Rhode Island Governor from 1811 to 1817. William Jones was born into a family of Welsh origin that emigrated to Rhode Island two generations earlier. In January 1776, he was commissioned as Lieutenant in a Rhode Island regiment, then within a few months was promoted to captain. His regiment fought in the battles of White Plains, Assunpink Creek and Princeton. In February 1777 he returned home to Rhode Island. In February 1778 he was made a captain of Marines and served in that capacity until the end of the Revolutionary War. After the war he became a justice of the peace. He was elected to the Rhode Island General Assembly in 1807, then was Speaker of the Rhode Island State House of Representatives for two terms. He was elected governor in 1811. During his administration, Rhode Island was defiant toward the federal government during the War of 1812, and he asserted his authority in using the state militia for protection. He was re-elected five times, but was defeated when he sought a seventh term, he retired from politics.
Bio by: Pete Mohney