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 …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Stanley, Alison. "Roger Williams". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 January 2009
[, accessed 29 November 2015.]