The Stephen Hopkins house, first constructed in 1707, was home to Rhode Island’s own Founding Father. Twice visited by George Washington, Hopkins was one of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
Hopkins started his public service career in Scituate, where he became a justice of the peace. Appointed Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Superior Court two times, Hopkins had a multitude of other roles in government, though he may be best known for his on-again-off-again stint as governor of Rhode Island for ten terms between 1755 and 1767.
A slave owner until his death, Hopkins nevertheless became more opposed to slavery throughout his life. In 1774, while serving in the General Assembly, he introduced a bill prohibiting the importation of slaves into the colony. This became one of the first anti-slavery laws in the United States.
Built between 1707 and 1742, Hopkins’ home is the city’s oldest surviving house. It is filled with antiques and family heirlooms as well as echoes of the past.
Behind the Scenes
Experience colonial Rhode Island through a visit to Providence’s oldest home.