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Currently Under Consideration

A park honoring John Clarke that would replace the two 1950's gas stations at the top of Washington Square is currently under consideration. more>>>


America's Forgotten Patriot

This article, written by Society Director James Wermuth was published by the Boston Globe and the Int. Herald Tribune/New York Times Global Edition. The article initiates an educational program to increase respect and awareness of John Clarke's extraordinary legacy. The article begins:

AS RHODE Island prepares to celebrate the 350th anniversary of an extraordinary American document, its author remains all but forgotten. In the summer of 1663, against seemingly insurmountable odds, an improbable patriot living in an unlikely place changed the course of world civilization. more>>>


Religious Freedoms, John Clarke's Legacy

When John Clarke achieved separation of church and state and religious tolerance for the Rhode Island Colony, it became a haven for religious dissidents of many faiths. Fleeing persecution, these dissidents brought rich talent to the Colony. This is the story of the Antinomians, Anabaptists, Baptists, Jews, Quakers, and yes, the Puritans in Rhode Island. more>>

Please note that this article is partial in that it is currently being written. Please check back in a few weeks.

Rhode Island's Early Religions and their Legacy








A Brief History of John Clarke

Society Advisor Barbara Watterson writes: Dr. John Clarke was one of the founding fathers of Rhode Island.  His signal contribution was his authorship of the 1663 Charter of Rhode Island, the most liberal charter granted by England during the colonial era. Clarke was born in England in 1609 and emigrated to Boston in 1637. more>>>
























Learn About the John Clarke Society

The Society is a national cultural organization, that researches and celebrates the foundation of America's First Amendment Rights; freedom of expression, religious tolerance, and separation of church and state. To this end, the Society vigorously researches and promulgates the legacy of John Clarke (1609-1676), patriot, physician, statesman, colonizer, Baptist, and philanthropist. more>>


Non-Profit Educational Status

    The IRS recognizes John Clarke Society as a non-profit, 501 (c)(3) educational entity. Our activities are free and open to the public. They are run by volunteers, speakers, receptions, and research costs money. You can help: Join or Donate>


Lectures & Calendar of Events

The Society provides a free and open to the public lecture series in concert with the Redwood Library & Athenaeum. It also celebrates RI Charter Day and John Clarke Day with special events. learn more>>


Society Projects

 The Society supports several projects in the public interest. We hope to instill civic pride and remind world culture of the extraordinary legacy that John Clarke and Rhode Island have contributed to American democracy.   more>>


The Society Honors Today's Patriots

   The John Clarke Society publically recognizes individuals who continue to sustain and nurture religious freedoms and First Amendment Rights. This year, 2011, Mrs. Dona Hoyt and Mrs. Jane Berriman are honored as Friends of the Society  for their advocacy of America's Forgotten Patriot. Read about the individuals who have been honored for their service to democracy and the Society's mission. They are: The John Clarke Laureate, Honorary Citations, and Friends of the Society.


How we Operate

Meet the Trustees and Advisors who run and advise the Society in pursuit of its Mission.















The John Clarke Society maintains a virtual

library of charters, agreements, constitutions and letters that are important to Rhode Island history and early American Democracy. go there now>>>


Boston Globe Article:

The Forgotten Patriot

   As Rhode Island prepares to celebrate the 350th anniversary of an extraordinary American document, its author remains all but forgotten. In the summer of 1663, against seemingly insurmountable odds...

A copy of the original draft is located on this site at: Original Article>>>

The original article is now located in the Globe's Archives for purchase at: Boston-Globe>>> Type in "The Forgotten Patriot" in their search line for access.



Transatlantic Constitutions

Boston College Law School professor Mary Sarah Bilder, argues that American law and legal culture developed within the framework of an evolving, unwritten transatlantic constitution that lawyers, legislators, and litigants on both sides of the Atlantic. more>


Ongoing Research

   Research is an ongoing priority. We believe that it is critically important for information released by the Society to be accurate and clearly presented. To that end, the Society research has included academic libraries (Middlebury College in particular), the British National Archives at Kew Gardens and Ipswich, and other focused resources.

   The Society is in the process of developing a bibliography that should be particularly useful to individuals interested in learning more about John Clarke, Early Modern religious freedoms, separation of church and state, and the foundations of American democracy.



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