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Sarah Scott Hopkins (1707-1753)

Sarah Scott Hopkins was born in Providence to Silvanus and Joanna “Jenckes” Scott in 1707. She was the great-granddaughter of Richard Scott, the first Rhode Islander to embrace the Quaker faith. Richard was married to Katherine Marbury, the sister of Anne Hutchinson, who challenged Puritan leaders in Massachusetts, was exiled to Rhode Island, and later met a gruesome end in the New Netherland colony. Through her great-grandmother Sarah descended from William the Conqueror and Charlemagne. Sarah was described as a “kindly, industrious, and frugal woman…” very aligned with the teachings of Quakerism. In October 1726, Sarah Scott married one of colonial Rhode Island’s most famous politicians: Stephen Hopkins. Stephen Hopkins was four times governor of the colony and held the title of Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court for three separate terms. Both Stephen and Sarah were of “Quaker stock,” however, about three years before he would sign the Declaration of Independence, Stephen was expelled by the Providence Meeting for owning slaves, an institution considered contrary to the main principles of Quakerism. Following their marriage, Sarah and Stephen moved to Scituate, Rhode Island where they lived much of their lives. Sarah bore seven children, five of whom lived to adulthood. Two of her sons, John and Silvanus, died while abroad in 1753, the same year of their mother’s death. Sarah died in Providence and was buried in the North Burial Ground, where her husband would join her many years later after his death in 1785. Read More...

Zakary Pereira, Student at Rhode Island College