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Record 1 of 1

  • Stephen Hopkins Collection
  • Hopkins, Stephen, 1707-1785
Call Number:
  • MSS 492
Record Level:
  • Collection
Physical Description:
  • 0.5 ft.
  • HB, vol.
Inclusive Dates:
  • 1747-1775
Bulk Dates:
  • 1747-1775
Cataloged By:
  • Rick Stattler, November 1995
  • Governor of Rhode Island, signer of the Declaration of Independence

  • Miscellaneous papers, mostly relating to Hopkins' political career, including documents relative to the French and Indian War, the Continental Congress and local political battles.

Cataloging Note:
  • These papers were probably first brought together as a collection around 1975, from the Society's miscellaneous holdings. In 1995, other items were added, and the collection was organized chronologically in an archival box and folders.
Historical Note:
  • Stephen Hopkins (1707-1785) is best known as a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He served as governor of Rhode Island for most of the period between 1755 and 1768, alternating in the office with his rival, Samuel Ward. He also served in the Continental Congress from 1774 to 1780. Though raised in what is now Scituate, Rhode Island, Hopkins lived for most of his adult life in Providence. He was a member of the Society of Friends. His first wife was Sarah Scott, who he married in 1726. After her death in 1753, he married Anne (Arnold) Smith, widow of Benjamin Smith, in 1755.
Bibliographic References:
  • Biographical Cyclopedia of Rhode Island, 99.; Foster, William E. Stephen Hopkins: A Rhode Island Statesman (Providence, 1884).; Kepler, Frank Roy. Thomas Hopkins of Oyster Bay (Detroit, 1954).
Scope and Content:
  • These papers have been collected by the Historical Society from many gifts and purchases, beginning as early as 1845. It is, for the most part, a collection of largely unrelated single items. It includes letters both sent and received, spanning 1749 to 1775, as well as several receipts signed as Governor, undated essays, and an early account book. Of particular interest are a run of letters from 1767 and 1768 between Hopkins and various friends of Samuel Ward, which provide details on a heated political battle. A 1754 letter from Hopkins to his future wife, a copy of a 1760 letter from English Secretary of State William Pitt, an essay on liberty, and several documents relating to the French and Indian War are also noteworthy. Hopkins had saved a large trunk of his public papers; unfortunately, according to John Howland (in his "Life and Recollections", p. 47), these papers were swept out of the house they were stored in by the Great Gale of 1815.
Accession Number:
  • 1880.10.2
  • 1943.16.1-2
  • 1943.16.3
  • 1952.20
  • 1956.25
  • 1956.27
  • 1962.41.5
  • 1964.37
  • 1965.29
  • 1969.74
  • 2002.107
  • The provenance for many of these items is unknown. Information is provided in the full inventory when known.
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