Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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CODDINGTON, William, founder of the colony of Rhode Island, born in Lincolnshire, England, in 1601; died 1 November, 1678. He was one of the Massachusetts magistrates appointed by the crown, and arrived at Salem in the ship "Arabella," in 1630. While exercising his judicial functions, he traded as a merchant in Boston, and accumulated real estate at Braintree. With Governor Vane, he sympathized with the Antinomian party, and at the general election of May, 1637, when Winthrop superseded Vane as governor, Coddington's name was dropped from the roll, but on the following day both he and Vane were elected deputies to the court from Boston. When Mrs. Hutchinson was tried, Coddington undertook her defense against Winthrop and his party, and also unsuccessfully opposed the banishment of Wheelwright and other Antinomians. Wishing to enjoy peace, eighteen of the party, led by Coddington and John Clark, removed in 1638, intending to settle on Long Island, or Delaware bay, but, by the advice of Roger Williams, selected the island of Aquidneck, now Rhode Island, for their home. Having drawn up and signed an agreement to be "judged and guided by the absolute laws of Christ," Coddington was elected judge or chief magistrate, with a council of three elders, who were enjoined by a vote of the freemen to be guided by God's laws. At a general election, held in Newport, 12 March, 1640, the titles of judge and elder were abolished, and Coddington was elected governor, with a deputy and four assistants. He continued in office until a charter was obtained and the island incorporated with the Providence plantations in 1647, when John Coggeshall became president of the colony, and Coddington was chosen assistant from Newport. He was made president in 1648, but did not enter on the duties of .the office. At this time, owing to the disturbed state of the colony, he formed the project of withdrawing the island of Aquidneck from its rule. In September, with Capt. Partridge, he presented a petition begging that the island might be received into a league with the united New England colonies, which was refused, on the ground that Aquidneck rightfully belonged to Plymouth. Failing in his designs, Coddington went to England in 1649, and, after a delay of two years, obtained from the council of state a commission to govern the islands of Rhode Island and Conanicut during his life. In the autumn of that year the colonists, including those of Newport and Portsmouth, urged Roger Williams and John Clark to go to England to secure the revocation of Coddington's commission. This they succeeded in doing in October, 1652, and Coddington's "usurpation" was at an end. But he refused to give up the records, and it was not until 1655 that he formally submitted to the colony. He united with the Quakers in 1665, and in 1674 was chosen governor of the colony. He was re-elected in 1675, and again in 1678, just before his death. He published "Demonstration of True Love unto the Rulers of Massachusetts, by one who was in authority with them" (1674). There is an alleged portrait of Governor Coddington in the council-chamber at Newport. The accompanying illustration is a representation of his house at Newport. See "William Coddington in Rhode Island Colonial Affairs" (No. 4 of "Rhode Island Historical Tracts," Providence, 1878).
CODMAN, John, clergyman, born in Boston, Massachusetts, 3 August, 1782; died in Dorchester, 23 December, 1847. His father, John, was a Boston merchant and a member of the Massachusetts senate. Young Codman was graduated at Harvard in 1802, and began the study of law; but, in accordance with his father's dying wish, he abandoned it for theology. After studying at Cambridge, Massachusetts, he went to Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1805, and spent three years abroad, during the last of which he preached at the Scotch church in Swallow street, London. He returned to the United States in 3Iay, 1808, and in December became pastor of the recently organized second church at Dorchester, Massachusetts, where he remained until his death. During the early part of his pastorate he caused dissatisfaction in his congregation by refusing to exchange with clergymen whose orthodoxy was doubtful, and this finally led to the organization of a new church. The excitement produced by his course was so great that he was on one occasion forcibly kept out of his pulpit. In 1834-'5 Dr. Codman was a delegate to the Congregational union of England and Wales, and he again visited Europe in 1845. He inherited wealth from his father, and gave freely. Among his gifts were a large sum of money to Princeton theological seminary, and his library of several thousand volumes to Andover. Dr. Codman published numerous sermons, many of which were afterward collected in a volume (1834), and" A Visit to England" (1836). A memoir by Dr. William Alien, with six select sermons, was published after his death (1853).--His son, John, born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, 16 October, 1814, left Amherst in his junior year, 1833, and finished his education on the sea, becoming a captain in the merchant marine. He has travelled widely, and is known as an advocate of free ships and free-trade. He has contributed to periodicals, and published "Sailors' Life and Sailors' Yarns" (New York, 1846); "Ten Months in Brazil" (1872); "The Mormon Country" (1876); and "The Round Trip" (1881).
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