Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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HAZARD, Jonathan J., member of the Continental congress, born in Rhode Island in 1728; died in the state of New York in 1812. He took an early stand in favor of liberty in the Revolutionary struggle. In 1776 he appeared in the general assembly as a representative from Charlestown, was elected paymaster of the Continental battalion in 1777, and joined the army in New Jersey. In 1778 he was re-elected a member of the general assembly, constituted one of the council of war, and continued a member of the house most of the time during the Revolution. In 1787 he was elected to congress from Rhode Island, and he was re-elected in 1788. Mr. Hazard was one of the most efficient leaders of the paper-money party in 1786, and their ablest debater in the general assembly. He was the leader of the same party under the name of Anti-Federalists, and was bitterly opposed to the adoption of the national constitution. As a delegate to the convention that assembled at South Kingston in March, 1790, to consider the adoption of the constitution, he so successfully resisted the measure that, upon an informal vote, there was a majority of seventeen against it. In the following May the assembly met at Newport, and, Mr. Hazard's opposition having been withdrawn, the constitution was adopted by a majority of one. He was subsequently a representative in the general assembly, but, his defection from his party greatly impaired his influence. In 1805 he removed to the Friends' settlement near City Hill. New York, where he purchased a valuable estate. He was fluent of speech and subtle and ingenious in debate.
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