A Plea for Religious Libertyby Roger Williams
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Roger Williams (circa 1603-1683) was a religious leader and one of the founders of Rhode Island. The son of a well-to-do London businessman and educated at Cambridge, Williams became a clergyman and in 1630 sailed for Massachusetts. He refused a call to the church of Boston because it had not formally broken with the Church of England, but after two invitations he became the assistant pastor, later pastor, of the church at Salem.
Williams made a splash when he questioned the right of the colonists to take the Native Americans’ land from them merely on the legal basis of the royal charter, and he also ran afoul of the oligarchy in Massachusetts in other ways. In 1635 he was found guilty of spreading "new authority of magistrates" and was ordered to be banished from the colony.
Williams lived briefly with friendly Indians and then, in 1636, founded Providence in what was to be the colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. His religious views led him to become briefly a Baptist, later a Seeker. In 1644, while he was in England getting a charter for his colony from Parliament, he wrote A Plea for Religious Liberty. While writing about it, Williams practiced it, founding the first place in modern history where citizenship and religion were separated, a place where there was religious liberty and separation of church and state.
This edition of A Plea for Religious Liberty is specially formatted with images of Williams and an original introduction.
- Charles River Editors
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- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
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- 138 KB
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