Roger Williams (c. 1603 – between January and March 1683) was a Puritan, an English Reformed theologian, and later a Reformed Baptist who was an early proponent of religious freedom and separation of church and state, and a supporter of members of the Free Will Baptist movement.
He was expelled by the Puritan leaders because they thought that he was spreading "new and dangerous ideas", so he began the colony of Providence Plantation in 1636 which provided a refuge for religious minorities. Williams was a member of the first Baptist church in America, the First Baptist Church of Providence.
Williams was also a student of Native American languages, an early advocate for fair dealings with Native Americans, and one of the first abolitionists in North America, having organized the first attempt to prohibit slavery in any of the British American colonies.
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