PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The margins of an obscure book at a Brown University library are filled with clusters of curious foreign characters: a mysterious shorthand used by 17th century religious dissident Roger Williams.
For centuries the scribbles went undeciphered. But a team of students there has finally cracked the code.
The now-readable writings include 20 pages of Williams' original thoughts on one of the major theological issues of the day: infant baptism. Williams also weighed in on the conversion of Native Americans, implying it was being achieved through treachery and coercion.
Williams is Rhode Island's founder. He also founded the first Baptist church in America and was an early advocate for freedom of religion.