Samuel Gorton (1593–1677) was an early settler and civic leader of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and President of the towns of Providence and Warwick. He was also theologically active, and the leader of a small sect of converts known as Gortonists or Gortonites. He had strong religious beliefs that were contrary to the established Puritan dogma and was very outspoken, and as a result he was frequently in trouble with the civil and church authorities in the New England colonies.

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dbo:abstract
  • Samuel Gorton (1593–1677) was an early settler and civic leader of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and President of the towns of Providence and Warwick. He was also theologically active, and the leader of a small sect of converts known as Gortonists or Gortonites. He had strong religious beliefs that were contrary to the established Puritan dogma and was very outspoken, and as a result he was frequently in trouble with the civil and church authorities in the New England colonies. Gorton was baptized in 1593 in Manchester, Lancashire, England, and received an education in languages and English law from tutors. In 1637, he emigrated from England, settling first in Plymouth Colony where he was soon ousted for his religious opinions and his demeanor towards the magistrates and ministers. He settled next in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, where he met with a similar fate, being whipped for his insubordination towards the magistrates. He next went to Providence, where he once again encountered adverse circumstances until he and a group of others purchased land of the Narragansett people. They settled south of the Pawtuxet River in an area which they called Shawomet, later named Warwick. Gorton refused to answer a summons following the complaints of two Indian sachems about being unfairly treated in a land transaction. He and several of his followers were forcefully taken away to Massachusetts, where he was tried for his beliefs and writings, rather than the original supposed infraction. He was sentenced to prison in Charlestown, though all but three of the presiding magistrates voted to give him a death sentence. After being released, Gorton and two of his associates sailed to England where they obtained an official order of protection for his colony from the Earl of Warwick. During his stay in England, he was also very active in the Puritan underground, preaching in churches and conventicles known for their extreme religious positions. Once back in New England, with his settlement of Warwick secure, Gorton became a part of the civil authority that he had previously rejected, serving as an assistant, commissioner, deputy, and president of the two towns of Providence and Warwick. He wrote a number of books, two of them while in England, and several others following his return. He was a man of great learning and great intellectual breadth, and he believed passionately in God, the King, and the individual man, and was harshly critical of the magistrates and ministers who filled positions that were meaningless in his eyes. His beliefs and demeanor brought him admiration from his followers, but great condemnation from those in positions of authority, and he was reviled for more than a century after his death. In more recent times, historians and writers have looked upon him much more favorably, and he is now considered one of the great colonial leaders of Rhode Island. (en)
dbo:birthDate
  • 1593-1-1
dbo:birthPlace
dbo:deathDate
  • 1677-12-10 (xsd:date)
dbo:deathPlace
dbo:occupation
dbo:orderInOffice
  • 5th
  • President of Providence and Warwick
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  • 1029819 (xsd:integer)
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  • 740972874 (xsd:integer)
dbp:birthDate
  • baptized 12 Feb 1592/3
dbp:caption
  • Samuel Gorton governor's medallion
dbp:children
  • Samuel, John, Benjamin, Maher, Mary, Sarah, Ann, Elizabeth, Susanna
dbp:education
  • Private tutors; sufficient to write several books
dbp:imageWidth
  • 200 (xsd:integer)
dbp:predecessor
  • Nicholas Easton
dbp:religion
  • Self proclaimed "professor of the mysteries of Christ"
dbp:restingPlace
  • Samuel Gorton Cemetery, Warwick, Rhode Island
dbp:spouse
  • Mary Mayplett
dbp:termEnd
  • 1652 (xsd:integer)
dbp:termStart
  • 1651 (xsd:integer)
dct:description
  • Rhode Island colonial president (en)
dct:subject
http://purl.org/linguistics/gold/hypernym
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rdfs:comment
  • Samuel Gorton (1593–1677) was an early settler and civic leader of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and President of the towns of Providence and Warwick. He was also theologically active, and the leader of a small sect of converts known as Gortonists or Gortonites. He had strong religious beliefs that were contrary to the established Puritan dogma and was very outspoken, and as a result he was frequently in trouble with the civil and church authorities in the New England colonies. (en)
rdfs:label
  • Samuel Gorton (en)
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  • male (en)
foaf:givenName
  • Samuel (en)
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foaf:name
  • Samuel Gorton (en)
foaf:surname
  • Gorton (en)
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