William Blackstone, the first white inhabitant of Boston, died on Blackstone river, a few miles north of Providence, May 26, 1675. He is supposed to have been a graduate of Emanuel college, Cambridge, and to have been a clergyman of the church of England. He settled upon the present site of Boston about 1623. In April, 1633, he removed to Rhode Island.
William Blount, an American politician, born in North Carolina in 1744, died in Knox-vilie, Tenn., March 26, 1800. He was a delegate from North Carolina to the continental congress, and one of the signers of the federal constitution in 1787. In 1790 he was appointed governor of the territory south of the Ohio. After the formation from this territory of the state of Tennessee in 1796, he was elected one of its first senators in the national congress. In 1797 he was impeached by the house of representatives for having intrigued, when governor of the territory, to transfer New Orleans and the neighboring districts, then belonging to Spain, to Great Britain, by means of a joint expedition of English and Indians. He was expelled from the senate, and the process was then dropped in the house. The proceedings against him increased his popularity among his constituents, by whom he was elected to the state senate, of which he became president.
William Bollan, an English lawyer, died in 1776. He went to Boston, Mass., about 1740, married the daughter of Gov. Shirley, and in 1745 was sent to England to solicit the pay-ment of more than $800,000 advanced by the colony of Massachusetts for the expedition against Cape Breton. After three years he succeeded in obtaining this. In 1769, being in England, he procured copies of several letters calumniating the colonists which had been written by the governors Bernard and Gage, and sent them to Boston, for which he was denounced in parliament. In 1775 he recommended England to adopt conciliatory measures toward the colonies, and John Hancock declared that there was no man to whom the colonies were more indebted. He wrote several works relating to American affairs, among which are "Ancient Rights to the American Fishery Examined and Stated" (London, 1764), and " Freedom of Speech and Writing upon Public Affairs Considered".
William Bonrn Oliver Peabody, an American clergyman, born in Exeter, N. H., July 9,1799, died in Springfield, Mass., May 28, 1847. He graduated at Harvard college in 1817, and from 1820 till his death was pastor of a Unitarian society in Springfield. He wrote on ornithology, a memoir of Alexander Wilson in Sparks's "American Biography," and a few hymns and sacred poems. A memoir by his brother, the Rev. O. W. B. Peabody, with selections from his sermons, was completed by Everett Peabody (1849), who edited his "Literary Remains" (1850). - His twin brother, Oliver William Bourn, practised law and edited a newspaper in Exeter, N. H., became in 1822 associate editor of the "North American Review," in 1842 professor of English literature in Jefferson college, Louisiana, and in 1845 minister of a Unitarian congregation in Burlington, Vt., where he died July 5, 1848.