Rhode Island's Roger Williams National Memorial commemorates the life of Rhode Island's founder, a champion of the ideal of religious freedom.
Williams, banished from Massachusetts for his beliefs, founded Providence in 1636. This colony served as a refuge where all could come to worship as their conscience dictated without interference from the state.
His ideals, incorporated into the Rhode Island Charter of 1663, laid the foundation for the laws that Thomas Jefferson and James Madison would eloquently affirm in this nation's defining documents: The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.
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