- Michael A. Bellesiles
Arnold, Jonathan (03 December 1741–01 February 1793), political leader of the revolutionary period, was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Josiah Arnold and Amy Phillips, occupations unknown. Though he did not attend college, Arnold studied medicine and opened his own practice in Providence in the late 1760s. An early supporter of the revolutionary cause, Arnold commanded a company of volunteer grenadiers in Providence in the alarm following Lexington and Concord in 1775. Elected to represent Providence in the Rhode Island Assembly in 1776 and reelected the following year, Arnold wrote the statute, approved on 4 May 1776, repealing the oath of allegiance to Great Britain required of all public officials. That same year he organized the Revolutionary Hospital of Rhode Island and was appointed its chief surgeon by the governor, a position he held until 1781. He gained a reputation as an innovative doctor and an efficient administrator. In 1781 he was elected assistant to the governor of Rhode Island, largely in honor of his wartime service....