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Legacy Library: Stephen Hopkins

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Member: StephenHopkins

CollectionsYour library (19)

ReviewsNone

TagsReligion (8), Sermons (3), Essays (2), Politics and Government (2), History (2), Reference (2), Great Britain (2), Languages (1), Dictionaries (1), Literature (1) — see all tags

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About meStephen Hopkins (7 March 1707 - 13 July 1785), Rhode Island statesman and Signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Hopkins had no formal education, and his early adulthood was given over to farming and surveying. He held many local offices in his hometown of Scituate from 1731-1742 (including town clerk 1732-1741; town representative to the general assembly 1732-1738 and 1741-1742; president of the town council 1735-1741; and justice of the court of common pleas for Providence County 1736-1739).

In 1742 Hopkins moved to Providence, to engage more deeply with shipbuilding activities he had undertaken with his brother Esek, and with a smelting operation. He resumed office as a representative in the general assembly (now for Providence) in 1744, serving for the next decade (including as Speaker). Simultaneously from 1747-1749 and 1751 he sat on the state superior court.

Hopkins represented Rhode Island at the Albany Congress in 1754, and the following year was elected to the first of nine year-long terms as Rhode Island's governor (1755–1756, 1758–1761, 1763–1764, and 1767).

In two 1764 pamphlets (An Essay on the Trade of the Northern Colonies and Rights of the Colonies Examined), Hopkins argued that Parliament's power over the colonies did not extend into internal affairs.

Hopkins again set in the general assembly from 1771 through 1776, while also serving as chief justice. In 1774 he was a delegate to the First Continental Congress, and again represented the colony at the Second. Hopkins served as chair of the naval and marine committees, and sat on the committee which drafted the Articles of Confederation. He left Congress in September 1776, returned to the general assembly until 1779, and then retired.

Among his political activities, Hopkins also found time for intellectual pursuits; he was among the founders of the Providence Library and the Providence Gazette and Country Journal, a patriot newspaper. He was a member of the Philosophical Society of Newport. In 1764 he was named the first chancellor of Rhode Island College (now Brown University).

Hopkins married Sarah Scott in 1726 and with her had seven children, five of whom survived to maturity. Following Sarah's death Hopkins married Anne Scott in 1755.

About my libraryHopkins' library is as documented in the inventory of his estate, taken 13 August 1785, on file at the Providence City Archives. Hopkins does not specifically mention books in his will (dated 20 May 1781).

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Do you know of additional books which should be included here? Please contact Libraries of Early America coordinator Jeremy Dibbell.

GroupsLibraries of Early America

Real nameStephen Hopkins

LocationProvidence, RI

Favorite authorsNot set

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/StephenHopkins (profile)
/catalog/StephenHopkins (library)

Member sinceSep 30, 2010

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