Josias Lyndon

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Josias Lyndon
Josias Lyndon grave medallion
35th Governor of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
In office
Preceded by Stephen Hopkins
Succeeded by Joseph Wanton
Personal details
Born March 10, 1704
Newport, Rhode Island
Died March 30, 1778 (aged 74)
Warren, Rhode Island
Resting place Kickemuit Cemetery, Warren, Rhode Island
Spouse(s) Mary Carr
Occupation Scrivener, Clerk of Assembly, governor

Josias Lyndon (March 10, 1704 – March 30, 1778) was a governor of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, serving for a single one-year term.


Lyndon was the son of Samuel and Priscilla (Tompkins) Lyndon of Newport, the grandson of Josias Lyndon of Newport, and the great grandson of Augustin Lyndon, a shipwright in Boston in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.[1] Lyndon married in 1727 Mary Carr, the daughter of Edward and Hannah (Stanton) Carr, and granddaughter of Governor Caleb Carr. The couple had no children.[2]

In 1728 Lyndon was made a freeman of Newport, and having been educated in the Newport Grammar School, he became a scrivener (scribe) and went to work the same year as the Clerk of the Assembly, which he continued uninterrupted for nearly four decades until 1767. After serving a term as governor, he resumed this position again from 1770 until 1777, just before his death.[3] As the recorder of colonial affairs, he became familiar with virtually every piece of legislation and every official manuscript written over a period of nearly half a century.[3] At the time of Lyndon's election to governor in 1768, there was a lot of bitter acrimony between one camp led by Samuel Ward and the other camp led by Stephen Hopkins, both of whom had already served multiple terms as governor. Lyndon was elected almost unanimously as a peace and compromise candidate.[4]

Most of Lyndon's year as governor was spent in correspondence with a representative of the King of England, expressing concerns of the colony over the unjust taxation brought about by the Stamp Act.[5] Fifteen letters from the Colonial Secretary, Hillsborough, in London, and as many replies by Lyndon concerning the constitutional rights of the colony were the main business of this administration.[6] The only act of importance during Lyndon's term was the valuation of the Rhode Island colony, an amount that came to a little more than two million pounds.[6]

When war with Britain came to the colonies and Newport was occupied, Lyndon found safety in Warren, Rhode Island where he died of smallpox in 1778. He was buried in a cemetery on Serpentine Road, along the bank of the Kickemuit River in Warren.[6]

See also


  1. ^ Austin, 340-1
  2. ^ Austin, 38, 341
  3. ^ a b Bicknell, 1085
  4. ^ Bicknell, 1086
  5. ^ Bicknell, 1087-8
  6. ^ a b c Bicknell, 1089


  • Austin, John Osborne (1887). Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island. Albany, New York: J. Munsell's Sons. ISBN 978-0-8063-0006-1. 
  • Bicknell, Thomas Williams (1920). The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. 3. New York: The American Historical Society. pp. 1085–1089. Retrieved 2011-03-30. 

External links

  • Josias Lyndon at Find a Grave
  • Chronological list of Rhode Island leaders

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