Henry Mower Rice

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Henry M. Rice
Henry Mower Rice by Mathew Brady circa 1863.jpg
1st United States Senator
from Minnesota
In office
May 11, 1858 – March 4, 1863
Preceded by None
Succeeded by Alexander Ramsey
Personal details
Born (1816-11-29)November 29, 1816
Waitsfield, Vermont
Died January 15, 1894(1894-01-15) (aged 77)
San Antonio, Texas
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Matilda Whital (March 28, 1849)
Children Henry Rice, Lizzie Rice, Matilda Rice, Margaret Rice, Mary Welch Rice, Robert Toombs Rice, Rachel Rice, Henry Rice, Frederick Durkee Rice

Henry Mower Rice (November 29, 1816 – January 15, 1894) was a fur trader and an American politician prominent in the statehood of Minnesota.

Early life[edit]

Henry Rice was born on November 29, 1816, in Waitsfield, Vermont to Edmund Rice and Ellen Durkee Rice. Both Edmund and Ellen were of entirely English ancestry which had been in New England since the early 1600s. Four pioneer families of Minnesota and their Puritan and Quaker heritage: the Hollinshead, Baker, Rice, and Kneeland families--their stories, ancestries, and descendants. Henry H. Morgan, Henry Morgan Hollinshead, Ellen Rice Hollinshead.

Political career[edit]

Rice lobbied for the bill to establish Minnesota Territory and then served as its delegate to the 33rd and 34th Congresses from March 4, 1853 to March 4, 1857. His work on the Minnesota Enabling Act, passed by Congress on Feb. 26, 1857, facilitated Minnesota's statehood.

In 1858 Rice was elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate. He served from Minnesota's admittance on May 11, 1858 to March 4, 1863 in the 35th, 36th, and 37th Congresses and was not a candidate for re-election; he was an unsuccessful candidate for governor in 1865.

Rice also served as a member of the board of regents of the University of Minnesota from 1851 to 1859, and was president of the Minnesota Historical Society. As a United States Commissioner during 1887 – 1888, he continued to negotiate treaties with the Indians. He died on January 15, 1894, while on a visit to San Antonio, Texas.


Statue of Henry Mower Rice in the National Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

In 1916, the state of Minnesota donated a marble statue of Rice to the National Statuary Hall Collection at the United States Capitol. Rice County, Minnesota is named for him. His brother Edmund Rice served in the U.S. House of Representatives.


Henry Mower Rice was a direct descendant of Edmund Rice, an early immigrant to Massachusetts Bay Colony, as follows:[1][2]

  • Henry Mower Rice, son of
  • Edmund Rice (March 26, 1784 – May 27, 1829), son of
  • Jedediah Rice (b. April 2, 1755), son of
  • Ashur Rice (July 6, 1694 – August 20, 1773), son of
  • Thomas Rice (June 30, 1654 – 1747), son of
  • Thomas Rice (January 26, 1626 – 1682), son of


  1. ^ "Who was Edmund Rice?". The Edmund Rice (1638) Association, Inc. Retrieved 2007-05-14. 
  2. ^ Edmund Rice (1638) Association, 2007. Descendants of Edmund Rice: The First Nine Generations.

External links[edit]

United States Senate
Preceded by
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Minnesota
Served alongside: James Shields, Morton S. Wilkinson
Succeeded by
Alexander Ramsey