11. The Southwicks did not pay their fine and the colonial government took their children to sell them into slavery in 1657
Lawrence and Cassandra Southwick married around 1623 or 1624. Somewhere between 1637 and 1639 they sailed with their surviving children to Salem, Massachusetts. Lawrence was admitted to the First Church of Salem and was the first glassmaker to settle in New England. By 1642 he had focused on animal husbandry and had become an important breeder of livestock in the area. In this capacity, Lawrence and his wife would have been respected members of the community.
The Puritan couple was found out when they hosted two traveling Quakers in 1657 and charged with heresy, sent to prison and required to pay a fine. When authorities found out that Lawrence was a member of the First church of Salem, he was release. Cassandra had in her possession a Quaker pamphlet and remained in jail for seven weeks. She was required to pay 40 shillings upon her release from jail, which either she could not afford or refused. In 1658 she and her son were charged with being Quakers living Salem. Both were jailed for 20 weeks with little to no water, food, or outside contact.
For over a year, the Southwicks were tortured, jailed, and fined for being Quakers. They did not pay the fines and the accrued debt. To pay the debt, Puritan leaders forced the Southwicks to sell two of their children into slavery where they would be shipped to Barbados. The details on why the children were never sold and sent is unknown. By 1660 the family had either been banished or simply fled the Massachusetts Bay Colony and ended up on Shelter Island in New York. Within three days of each other, Cassandra and Lawerence Southwick died. A commemorative plaque states that they were “imprisoned, starved, whipped, banished…and persecuted to death” for being Quakers.