Archiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2004-06 > 1086609130

Subject: Excerpt Of History
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 2004 07:52:10 EDT

"Rhode Island got started because of religious persecution. In 1635 the
Massachusetts Bay Company banished Roger Williams, then a minister at Salem, out of
their jurisdiction because his critical opinions on church government and
notions about freedom of conscience and religious liberty were regarded as
ungodly and dangerous. Williams went south of Boston and spent the winter on the
Seckonk Plain with the local Indians. Later that spring, he and five other exiled
men crossed the Seckonk River and landed on the eastern boundary of what
would eventually be Providence, Rhode Island.
Within a few days, Williams and his friends started laying out a settlement
that encouraged the initial population to have a variety of opinions and to
express those thoughts without recrimination, in direct contrast to Massachusetts.
The southwestern tier, the Narragansett portion, across from Newport, is
rural, quaint, and very old. Corn and squash fields abut gray shingled, saltbox
houses from the seventeenth century. As people cleared trees, plowed their
fields, and built their boats, they began to notice peculiar remnants of another
time. There were and still are a great number of mysterious structures and
inscriptions scattered across the state."

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