Stephen Hopkins

Stephen Hopkins was born in Scituate (then a part of Providence), Rhode Island, on 7 March 1707, and died 19 July 1785.  He attended the first Continental Congress in 1774, and was a party to the Declaration of Independence in 1776. 

For several years he followed the family business of farming. At an early period, he was elected town clerk of Scituate, and some time after was chosen a representative from that town to the general assembly. He was subsequently appointed a justice of the peace, and a justice of one of the courts of common pleas. In 1733, he became chief justice of that court.  In 1742, he moved to Providence, and entered the mercantile business and the sending out of vessels on trading missions.

In 1751, he was appointed chief justice of the superior court, in which office he continued till the year 1754.   He was a member and speaker of the Rhode Island Assembly, and in 1754 was a delegate to the Albany convention in New York were he considered Franklin's early plan of Union. Hopkins spoke out against British handling of the American colonies  long before the revolutionary period.

In 1756, he was elected chief magistrate of the colony of 'Rhode Island, which office he continued to hold, with but few intervals, until the year 1767.

At an early period of the difficulties between the colonies and Great Britain, he wrote  the pamphlet "The rights of colonies examined," discussing the stamp act, and various other acts of the British government. In 1765, the pamphlet was published by order of the Rhode Island General Assembly.

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