Friday, February 12, 2016

The Gortonites

Samuel Gorton broke from the Church of England and left for America in 1636. His religious beliefs caused him to run afoul of the Puritan leadership in Massachusetts. Gorton left Massachusetts to settled on Aquidneck Island [later Portmouth, RI]. Gorton and his followers were forced to leave their new home and returned to face hostilities in Massachusetts before settling Warwick,  RI.

The Gortonist beliefs that Samuel and his associates followed over the years have been described as a type of Christian Transcendentalism. They believed Jesus Christ was divine, but did not believe in the Trinity. They did not believe that preacherrs should be paid, felt that women were equal to men, were opposed to slavery, and believed that each individual had a right to read and study the scriptures for himself.

Among those ancestral families that allied themselves with Gorton were Randall Holden and John Greene.

Gorton followers had faded out by 1771.

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