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Clarke, John 1609-1676

Clergyman; born in Bedfordshire, England, Oct. 8, 1609; emigrated to Boston in 1637, but, espousing the cause of Anne Hutchinson (q. v.), and claiming full toleration in religious belief, he was obliged to flee. He was welcomed to Providence by Roger Williams. He was one of the company who gained Rhode Island from the Indians, and began a settlement at Pocasset in 1638. A preacher of the Gospel, he founded, at Newport (1664), the second Baptist church in America. He was treasurer of the colony in 1649. Mr. Clarke was persecuted while visiting friends in Massachusetts, and driven out of the colony. He accompanied Williams to England in 1651 as agent for the colony, where he remained nearly twelve years, and returned (1663) with a second charter for Rhode Island. He resumed his pastorate at Newport, where for three successive years he was deputygovernor of the colony. His publications include Ill news from New England; Or a narrative of New England's persecution. He died in Newport, R. I., April 20, 1676.

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