July 8, 1663

An Official Charter; A “Lively Experiment”

After a nearly 20-year effort, the colony was finally able to secure a Royal Charter from King Charles II that recognized the “State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.” More remarkable than the length of time it took to secure this recognition was the content of the document, which provided for an unprecedented level of religious freedom and the separation of church and state. This “lively experiment” allowed that “…all and every person and persons may, from time to time, and at all times hereafter, freely and fully have and enjoy his and their own judgments and consciences, in matters of religious concernments.”