First president of Brown University.
Licensed as a Baptist preacher (1763). Opened a Latin school in Warren, Rhode Island (1764). President of the Baptist College of Rhode Island, later Brown University (1765-91), and pastor of the First Baptist Church of Providence (1770-91). Active in public affairs; advocated religious liberty, the adoption of the U.S. Constitution, and the establishment of free public schools.
Son of James and Grace (Fitz-Randolph) Manning of Piscataway, New Jersey. Educated at the College of New Jersey (Princeton) (B.A. 1762). Married Margaret Stites (1763); no children.