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Samuel Ward King

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Title: Samuel Ward King  
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Subject: Thomas Wilson Dorr, Dorr Rebellion, Governors of Rhode Island, List of Governors of Rhode Island, Political party strength in Rhode Island
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Samuel Ward King

Samuel Ward King
15th Governor of Rhode Island
In office
May 2, 1839 – May 1, 1843
Lieutenant Governor Byron Diman
Preceded by William Sprague III
Succeeded by James Fenner
Personal details
Born (1786-05-23)May 23, 1786
Johnston, Rhode Island
Died January 20, 1851(1851-01-20) (aged 64)
Resting place King family plot, Johnston, RI
Spouse(s) Catherine Latham Angell
Profession Physician

Samuel Ward King (May 23, 1786 – January 20, 1851) was the 15th Governor of Rhode Island from 1839 to 1843.

King was born in Johnston, Providence County, Rhode Island to William Borden King and Welthian Walton.

He attended Brown University but did not graduate.[1] He became a medical doctor and worked as a surgeon during the War of 1812.

In 1820 King was elected town clerk of Johnston. He was a presidential elector for Rhode Island in the election of 1832. In 1838 he was elected to the Rhode Island Senate. He first became governor in 1839 when the legislature failed to grant a majority of votes to the three leading contenders. He was elected to three other terms.

During his administration as governor of Rhode Island he took a strong stand against the expanded voting franchise that led to the Dorr Rebellion in 1841 - 1842. President John Tyler refused to send in Federal troops at Governor King's request to suppress the uprising.

King married Catherine Latham Angell, with whom he had fourteen children.

He is buried in the King family plot in Johnston near the intersection of US Route 6A and Killingly Street.


  1. ^ "Rhode Island Governor Samuel King". National Governors Association. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 

External links

  • Political Graveyard biographical information.
  • National Governors Association Biography
  • Samuel Ward King at Find a Grave
Political offices
Preceded by
William Sprague III
Governor of Rhode Island
Succeeded by
James Fenner

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