British Colonial Governor. After coming with his father to New England, in 1637, in Rhode Island, he signed a "compact as one of thirteen to any agreements made by the masters of families." He mastered the native languages and became a negotiator with the Indians in 1645. In 1653 he moved to Newport and was elected Assistant. In 1657 he was one of the purchasers of the island of Conanicut. On May 19,1657, after Roger Williams retired from the office of President of the Colony, he was elected to that office. In 1660 he was elected Assistant again. On May 22, 1663, he was elected as the first Governor of Rhode Island. He was re-elected in 1664, 1669, 1677 and 1678, and helped bring about the union of the Rhode Island and Providence Plantations into one colony.
Bio by: Linda
Damaris Westcott Arnold