Roger Williams

(2872 words)

Political radical, religious controversialist and mediator between Native American and English colonial groups, Roger Williams founded the colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations after being banished from the other New England settlements. His radical separatism led to a strong belief in religious toleration and the need for a separation of church and state, ideas which he defended in many of his publications. Williams had unusually close relationships with local Native American groups, and his text A Key into the Language of America incorporates his cultural and linguistic observations of their society.

Williams was born in London in about 1603, the son of James Williams, a merchant tailor, and Alice …

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Stanley, Alison. "Roger Williams". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 January 2009
[, accessed 30 June 2015.]