William Williams was born in Lebanon, Connecticut and the son of Solomon Williams, a popular Connecticut minister. He would go on to graduate Harvard College in 1754 and come back home to prepare for a life in the ministry. Although ministry was his passion he would join the militia and help fight the French in the French and Indian War. On September 8, 1755 Williams suffered a loss when his uncle, who was leading approximately 1,200 men, was killed when he was shot in the head during an ambush.
After the French and Indian War, William Williams would return home and become a successful entrepreneur. In 1771, he married the daughter of Governor Joseph Trumbull, Mary Trumbull. This marriage would place him with one of the most influential men in Connecticut Colony and create much opportunity for him.
Although he was extremely wealthy he threw himself behind the idea of American Independence. He was one of the 56 Declaration of Independence Signers and served on the council of safety throughout the American Revolutionary War. During the war he would quit his business and tirelessly work for the cause. He often opened his home for traveling soldiers and gave generously from his own means.
He was a delegate of the Connecticut State Convention of 1788 and would help ratify the Constitution. He served as a town clerk for 45 years in Lebanon, Connecticut, was a representative of the assembly for more than 50 years, a delegate to the Second Continental Congress, delegate to the Connecticut State Convention and the father of three children. William Williams, like many during this time, lived a life of service to his country.
He would die in his hometown of Lebanon on August 2, 1811. He was 80 years old.