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Elisha Dyer

Elisha Dyer (July 20, 1811 - May 17, 1890) was an American politician and the 25th Governor of Rhode Island.

Early life

Dyer was born in Providence, Rhode Island on July 20, 1811. He graduated from Brown University. After completing his studies, he worked in his father’s mercantile business.

Political career

He was a Republican. In 1840, Dyer was elected Adjutant General of Rhode Island. He held that position for five years. He then served on the Providence School Committee for over a decade.

He was the governor of Rhode Island from May 26, 1857 to May 31, 1859.

During the Civil War, Dyer was the captain of Company B of the 10th Rhode Island Volunteer Infantry. He served on active duty from May 23rd to September 1st, 1862 in the defenses of Washington, D.C.

After the war, he joined the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States and was issued insignia number 3163.

He was appointed Rhode Island’s commissioner to the International Exhibition at London in 1871. He also was President and Director of the Exchange Bank, Second Vice President of the Rhode Island Art Association, and a member of the United States Agricultural Society and the [1]

He died on May 17, 1890.

Dyer's son, Elisha Dyer, Jr., was Governor of Rhode Island from 1897-1900.

Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War is named in his and his son's honor.


  • Sobel, Robert and John Raimo. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978. Greenwood Press, 1988. ISBN 0-313-28093-2
Political offices
Preceded by
William W. Hoppin
Governor of Rhode Island
Succeeded by
Thomas G. Turner

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