Reference Entry

Ward, Samuel

in American National Biography Online


Published online February 2000 | e-ISBN: 9780198606697

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farmer, merchant, and governor of Rhode Island, was born in Newport, Rhode Island, the son of Richard Ward and Mary Tillinghast. Ward’s Newport family was wealthy and politically and socially prominent. His father, secretary or recorder of the colony from 1714 to 1732 and governor from 1740 to 1743, was an opponent of the Rhode Island faction that favored paper money. In 1745 Samuel Ward married Anna Ray of Block Island. They had eleven children. After their marriage her father gave the couple a farm at Westerly, in the southwestern corner of the colony. There Ward prospered, expanding his holdings and trading his and his neighbors’ products to Newport and Boston. In 1752, for example, he shipped 2,000 pounds of cheese to Boston.

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