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Samuel WARD

American Samuel WARD

American farmer, politician, Supreme Court Justice, Governor of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, and a delegate to the Continental Congress

Source :  Tim DOWLING

Born: on May 27, 1725 in Newport, Rhode Island, USA
Died: on March 26, 1776 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA


The son of an earlier Rhode Island Governor, Richard Ward, he was well educated as he grew up in a large Newport, Rhode Island family. After marrying, he and his new wife received property in Westerly, Rhode Island from his father-in-law, and upon settling there he took up farming. Entering politics as a fairly young man, he soon took sides in the hard money/paper money controversy, favoring hard money, or specie. His primary rival over the money issue was Providence politician Stephen Hopkins, and the two men became bitter rivals, alternating as governors of the colony for several terms.

During this time of political activity, Ward became a founder and trustee of Rhode Island's first college, Brown University. The most contentious issue he faced during his three years as governor involved the Stamp Act which had been passed by the British Parliament just before he took office for the second time. This act, putting a tax on all official documents and newspapers, infuriated the American colonists, being done without their consent. Representatives of the colonies met to discuss the unpopular act, but when it came time for the colonial governors to take a position in regards to the act, Ward was the only one who refused it, threatening his position, but bringing him recognition as a great patriot.

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See Also :

- Category American politician