1.23 Biography Edition: Roger Williams


From hello and welcome to the political history of the united states episode one point twenty three biography edition roger williams just as last week. We stopped to focus on john winthrop this week. We're going to do the same for roger williams. It is a bit astonishing to me that we have barely even mentioned williams to this point however i can pretty much promise you that from this point forward. He is going to be a major player for the rest of the season as well as portions of next season. When it comes to the politics of new the england over the next fifty years roger williams is going to basically be there standing in the middle of it all he is going to introduce truly radical ideas such as the separation of church search state. He's gonna form the most democratic system in the colonies thus far he is going to be staunchly opposed to slavery in a time where that's really not a thing quite quite yet and oh yeah he's also going to found the rhode island colony for all of his efforts. Williams is going to do a great job of alienating everybody around i and generally becoming something of a pariah around new england despite that hell over williams has absolutely earned his spot in the pantheon of founding fathers before we get going. I want to warn you that for the better part of fifty years williams is going to be one of the most important colonists there is so this episode is going to go a a bit longer than most just a heads up on that one so without any further ado was dive in and discuss roger williams little is is really known about the early life of roger williams he was born sometime around sixteen or three and linden however nobody knows exactly when the church with his birth records was destroyed droid in the great fire of lenin in sixteen sixty six in so many ways i could copy and paste this section. I wrote on john winthrop's early life here and it would be more or less correct like with rope. Williams had a middle class upbringing. His father was a tailor ended will enough that the young williams was able to get a good education from a young engage. Williams emerged as having a real talent in learning languages. This ability to learn languages is going to eventually play an important role in the life of williams as he would produce the first ever indian language dictionary likewise later in his life in exchange for lessons in hebrew williams who tutored john milton the author of paradise lost in some of these indian languages abilities as polyglot aside williams was spent his teen years of cambridge studying to enter the church. Initially at least williams was moving in a direction of being a priest in the anglican church for williams. It was a slow slide into his position as not only a leading puritan but also a leader amongst the group wanting thankful separation from the church williams had trained to be a priest in the anglican church yes but well it. Cambridge moved in a decidedly puritan direction. It was not until the sixteen twenty s that he would move further and became a proponent of a full separation from that church. It was those same pressures that drove the great migration that would eventually push williams uh-huh in the direction of immigration to the north american english colonies just as winthrop had been before him increasing concern over the policies of charles the i and william laud was enough to convince williams that the time to get out of england was at hand warning the lion in december of sixteen thirty roger williams was coming. I mean to america. Perhaps there was no greater talent that williams possessed the power to simply infuriate everybody who he came across upon arrival lemass chooses williams would waste little time in getting everybody to hate his guts. The colony that williams arrived in was largely the one that we spent the last episode discussing it was a highly religious society that was running under the direction of john. Winthrop william spent his first several months in the colony living among the other prominent families in new england well. He himself worked on getting on his feet in the land. Williams was a highly coveted guests coming over and was immediately popular amongst the other settlers. He was so popular in boston so that when pastor john wilson made the announcement that he was going to return to england to get his family. It was williams who they hid turned to the plan was that will wilson was gone. Roger williams williams would step in and be the pastor of the all important church in boston. When wilson returned it was unclear what they were going to do but suffice it to say they would have found a place high in the church church for roger williams if not just lead him as a second pastor okay so this is a huge deal for williams in massachusetts. There was no more important city than boston with embossing. There was no more important institution and an institution more central to life than the church roger. Williams was being offered a position running that most important of of institutions for williams this meant that almost immediately after arriving he would it become one of the single most important and influential men in the entire colony anybody in their the right mind would jump at a chance to instantly become one of the most powerful men in the colony right williams being a conscientious man however decided instead to ask some questions learn about the church in boston which i mean come on. That's totally fair. P is looking at taking over the most powerful institution in massachusetts. You need to ask a few questions on the job interview right okay okay so this is where he says thank you and accepts the job right no no this is actually the point where he says oh yeah. I can't accept the job because this isn't a separatist church. If any of you guys want to know how to make enemies in alienate people in sixteen thirty boston it is by refusing a position and leading the most important church in north america because your beliefs are directly opposed to the established leadership of the city we have already spent a ton of time talking about how the puritans of massachusetts were not separatists and in fact we're pretty solidly opposed to such heretical thoughts that williams came in and not only decline they're awesome offer but then decided to go ahead and tell them that he disagrees with them on such a core subject was simply stunning not to mention side of massachusetts williams had come in and was immediately really a popular figure having him come out as a separatist was more than just infuriating. It was potentially dangerous. Instantly williams moved from beat. A coveted evident highly sought after a rival to beam a persona non grata. It would have been a lot to handle at this point but roger williams is not a man to rest idly by it was more than happy to express his grievances to the church in massachusetts cowardice divined the ten commandments into what they referred to as the first and the second table the first table worthy commandments that dealt with the relationship between people and god the second table are the amendments that address the relationship between people and other people for example example commandments like have no before me and don't take the lord's name in vain are going to come out of that first table. The second table is going to have the commandments such as don't murder don't still and respect your parents for men like john winthrop. It was the role of government to ensure that both the first and the second table were enforced and protected by the government in the eyes of men like john winthrop. It was the government's job to enforce the covenant between god and the people williams however disagrees with this premise well williams would agree that the second table should be enforced because nobody really wants murderers and thieves running around. He believed that it exceeded he did the authority of the government to enforce the first table. Williams did not believe that the state should have anything to do with interpreting man's relationship with god god and this was an overstepping of their power this idea the thought that the state lacked the power to enforce the first table is something that was radical for its. It's time this was radical in new england and would have been equally unthinkable backing europe well. There may have been religious disagreements pretty much. All governments were on board with the idea that they had a responsibility to enforce the entirety of the ten commandments. Even the separate is still believed that the government had a role in enforcing that first table unfortunately sources are thin on how williams arrived to such a radical thought his writings for the year had been law so we don't really get a glimpse at his thought process into the matter rather we are left with just the end result regardless however this is an end result that is going to have momentous effect in the moment it is gonna make williams and outcast somebody who needs to be treated carefully as he is espousing dangerously rebellious thoughts in the long term over the separation of church and state is going to transform from radical and dangerous idea to something ingrained in the very bedrock of the american political experience. This also marks the first time we're those surrounding. Williams will look at him and say e yeah. You probably should leave for roger williams. It was time for him to look elsewhere. He was no longer welcome in boston. Luckily for him at that exact moment the settlers up in salem or more than happy to take him in salem looked thoroughly leap forward to sticking it to boston. Keep in mind what it must have been like to settled in salem endicott had after all settled salem i when when through crew arrive they looked around decided that they hated the place and moved further south to charlestown. I and eventually founded boston. Salem had been the main colony of massachusetts. She says bay and then all of the sudden it was a second rate town. Williams was quick to relocate to salem where he was. Well received i for salem this. This gave them a few chances. I the brand new christianity being practiced in salem was more in line with williams belief. This isn't to say that they were separatists. In salem. However were they did practice a stricter form of christianity that williams could work with beyond that and conveniently for williams. The reverend salem had just died filing. This was a great great chance for the settlers of salem to take a dig at the settlers in boston. I mean they had stolen williams away. They were feeling pretty good about themselves. At this point. The problem is is that in boston winthrop and comey were not amused they had just for all intents and purpose run williams out of town now salem had hired him without giving a thought to conferring free with the company at large. This isn't a minor point either. Keep in mind. That salem was a town in the massachusetts bay colony start like this is a separate entity with a separate government limit all those dangers that they had about in boston still existed in boston allowing williams to set up just twenty miles north of salem and that's just not going to work out in response to this on april twelve sixteen thirty one the court of assistance as well as the governor met in boston to discuss the issue interestingly enough boston was very well represented during this hearing lone representative from salem john into got wasn't there now. I admittedly can't find a clear reason why into cobb wasn't there so oh i can't say if this is a deal where he decided not to go out of protest decided not to attend for some practical reason or if his invitation got lost in the mail but either way salem the the city at the center of all this was not represented at the gathering the assistance ended up sending a letter off into cod asking him what they were thinking and why they thought it was okay okay to hire williams without even consulting the leadership in boston throughout this of course it's not like boston for baid salem to move forward with williams more soap and they wrote a strongly strongly worded letter that basically told them that they needed to think really really hard if this move was in their best interest in a convenient little twist and i'm sure much to the delight of the magistrates back in boston income himself was currently facing assault charges at this time the assistance did not hesitate reminded the cut that he would soon be sitting for trial in his his own case in the same remonstrance they had sent regarding williams be it for personal reasons for intercut giving into pressure in the greater massachusetts bay colony anywhere some other more practical reason salem did come around and rescinded their offer out of work and not really welcome anywhere in the massachusetts bay colony anymore williams found himself as something of a crossroads he had come over a highly sought after teacher he was popular and everybody was anxious to get him working for them. However however his religious beliefs had very quickly turned him into an outcast who the colonial leaders viewed as dangerous. So what do you do if you're a separatist in new england in the sixteen thirty s. That's right roger. Williams is gonna pack up things and move the show to plymouth plymouth in so many ways seems like a logical landing spot for williams after all the settlers implement were separatists. They had no problem with the policies of williams in fact they were much closer aligned to his beliefs than anybody else. It is important to note that this still is not a perfect fit after all the idea of separation of church and state isn't totally accepted anywhere in the sixteen thirty s bradford company would not have been on board with the separation of church and state we have seen when we went through plymouth that in fact they very tightly tied church church to state and beyond that bradford and the other people in plymouth were going to want to enforce both the first and the second table they had no interest in that part of what williams was preaching but hey if nothing else we are at least getting closer upon arrival in plymouth williams to set a to take a more laid back approach instead of jumping right into the fray like he had in massachusetts. Williams was more interested in settling down and establishing some routes this means that he did not seek out out to become the reverend of the church nor did he seek out a particularly key role in the administration of local politics. Instead williams just wanted to blend in william bradford bradford would right of roger williams that mr roger williams a man godly in zealous having many precious parts but very unsettled in judgment came over. We're first to massachusetts but upon some discontent left that place in came here why he was friendly entertained according to their poor ability and exercised is his gifts amongst them and after some time was admitted a member of the church and his teachings will approved for the benefit whereof i still blessed god and i am thankful nfl team even for his sharpest admonishments and rebuffs so far they agree with the truth. Williams role in the colony may best be proved not not only by what bradford says but by the fact that williams really doesn't feature prominently in bradford's writings by alright william settled in nicely even his relationship nations with winthrop appears to have improved during this period probably because stuck out in plymouth williams. Was it really a risk to anybody. Well in plymouth williams was also free initially to indulge another fascination of his the native americans as we discussed at the opening today. Williams was a bit of a polyglot. One of the stated goals of basically everybody who had ever come to the americas was to convert the local population to christianity spreading religion had been the justification that everybody used even even if in reality it was typically more lip service than actual practice roger williams over wasn't really lip service kind of guy and actually did have interest interest in trying to convert the local populations this would lead williams on a path where he would do his best to learn the native language and eventually see him produce the first dictionary of indian indian terms more problematically. It introduced williams to concerns about land rights of the indians. Here's the problem williams looked around and begin to question how the english had come to acquire all of their land as a reminder. The way it would work is that the king granted charter in the settlers would go off and see their new homes. This troubled williams after all. The lands weren't empty. All the indians had been using the land these questions made williams asked the question regarding removed the english claims now. This wasn't a totally novel idea. However the difference is justifications. This had actually come up before if you recall those heading to plymouth had justified taking land on the basis that the india's weren't properly developing it and therefore had no legal claim it had been dubious at at the time however for the people coming to settle it was a self serving thing that they all felt that they basically had to do the problem is that for roger williams he was is not about to turn a blind eye to this there enough occasions of this idea stunning. Williams wasn't just bringing up novel argument. He was directly challenging. The authority of the king to grant these charters in the first place williams brought his concern back to plymouth the leaders plymouth told him to write a treatise on it defending his point of view hugh and that is just what williams set out to do the problem here is that williams really went for it. Unfortunately the writing is now lost because ultimately williams would voluntarily voluntarily agree to burn it however what was in it appears to have been explosive. What roger williams appears to have written was a direct assault on the monarchies on archies claim to the new world williams called the king aligarh and directly challenged authority to make these land grants. This was over the top radical and nobody lubetzky wanted anything to do with it. Plymouth had always been a hotbed of dissension. Yes these guys were separatists who were facing not only the threat of persecution futian but some members of the group were actively being sought by the authorities yet even in this society. This is just going too far. William william bradford wrote that williams had come up with some very strange opinions that caused considerable strife between him and the church william bradford goes on to describe williams asking to be released as a member of the plymouth church being granted that request and leaving plymouth to return to salem interestingly enough bradford writes that he thought it was prudent to send a warning annalong about these new positions of williams this goes to show that implement they clearly understood the nature of what was being said and it seems had an idea of just what what a powder keg williams had chosen to go preach williams returned to salem where he took up the teaching job that he had wanted years before however by this point that general court in boston had become aware of what williams was preaching for winthrop and the others this was not just deeply concerning it was seditious dangerous williams had shown himself to be a separatist who believed in the separation of church and state and now is directly clean out the monarchy. The last thing thing that these men wanted was to get england looking more closely at what they were doing now. Williams was calling out the king. He was calling him a liar williams for his part. It also appears to know that he had gone too far when confronted by the leaders of the bay colony williams apparently acquiesced to demands and it himself agreed to burn his work. It is unclear why there was such a sudden change in heart by roger williams however it is certainly possible that he had just realized how dangerous assists positions were and what a powder keg he was sitting on williams was no more anxious to attract the attention of the monarchy or william laud than anybody else at this point williams writings had just been viewed by the leadership within the colony by burning the trees. There really was nothing to prove its existence or his extreme views nothing that williams believed or he preached in this regard was public. It was all contained within that treatise so hey all is still good right well. The immediate risk for the most part was modified. It was abundantly clear to those in charge that roger williams uh-huh was a threat and that he needed to go williams did not wait long to give them a reason to go after him williams now the acting pastor in salem began take issue with the civic oath required by the government this oath had all males over sixteen swearing allegiance to the king in the colony and included the words so so help me god williams took all kinds of problems with this he was upset over the government requiring such an oath in the first place he took issue with the wording wording so help me god in his view the words so help me god made the oath another example of the colony trying to force a religious position williams this continued to agitate and preaches disapproval to the church in salem seeing an opportunity to the general court in boston acted informally called williams before the court on july eighth within sixteen thirty five warning williams that he was again preaching dangerous idea. Let's however we have been down this road before and this time williams had no plan to back doc down in fact he decided to entrench the court gave williams one of two options he could recant his position and they would allow him to stay or it was going to be exile. I think this really goes to the power of williams. Even after all of this the colonial leaders in massachusetts still wanted to find some way to keep roger williams in the colony this i'm however williams isn't going to change his mind so once again more officially this time the leaders in massachusetts to- l. williams yeah. It's time that you leave. The leadership and boston did attempt to give williams some time to get his affair together. So long as he stopped preaching his troubling ling thoughts they were going to give him at least six weeks before they exiled him into the wilderness. Oliver williams couldn't do that and sure enough. The decision was made that the colony could not afford williams any extra time williams had learned that they were coming to execute the order against him and he as well as several of his followers slipped out outta town. The good news for williams is that he had become very popular amongst the indians as he had been kicked out of town during the winter his prospects were initially initially looking pretty poor williams however was able to get some help from our old friend. Mathis wait after wondering around for about four months williamson move fifty miles south of boston. They're often outcropping of narragansett bay in june. Sixteen thirty six roger williams founded providence rhode rhode island for williams providence was going to provide him with a series of new challenges williams had always been admittedly concerned with the matters of the immortal immortal salt far more than he had been involved in any kind of practical governance in an interesting twist. It was john winthrop that williams would ride to drain the summer of sixteen thirty-six basically asking hey. How does this whole government thing work. What are the things to keep in mind here is that providence had no authorization to even existed listed this point. There is no charter from the king. There is no board of governors or any kind of oversight. This is very literally. Roger williams out in the middle of nowhere with followers followers just faking it until they make williams rights to winthrop saying that the head of the families of the new settlement meet every two weeks to discuss the basics like the common peace watch implanting. The most immediate concerns for williams was in the area of food production and protection from the local tribe. What williams liam's historically kept exceedingly good relationships with the indians. The tribe was in a bad way and spoiler alert but in just a few episodes from now so we are going to have an episode called the quote war so yet things are going downhill. There pretty quickly williams went with a very simple form of government having all all the family sign of covenant to link them together decisions were made by majority vote and the town would elect a town officer whose job was to run the government apparatus rattus of course the much more paramount importance for williams was going to be establishing a church true to his beliefs williams was careful to create a church that was fully separate from government williams preached separation of church and state and was going to make sure that his church was founded with that ideal in mind through some evolution williams had just founded what is going to become the basis of the baptist church in america. It is worth pointing out that williams himself was never really at about baptists despite helping form their church williams believed was that the perfect church was only going to be possible upon in christ's return to earth however because that hadn't happened yet. The baptist church was the best and the most logical existing form so we'll williams didn't didn't view the baptist church as being the final ingold church. It was the best they had so that is what he would go with. Rhode island earned a somewhat special spot therefore in early colonial america it became a colony worthy outcast would mostly made up of religious how cast over as we are going to see when people's us you don't fall in line with the cycles done in massachusetts. It is typically rhode island that they turn to this is largely because of that separation of church and state state in providence. You weren't required to be baptised. You weren't required to believe in god at all. Nobody was going to come and arrest you or fine you because you bailed sailed on sunday. Service church and state were truly separate entities. It is around the same time that we see other towns begin to sprout up around rhode island in addition to providence the towns of newport portsmouth and warwick joined in providence newport portsmouth all worked together and formed a kind of provincial governance governance over the greater colony warwick on the other hand under the leadership of samuel grooten would be different altogether well the other three colonies did their best to work together either increase something better than they had left-back massachusetts grodin came in and did just about everything he could to disrupt those efforts arriving in rhode island in sixteen forty. One grodin grodin was a problem from the start. The problem with grodin is that he questioned basically any an authority no worries about any kind of separation of church and state here grodin question in both most problematically grodin was not being quiet in his criticisms. Now it is williams turn to pretend to be john. Winthrop williams was pretty happy with dissenters. Grodin was just too much for him to handle as growing made his way throughout the colony he found that over it over again he was getting icy welcomes mostly because he would wander into towns and immediately start objecting to the systems of government in that town that is to say nothing for the fact that he basically had a problem with all accepted religious tenants as well williams was okay with people having different viewpoints but grodin he was exhausting despite problems with williams head come around to the fact that rhode island well awesome wasn't exactly operating with any kind of authority williams recognized that for the sake of domestic tranquility it was going to be important to get a charter and actually have a level of jimmy williams decided in sixteen forty three that it was a good time to go ahead and get this has done. You might be saying to yourself. Hey i thought williams got to rhode island in sixteen thirty six. Why did he decide to wait. Seven years to get a charter and hence make his colony colony legitimate a big reason is that political events were going on in england that had been dicey best however by the time sixteen forty three rolled around the timing timing was right. The king's personal rule was over and in fact parliament was now engaged in the english civil war. William laud was now a guest in the tower of london and there. We're friendly ears in london to request a charter from the bigger problem is that everywhere williams looked another group was trying to take a piece of his claim after all williams to this point had been operating without a charter. It's not like there was a royal decree that this was his land plymouth massachusetts and even the new colony of connecticut. We're making claims on his rhode island territory so needing to secure his college williams set out in sixteen forty three to get that charter charter would make the colony legitimate and we'll put a stop to attacks on its borders it would also be away for williams to make his religious policies not some experiment but rather something more official. We're going to talk more about the effect of the english civil war in new england next time when we turn our attention to the political affairs both at home and abroad but suffice it to say for now that by at this time in sixteen forty three the puritans in parliament were in a pretty decent spot unable to travel directly through massachusetts because you know he was still banned williams i made his way through the dutch colony of the netherlands just in time to see the kaif tour breakout named after the colonial governor william kite williams had made in an offer to the dutch to mediate but rebuffed him. The war was going to be quick and easy after all. Why would they want to mediate a peace before they hit achieved. The superior position position the dutch thought they have everything wrapped up nicely in just a few days time as is the case so many times throughout history fast and easy wars have a nasty habit of being anything but the edgeworth early routed by the indians who started doing annoying things like burning their towns and slaughtering all of the settlers in the countryside that they now completely controlled now hanging out in a poorly defended colony with indians approaching end lighting everything in their path on fire. The dutch decided that yet. Maybe we should let williams go ahead and deal with this. Williams would step up and ended up becoming a mediator for this conflict whereby he was able to bring something of a peace to the region. This is all reported by john. Winthrop woo in this gives exactly no details on how williams accomplished anything if this problem behind him williams was now able to make his his way to england to secure that charter things don't get off to a wonderful start for roger williams back in england once arriving he learned that all of new england meeting massachusetts solicits plymouth connecticut and new haven had joined in an alliance known as the united alliance which was meant to bind the new england colonies together for the common defense. If if you notice that i did not mention rhode island that list you are correct. They were not invited to play along so for williams. He is now trying to obtain a charter after learning that his colony is now an isolated island in new england which of course is not going to be super helpful for him. The second problem came that well john was a much friendlier place to him in sixteen forty three than it would have been a decade before parliament wasn't all that interested in his plight nor was it clear that they had the authority to do anything about got it right at this time. Parliament was busy fighting a civil war and probably hoping that the end result did it end up with them all being beheaded the colonies in new england were of such little importance that parliament never really even bothered to claim dominion over them. Certainly they were not interested in taking a break from the war efforts to listen to such a minor issue like the corporate charters and things like that those things could wait till the fighting was done. Eventually parliament would come around and established the committee committee of foreign plantations. The earl of warwick was made the governor in chief. So at least williams had a place to go just because nothing can ever possibly go that easily. Thomas weld had little interest in alan williams. This victory who is thomas weld thomas world had served as the minister of a church in roxbury very massachusetts he was staunchly opposed to the heretical teaching of williams and the last thing he wanted to do with c williams get any kind of a foothold in new england well would later become a key figure in helping establish the first university in new england which he would name harvard having returned to england. Well wasted exactly ackley zero time after the committee of foreign plantations was created to claim the majority of rhode island for massachusetts. Well doing this under basically his own. Authority already sought the signatures of the committee members for this claim well then through some creative dating made it appear that the charter which will become the narragansett pat had it had been granted however despite an attempt to pass it off the document never been voted on therefore the charter didn't exist yet. The document wasn't exactly a forgery. The signatures on it were all real but the effect was the same and the charter was invalid as williams waiting around for parliament to address the existence of the colony and then we'll thomas will try to still away rhode island. Williams kept himself busy. What williams had been doing during that time was writing a pamphlet called. Mr cotton's letter examine answered third now. We haven't talked much about john khadim but he has been lying under the surface. All throughout today cutting have been one of the principal people against williams and his ideas of religious religious freedom in england. There had been a building fight between the presbyterians and the independence. This fight is very similar to what is going on in new england where theologically agenda there was an agreement on doctrine over. There was a disagreement over the role of that church in the state. The independence were basically that same group that existed in massachusetts and we're led by men like cotton and winthrop whereas the presbyterians would have been sympathetic to the plight of men like williams conveniently for williams drain drain this fight it was the independence that came away looking petty whereas the presbyterians look like those just trying to do their own thing. This is is an important distinction especially when you consider that the independence where essentially analogous to the puritans in massachusetts and the presbyterians were analogous guess to roger williams and his new baptist church in other words massachusetts doesn't come away looking good here to fact massachusetts comes away looking overbearing and in need of a check on their power. If anything they appear to be a colony that is acting with a disturbing amount of arbitrary authority and hey that thomas the guy who had been looking to have massachusetts steal away rhode island yeah. Maybe this would be a nice chuck on power after all. Nobody wants to let those jerks. Massachusetts acid -chusetts just push everybody around and get their way for the independence in london who had been seeking delegation from the presbyterians this entire episode look terrible for them. Look what happens when you give them an inch as what's happening in massachusetts. All of this was enough to stop any continuing efforts by thomas weld a march fourteen in sixteen forty four rhode island became a legitimate colony and received its charter so now it's the end of the sixteen forty s williams. Has this this charter. He is going to sit back and retire right. If you think that is the case you really have not been paying much attention today. Williams woods spent much of the rest of his life. Further working towards the growth and development of the providence colony williams who spent a great deal of his time pushing back against the growing influence of the quakers cres a group that he personally couldn't stand williams would emerge during the sixteen sixties acid early opponent of slavery eventually this manifests as williams passing. I've seen a law against slavery did allow for the continuation of indentured servitude. It plays a ten year time limit on any kind of service of that nature now in full disclosure. This new law isn't going to be nearly as effective as i'm sure williams would have wanted however it still says something that he pushed for it. Williams views of slavery stemmed out of his religious beliefs and his belief that also were created equal in front of god. This wasn't a novel concept but for williams to use it as a a justification to make slavery illegal not is a pretty big deal. Williams would see his final fi. Come drinking phillips war the war set several of the tribes of new. We live at war against the english williams had done all he could to prevent the war but ultimately he was unable to. We are going to spend a lot of time over the next season. Talking talking about king philip's war so i'm not going to go into all the details now. However suffice it to say that this war was deeply painful one for him. Williams has been so so much of his life carefully cultivating close relationships with the native americans he was well liked by them and most importantly he trusted by them here. However williams was left left with little choice and took up arms beyond the sadness of taking up arms against the indians. Providence itself was destroyed march twenty ninth sixteen seventy six when the town was burned to the ground. Only a handful of the towns billy survived the fire among the buildings destroyed was roger williams own home by the time the war was over williams was left poor older and weaker and he was this time approaching the end of his life. After spitting over fifty years in america and having introduced used ideas that would fundamentally change what it means to be an american roger. Williams died at the age of seventy-nine sometime during the winter of sixteen eighty three. I want to finish today by discussing the final legacy of roger williams and where do we even start separation of church and state rhode island his relationship ship towards the native americans as opposition to slavery his role in the foundation of the baptist church. There is no way around it. Roger williams wasn't importing guy. It can be difficult to look at a man like williams and figure out what his specific contribution is however in many ways i see him as a check to john winthrop and his vision vision of america. I admittedly hesitated before writing that because i worried that it is going to give the wrong idea. Williams went through are both absolutely critical all two lane out the foundation of adventure be seen as critical to the american political experience though both men got there in very different ways with this'll it's all being said though i do want to stop short of calling roger williams a product of the enlightenment in much the same way that i was unwilling to say that about winthrop williams uh-huh is also going to fall short of the coming wave of enlightened thinking that we begin to see emerge in the second half of the seventeenth century what winthrop and williams ever do show is the battle that will emerge an im- many ways continues on between the question of religion and politics the place of religion specifically ugly here christianity not only society but it's interplay with the political systems of the future united states is going to remain a theme that we are going to be looking at constantly conly throughout the course of this podcast. Won't we reach our conversation on the first amendment. I'm going to refer back to these episodes because this is the origin of that debate date in america. This is to say nothing of williams role in founding rhode island establishing the baptist church and his views towards the native americans which really really set him apart during this time in this way williams does leave a lasting imprint on the united states today despite being an often forgotten figure this raises raises an issue with the idea of founding fathers in general because it locks events down to a very specific time and doesn't consider the foundations that they are standing on jefferson. Adams madison are in a lot of ways standing on a foundation that roger williams helped lay as we we'll all see as our story moves back to the narrative. Williams is going to remain a central figure throughout the rest of this season next time we we are going to start a series of episodes looking at the major topics within the early new england colonial structure. This is going to include questions of religion politics six as well as the colonies ongoing relationship with england drain. What was a very turbulent time for the mother country before we can do any of that however i i want to spend the next episode introducing the other colonies in new england and i'm going to bring the new netherlands into the game as well as the fate of all these colonies is going to be alternately so interlinked. I think a proper introduction is finally in order with that. I will see you back here in two weeks time as we begin to look at the other new england colonies <music>.

Coming up next