Hopkins, Stephen (1707–85) American:
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Governor of the Colonial State of Rhode Island (1754-64). He was head of the naval committee of the Continental Congress, which officially authorized the first American navy in October 1775. He helped frame the earliest regulations of that navy and also was instrumental in having his brother, Esek HOPKINS, named C-in-C of the eight-ship American ‘fleet’. He was born in the town of Scituate and in 1742 moved to Providence, Rhode Island, where he was a surveyor and merchant. He served in the Continental Congress, 1774-76, and there became one of the most outspoken advocates for American independence. In March 1764 he became the first chancellor of Rhode Island College, which became Brown University. He was a signatory of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and was a member of the committee that prepared the Colonial Articles of Confederation in 1777.