Thomas G. Turner

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Thomas Goodwin Turner
Official portrait in the Rhode Island State House by James Sullivan Lincoln
Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island
In office
May 26, 1857 – May 31, 1859
Preceded by Nicholas Brown III
Succeeded by Isaac Saunders
26th Governor of Rhode Island
In office
May 31, 1859 – May 29, 1860
Lieutenant Isaac Saunders
Preceded by Elisha Dyer
Succeeded by William Sprague
Personal details
Born (1810-10-24)October 24, 1810
Warren, Rhode Island
Died January 3, 1875(1875-01-03) (aged 64)
Warren, Rhode Island
Resting place South Burial Ground, Warren
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Mary Pierce Luther
Profession Politician, Businessman

Thomas Goodwin Turner (October 24, 1810 – January 3, 1875) was an American politician and businessman who was the 26th Governor of Rhode Island from 1859 to 1860.

Early life[edit]

Turner was born in Warren in Bristol County, Rhode Island.[1] He started work as a clerk in a dry goods store at the age of 14, in Newport, Rhode Island. He was self-educated, and returned to Warren to co-found a dry goods and tailoring business there.[2]

He was married to Mary Pierce Luther. They had seven children, four of whom died in very early life.[2]

During the years 1857-58, Turner became an active member of the Baptist Church in Warren.[2] He was a trustee of Brown University and a member of the Rhode Island Historical Society.[2]



Turner served in the state militia during the Dorr Rebellion, and commanded the pro-Governor King forces at Acote's Hill.[2] After the rebellion, Turner was elected to the State Assembly from Warren.[2] He served as lieutenant governor from 1857 to 1859.[2]

Turner succeeded his fellow Republican Elisha Dyer as Governor of Rhode Island, serving from May 31, 1859 to May 29, 1860.[3][4]

He was a supporter of Abraham Lincoln, and failed to win renomination by the Republican Party in 1860. After leaving office, he was appointed by President Lincoln to the position of First Collector of Internal Revenue for the First District of Rhode Island.[2][5]

Later years[edit]

Turner was President of the Equitable Insurance Company, of Providence, Rhode Island, in his later years. He died in his home in Warren, Rhode Island.[6] He was buried at South Burial Ground, Warren, Bristol County, Rhode Island.[7]


  1. ^ The Political Graveyard, Index to Politicians: Turner, S to T.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Representative Men and Old Families of Rhode Island. J.H. Beers & Company. 1908. p. 1497. Retrieved 22 April 2015. 
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard, as above.
  4. ^ However, the period ended May 1, 1860 according to the National Governors Association, as above.
  5. ^ National Governors Association, as above.
  6. ^ Obituary.; Anthony Hoguet. Hon. Thomas G. Turner. Mrs. Vining. New York Times January 4, 1875.
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard, as above.
Political offices
Preceded by
Nicholas Brown III
Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island
Succeeded by
Isaac Saunders
Preceded by
Elisha Dyer
Governor of Rhode Island
Succeeded by
William Sprague