and their monstrous brood fled to Rhode Island which was known in those days as the “Island of Error,” because so many heretics lived there. Even the Rhode Islanders wouldn't have her, so she moved to New York, where, in 1643, she and her husband were killed by Indians, near a body of water called by the Dutch sailors Hell-Gate.
My question was, what happened to the monsters?