Founder - Roger Williams

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"The political and religious leader Roger Williams (c. 1603-1683) is best remembered for founding the state of Rhode Island and ‍advocating‍‍ ‍separation of church and state‍ in Colonial America. His views on religious freedom and ‍tolerance‍ , coupled with his disapproval of the practice of ‍‍confiscating‍ ‍ land from Native Americans, earned him the ‍wrath of his church and ‍banishment‍ from the colony. Williams and his followers settled on Narragansett Bay, where they purchased land from the Narragansett Indians and established a new colony governed by the principles of religious liberty and separation of church and state. Rhode Island became a ‍haven‍ for Baptists, Quakers, Jews and other religious minorities. Nearly a century after his death, Williams’ notion of a “wall of separation” between church and state inspired the founders of the United States, who incorporated it into the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights." Source
Primary Source: Roger Williams, "A Plea for Religious Liberty"

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"As I do understand it, laws, commands, rules and edicts are for those who have not the light which makes plain the pathway. He who has God's grace in his heart cannot go astray.", Anne Hutchinson


"Anne Marbury Hutchinson is sometimes called the first feminist. Born in England in 1591 she came to the Massachusetts Bay Colony with her husband William, a textile merchant, and her children in 1634. Anne was a midwife and nurse. She and her husband were considered a prominent family in the community. A deeply religious, educated and outspoken women, Anne began holding weekly meetings for the local women to contemplate and discuss religious issues. Her charisma and intelligence drew even the local men to her following. This presented a threat to the leading politicians, ultimately bringing her to trial. She was excommunicated from the church and banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Anne took her family to Rhode Island to join with Roger Williams who had also been banished for his religious beliefs." Source: The Hutchinson Players

Facts and Summary of Her Life

Timeline of Her Life

Original Document: Trial of Anne Hutchinson Transcript