2 Gay Pilgrims Faced The Death Penalty

Artist Annie Bissett's God Blesses John Alexander and John Roberts, 1637
Another example of gay history finally being revealed.  For thousands of years, our history has been buried, burned, ignored and even changed to hide our existence.  The more we speak out, the more we are remembered.  

Hat tip to Back2Stonewall for the Boston.com article:

PLYMOUTH - In the summer of 1637, two working men at the English colony at Plymouth faced the possibility of execution, convicted of what the law books said was a grave moral crime. John Alexander and Thomas Roberts had been caught in a homosexual relationship.

Court records from their case, and from a handful of others, are the only keyhole through which researchers at the Plimoth Plantation museum can peek backward through time to imagine the lives of the colony’s gays and lesbians.

On Saturday, at the second annual Out at Plimoth Plantation event, the living museum of Colonial and Native American history will present special programs on gay history of the 17th and 18th centuries in early American culture...

What happened to John Alexander and Thomas Roberts?

...“At first glance you would think that 17th-century New Englanders would be very harsh,’’ said Pickering. But both men were spared execution, and in time Roberts was allowed to own land and to vote. “Even though there are statutes, in the enactment of the law they are much more gentle.’’ It may have been that the colony needed every pair of hands and couldn’t afford to lose both workers, or that in a tiny community of a few hundred, the judges would have known the defendants personally and were reluctant to send neighbors to their deaths.


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