Aug. 15, 1675 Newport Newport County Rhode Island, USA
President of Providence Plantations (1650-51, 1654) and colonial governor of Rhode Island (1672-74)
Nicholas Easton was a tanner by trade. He emigrated to the New World on the ship "Mary and John", arriving in Boston in May 1634 with his sons, Peter Easton and Gov. John Easton. In 1637 he and his sons began the settlement of Agawam, and then moved to Hampton. His support of Anne Hutchinson created trouble with the authorities, and in 1638 he moved to Rhode Island. He was one of the original 18 settlers of Aquidneck [the island now called Rhode Island], and was admitted a freeman at Portsmouth 20 Aug 1638. In January, 1639, he was appointed one of three "elders" to assist Gov. William Coddington. In May, 1650, he was elected president of the united colonies, succeeding John Smith. He held office until August, 1651, when Coddington returned from England with a charter giving him power to govern Aquidneck and Conanicut islands for life. Easton withdrew the island towns from the confederacy, and Samuel Gorton was chosen acting president in Easton's place, and was succeeded by John Smith and Gregory Dexter, successively. In May 1654, the fours towns chose to reunite in general assembly, and Easton was appointed acting president. On 12 Sep 1654 when the reunification occurred, he was succeeded by Roger Williams. From May, 1666, until May, 1669, he was deputy governor, and again from May, 1670, until May, 1671, acting in the place of William Brenton, who had refused to serve as governor. Gov. Easton was re-elected in May, 1672, and remained in office until May, 1674, when he was succeeded by William Coddington. He was married three times; His 1st wife's name is unknown, his 2nd wife, Christiana Barker was the widow of Thomas Beecher, his 3rd wife, Ann Clayton, was married to Gov. Henry Bull. By these three wives he fathered 7 or 8 children. Gov. Easton became a member of the Society of Friends many years before his death.