RWFA News

Roger Williams Family Association Visits Its "Roots"
Posted December 2014

On Saturday, November 15th, members of the Roger Williams Family Association met in Providence visiting Slate Rock Park on Gano Street, believed to be the spot where Roger Williams first set foot in Rhode Island before settling Providence in 1636. Also visited was The Roger Williams National Memorial on North Main Street, where descendants observed Roger's spring and home site.

The group additionally enjoyed a tour of the John Brown House Museum at 52 Power Street where members viewed "the root that ate Roger Williams!" (see photograph below)

In 1683, Roger Williams was buried on his property alongside the orchard which existed behind what is now Benefit Street. In 1860, his remains were moved to a family crypt in the Old North Burial Ground. When digging, they discovered that an apple tree root was in the place where Roger's body had been buried and that it was in his shape. The root had entered the coffin. It curved where Roger's head should have been and entered the chest cavity, growing down the spine. It branched at the two legs, and then upturned into feet! Only dust and dirt remained. In 1939 Roger Williams' remains were again moved and interred in his final resting place under his magnificent statue at Prospect Terrace. But the root remains for all to see.

If you are a lineal descendant of Roger Williams and wish to join the Association, please visit the How To Join page on this website.

Susan Wordell Jacquet
Chair, Publicity Committee


 


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