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ignorantia legis neminem excusat.
RHODE-ISLAND DISTRICT, Sic. BE it remembered, that on the seventh day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-two, and in the forty-sixth year of the independence of the United States of America, Millsr Si Hutchbns, of said District, deposited in this office, a title of a book, the right whereof they claim as proprietors, in the words following, to wit:
"Tlie Public Laws of the State of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, as revised by a committee, and finally enacted by the honorable General Assembly, at their session in January, 1822. To which are prefixed the Charter, Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, Constitution of the United States, and President Washington's Address of September, 1796."
In conformity to an act of Congress of the United States, entitled "An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the time therein mentioned;" and also to an act, entitled "An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the time therein mentioned, and extending the benefit thereof to the art of designing, engraving and etching historical and other prints." Witness;
BENJAMIN COWELL, Clerk of Rhode-Island District.
Charles the Second, by the grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. to all to whom these presents shall come, greeting: Whereas we haye been informed, by the humble petition of our trusty and well beloved subject, John Clarke, on the behalf of Benjamin Arnold, William "Brenton, William Coddington, Nicholas Easton, William Boulston, John Porter, John Smith, Samuel Gorton, John Weeks, Roger Williams, Thoma3 Olney, Gregory Dexter, John Coggeshall, Joseph Clarke, Randall Holden, John Greene, John Roome, Samuel Wildbore, William Field, James Barker, Richard Tew, Thomas Harris, and William Dyre, and the rest of the purchasers and free inhabitants of our island called Rhode-Island, and the rest of the colony of Providence Plantations, in the Narragansett Bay, in NewEngland, in America, that they, pursuing, with peaceable and •loyal minds, their sober, serious and religious intentions, of godly edifying themselves, and one another, in the holy Christian faith and worship, as they were persuaded; together with the gaining over and conversion of the poor ignorant Indian natives, in those parts of America, to the sincere profession and obedience of the same faith and worship, did, not only by the consent and good encouragement of our royal progenitors, transport themselves out of this kingdom of England into America, but also, since their arrival there, after their first settlement amongst other our subjects in those parts, for the avoiding of discord, and those many evils which were likely to ensue upon some of those our subjects not being able to bear, in these remote parts, their different apprehensions in religious concernments, and in pursuance or the aforesaid ends, did once again leave their desirable stations and habitations, and with excessive labor and travel, hazard and charge, did transplant themselves into the midst of the Indian natives, who, as we are informed, are the most potent princes and people of all that country; where, by the good Providence of God, from whom the Plantations have taken their name, upon
their labour and industry, ih'ey have not only been preserved 1o admiration, bpth.a've' increased and prospered, and arc seized and p.QS'aes&5d, by purchase and consent of the said natives, totheir full content, of such lands, islands, rivers, harbors and\foads, as are very convenient, both for plantations, and also'for building of ships, supply of pipe-staves, and other '.merchandize; and which lie very commodious, in many res'• pects for commerce, and to accommodate our southern plantations, and may much advance the trade of this our realm. and greatly enlarge the territories thereof; they having, by near neighborhood to and friendly society with the great body ot' the Narragansett Indians, given them encouragement, of their own accord, to subject themselves, their people and lands, unto us; whereby, as is hoped, there may, in time, by the blessing of God upon their endeavors, be laid a sure foundation of happiness to all America: And whereas, in their humble address, they have freely declared, that it is much on their hearts (if they may be permitted) to hold forth a lively experiment, that a most flourishing civil state may stand and best be maintained, and that among our English subjects, with a full liberty in religious concernments; and that true piety, rightly grounded upon gospel principles, will give the best and greatest security to sovereignty, and will lay in the hearts of men the strongest obligations to true loyalty: Now know ye, that we, being willing to encourage the hopeful undertaking of our said loyal and loving subjects, and to secure them in the free exercise and enjoyment of all their civil and religious rights, appertaining to them, as our loving subjects; and to preserve unto them that liberty, in the true Christian faith and worship of God, which they have sought with so much travel, and with peaceable minds, and loyal subjection to our royal progenitors and ourselves, to enjoy; and because some of the people and inhabitants of the same colony cannot, in their private opinions, conform to the public exercise of religion, according to the liturgy, forms and ceremonies of the Church of England, or take or subscribe the oaths and articles made and established in that behalf; and for that the same, by reason of the remote distances of those places, will (as we hope) be no breach of the unity and uniformity established in this nation: Have therefore thought fit, and do hereby publish, grant, ordain and declare, That our royal will and pleasure is, that no person within the said colony, at any time hereafter, shall be any wise molested, punished, disquieted, or called in question, for any differences in opinion