Roger Williams

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Roger Williams (1603-1683) lived in colonial Salem, Massachusetts until he was exiled for his religious views. He founded Rhode Island in 1636 with religious freedom in mind. His colony sheltered Quakers and Jews who fled religious persecution in other lands. Williams spoke out against forced conversions to Christianity. He denounced forced conversions of Native Americans in both North and South America. Williams also stood up for the property rights of Native Americans. He pointed out that Native Americans had clear claims on their lands and that colonists should respect these claims.

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