Samuel Ward,1725-1776, of Westerly, co-founder of America's first party system, governor, chief justice, and Revolutionary War leader. He was the son of Rhode Island governor and gentleman farmer Richard Ward (1740-1742). He joined his great political rival Stephen Hopkins as the two Rhode Island delegates to the Continental Congress in the movement toward independence. Only his untimely death in the spring of 1776 prevented Ward from becoming a Rhode Island signer of the Declaration of Independence.
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