Governor Bellingham represents an actual person, Richard Bellingham, who came to America in 1634 and was elected as governor of the English colony in 1641, 1654, and 1655. When not acting as governor, he still held positions of power as magistrate or deputy governor. In the novel his character demonstrates that in the colony, as the narrator states in chapter two, "religion and law were almost identical." Bellingham is described as a "stern magistrate," who, in chapter eight, is convinced that Pearl should be taken from her mother in order to...
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