Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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GREENE, William, governor of Rhode Island, born in Warwick, Rhode Island, 16 March, 1695; died in Providence, Rhode Island, 22 February, 1758. For many years he held the office of clerk of the County court in Providence. He became deputy-governor of Rhode Island in 1740, and was governor from 1743 till 1758.--His son, William, governor of Rhode Island, born in Warwick, Rhode Island, 16 August, 1731 ; died there, 29 November, 1809. He was chief justice of the colony, and was governor of the state from 1778 till 1786, also for many years speaker of the house.--Ray, eldest son of the second William, senator, born in Warwick, Rhode Island, 2 February, 1765; died there, 11 January 1849. He was graduated at Yale in 1784, and then studied law in the office of General James M. Var-num, in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. Subsequently he was admitted to the Rhode Island bar, and began practice in Providence. He was appointed attorney-general of Rhode Island in 1794, succeeding William Channing, and continued in that office till 1797, when he was elected to the United States senate to fill a vacancy caused by the resignation of William Bradford, and served from 22 November, 1797, till 7 December. 1801. On the completion of the unexpired term, Mr. Greene was returned to the senate for a second term, but in 1801 resigned to accept the office of district judge of Rhode Island. This appointment he received from John Adams as he was about retiring from the presidential chair: but some informality connected with the appointment was discovered too late to be rectified by Mr. Adams, and his successor refused to correct the error, in consequence of which, Mr. Greene lost both his senatorial and judicial offices.
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