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Seth Padelford

Seth Padelford
31st Governor of Rhode Island
In office
May 25, 1869 – May 27, 1873
Preceded by Ambrose Burnside
Succeeded by Henry Howard
Personal details
Born (1807-10-03)October 3, 1807
Taunton, Massachusetts
Died August 26, 1878(1878-08-26) (aged 70)
Providence, Rhode Island
Political party Republican
Profession Politician
Religion Unitarian

Seth Padelford (October 3, 1807 – August 26, 1878) was the 31st Governor of Rhode Island from 1869 to 1873.

Padelford was born in Taunton, Massachusetts. He worked as a grocer, as well as serving on the Providence, Rhode Island City Council, the Providence School Committee and in the Rhode Island House of Representatives.

Padelford was a Unitarian and an ardent abolitionist with ties to the New England Emigrant Aid Company, which armed and organized settlers who took part in the "Bleeding Kansas" conflict. In 1860, he was nominated as the Republican Party candidate for Governor of Rhode Island. Anti-war Republicans and textile interests joined Democrats to back the young William Sprague IV, the nephew of former Rhode Island Governor and Senator William Sprague III. Sprague, running as a "Conservative" against Padelford's "Radical" candidacy, won the election by a margin of 12,278 to 10,740 votes, with twice the customary turnout at the polls.[1]

After the American Civil War began in 1861, Padelford won two consecutive elections for Lieutenant Governor, serving from 1863 to 1865. He was elected Governor in 1869, serving four terms before stepping down.

Padelford died in 1878 in Providence, and is buried in Swan Point Cemetery.


  • Biography at the National Governor's Association
Political offices
Preceded by
Ambrose Burnside
Governor of Rhode Island
Succeeded by
Henry Howard

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