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What Type Of Exile Should We Choose?

What type of exile should we choose? What types of exile are chosen for us? 

In Colonial America, Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson chose banishment from Massachusetts rather than renounce their views on how best to communicate with God. They went to the wilderness of Rhode Island.

When I was young, I hung out often at a punk rock club called The Jockey Club in Newport, Kentucky. This was a kind of “soft exile.” I wanted to be with people more like myself if just for a few hours. 

In the 19th Century, the black American actor Ira Aldridge went to Europe because he could not find roles in the United States.

In Ancient Rome, exile from Rome was a punishment one could receive.

Many of us withdraw to an extent just to get through the day.

Can exile serve as a creative force beyond simply serving as a device for sanity?

I’d say yes.

Artists often have what are termed as “retreats.” 

Martin Luther King wrote his Letter From A Birmingham Jail while in a type of forced exile.

I don’t think I could fully trust anyone who, for whatever reasons, does not seek some level of exile from this world.

Ideally, exile serves ultimately as a path to finding a way to be more strongly engaged with the world.  

September 14, 2007 Posted by | Art, Best Posts July-Dec. 2007, Colonial America, History, Politics, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Anne Hutchinson Of Rhode Island—Brave As Hell


I noticed that since I started running pictures on the blog nearly two months ago, I’ve not posted a picture of a woman.

The first picture of a woman on Texas Liberal is of Anne Hutchinson. Mrs. Hutchinson, who lived from 1591 until 1643, was a founder of Rhode Island.

The core of the story is that Mrs. Hutchinson held that neither church nor state was needed to connect a believer to his or her God.

As you might imagine, this assertion was a threat to the rulers of Massachusetts Bay Colony. In Massachusetts, church and state were intertwined and the average colonist was expected to adhere to established orthodoxies.

Mrs. Hutchinson was termed a “leper” and banished to Rhode Island in 1638. There she worked with Roger Williams who had also been exiled from Massachusetts.

Given the difficulty in taking a hard stand that exists to this day, it’s nearly impossible the imagine the type of personality and the extent of courage it took for a woman to risk banishment in a wilderness nearly 400 years ago. 

Mrs. Hutchinson gave birth to 14 children. Her husband, a cloth merchant, was said to have been supportive. To what extent he was supportive, I do not know.

The above picture is of Mrs. Hutchinson facing trial for her views in Massachusetts. The painting was done by Edwin Austin Abbey.        

Here is a post I wrote on John Cotton Of Massachusetts Bay Colony.  

(New —Please check out my Roger Williams post On Texas Liberal.)    

September 1, 2007 Posted by | Art, Colonial America, History | , | 9 Comments