Roger got eaten by what?!

Emily Dvareckas, Photo Editor

Students who attend Roger Williams University are no strangers to the history of their school’s namesake. Roger Williams founded Rhode Island, advocated for religious freedom and created a positive relationship with the natives of the land he called home.

At the time of Williams’s death, Rhode Island did not have sanctioned graveyards. Roger Williams was laid to rest in a backyard, soon to be forgotten. That is until 1860 when Providence residents decided their state’s founder deserved a memorial.

Once they began the search for the grave of Williams and began digging, they were soon met with an apple tree root surrounded by bone fragments, teeth and nails. After a closer examination, the gravediggers realized the tree root resembled the body of a man.

The apple tree root that occupied the grave had most likely begun growing many years prior and grew toward the grave. The body that lay in the ground apparently provided the nutrients needed to supply the growth of the root.

The root very distinctly displays the hips of Williams, which then branch down the legs and turn up the end where the feet would be. There may be some other explanations to the disappearance of Roger Williams’s body and the appearance of the tree root, but the most famous explanation remains that the apple tree root ate away at the namesake of this university.