Timeline Story

Roger’s Last Known Essay

Treachery and Seduction
This book was published for the first time in April 2014. At times, paper was scarce so on occasion Roger used existing books to write down his thoughts. Near the end of his life, Roger Williams scrawled an encrypted essay in the margins of a colonial-era book. This unpublished scribbles or “essay” is believed to be Roger Williams’ final treatise. For more than 300 years those shorthand notes remained undeciphered until a team of Brown University undergraduates cracked the code. In 1679, a debate on infant versus believer’s baptism had taken shape in both New England and old. Amazingly, Williams’ unique shorthand code contained a previously undiscovered essay, which was a point-by-point refutation of the famous Puritan John Eliot who was the “Apostle to the Indians”. Eliot’s book supported infant baptism.

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