In the spring of 1621 the colonists were introduced to Squanto (1580-1622) , a native who had learned English and showed the colonists how to grow corn. By fall the settlers had a bumper crop of corn. The held a harvest feast in company of Chief Massasoit (1581-1661) and the Wampanoags . Plymouth remained a separate colony until absorbed by Massachusetts in 1691 .
7 Its imprint on the national mind would be greater than its size would warrant— William Bradford’s unpretentious history, Of Plymouth Plantation (1651) , brought the colony vividly to life. And Plymouth invented Thanksgiving —at least later generations persuaded themselves that its 1621 harvest feast was the first Thanksgiving. Plymouth colony’s population never reached 7000. It was overshadowed by it larger neighbor Massachusetts which was settled by another religious group the Puritans. Massachusetts In 1629 , Charles I issued a charter under the new name of Massachusetts Bay Company . Leaders of the company first looked upon it mainly as a business venture. However, a majority faction led by John Winthrop (1587-1649) , resolved to use the colony as a refuge for persecuted Puritans and as an instrument for building a wilderness Zion. Winthrop would later be appointed governor of the colony. Winthrop told his fellow Puritans “ we must consider that we shall be a city upon a hill .” By the end of 1630 seventeen ships bearing 1000 colonists arrived. Boston became the new colony’s chief city and capital. In Boston a two house ( bicameral ) assembly was formed to deal with local issues. Made up of the House of Assistants and the House of Deputies . In 1631 , one of the purest of Puritans, Roger Williams (1603-1683) arrived in Massachusetts. He claimed that the purity of the church required complete separation of the church and state and freedom from coercion in matters of faith .
8 He questioned the authority of the government to impose an oath of allegiance and rejected laws imposing religious conformity. In 1635 , the Mass. Authorities banished him to England. Governor Winthrop out of personal sympathy for Williams allowed him to slip away with a few followers among the Narragansett Indians. In the spring of 1636 , Williams established the town of Providence at the head of Narragansett Bay, the 1 st permanent settlement in Rhode Island , and the 1 st in America to legislate freedom of religion . Rhode Island would receive its first charter from the crown in 1644. Anne Hutchinson (1591-1643) , wife of a prominent merchant in Mass., had raised 13 children, served as a healer and midwife. She began holding discussion forums at which she began providing her own opinions of religious matters. She spoke of direct revelations from the Holy Spirit. She stated that Puritan ministers were incorrectly preaching of a “ covenant of works ” (good conduct would ensure salvation) instead of the correct “ covenant of grace ” bestowed upon a person only by God.