The colony of Merrymount is not mentioned in many history books — because it is not your average colony. After all, Puritan colonizers had gotten rid of many indigenous tribes surrounding Merrymount, but they couldn't have their way with this settlement. The colony even rejected Puritan values from England and celebrated pagan traditions instead. This meant that Merrymount didn't last too long, but it also occupies a forgotten part of our history.
Pieces of history
These days, the former colony of Merrymount has transformed into an ordinary neighborhood in Quincy, Massachusetts. And if you ever visit it, you'll find that the city's New England charms are apparent; the seaside views are particularly enticing. Yet these charms also conceal a complicated and hidden history. Few traces now remain regarding Merrymount's controversial origins.
Beyond being the birthplace of President John Adams, the city of Quincy has a more obscure place in history. Back in the 1600s, the neighborhood of Merrymount had been a "hippie" colony of sorts. But, of course, this came about at a time when peace and free love were unheard of.
Across the sea
It all began with Thomas Morton. In his late 40s, with a background in law, Morton set sail for New England in 1624. He was accompanied by Captain Richard Wollaston and over 20 indentured servants. They founded a settlement dubbed Mount Wollaston and set up camp. But not everyone was happy in their new home. The problems? The Puritans.
Second time, no luck
Puritans rejected Roman Catholicism and idolized a "purified" Church of England. As a result, some left England for New England in the early 17th century to be free to practice their ideals away from their homeland. But Morton and some of his supporters had little patience for these conservative ideas and figured there was a better way.