Charles W. Lippitt

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Charles W. Lippitt.

Charles Warren Lippitt (October 8, 1846 – April 4, 1924) was an American politician and the 44th Governor of Rhode Island.

Early life and family[edit]

Lippitt was born in Providence, Rhode Island on October 8, 1846. He graduated from Brown University. Later, he was involved in his father’s cotton and woolen manufacturing firm.

His father, Henry Lippitt, was governor of Rhode Island from 1875 to 1877 and his brother Henry F. Lippitt was a United States Senator from Rhode Island. He married Margaret B. Farnum on February 23, 1886.[1]

His son, Charles Warren Lippitt, Jr., attended Harvard College and served as a sergeant in the 103rd Field Artillery Regiment during the First World War.

Another son, Alexander Farnum Lippitt (b. 1896), attended Harvard from 1916 to 1917. He enlisted in the Army in August 1917 and served as a 1st Lieutenant in the 166th Infantry Regiment of the 42nd Division. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for leading his men in a counterattack against the Germans. He was wounded in action, sent back to the United States and died in Cape May, New Jersey on October 6, 1918.

Political career[edit]

Lippitt served as Governor of Rhode Island from May 29, 1895 to May 25, 1897.

He was an unsuccessful candidate for Republican nomination for Vice President in 1896.[2]

Personal life[edit]

In 1899 Lippitt built an immense castle style brick mansion, near Bailey's Beach in Newport, Rhode Island, named Lippitt's Castle. It was replaced in 1926 by a mansion named The Waves, which was designed by renowned architect John Russell Pope for his (Pope's) summer residence. Bricks from Lippitt's Castle can still be found in the waters near where the mansion once stood.

Lippitt joined the Rhode Island Society of the Sons of the American Revolution in 1896 and, in 1897, he was admitted as an hereditary member of the Rhode Island Society of the Cincinnati. His sons, Charles Warren Lippitt, Jr. and Gorton Thayer Lippitt, also joined the Sons of the American Revolution. Charles, Jr. became a member of the Society of the Cincinnati after his father's death and Gorton became a member after Charles' death in 1970. Upon the death of Gorton, in 1978, the family's "seat" in the Society was "inherited" by their cousin Frederick Lippitt.

Governor Charles Warren Lippitt died on April 4, 1924. He was interred in the Swan Point Cemetery in Providence.


Lippitt Hall on the central quad of the University of Rhode Island in Kingston is named after Governor Charles W. Lippitt.[3]


  • Sobel, Robert and John Raimo. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978. Greenwood Press, 1988. ISBN 0-313-28093-2


  1. ^ The Political Graveyard, Lippitt family of Rhode Island.
  2. ^ The Political Graveyard, as above.
  3. ^ "URI History & Timeline". University of Rhode Island. Retrieved 14 July 2009. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Daniel Russell Brown
Governor of Rhode Island
Succeeded by
Elisha Dyer, Jr.