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John Winthrop
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    (January 12, 1587-March 26, 1649)
    Born in Edwardstone, United Kingdom
    A leading figure in the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony
    Chartered Massachusetts Bay Colony (March 14, 1629)
    Was elected Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony (May 18, 1631)
    Served as governor for 12 of the colony's first 20 years
    Served as Lord of the Manor at Groton in Suffolk, England, before becoming Governor
    Wrote 'A Model of Christian Charity' (1630) and 'The History of New England'
    He married four times.
    He was called 'the paternal dictator.'
    His private writings proved he acted like a snob.
    He is widely recognized as a founder of Massachusetts Bay Colony, but he was living in England when the Massachusetts Bay Company was established.
    He was an authoritarian who believed that the voting/civil rights should be limited to the elite and opposed laws to limit magistrates' power.
    He called unconstrained Democracy 'the meanest and worst of all forms of government.'
    He led the persecution of religious dissenters; specifically Roger Williams , Anne Hutchinson, Episcopalians, and the Quakers.
    He headed off the trial of Anne Hutchinson, leading to her conviction, exile, and ultimate murder, along with the rest of her family (1638).
    He presided over the ending of the Pequot War, which resulted in the Pequot tribe being wiped out, leaving only a handful of survivors (1637).
    Ronald Reagan frequently lifted from his 'City on a Hill' speech for his own speeches.
    Reagan's usage set off a trend among politicians of invoking Winthrop, most of whom failed to account for Winthrop's anti-democratic policies.
    The only known portrait of him shows him wearing an obnoxiously frivolous ruffled collar.
    He figures into Catherine Maria Sedgwick's historical fiction novel, 'Hope Leslie' as a main character.
    He was the first Governor of Massachusetts.
    He was described as being generous, charitable, and an upright Christian.
    His 'History of New England' has been called one of the most accurate historical accounts of the early colonial period.
    Charles William Eliot, John Kerry, and Christopher Reeve are all descended from him.
    There is a house in his name at Harvard University (one of his descendants, also named John Winthrop, was President of Harvard).
    He led the first large wave of immigrants from England to the New World (1630).
    When he arrived in New England, the colonists were starving and impoverished, and his leadership was credited with turning the colony around.
    He was a moderate who provided balance in the religiously conservative colonies.
    He is one of only two historical figures to represent Massachusetts with a statue in the National Statuary Hall Collection at the U.S. Capitol.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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