There is conflicting information about the year that Benjamin Allen Cotton was born. In a brief autobiographical sketch, published in 1864, he stated he was born in 1829. His parents - Benjamin R. Cotton & Eliza V. (Payne) Cotton - were married in 1827.
Although it may not be possible to know the year he was born, throughout his life Cotton consistently identified Central Falls, now a tiny enclave within Pawtucket, R.I., as his birthplace. At the time that he was born the boundaries of Central Falls encompassed a greater expanse of Blackstone River Valley. He celebrated his birthday on July 27th.