1727 – 1820
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Who was William Ellery?
William Ellery was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Rhode Island. In 1764, the Baptists consulted with Ellery and the Congregationalist Reverend Ezra Stiles on writing a charter for the college that became Brown University. However, Ellery and Stiles attempted to give control of the college to the Congregationalists, but the Baptists withdrew the petition until it was rewritten to assure Baptist control. Neither Ellery nor Stiles accepted appointment to the reserved Congregationalist seats on the board of trustees .
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