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Henry B. Anthony

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Title: Henry B. Anthony  
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Subject: Philip Allen (politician), President pro tempore of the United States Senate, 41st United States Congress, 42nd United States Congress, Benjamin Wade
Collection: 1815 Births, 1884 Deaths, American Quakers, Brown University Alumni, Burials at Swan Point Cemetery, Burials in Rhode Island, Editors of Rhode Island Newspapers, Governors of Rhode Island, People from Coventry, Rhode Island, People from Kent County, Rhode Island, People of Rhode Island in the American Civil War, Republican Party United States Senators, Rhode Island Republicans, Rhode Island Whigs, United States Senators from Rhode Island, Whig Party State Governors of the United States
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Henry B. Anthony

Henry Bowen Anthony
48th President pro tempore of the United States Senate
In office
January 25, 1875 – February 17, 1875
Preceded by Matthew H. Carpenter
Succeeded by Thomas W. Ferry
In office
March 23, 1869 – January 24, 1873
Preceded by Benjamin F. Wade
Succeeded by Matthew H. Carpenter
United States Senator
from Rhode Island
In office
March 4, 1859 – September 2, 1884
Preceded by Philip Allen
Succeeded by William P. Sheffield
21st Governor of Rhode Island
In office
May 1, 1849 – May 6, 1851
Lieutenant Thomas Whipple
Preceded by Elisha Harris
Succeeded by Philip Allen
Personal details
Born (1815-04-01)April 1, 1815
Coventry, Rhode Island, US
Died September 2, 1884(1884-09-02) (aged 69)
Providence, Rhode Island, US
Resting place Swan Point Cemetery
Political party Whig
Know Nothing
Spouse(s) Sarah Aborn Rhodes (1837-1854, her death)
Alma mater Brown University
Profession Politician, Editor
Religion Quaker

Henry Bowen Anthony (April 1, 1815 – September 2, 1884) was a United States newspaperman and political figure. He served as editor and was later part owner of the Providence Journal. He was the 21st Governor of Rhode Island, serving between 1849 and 1851 as a member of the Whig Party. Near the end of the 1850s, he was elected to the Senate by the Rhode Island Legislature and was re-elected 4 times. He would be twice elected to the Senate's highest post as President pro tempore during the Grant Administration, and served under his death in 1884.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • United States Senator 3
  • Death and legacy 4
  • Family 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

The son of William Anthony and Mary Kennicut Greene,[1] Anthony was born in Rhode Island.[2] He attended

Political offices
Preceded by
Elisha Harris
Governor of Rhode Island
Succeeded by
Philip Allen
Preceded by
Benjamin F. Wade
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
March 23, 1869 – January 24, 1873
Succeeded by
Matthew H. Carpenter
Preceded by
Matthew H. Carpenter
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
January 1875 – February 17, 1875
Succeeded by
Thomas W. Ferry
United States Senate
Preceded by
Philip Allen
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Rhode Island
March 4, 1859 – September 2, 1884
Served alongside: James F. Simmons, Samuel G. Arnold, William Sprague, Ambrose E. Burnside and Nelson W. Aldrich
Succeeded by
William P. Sheffield
  •  "Anthony, Henry B.".  
  • Henry B. Anthony at Find a Grave

External links

  1. ^ a b c d e f g William M. Ferraro (1999). "Anthony, Henry Bowen".  
  2. ^ a b "Henry B. Anthony: A Featured Biography". 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g  Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1900). "Anthony, Henry Bowen".  
  4. ^ Henry B. Anthony at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  5. ^  "Anthony, Henry Bowen".  See J. C. Stockbridge, Anthony Memorial (1886) for an annotated catalog of the collection, with a biographical sketch of Anthony.


In 1837 Anthony married Sarah Aborn Rhodes, daughter of Christopher Rhodes of Pawtuxet. She died in 1854.[3] They had no children, and he never remarried.[1]


His name is engraved on a Civil War vintage artillery piece belonging to the Squantum Club in East Providence, Rhode Island. The artillery piece is reputed to have been the only gun from Battery A, 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery which did not fall into Confederate hands at the Battle of Bull Run. There is another nearly identical piece, known as the "Bull Run Gun", enshrined at the Rhode Island State House for which is claimed the same distinction.

Anthony bequeathed a portion of his library, known as the “Harris Collection of American Poetry,” to Brown University. It consisted of about 6,000 volumes, mostly small books, many exceedingly rare. It was begun in the first half of the 19th century by Albert G. Greene, continued by Caleb Fiske Harris, and, after his death, completed by his kinsman Senator Anthony.[3][5]

Anthony's funeral, which took place from the First Congregational Church in Providence on 6 September, 1884 was the largest funeral ever known in Rhode Island.

Death and legacy

He served as the President pro tempore of the United States Senate from 1869 to 1873 and again briefly in 1875. He gave up that post when he was elected conference chairman in 1875. As chair, Anthony acted much like the later majority leaders, giving committee assignments to members of his party, calling up bills for debate, and often speaking for his party on the issues of the day. He was also the author of the "Anthony Rule," an early attempt to limit debate in the Senate in the days before cloture. He was known as the "Father of the Senate".[2]

He was twice the chairman of the committee on printing, his practical knowledge of that subject enabling him to introduce many reforms in government printing.[3] The Government Printing Office was formed during his tenure.[1] He was at different times a member of the committees on claims, on naval affairs, on mines and mining, and on post offices and post roads. In the trial of Andrew Johnson, he voted for impeachment. He continued to contribute to the Providence Journal during his service in the Senate.[3]

Anthony served as a Republican Senator from Rhode Island from March 4, 1859, until his death on September 2, 1884.[4] Initially conciliatory toward the secessionists, he was a strong supporter of Abraham Lincoln's efforts to restore the Union during the American Civil War.[1] After the war, in recognition of his support for the Union, he was elected a third class (i.e. honorary) companion of the District of Columbia Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.

Henry B. Anthony

United States Senator

In 1855, he traveled in Europe, sending letters with unfavorable observations back to the Journal. On returning, he joined the Know Nothing movement and used the Journal to back its American Party. In Rhode Island, the American Party merged into the Republican Party, and Anthony was elected to the United States Senate as an “American-Republican.”[1]

As editor of the Journal, Anthony was a conservative, supporting law and order, property requirements for voting, and restrictions on the political power of immigrants.[1] In 1849, and again in 1850, he was elected governor of Rhode Island. As a Whig at the first election he had a majority of 1,556; at the second, fewer than 1,000 votes were cast against him. After declining a third election, he gave himself once more entirely to his editorial work.[3]

He become editor of the Providence Journal in 1838. In 1840, he was admitted into the partnership, the paper then being published by Knowles, Vose & Anthony until the death of Vose in 1848, when it was continued by Knowles & Anthony until 1863, when it became Knowles, Anthony & Danielson. Anthony also wrote poetry.[3]



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