Augustus O. Bourn

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Augustus Osborn Bourn
RI Governor Augustus O Bourn.jpg
36th Governor of Rhode Island
In office
May 29, 1883 – May 26, 1885
Lieutenant Governor Oscar Rathbun
Preceded by Alfred H. Littlefield
Succeeded by George P. Wetmore
Personal details
Born (1834-10-01)October 1, 1834
Providence, Rhode Island
Died January 28, 1925(1925-01-28) (aged 90)
Resting place Swan Point Cemetery
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Elizabeth R. Morrill
Alma mater Brown University
Profession Businessman
Augustus O. Bourn

Augustus Osborn Bourn (October 1, 1834 – January 28, 1925) was an American politician and the 36th Governor of Rhode Island.

Early life[edit]

Bourn was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on October 1, 1834. He was the son of George O. Bourn and Huldah B. (Eddy) Bourn and married Elizabeth R. Morrill February 24, 1863.[1] He and his wife had five children.[2] He graduated from Brown University and later established a successful career in rubber business, where he started in his father's company. He continued the business after his father's death and incorporated it as the Providence Rubber Company. He also founded the National Rubber Company, which later merged with the former company. He was also a Lieutenant Colonel in the Rhode Island Cavalry during the Civil War.[3]

Political career[edit]

Bourn was a Republican and was member of the Rhode Island State Senate in 1876-83 and again in 1886-88.[4] He held the governor's office from May 29, 1883 to May 26, 1885. During his administration, a constitutional amendment was proposed to extend suffrage to naturalized citizens. He was the author of this amendment.[5] Later this constitutional amendment became well known as the Bourn Amendment.

Bourn was an active member of the Freemasons.[6]

Later years[edit]

Bourn was United States Consul General in Rome from 1889 until 1893 under the administration of President Benjamin Harrison.[7]

In 1873, Bourn built an opulent Gothic revival mansion in Bristol named Seven Oaks. The mansion was designed by James Renwick and is located at 136 Hope Street near the Herreshoff boat yard.

In 1897 he was elected as a compatriot of the Rhode Island Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.

Governor Bourn died on January 28, 1925 and was buried at Swan Point Cemetery in Providence.[8]



  1. ^ The Political Graveyard, Index to Politicians: Boude to Bowe, Bourn.
  2. ^ National Governors Association, Rhode Island Governor Augustus Osborn Bourn.
  3. ^ National Governors Association, as above.
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard, as above.
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard, as above.
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Freemasons, politicians, Rhode Island
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard, Index to Politicians: Boude to Bowe, Bourn.
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard, as above.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Alfred H. Littlefield
Governor of Rhode Island
Succeeded by
George P. Wetmore