Why did Kit Tyler come to be in Wethersfield, Connecticut?

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teachsuccess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Kit traveled to Wethersfield, Connecticut to flee an impending marriage. In the story, Kit confesses to Mercy that she had another reason to leave Barbados after her grandfather's death. She relates that she was beset by an overenthusiastic suitor almost immediately after her grandfather died. Her suitor was, at fifty years old, decades her senior.

This particular suitor had been a friend of her grandfather's when he was alive. He had also lent Kit's grandfather hundreds of pounds. However, he claimed that he did not want to be paid back and that he preferred to marry Kit instead. For her part, Kit was not at all attracted to an older man who wore too many rings on his pudgy fingers. Despite the fact that her suitor offered to pay for everything, Kit made the decision to flee Barbados.

She traveled to Wethersfield because that is where her maternal aunt, Rachel Wood, lived with her family. In chapter 2, we learn that Kit's aunt and her husband do not meet Kit after she disembarks from the ship. This is because they do not know that she is coming.

When Kit finally meets Aunt Rachel and Uncle Matthew, she has to tell them the truth. Kit's grandfather had once been a wealthy plantation owner. As time progressed, however, he became sick and had to turn over the running of his plantation to his overseer, Bryant. Bryant took his new privileges as an opportunity to indulge his avarice; he eventually sold off Kit's grandfather's crops and pocketed the money. Bryant soon left, and Kit's grandfather became saddled with debt.

Kit relates that her grandfather never recovered from Bryant's betrayal. After he died, Kit had to sell the house, the land, and all the furniture to pay off her grandfather's creditors. She also had to sell her own servant to pay for her passage to the United States. This is how Kit ends up in Wethersfield, Connecticut.

tljohnston eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Kit left her island home of Jamaica because her grandfather died.  She was expected to marry a man she did not love and fled to avoid the marriage and live with her other family members in America.

When Kit arrives at her new home, she realizes that her carefree island life will be dramatically different in her new Puritan community.  She is immediately thought to be a witch because she can stay afloat in water.  She is expected to work hard, marry and attend church....all without complaint.

Read the study guide:
The Witch of Blackbird Pond

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