Champion of Liberty
by Ian Williams Goddard - eighth-great-grandson of Roger Williams
Roger's contemporaries argued that Native Americans did not believe in property, and therefore the claims of European settlers violated no preexisting property claims. Roger argued that Native Americans did make property claims and that those claims must be respected. Edwin Gaustad, a professor of history at the University of California, describes the case Williams made for Native land-rights:
The English...justified their grabbing of Indian land by claiming that these simple folk did not really believe in property rights. On the contrary, Williams observed, "the Natives are very exact and punctual in the bounds of their Lands, belonging to this or that Prince or People," even bargaining among themselves for a small piece of ground. 
Roger Williams, a Christian minister by training, argued most vigorously against the forced conversion of the Natives to Christianity. Williams believed that forced conversion violated Christian principles and was one of the most "monstrous and most inhumane" acts forced upon the Native peoples of North and South America. Roger called forced conversion "Antichristian conversion" that was like compelling "an unwilling spouse...to enter into a forced bed." Ignoring Roger's appeal to the sanctity of property and individual conscience, European settlers rushed forward to rape not only the Indian's lands but their minds as well.