- For other persons named Rowland Hazard, see Rowland Hazard (disambiguation).
Rowland G. Hazard
|Member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives|
|Member of the Rhode Island State Senate|
Rowland Gibson Hazard
October 9, 1801
South Kingstown, Rhode Island, U.S.
|Died||June 24, 1888 (aged 86)|
Peace Dale, Rhode Island, U.S.
(m. 1828; died 1869)
|Relations||Thomas Robinson Hazard (brother)|
Caroline Hazard (granddaughter)
|Children||Rowland Gibson Hazard II|
John Newbold Hazard
Mary Peace Hazard
Hazard was born on October 9, 1801 in South Kingstown in Washington County, Rhode Island. He was one of nine children born to the former Mary Peace (1775–1852) and Rowland Hazard (1764–1836). His mother was raised in Charleston, South Carolina and spent a year studying in London as a girl. His father founded the Peace Dale Manufacturing Company in Peace Dale, Rhode Island in 1802. Among his siblings was older brothers Isaac Peace Hazard and Thomas Robinson Hazard.
A descendant of an old New England Quaker family, Hazard was a fifth-great-grandson of Thomas Hazard, one of the nine founding settlers of Newport on Aquidneck Island in the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. His paternal grandparents were Thomas Hazard and Elizabeth (née Robinson) Hazard, herself a daughter of William Robinson, the Deputy Governor of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.
Hazard grew up in Bristol, Pennsylvania, in the home of his maternal grandfather, merchant Isaac Peace and Elizabeth (née Gibson) Peace, who were both originally from Barbados, but relocated to Charleston before eventually settling in Bristol. His mother was almost exclusively in Bristol from 1807 to 1820, helping to care for her grandfather until his death. He was educated in a Quaker boarding school in Burlington, New Jersey, where he developed a particular interest in mathematics.
In 1819, he returned to Rhode Island to join his elder brother Isaac in the management of the Peace Dale Manufacturing Company. A third brother, Joseph P. Hazard, became a partner in the Peace Dale operation in 1828, and the business took the name "R.G. Hazard & Co." One of Rowland Hazard's responsibilities was selling the company's products to planters in the southern United States, particularly Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi.
In 1843, Hazard acquired a textile mill complex at the village now known as Carolina, Rhode Island, and renamed the mill and its surrounding village in honor of his wife. The Carolina Mills Company remained in family ownership until 1863 and was operated by his son Rowland II until at least 1877.
In 1848, the partnership incorporated, becoming the Peace Dale Manufacturing Company, with Isaac P. Hazard as president and Rowland Hazard as secretary/treasurer. In 1849 the business started a transition into making woolen shawls and other high-quality woolens instead of cheaper fabrics.
From about 1833 to 1842, Hazard spent his winters in New Orleans to sell goods, including cotton bagging cloth, pre-cut garments, low-priced shoes, and raw "Negro cloth" for use by African-American slaves.
According to his granddaughter, Hazard considered that "the greatest effort of his life" began when he was in New Orleans on business in the winter of 1841 when he learned that a free African-American man from Newport was being held in custody in Louisiana as an escaped slave. Hazard's investigations found that many free African-Americans were being detained under the assumption they were escaped slaves. He worked with Jacob Barker, then a New Orleans lawyer, to obtain freedom for nearly 100 people being held as slaves. The action later led to charges being filed against several public officials who were responsible for the illegal detentions.
His involvement with abolitionist causes and in the Republican Party eventually caused his company to lose favor with its markets in the southern United States. This helped to prompt the Peace Dale mills' transition from making cheap cotton products to selling higher quality woolens.
Hazard served three one-year terms in the Rhode Island House of Representatives, winning election as a state representative in 1851, 1854 and 1880. He also was a state senator from 1866 to 1867. In 1856, he was one of Rhode Island's delegates to the founding convention of the Republican party. Four years later he was a delegate to the 1860 Republican National Convention.
In 1851, Hazard introduced a bill to the Rhode Island Assembly that proposed railroad companies should be responsible for providing an equal benefit to the public as they had a "habit of annexing private property." In 1854, while serving in the state legislature, he made a speech criticizing the Stonington Railroad Company for charging discriminatory rates for both freight and passengers. Shortly thereafter, the railroad company retaliated by refusing to let Hazard ride on one of its trains. Resolutions passed by the South Kingstown Town Council in reaction to his treatment are said to have formed "the germ of" the Interstate Commerce Law of 1886.
Hazard retired from the textile business in 1866 and invested in the Union Pacific Railroad. After Union Pacific fell into financial disarray and became a party to the Cr��dit Mobilier scandal of 1872, Hazard spent much time dealing with the company's financial affairs. Hazard was also a prolific writer in the fields of philosophy, economics, and politics. Among his published works were:
"As a public benefactor, Hazard contributed to the schools and churches in South Kingstown and endowed a professorship of physics at Brown University with a gift of $40,000." Brown awarded him an honorary A.M. degree in 1845 and an LL.D. degree in 1869.
- Rowland Gibson Hazard II (1829–1898), who married Margaret Anna Rood (1834–1895) and owned the Solvay Process Company.
- John Newbold Hazard (1836–1900), who first married Hortense DeHuys in France. He later married Augusta G. Gurloff (1850–1917) and built the Narragansett Pier Railroad.
Through his son Rowland, he was the grandfather of Rowland Gibson Hazard III (1855–1918), Caroline Hazard (1856–1945), Frederick Rowland Hazard (1858–1917), Helen Hazard (1861–1925), and Margaret Hazard (1867–1940). Caroline was an educator and author who served as the fifth president of Wellesley College, and Rowland (father of Rowland Hazard III) and Frederick were both executives with the Solvay Process Company. Frederick is today known for hiring noted architect Joseph Lyman Silsbee to build Upland Farm, his 1899 residence built in Solvay, New York. Helen married Nathaniel T. Bacon and Margaret married the economist, statistician, inventor, and Progressive social campaigner Irving Fisher.
Through his son John, he was the grandfather of Mary Peace Hazard (1874–1958), who married Rowland R. Robinson (1862–1934).
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
- Language or Essay on Language (1835)
- Causes of Decline of Political Morality (1841)
- Freedom of Mind in Willing (1866)
- Causation and Freedom in Willing (1869)
- The Duty of Individuals to Support Science and Literature (essay; 1885)
- "ROWLAND GIBSON HAZARD" (PDF). The New York Times. 26 June 1888. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
- Peace Dale History and Historic Sites, Peace Dale Neighborhood Revitalization, Inc., 2007
- Peter H. Hare (1972), "Rowland G. Hazard (1801-88) on Freedom in Willing", Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 33, No. 1 (Jan. - Mar., 1972), pp. 155–164.
- Robinson, Caroline; Daniel Berkely Updike (1896). The Hazard family of Rhode Island 1635-1894 : Being a genealogy and history of the descendants of Thomas Hazard, with sketches of the worthies of this family, and anecdotes illustrative of their traits and also of the times in which they lived. Boston: Merrymount Press. pp. 121, 200.
- "Rowland and Mary (Peace) Hazard Papers". www.rihs.org. Rhode Island Historical Society. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
- Rowland Gibson Hazard, Rhode Island Manufacturer, Politician, and Philosopher, University of Rhode Island Library, Special Collections and University Archives, 2007
- Rowland G. and Caroline (Newbold) Hazard Papers, Rhode Island Historical Society, Manuscripts Division
- Peace Dale Manufacturing Company Records, Rhode Island Historical Society, Manuscripts Division
- Carolina Mills Records, Rhode Island Historical Society, Manuscripts Division
- Dalpe, Steve; Stattler, Rick (June 1996). "Rowland Hazard II Papers". www.rihs.org. Rhode Island Historical Society. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
- Representative Men and Old Families of Rhode Island: Genealogical Records and Historical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens and of Many of the Old Families ... J.H. Beers & Company. 1908. p. 971. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
- Dalpe, Steve; Stattler, Rick (July 1998). "Rowland G. Hazard II and Mary P. (Bushnell) Hazard Papers". www.rihs.org. Rhode Island Historical Society. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
- "Wellesley's New President: Miss Caroline Hazard Succeeds Mrs. Julia J. Irvine" (PDF). The New York Times. March 9, 1999. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
- "Caroline Hazard Papers". Rhode Island Historical Society. Retrieved June 28, 2016.