Ann Austin

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The story of the Quaker Ann Austin is a story of resilience and resolve despite unremitting opposition. Mid-seventeenth-century colonial America was a paradox of settlers who braved perilous seas to escape persecution and find religious freedom in the colonies. Yet some of those same groups ironically became inhospitable, even hostile, to other immigrants seeking similar freedom to practice and promote their religious beliefs. Ann Austin, mother of five children and described as a woman "stricken in years:' traveled with fellow Quaker Mary Fisher, an unmarried former maidservant, to the colonies by way of Barbados aboard the ship Swallow. Fueled with the ardor to proclaim the truth as they saw it, they arrived in Boston Harbor on 11 July 1656.


Originally published in Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States, 5 Volumes, edited by George Thomas Kurian and Mark A. Lamport, 2016, pg. 157-158, reproduced by permission of Rowman & Littlefield.


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