On July 8, 1663, King Charles II granted a charter to the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, part of British holdings in North America. The charter was unique among the colonies for several reasons.

First, the charter guaranteed religious freedom, making Rhode Island a destination for religious minorities throughout the colonies. Second, colonists were granted a surprising degree of self-governance. They elected their own leaders and created their own laws. Finally, the charter recognized Native Americans as original owners of the land. All land used by colonists was required to be purchased from its native inhabitants.

charter
Noun

document that outlines rules for how a state or other organization will be organized.

destination
Noun

place where a person or thing is going.

governance
Noun

system of government or political management.

recognize
Verb

to identify or acknowledge.

unique
Adjective

one of a kind.