Deed to the settlement at Moshassuck, called Providence signed by Narragansett Sachems Cononicus and Miantonomi and Roger Williams
A Radical Vision
This is the story of the founder of Rhode Island, the first secular State. More than 300 years ago this fiery Christian preacher believed that the wall of separation between Church and State was essential for all other liberties. His ideals, incorporated into the Rhode Island Charter of 1663, laid the foundation for the laws that Thomas Jefferson and James Madison would eloquently affirm in this nation’s defining documents: the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.
This fiery Christian preacher’s name is Roger Williams. The Roger Williams National Memorial and this website are dedicated to his life, legacy, and the ideals we continue to passionately debate today.
Did You Know?
Rhode Island held a state senate hearing in 1992 to determine what the official state beverage would be. The debate was between Del’s lemonade and Autocrat coffee milk. Although it was close, coffee milk prevailed and is the official state drink of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. More...