Religious Figure. Educated at Cambridge University in England, he was a Calvinist minister who left England because of his disagreement with English principle of an established state church. He emigrated to New England in 1631, but rejected an invitation to pastor the Boston church because of its continuing ties with the Church of England. He served in both Salem and Plymouth Colony before being banished from Massachusetts over his disagreement with the policies of taking Indian land without compensation and legally punishing impiety. He settled in Narragansett Bay and studied the language of the Narragansett Indians. He and his companions purchased land from the Narragansett and founded both the settlement of Providence and the colony of Rhode Island. The government of this territory featured a more open democracy than Massachusetts, including absolute freedom of religion and no established church. Williams would go on to found the first Baptist church in America before declaring himself an unaffiliated Christian "seeker," and would serve as president of the Rhode Island colony from 1654 to 1657.
Bio by: Stuthehistoryguy