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Colonial Personalities
 Simeon Potter – Bristol
 
Simeon Potter was born in Bristol in the year 1720. He was also one of the influential men in the Colony and State of Rhode Island for a large part of that time.

Potter amassed a fortune as a sea captain and privateer. After 30 years on the sea he returned to Bristol to live permanently ashore just after the town had been transferred from Massachusetts to Rhode Island. He was first chosen to represent the town in the Rhode Island General Assembly in 1752, serving for twenty years.

He is best known as one of the patriot leaders in the burning of the HMS Gaspee in 1772 as an early act of defiance towards the British Stamp Act.

Abraham Redwood - Newport

Abraham Redwood was born April 15, 1709, on his family’s sugar plantation in Antigua. He became one of the richest men in Newport and is best known as one of the founding members of “Redwood Library,” where in 1747 Redwood gave 500 pounds sterling to purchase a "library of Arts and Sciences in Newport. Today, Redwood stands as America’s oldest lending library. He was a merchant, plantation and slave owner, state assemblyman, botanist, and philanthropist. For More information visit www.redwoodlibrary.org

Newport Gardner (Occramar Marycoo) - Newport

Marycoo arrived in Newport at the age of 14 as an enslaved African from Ghana. Sold to Newport sea captain Caleb Gardner, his named was changed to Newport Gardner and he quickly demonstrated intelligence and piety. A gifted singer and music composer, Newport Gardner taught music after obtaining his freedom, and helped found the Free African Benevolent Society in Newport in 1780 and the Union Colored Congregational Church in 1824. In 1826 at the age of eighty, returned to Africa along with several other members of his church, landing in what is now known as Liberia. He is remembered as one of early Newport’s leading African citizens. For more information visit www.colonialcemetery.com