Rhode Island

Apparently my subconscious defines "Tomorrow" as a full two weeks. (See last line of Mass. men). So here are your Rhode Island men.

There were only two, as Rhode Island was a small colony.

The first:

Stephen Hopkins
(That's Brown University in the background.)

Stephen Hopkins was a self made man. He was self educated, made his own way in politics and studied various practical trades. He was born in Rhode Island, Scituate, then part of Providence. In 1931 Scituate separated from Providence and Hopkins became very involved holding various local offices, eventually becoming Chief Justice of the Providence County Court of Common Pleas. He served in Rhode Island's Colonial Assembly for 20 years (the first time) and again for five years. He attended the Albany Congress in 1754 where he was first introduced to Benjamin Franklin's ideas for uniting the colonies. He spoke out against the British years before the "Revolutionary Spirit" became strong. He published a pamphlet in 1764 titled "The Rights of the Colonies Examined." He spoke against the British, particulary about taxation. This established his idetity as a revolutionary. He also freed his slaves at this time.

He attended the contitental congress from 1774-1776. This man accomplished a lot. I always admire those who are self educated. It takes dedication and drive. Admirable? What if I tell you his signature is shaky because he suffered from Cerebral Palsy. Does that make all the more impressive? I think so. Maybe I shouldn't complain about my limitations.

He was married and had 7 children, 5 of whom lived to adulthood. Through his career he helped found a subscription library, an early version of what our public library is today, and he was instrumental in the founding of the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, which later became Brown University. His home is now a US National Hisotric Landmark. He died in 1785 at the age of 78.

The other man:

William Ellery
He was a lawyer and a Judge.

Wikipedia puts it succinctly:

The son of William Ellery, William Ellery was born in Newport. He worked first as a merchant, next as a customs collector, and lastly as Clerk of the Rhode Island General Assembly. Ellery started the practice of law in 1770 and was active in the Rhode Island Sons of Liberty. After Samuel Ward's death in 1776, Ellery replaced Ward in the Continental Congress. Ellery was among the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. He became judge of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island and by 1785 he had become an abolitionist. He was the first customs collector of the port of Newport under the Constitution, serving there until his death. Ellery was buried in Common Burying Ground and Island Cemetery in Newport.

He attended Harvard College. The US history website says he graduated at age 15. He also took part in the founding of Brown University. He died in 1820. Wikipedia lists descendents, so he was obiviousl married and had children. One of his descendents is Kyra Sedgwick. Hmm. I wonder if she shows his same aptitude for brilliance.


I like to win stuff

A blogger friend, who is an adoptive mother and a woman who is really struggling with infertility right now, has decided to do a contest. I think it's cute. I entered. I posting now so I can enter again. She is doing a give away of custom onesies. I think they're cute. You can visit her blog here.

If you want to see more of what an inspirational woman she is see her adoption blog and read her amazing story of how they got their little PJ.


The others from Massachusetts

There were two other signers from Massachusetts.

Robert Treat Paine
Robert Treat Paine attended the Boston Latin School and then Harvard. He initially set out to be a minister but he favored the law. In his early years to build physical strength he was a sailor, sailing to England, Spain, the Azores and other colonies. When he returned, this was when he studied the law. He was the opposing lawyer to John Adams in the case of the "Boston Massacre" in which British officers had been involved in shootings. He was a great orator. He was elected to the first Continental Congress in 1774. Another member of the Continental Congress referred to him as the objection maker. He made objections to almost every motion, but never had anything of substance to his objections. He was the author of the final appeal to the king, called the "Olive Branch" in 1775. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

He then served as the Massachusetts Attorney General, helping them create their own state constitution. In 1780, upon his return to Boston he co-founded the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. in 1796 he was appointed to the Massachusetts Supreme Court and served there for 14 years. He died in 1814 at the age of 83.


Elbridge Gerry

He looks like he's the Mona Lisa's cousin - with some sort of superior knowledge or secret.

Elbridge is a name I am going to petition for when we have a boy. wwwahhahaha. Just kidding.

Anyway - I found his bio so succinctly put that I have just copied it:

Elbridge Gerry was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts, on July 17, 1744. He studied at Harvard to be a merchant, graduating in 1762. He was elected to the Massachusetts Legislature in 1773 and was selected to attend the Provincial Congress in 1774. He was then appointed to the Continental Congress, where he was engaged in committee work on commercial and naval concerns. He attended the Constitutional Convention in 1798 but was opposed to the new Federal Constitution, refusing to sign it. He was elected to the first two Congresses from Massachusetts and, in 1797, was one of several envoys sent to France. He was elected governor of Massachusetts in 1810 and 1811. He was much criticized for redistricting the state to the advantage of his own party (Democratic-Republican). That incident was the source of the term gerrymandering. In 1812 he was elected Vice President of the United States. He died in office, on November 23, 1814, at the age of 70.

Did you know about gerrymandering? I didn't. Nor did I know that he also served as Vice-President of the United States. He served under James Madison. I will do a post on James Madison sometime, although he wasn't a signer.

There is a website that has all the signers, with a picture and a small bio.
You can also find them all on Wikipedia. The signers are listed and linked about halfway down.

I am still enjoying learning about these men. Tomorrow I will do the two men from Rhode Island.