• Colonial Rhode Island Gov. Greene, Postmaster Thomas Vernon Sign Postage Bill In 1749

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    2 ½ x 4 diminutive postage bill, dated May 1749, and signed by WILLIAM GREENE Sr., Colonial Governor of Rhode Island the Providence Plantations, and THOMAS VERNON, postmaster of Newport, RI. The document is signed twice by Vernon.


    In part, “The Colony of Rhode Island To Postage of Letters from the 4th of Octr. 1748 to 4th of Feby 1749.  Newport Feby 4th 1748/9 Thos. Vernon.”  Text on the verso states, in part, “Pay within acct of three pounds to Thos Vernon out of the govt treasury...W Greene Gov...Recd the contents Thos. Vernon”


    WILLIAM GREENE SENIOR (March 16, 1695 – January 23, 1758) was made a freeman of the colonial colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in 1718.  He became governor for the first time in 1743 and served four separate terms for a total of 11 years. Greene had also been clerk of the county court in Providence, deputy from Warwick and speaker of the Rhode Island Assembly.

    When England declared war against France on March 31, 1744, the colony manned forts and reinforced them with guns and ammunition. Commodore Warren, with the aid of Rhode Island forces, laid siege to Louisburg in Nova Scotia, which surrendered in June, surprising Europeans that the strongest fortress of North America had capitulated to American farms, mechanics and fisherman. The colony also had a few war sloops at its disposal along with 15 privateers and was successful in capturing 20 ships and sending them to Newport.

    During Greene’s third time, the colony had divided into two hostile camps. The leaders of the two divisions were both future governors, Samuel Ward and Stephen Hopkins. Greene sided with the Ward camp. Some of the divisive issues concerned war versus peace, paper money versus hard currency and Providence versus Newport interests.

    THOMAS VERNON was the postmaster of Newport, RI, under the British Government from 1745-1775.  He was an American Loyalist for nearly 30 years prior to the Revolutionary War.  Vernon was Register of the Court of Vice Admiralty and Senior Warden of Trinity Church.


    A wonderful example of New England Colonial history, attached to the postal system. Fold with expected wear.


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