John Clarke and His Legacies: Religion and Law in Colonial Rhode Island, 1638-1750

Cover Art for 9780271018492, John Clarke and His Legacies: Religion and Law in Colonial Rhode Island, 1638-1750 by Sydney V. James
ISBN: 9780271018492
Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press
Published: 31 March, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
2 other editions of this product

John Clarke and His Legacies is the first full-length biography of John Clarke (1609-76), a principal founder of colonial Rhode Island. Although Roger Williams usually gets most of the attention, Sydney James shows that Clarke made a lasting contribution to the colony. Clarke founded the first Baptist church in Newport, where he continued to contribute to the Baptist community until his death. And in 1663 he procured the royal charter that would remain the foundation of government in Rhode Island until 1842. This inquiry into Clarke's life engages a variety of intriguing topics. It surveys a formative stage in American Baptist history, one that spurned dependency upon government more thoroughly than any part of the United States does today. Through the experience of Clarke, we gain many new insights into colonial legal and religious history. James gives particular attention to the charitable trust that Clarke set up at his death, which provides a striking example of the direction taken in the relations between church and state in colonial America.


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