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About Jonathan Hazard
Jonathan Hazard, 1744-1825, of Charlestown, was the driving force behind the creation of the Country Party in 1785, a protest movement designed to safeguard the interests of Rhode Island farmers. Hazard, a noted orator, served in the General Assembly and the Confederation Congress and led the AntiFederaliist opposition to the Constitution while defending states rights.
Jonathan J. Hazard (1731–1812 or 1744 – after 1824) was an American statesman and anti-federalist who served as a delegate for Rhode Island in the Continental Congress.
Jonathan was born to a Quaker (Religious Society of Friends) family in Newport, Rhode Island. He was first elected to the Rhode Island General Assembly in 1776. In 1777 and early 1778 he served as paymaster of the Rhode Island regiment of the Continental Army. In 1778, he re-entered the Assembly, serving there until 1786. In 1786 and 1787, Rhode Island’s assembly appointed him as delegate to the Continental Congress. After that, he returned to assembly (serving until 1805), where he became a leader of the anti-federalist Country Party.
Hazard was a delegate to the state's ratifying convention that considered the U.S. Constitution in 1789. His active opposition was one of the reasons that the convention adjourned without a vote. By the following spring, he at least chose to remain silent as the Assembly voted in favor of ratification on May 29, 1790. That marked the start of a steady decline in his political influence.
In 1805 Jonathan, along with his wife, Patience, and their younger children, moved west to a new settlement that was being established by the Society of Friends (Quakers) in Oneida County, New York.
According to his tombstone photograph at Find A Grave, he was born in 1731 and died on 29 July 1812. The information given in the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress states he was born in 1744 and died sometime after 1824.