Roger Williams said there was no amount of money that could have purchased Providence.
In 1636, Williams and the Narragansett tribal leaders, or Sachems, Cononicus and Miantonomo, negotiated for the land that became Providence. Together, they agreed that Williams could use the land and the Sachems could have any of the English trade goods they wanted from Williams. This was not a "sale" of land, but the establishment of a relationship agreement. Each party had obligations to the other.
The English settlement at Providence was different from most New England towns. Each settler's long, narrow home lot ensured that everyone had some waterfront, some slope of the hill, and some flat land at the top of the hill. The rich resources of the saltwater cove supplemented the food produced on their small farms. In Providence, there was neither a central common nor a central meetinghouse or church.
Boast not proud English of thy birth and blood
thy brother is by birth as good.
Of one blood God made him, and thee, and all
as wise, as fair, as strong, as personal
Roger Williams (1643)