Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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CRANSTON, John, president of Rhode Island, died 12 March 1680. He appears to have had some knowledge of law, and was for many years attorney general of the colony, first holding this office under Nicholas Easton in 1654. In 1672 he became deputy-governor, and continued in that capacity until his election as governor in 1678, in which office he remained until his death. During King Philip's war he was selected to command all the militia of the colony, and he was the first that ever held the rank of major general in the colony.--His son, Samuel Cranston, president of Rhode Island, died in 1727. He became governor in 1698, and was thirty times successively chosen to that place, holding the office until his death. Governor Cranston held his place probably longer than any other man that has ever been subjected to the test of an annual election. He also held the highest military office that it was possible to occupy in the colony, and his great firmness in times of unexampled trial is said to have been the cause of his great popularity and successful administrations.
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