IN RI: Part Two
Henry Gould

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If you're viewing Negations
via another frame-based site,
you can reach us
directly at coming. Mardi Gras.
Time to put on the masks again,
the costumes.
Who was that masked woman?
The one on the porch, with the Creole
accent. Single
Mom, ready to rake­­and old Big Wind
blew down the porch doors
on Christmas Eve.
El Niño, Nor'easter...

"...dissenting in some points about church government".
Others said it was politics.
Williams had questioned the legitimacy of the Massachusetts charter
(the King had no right to grant lands belonging to another
sovereign people­­the Natives).

Williams is given six...

...magistrates decide to ship Williams back to England.
They send James Penn, the marshall, to Salem
with a warrant.
Williams pleads illness; his friends make a "mourning complaint;"
Penn goes back to Boston without him. Williams
packs his bags.
Boston sends Capt. Underhill in a pinnace to Salem,
but when Underhill and his boys "came at his house,
they found he had been gone
three days before."

A "sorrowfull Winters flight...driven from my house
and land and wife and children, in winter snow,
which I feel yet." (1670)

Williams is rescued by Massasoit, Plymouth Sachem
of the Wampanoags. Spends three winter months with them;
mediates a dispute
between Wampanoags & Narragansetts; for wise...

roasted alive; nine slaughtered at Wetherfields;
"two maids" captured, later released, naked...
Pequot chiefs
travel to Narragansetts to discuss a war alliance.
"All alone, in a poor canoe" Williams
"cut through a stormy wind,
with great seas, every minute in hazard of life,
to the Sachem's house." For three days he lodges with

the bloody Pequod ambassadors, whose hands and arms, meth
ought, wreaked with the blood of my countrymen, murdered and
massacred by them on Connecticut river, and from whom I could
not but nightly look for their bloody knives at my own throat also.

In long negotiations Williams manages

borders written in blood,
Providence had a bloody birth.
"Miseries, poverties, necessities, wants, debts, hardships."
"...the rocks many, the trees innumerable, the grass little,
the winter cold, the summer hot,
the gnats in summer biting, the wolves at night howling."
"...that great and pious soul, Mr. Winslow,
put a piece of gold into the hands of my wife,
for our supply."
Williams mortgaged house and land in Salem.
A cluster of wooden houses rose along the riverbank.
The men formed a covenant as planned.
But on what terms? They were not to have an oligarchy,
where the big men, heads of church and state, controlled
both land and citizenship.
Williams wanted freedom of conscience, and a level field.
They improvised. For years he was ungrateful

the propertied
and the young and unpropertied, the unmarried
non-masters of families.
Casting a long shadow into the future.

The new little commonwealth was a continual affront to the Bay.
Everyone who voted had equal say in the disposition of land.
Not everyone could vote­­
yet Rhode Island was no fiefdom like the

days after the Arnold secession
the Aquidneck assembly
proposed a consultation
with Providence, about securing a charter.
The following spring
Williams sailed for London
from New Amsterdam,
and on the way (on board ship)
collected his notes
and composed
A Key into the language of America.

ACHIE NUMMAUCHNEM. I am very sick.
I eat nothing. PITCH NKEETEEM?

protested the vote, believing
Verin's actions justified
under ordinance of God mandating subjection of wives,
to their husbands. Verin dragged his wife to Salem,
but retained lands in Providence;
shortly after, Williams accused Arnold and Verin
of waging a campaign of slander against the town.
Winthrop noted in his...