350th anniversary of Rhode Island's "lively experiment" in religious freedom
John McNiff was born and brought up in RI, went away and came back. Raised in Warwick, he attended Rhode Island College and received his BA in History with a minor in Anthropology in 1979. He spent the summer of 1980 studying archaeology in England through Christ’s College, Cambridge University, and then came back to the US where he worked in sales and advertising. In 1984 he began graduate school at SUNY Binghamton, now Binghamton University in NY, studying anthropology, specializing in archaeology. He worked with the Public Archaeology Lab, Inc of Pawtucket and Rhode Island College’s Public Archaeology Program on numerous archaeological projects around New England the 1980s and 1990s. He received his MA in Anthropology, specializing in archaeology, in 1990 from SUNY Binghamton. In 1996 John began working with the National Park Service and in 1997 was stationed as a Park Ranger at the Roger Williams National Memorial on North Main Street in Providence.
As a Ranger with the National Park Service at the Roger Williams National Memorial, John McNiff has created educational programs, given lectures and presentations about Roger Williams. He has presented countless public programs for schools, libraries, historical societies, retirement groups, scouts, religious groups, family groups and visitors from all over the world. He has also consulted, worked on and appeared in several films about the colonial period and particularly dealing with the early Colonial history of Rhode Island.