March 22, 1638: Religious dissident Anne Hutchinson is expelled from Massachusetts Bay Colony. Questioned about her teachings on grace, she insisted she had received divine revelations. When her examiners asked how she knew these came from God, she replied, "How did Abraham know that it was God that bid him offer his son, being a breach of the Sixth Commandment?" Although Hutchinson repented of her "errors," her questioners decided she was lying and banished her from the colony (see issue 41: American Puritans).
March 22, 1758: Jonathan Edwards, America's greatest theologian, dies from the effects of a smallpox vaccination after arriving in New Jersey to accept the presidency of what is now Princeton University (see issue 8: Jonathan Edwards and issue 77: Jonathan Edwards).
August 21, 1741: George Frideric Handel shuts himself up in his home to begin writing "Messiah." He finished the composition 23 days later. "Whether I was in the body or out of the body when I wrote it, I know not," he later said.
August 21, 1874: Henry Ward Beecher, a popular Congregational clergyman from Connecticut, is accused of adultery. Sued for $100,000 by the alleged adulteress's husband, the brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe (and son of evangelical leader Lyman Beecher) would eventually be ...