Dec. 1 1630 Roger Williams and his wife, Mary, boarded the ship Lyon to sail to the New World.  Williams had come to a position as a separatist, believing the Church of England to be corrupt and false.  He believed that “soul liberty” or freedom of conscience is a gift from God, and thought freedom of religion a natural right which demanded that church and state be separated.  This also put him opposed to the rule of the Congregationalists (Puritans) in Massachusetts.  In the spring of 1636, Williams and a number of his followers from Salem began a new settlement on land that Williams had bought from Massasoit in present-day Rumford, Rhode Island. ABHS has many books about Roger Williams and several items written by him including Christenings Make Not Christians written in 1645.

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