Roger Williams (c.21 September 1603—between 27 January and 15 March 1683) was an English-born American Puritan minister, theologian, and author who founded Providence Plantations, which became the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and later the U.S. State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, now the State of Rhode Island. He was a staunch advocate for religious freedom, separation of church and state, and fair dealings with Native Americans.Williams was expelled by the Puritan leaders from the Massachusetts Bay Colony and established Providence Plantations in 1636 as a refuge offering what he termed "liberty of conscience". In 1638, he founded the First Baptist Church in America, in Providence. Williams studied the indigenous languages of New England and published the first book-length study of a native North American language in English.
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