History & Culture

Entrance Sign to the park

A Champion for Religious Freedom

Roger Williams National Memorial was established by Congress in 1965 to commemorate Williams’s “outstanding contributions to the development of the principles of freedom in this country.” The memorial, a 4.5 acre urban greenspace located at the foot of College Hill in downtown Providence, includes a freshwater spring which was the center of the settlement of Providence Plantations founded by Williams in 1636. It is on this site that Williams, through word and action, fought for the ideal that religion must not be subject to regulation by the state but, instead, that it should be a matter of individual conscience. It was a remarkable journey that brought Williams to what is now the capital of Rhode Island and to where he put his beliefs into practice, giving “shelter for persons distressed of conscience.”

For further reading, the staff at the memorial has developed a short bibliography of the most popular and best researched works by and about Roger Williams and the period in which he lived.


Last updated: September 22, 2021

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Mailing Address:

282 North Main Street
Providence, RI 02903


Staff are not always on site during these COVID-19 restriction, please send an email (ROWI_Info@nps.gov) or contact us through social media at facebook.com/RogerWilliamsNPS. Responses may take 1-2 business days, we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

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