Rev. William Bliss, Rhode Island 1770s

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Rhode Island, United States

“During the [Revolutionary] war Newport was occupied by the British troops, who built their intrenchments on the farm of Mr. Bliss, cut down his trees, and destroyed his fences. He was, however, permitted to remain with his family, on account of his sacred calling. Yet his house was made the quarters of the British officers, and all he had was at their mercy. . . .

"When the British were expecting Gen. Sullivan with the American troops to land upon the Island, the officers who quartered in his house frequently expressed in his presence their desire to meet the rebels. Not many days afterward, several of the officers accompanied him to the seaside to see him shoot wild fowl — an exercise in which he was frequently engaged, and in which he was very skillful.

"After observing him for a while, they expressed their astonishment at his skill in killing birds flying. He replied, ‘You seem to be very anxious for the Americans to land upon the Island; now, when they come they will take you down as easy as I do these birds.’ They seemed to be much agitated with this reply, and expressed no more desire to meet the rebels.”

– Seventh-Day Baptist Memorial magazine, volume 1, number 1, pages 14ff.


born 5 February 1728 Newport, Rhode Island

married (1) 20 Apr 1750 Barbara Phillips -- 12 children

married (2) 9 Jan 1780 Elizabeth Ward -- no children

died 4 May 1808 Middletown, Rhode Island

ANCESTORS: We know all four of his grandparents, three of his eight great-grandparents, and more in a few lines.

COUSINS: Four of his five siblings married.

DESCENDANTS: Five of their twelve children are known to have had descendants.