Pioneers of liberties or legalizers of slavery? This discussion of early Massachusetts by the Partnership of Historic Bostons explores the assumptions embedded in law. Click here for the 67-minute YouTube video
Roxanne Reddington-Wilde, a board member of the Partnership of Historic Bostons and an historical anthropologist specializing in teasing out social and material culture from primary sources, described how John Cotton and the General Court of the Mass Bay Colony to craft some laws “agreeable to God” in 1635-1640.
The liberties of women, children and animals were described in the General Laws, particularly regarding the disposal of property upon the death of a Freeman.
There were even laws regarding servants and social gatherings included in the General Laws.
Sarah Stewart, a communications professional currently writing her master’s thesis on 17th century medical debates, helped to lead off the discussion in which Sowams Heritage Area Project Coordinator David Weed participated.