Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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CLARKE, Walter, colonial governor of Rhode Island, lived in the 17th century. He was deputy governor in 1675, was elected governor in May,1676, again deputy from 1679 until 1686, when he became governor. When Sir Edmund Andros in 1686 demanded the charter of Rhode Island, Clarke asked for delay until a fitter season; but, on the command of the royal governor in January, 1687, he allowed the government to be dissolved, continuing to act as governor under the royal commissioner, and accepted a place in the general council for New England. When Andros returned from Connecticut in November, Governor Clarke received him with courtesy and gave up the seal of the colony to be broken, but sent the charter to his brother to be concealed brother to be concealed in some place unknown to himself. He was appointed on the governor's council in 1688 under the new commission, which in-eluded New York and New Jersey in New England. When Andros was overthrown at the revolution of 1688, the Rhode Islanders resumed their charter government" but Clarke was too cautious to accept his former post, and for ten months allowed the deputy governor to fill his place. When Bull was elected governor, Clarke refused, from politic motives, to deliver up the charter and state records, but did not thereby lose the confidence of the people, who in 1696 again elected him governor. In 1698, because he was required to take the oath to the king, which as a Quaker he refused to do, and because a court of admiralty had been created contrary to his wishes and he was threatened with impeachment for withholding the commission of the judge, Governor Clarke resigned in favor of his nephew, Samuel Cranston.
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