1707 - 1785
Representative of Rhode Island to the Continental Congress
Signer of the Declaration of Independence
He was a early critic of Britian and advocate for Independence. He freed his slaves and tried to prohibit slavery from the colonies. In 1774, he introduced a bill that prohibited the importation of slaves into the colony of Rhode Island, and this became one of the first anti-slavery laws in the new United States.
A sufferer of cerebral palsey, his signature appeared trembling when he signed the Declaration of Independence. "My hand trembles, my heart does not," he said at the signing.