Kids day out in Smiths CastleTagged as indoor, history
55 Richard Smith Drive
About Smiths Castle
Cocumscussoc. Its meaning and its spelling vary, it is tricky to pronounce and impossible to recall, but it designated an area that was destined to become one of the most significant spots in the history of Rhode Island.
The word is Narragansett, the language and name of the preeminent Native American tribe of early 17th-century New England. Scattered in villages on the west side of the bay bearing their name, they were hunters, fishermen, and great farmers.
Roger Williams came to Cocumscussoc around 1637. He learned the Narragansett customs and language and established a trading post on land bought from his friend Canonicus, great sachem of the tribe. This transaction affirmed his belief in fair compensation for Native American land. Williams' other liberal ideas of religious tolerance and separation of church and state were to be key contributions to American political thought.