I have finished finding and photographing all 100 statues in the Statuary Hall collection! To mark the occasion, I’ll write today about my favorite statue, Roger Williams from Rhode Island.
Williams was a theologian who lived in the 17th century. Though he practiced a different religion from mine, we share a strong belief in freedom of religion. Forrester Church wrote of him, “At once maddeningly original and disarmingly humane, Roger Williams championed Native American rights, church-state separation, and an independent judiciary when each was considered rank heresy.”
In Williams’s own words, “Forced worship stinks in God’s nostrils.” Another Williams quote I like is, “[To err is human, to forgive is divine] . . . but this does not make it desirable to make as many errors as possible.”
The statue of Williams is one of the more difficult ones to view, as it is near the doors to the current Senate Chamber and not on the public tour route.
In 1936, Williams was featured on a stamp commemorating Rhode Island’s 300th year.