Hazard, the third son of Roland and Mary Peace
Hazard was born on October 9, 1801 at
Tower Hill in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. He grew
up in Bristol, Pennsylvania and attended the
Westtown Quaker School there. He
returned to Rhode Island in 1819
and assumed control of the family manufacturing business at
(At this time the mill's
main products were course cloths such as Linsey-Woolsey sold
mainly in Louisiana and Alabama as material for slave
Roland married Caroline
Newbold of Bucks County, Pennsylvania on
September 25, 1828.
Roland along with his
brothers Joseph and Isaac made many
improvements to the mill and as a result; their trade was
greatly increased. Roland also traveled extensively in the
south from the mid 1830s to the early 1840s,
where he was able to view the terrible conditions under
which the slaves existed and worked. This profoundly
affected him and in 1850 he gave a powerful
speech to the Rhode Island Legislature
denouncing slavery and the fugitive slave law.
was a prolific writer and in 1835 he
published his first essay, a treatise on language. He
published "The Will," a book concerning free
will in 1864. He published another book
in 1869 concerning Causation and Freedom of
Will. He was involved in the legislation for regulating
railroad corporations and his speeches to the
legislature in 1851 and 1854
contained the basic principles, which have
since been incorporated into interstate commerce law.
He was directly involved and one of the principals in
building the Narragansett Pier Railroad.
Roland Gibson Hazard died on June 24, 1888.