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Fendall, Josias (1620?–14 May 1688), planter and fourth proprietary governor of Maryland, immigrated to the colony by 1655, when he was described as a gentleman and a militia officer. Nothing further is known of his origins. Although himself a Protestant, Fendall supported the authority of ...

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Habersham, James ( June 1715?–28 August 1775), planter-merchant in colonial Georgia, royal councilor, and acting governor, was born in Beverly, Yorkshire, England, the son of James Habersham, a dyer and innkeeper, and Elizabeth Sission. His mother died when he was seven; subsequently his father apprenticed him to his uncle, Joseph Habersham, a London merchant. From him he mastered the import trade in hides, indigo, and sugar. By the age of twenty-one he had assumed charge of two sugar-refining houses connected with his uncle’s interests. In 1736 Habersham came under the religious influence of ...

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Harrison, Benjamin (1726?–24 April 1791), Virginia planter, legislator, governor, and signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born at the family seat, “Berkeley,” Charles City County, Virginia, the son of Benjamin Harrison and Anne Carter, daughter of Robert “King” Carter, one of the largest landowners in the colony. The Harrisons were among the early settlers in Virginia, and Benjamin “the Signer” was the fifth of that name in a direct line of descent. His father and grandfather had been prominent in the affairs of colonial government. His son, ...

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Parke, Daniel (1669?–07 December 1710), Virginia planter and imperial governor, was born at Queen’s Creek, York County, Virginia, the son of Daniel Parke and Rebecca Evelyn Knipe, planters. The infant survived the voyage to England in 1670 and, with his mother and three older sisters, settled at Long Ditton, Surrey, the Evelyn family demesne. There Daniel’s mother died in 1672. His father returned to Virginia to become one of the colony’s agents to buy out its English proprietors and to secure a royal charter. The elder Parke eventually became a member of the royal council of Virginia, treasurer, and secretary of the dominion. He died in 1679, leaving his son one of the oldest and most valuable estates in Virginia....

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Ward, Samuel (27 May 1725–26 March 1776), farmer, merchant, and governor of Rhode Island, was born in Newport, Rhode Island, the son of Richard Ward and Mary Tillinghast. Ward’s Newport family was wealthy and politically and socially prominent. His father, secretary or recorder of the colony from 1714 to 1732 and governor from 1740 to 1743, was an opponent of the Rhode Island faction that favored paper money. In 1745 Samuel Ward married Anna Ray of Block Island. They had eleven children. After their marriage her father gave the couple a farm at Westerly, in the southwestern corner of the colony. There Ward prospered, expanding his holdings and trading his and his neighbors’ products to Newport and Boston. In 1752, for example, he shipped 2,000 pounds of cheese to Boston....

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William S. Powell

Yeardley, Sir George (July 1587–12 November 1627), Virginia planter and governor, was born in the Southwark borough of London, England, the son of Ralph Yeardley, a member of the Merchant Taylors Guild, and Rhoda Marston. Apparently he was christened on 6 August. When his parents died in the plague of 1601, George became the ward of his godfather Sir Henry Peyton, a ship captain and one of the subscribers to the fund for colonizing Virginia. John Saris, his other godfather as well as a merchant and ship captain, established trade with Japan as an employee of the East India Company. Both were influential in Yeardley’s life....