Nielsen Hayden genealogy

William Greene, Governor of Rhode Island

Male 1695 - 1758  (62 years)


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  • Name William Greene 
    Suffix Governor of Rhode Island 
    Born 16 Mar 1695  Apponaug, Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Alternate birth 16 Mar 1696  Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Died 23 Jan 1758  [4
    Alternate death 25 Feb 1758  [1, 5
    Buried Governor Greene Cemetery, Warwick, Rhode Island Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Person ID I18592  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of JTS
    Last Modified 15 Sep 2018 

    Father Samuel Greene,   b. 30 Jan 1671, Occupasuetuxet, Rhode Island Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1720  (Age 48 years) 
    Mother Mary Gorton,   b. 31 Oct 1673,   d. Jan 1732  (Age 58 years) 
    Married 24 Jan 1695  [1
    Family ID F11551  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Catherine Greene,   b. 31 Mar 1698, Warwick, Kent, Rhode Island Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Nov 1777  (Age 79 years) 
    Married 30 Dec 1719  [1
    Children 
    +1. Samuel Greene,   b. 25 Aug 1727,   d. Bef 1761, At sea Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age < 33 years)
    Last Modified 19 Nov 2017 
    Family ID F11548  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • From Wikipedia:

      Greene was made a freeman of the colony in 1718, and at the age of 32 was elected a deputy from Warwick in 1727, which office he held for five years. He was the clerk of the county court in Providence and speaker of the Rhode Island Assembly in 1734 and 1739. In 1728 he was appointed, along with John Mumford of Newport, to survey the boundary line between the Rhode Island and Connecticut colonies. When Governor John Wanton died in 1740, Richard Ward became the governor, and Greene became the new Deputy Governor, which office he held until his own election to governor in May 1743. This was one of the rare cases when a Rhode Island governor did not come from the island of Aquidneck where the towns of Newport and Portsmouth are located.

      One of the important issues of Greene's first term in office concerned the boundary lines of the colony. Several geographic boundaries were adjusted, and the towns of Barrington, Warren and Bristol were added under Bristol county, and the towns of Tiverton and Little Compton were added to the towns on Aquidneck island in Newport County. Another major issue facing the colony was the war against France and Spain, for which the colony was expected to share in the defense of the Crown. When England declared war against France on 31 March 1744, the colony manned forts and reinforced them with guns and ammunition. Commodore Warren, with the aid of Rhode Island forces, laid siege to Louisbourg in Nova Scotia, which surrendered in June, surprising Europeans that the "strongest fortress of North America had capitulated to American farmers, machanics [sic], and fishermen." The colony also had a few war sloops at its disposal along with 15 privateers and was successful in capturing 20 ships and sending them to Newport.

      During Greene's third term, the colony had divided into two hostile camps. The leaders of the two divisions were both future governors, Samuel Ward and Stephen Hopkins, with Greene siding with the Ward camp. Some of the divisive issues concerned war versus peace, paper money versus hard currency, and Providence versus Newport interests. Elections went back and forth between the two opposing sides, and amid the discord, Greene died while in office on 23 January 1758.

  • Sources 
    1. [S1615] The Greenes of Rhode Island, with Historical Records of English Ancestry, by George Sears Greene. New York: The Knickerbocker Press, 1903.

    2. [S1658] Vital Records of Rhode Island, 1636-1850: First Series, Births, Marriages, and Deaths, by James N. Arnold. Narragansett Historical Publishing Co., 1891.

    3. [S1715] Greenes of Warwick in Colonial History by Henry E. Turner, M.D. Newport, Rhode Island: Davis & Pitman, Steam Printers, 1877.

    4. [S160] Wikipedia.

    5. [S1715] Greenes of Warwick in Colonial History by Henry E. Turner, M.D. Newport, Rhode Island: Davis & Pitman, Steam Printers, 1877., month and year only.