A Colonial Crime
Patience Boston was born on December 26, 1711, in Monamoy, Massachusetts. Her mother died when she was about three years old and her father sold her into servitude. The Crow family would teach her how to read and to obey the words of the Lord. It is said that the family taught her about “sinful courses,” such as not honoring the Sabbath and murder. Over time, Patience was known to be very “wicked” because she would not follow the words of the Lord.
Whether the Crow family felt she was following the “sinful courses” willingly or did not understand the teaching is unknown. But what we do know is that Patience would play on the Sabbath day and did not listen to the teachings given by the Crow family members. The older she grew, the worse her “sinful courses” became. It is said that she tried to start the family’s home on fire and would escape into the night. Eventually, Patience was able to leave the Crow family as she completed her servitude. But this did not help her “wicked” ways.
After leaving the Crows, she started to steal. Later, she married an African American servant, which brought her back into the life of servitude. Her husband’s master claimed that because they were married, she must be his servant as well. Over time, she started drinking, committed adultery, and abused her husband. Not too long after, she became pregnant but they lost the baby shortly after birth. Many people of the time believed it was because of her sinful ways.
Eventually, her husband’s mater sold her to a new master. However, this master grew tired of her antics, selling her to someone else. It is unknown how many masters this young woman went through. However, we do know at the age of 23 she was under her last master. By this time, Patience had “some groundless Prejudice” against her last master. In order to get back at him, she told herself she would murder his grandchild. Today we have an account of this crime, thanks to Samuel and Joseph Moody who recorded it.
Her first plan was to take the young child, who she took care of, into the woods and hit him over the head with a branch. However, she was unable to follow through with this plan. She then dropped a stick into a well and asked the little boy to get it. When he reached in for it, she held his head under water. Patience left the child in the well and walked to the house, where she confessed to her crime.
She sat in a prison for about a month until Joseph and Samuel Moody, who were ministers, took her in to try to save her soul. During this time, Patience gave birth to another child, who became sick, which is when Patience converted. She said if Lord wanted, he could take her child before she was hung. But then she also asked the congregation to pray for her child, who did recover. Patience was hung in the mid-1730s.