Elaine F. Crane


Of all the colonies in America, Rhode Island has the reputation of being the most tolerant. While religious diversity did guard against overt persecution (particularly in a heterogeneous city such as Newport), there were, in fact, underlying prejudices which surfaced in times of crisis and caused grave divisions in the community. This article, by Fordham University’s Elaine F. Crane, attempts to describe the religious atmosphere of eighteenth century Newport and to suggest what caused these deep seated biases to erupt during one such crisis – the revolutionary era.