Visit the home of one of the patriots that signed the Declaration of Independence.
Stephen Hopkins bought his home in 1707 and lived there until 1785. The home was expanded to its current size back in 1742 and has been moved two times. It was restored in the 1920s and is managed by The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America. Stephen Hopkins was raised by a prominent Rhode Island family and was the grandson of William Hopkins. William served the colony for 40 years as Deputy Assistant Speaker of the House of Deputies and Major. Thomas Hopkins, Stephen Hopkins's great-grandfather, was an original settler of Providence Plantation. He sailed from England in 1635 with his cousin Benedict Arnold.
Stephen Hopkins loved to read and studied science, math, and literature. Eventually, he worked as a surveyor and an astronomer. He became the justice of the peace at the age of 23 in the very new town of Scituate, Rhode Island. Hopkins was a justice of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas. Stephen Hopkins was also a successful merchant and shipbuilder. When he signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776, he had palsy that made his hands shake, so he signed the document by holding his right hand with his left as he said, "My hand trembles, but my heart does not." When his health got worse, he had to resign from serving in the Continental Congress and died at 78 years old in 1785.
Today, Stephen Hopkins's home is a museum open to the public on Wednesdays from 11 am to 2 pm, and Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm. Guests can also reserve a time slot by appointment. George Washington was a guest at the home two times. The museum shares with the public about Stephen Hopkins' life and achievements. The home is full of antiques and heirlooms, including the bedchamber where George Washington once slept.