Samuel Ward King

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Samuel Ward King
15th Governor of Rhode Island
In office
May 2, 1839 – May 1, 1843
LieutenantByron Diman
Preceded byWilliam Sprague III
Succeeded byJames Fenner
Personal details
Born(1786-05-23)May 23, 1786
Johnston, Rhode Island, U.S.
DiedJanuary 20, 1851(1851-01-20) (aged 64)
Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.
Resting placeKing family plot, Johnston, Rhode Island, U.S.
Political partyWhig
Other political
Law and Order
Spouse(s)Catherine Latham Angell

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 became a Whig when the party was founded, and was a presidential elector in 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 March 25, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
William Sprague III
Whig nominee for Governor of Rhode Island
1840, 1841, 1842
Title next held by
Elisha Harris
Political offices
Preceded by
William Sprague III
Governor of Rhode Island
Succeeded by
James Fenner