Stephen Hopkins


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Hopkins, STEPHEN, signer of the Declaration of Independence; born in Scituate, Rhode Island, March 7, 1707; was engaged in early life in mercantile business and land surveying; became an active member of the Rhode Island legislature, and was speaker of the Assembly from 1732 till 1741. In 1739 he was chief-justice of the Court of Common Pleas, and of the Supreme Court from 1751 to 1754. Mr. Hopkins was a delegate in the colonial convention at Albany in 1754, and one of the committee who drew up a plan of union. From 1754 to 1768 he was governor of Rhode Island, excepting four years. He was a member of the first Continental Congress, and remained in that body from 1776 to 1778. He had been from the beginning a stanch opposer of the oppressive measures of Parliament. He was one of the committee that drafted the Articles of Confederation (see CONFEDERATION, ARTICLES of); was a superior mathematician; and was for many years chancellor of Brown University. Notwithstanding his defective early education, his knowledge of literature, science, and political economy was varied and extensive. He died in Providence, July 13, 1785.

Grievances of the American Colonies.—Under date of July 30, 1764, he issued the  statement in the form of a pamphlet bearing the full title of The Grievances of the American Colonies Candidly Examined. The pamphlet was printed by order of the General Assembly in 1765, and reissued in London in the following year.



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