By Edwin S. Gaustad
Roger Williams chronicles the lifetime of some of the most striking forefathers in American historical past. a real progressive, this religious Puritan championed local American rights; wrote treatises on equivalent rights, flag desecration, and the separation of church and country; proven the 1st American cost in accordance with overall non secular toleration--and he lived greater than a century ahead of independence, whilst the United States used to be nonetheless an unlimited wasteland! Williams went directly to undertake grownup baptism and based the 1st Baptist church in the US. He turned president of Rhode Island colony in 1654, served as captain within the safeguard of windfall in the course of King Philip's battle, and persevered to jot down and pontificate passionately for non secular tolerance and local American rights until eventually his dying in 1683.
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Additional resources for Roger Williams: Prophet of Liberty (Oxford Portraits)
But Williams had not succeeded. What historians now speak of as King Philip’s War broke out only a few days later—with the Narragansets and others in league with the Wampanoags. The Indian attack was widespread, ferocious, and successful—beyond anyone’s imagination—almost beyond the ability of the English to keep from being pushed back into the sea. Virtually all the frontier towns and villages were burned to the ground, with their inhabitants slain or scattered. Massachusetts pressed all able-bodied men from 16 to 60 into military service, promising bonuses of land in addition to their regular pay.
It was time for the town of Providence, only two years in the making, to have a church. But what sort of church? Not the Church of England, of course, nor Puritan. What then? Attracted to the idea of separation and to those who in England had been persecuted for their separatism, Williams was further attracted to those who argued that one should come into a church only through her or his voluntary consent. Infants should not be baptized into a church that they had not chosen. Nor should people automatically be counted as members of a national or official church just because they lived in a certain territory or within the bounds of a specified parish.
Williams’s enemies did not, however, have the last word. Although Rhode Island prospered slowly, it hung on to become the safest refuge for liberty of conscience. Dissenters of all stripes, persons of all religious persuasions or none, could find sanctuary in Rhode Island. Beside that “sweet spring,” Williams sowed the seeds of a sweet liberty. He also came to the defense of Native Americans who had not surrendered their lands and would not, if it pleased God, have to surrender their lives. 29 Image Not Available The first serious engagement of the English against the Indians in New England resulted in the Pequot War, 1637–38.
Roger Williams: Prophet of Liberty (Oxford Portraits) by Edwin S. Gaustad