Jonathan Hazard – Continental Congressman – Rhode Island


Jonathan J. Hazard (1744 – c. 1824) was an American statesman and anti-federalist who served as a delegate for Rhode Island in the Continental Congress.

Jonathan was born to a Quaker (Religious Society of Friends) family in Newport, Rhode Island. He was first elected to the Rhode Island General Assembly in 1776. In 1777 and early 1778 he served as paymaster of the Rhode Island regiment of the Continental Army. Then in 1778 he re-entered the Assembly, serving there until 1786. In 1786 and 1787, Rhode Island’s assembly appointed him as delegate to the Continental Congress. After that he returned to assembly (serving until 1805), where he became a leader of the anti-federalist Country Party.

Hazard was a delegate to the state’s ratifying convention that considered the U.S. Constitution in 1789. His active opposition was one of the reasons this convention adjourned without a vote. By the following spring he at least chose to remain silent as the Assembly voted in favor of ratification on May 29, 1790. This marked the start of a steady decline in his political influence.

In 1805 Jonathan, along with his wife Patience and their younger children, moved west to a new settlement being established by the Society of Friends (Quakers) in Oneida County, New York. He died there sometime about 1824.