BOURNE, Benjamin

1755–1808

Biography

BOURNE, Benjamin, a Representative from Rhode Island; born in Bristol, R.I., September 9, 1755; was graduated from Harvard College in 1775; studied law; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Providence; held several public offices; quartermaster of the Second Rhode Island Regiment in 1776; member of the general assembly in 1789 and 1790; upon the ratification of the Constitution by the State of Rhode Island was elected as a Pro-Administration candidate to the First through Third Congresses and as a Federalist to the Fourth and Fifth Congresses and served from August 31, 1790, until his resignation in 1796, before the close of the Fourth Congress; appointed judge of the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island in 1801 and, later, judge of the United States Circuit Court for the Eastern Circuit; died in Bristol, R.I., September 17, 1808; interment in Juniper Hill Cemetery.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Rhode Island Historical Society

Providence, RI
Papers: 1774-1843, approximately 300 items. The papers of Benjamin Bourne contain correspondence, including letters written to Benjamin Bourne as a U.S. representative from Rhode Island, relating to local, national, and international politics and commerce, his involvement in the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, state issues such as shipping, distilleries, banking, customs administration, and land companies, U.S. slave-trade, privateering, the American Revolution, Tripolitan War, and War of 1812; financial papers; records of U.S. Quartermaster's Dept., of which Benjamin Bourne was regional regimental director (1776); and correspondence of his son, Benjamin Franklin Bourne. A finding aid is available in the National Inventory of Documentary Sources in the United States, microfiche 3.141.19.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: 1791, 1 item. A letter from Theodore Sedgwick to Benjamin Bourne written on January 23, 1791. In the letter, Theodore Sedgwick writes regarding congressional representation, assumption of state debt, government relations with Indians, and other political matters.

The Morgan Library
Department of Literary and Historical Manuscripts

New York, NY
Papers: 1798, 1 item. A letter from John Davis to Benjamin Bourne written on May 23, 1798. In the letter, John Davis writes concerning the Luzerne Purchase.

Rhode Island State Archives

Providence, RI
Papers: 22 items. Persons represented include Benjamin Bourne.

Rosenbach Museum and Library

Philadelphia, PA
Papers: 1792, 1 item. A letter from William Ellery to Benjamin Bourne written on October 22, 1792. In the letter, William Ellery urges support for the attempts of Dr. John Bartlett to obtain back pay due for his services as physician and surgeon to the Continental Army. The direction at the foot of the letter reads "Benjamin Bowen", but it appears from internal evidence to be written to Benjamin Bourne, member of the 1st-4th Congresses from Rhode Island.

United States Naval Academy Museum

Annapolis, MD
Papers: In the Silas Talbot Papers, 1792-1803, 13 letters. Persons represented include Benjamn Bourne. A finding aid is available in the repository.

University of Michigan
William L. Clements Library

Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: In the Asher Robbins Papers, 1794-1813, 22 items. Chiefly letters from Benjamin Bourne to Asher Robbins relating to their interests in land and currency speculation and legislation and correspondence (1818) relating to congressional redistricting.

University of Virginia
Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

Charlottesville, VA
Papers: In the Virginia Letters and Legal Opinion Papers, 1776-1846, 10 items. The papers include a letter from William Branch Giles to Benjamin Bourne written on December 14, 1804. In the letter, William Giles writes on friendship despite political differences.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

[Bourne, Benjamin]. An account of the settlement of the town of Bristol. Providence: Printed by Bennett Wheeler, 1785.

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