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The story of independent ideas and human rights in America is incomplete without the Rhode Island Royal Charter of 1663. Authored primarily by Newporter John Clarke and signed by King Charles II, the Charter created in Rhode Island the first self-governed political state in North America, acknowledged the rights of indigenous peoples to their own land, and guaranteed its settlers freedom of religion. Historian Thomas Bicknell called the Charter "the grandest instrument of human liberty ever constructed."

The name of our bookstore is a tribute to the Newporters of 1663 who placed their faith - literally - in the power of the written word to enact change and secure essential liberties.

Founded in 2020, Charter Books is a Newport-based business whose mission is to cultivate community and a robust local culture through a broad selection of books, programming, and the free exchange of ideas. We’re committed to exceptional customer service and the values of inclusion, diversity, and independence.

Our mission is to:

  1. Provide access to a lively literary culture and ideas through a broad selection of books.
  2. Celebrate the free and democratic exchange of ideas.
  3. Create a vibrant and inclusive public space for events and discussion.
  4. Cater to a diverse population and ensuring access to the above for all.

We aim to open our doors to the public this winter. Until then, be sure to follow us on our website and social media to keep up to date on our progress.

Tis the Season to Shop Local