Henry Smith (Rhode Island)
Smith was born in Providence, Rhode Island. He was educated in Providence, and became a successful merchant. He served as an officer in the militia, and attained the rank of colonel in a Providence County unit known as the Providence Independent Light Dragoons.
As a result of his business success, in the early 1800s Smith constructed a mansion at Smith and Davis Streets on Smith Hill in Providence. Known as the Colonel Henry Smith House, it stood until the early 1920s, when it was razed to allow for construction of an annex for the Rhode Island State House.
Elected to the Rhode Island Senate in 1803, he was the leader of the senate or "first senator" when Governor Arthur Fenner died. Lieutenant Governor Paul Mumford had died before Fenner, so as first senator Smith succeeded to the governorship.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
|Governor of Rhode Island