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Excerpts from Understanding The Scarlet Letter

Excerpts from Understanding The Scarlet Letter: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents by Claudia Johnson

Even after King Charles II prohibited the execution of Quakers, Puritans found ways to hound them out of Puritan settlements. Hawthorne's ancestor, William Hathorne, was active in their persecution.
. . . after the king's orders halting the executions, the Puritans passed the Cart and Whip Act. By means of this law, Quakers appearing in the Massachusetts Bay Colony would be dragged behind a cart in each settlement, successively, and whipped through the streets until they reached the boundaries, where they were thrown out and left to pursue their own way if they were capable. One Quaker, Ann Coleman, was brutally beaten in this fashion on the orders of William Hathorne"(164).(courtesy of Greenwood Press)

Claudia Durst Johnson,  Understanding the Scarlet Letter: a Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents, Greenwood Press, c. 1995


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