In 1638 Roger Williams purchased the land on the north side of the Pawtuxet River from the local Native Americans. He then sold the land that same year to William Arnold and William Harris for the price of a cow. He signed the land deed with the sachems, Canonicus, and Miantonomy tribes on March 24, 1638.
The “Towne Evidence” to the right was the original land deed drawn up by Roger Williams and the Sachem. Unlike most early settlers, Roger Williams arranged to buy the land from the local natives for a fair price. He then arranged to transfer the land to those that settled the land with him.