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Roger Williams

Williams, Roger (c. 1603–83), church leader and founder of the colony of Rhode Island. He came to North America (1631) because of disagreements with the doctrine of the Church of England. His disagreement with the Church became a problem for him in Salem, Mass., also. Because of this he founded Rhode Island (1636) with the help of land granted to him by the Narragansett Native American tribe. In Rhode Island he practiced the belief of religious freedom and separation of church and state—concepts later adopted by the writers of the Constitution. Williams had to journey to England several times to fight for leadership in his colony (1643, 1651). His first trip resulted in his most famous publication, The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution (1644). He was president of Rhode Island colony (1654–57).

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21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Willamette River to Yaoundé