LEMUEL HASTINGS ARNOLD was born in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. After graduating from Dartmouth College, he studied law and was admitted to the Bar in 1814. He practiced law for seven years and then entered a manufacturing business. He also served in the Rhode Island House of Representatives for five years before being elected governor. Arnold had the unpleasant but critical task of leading the state through a major epidemic of cholera. He also suppressed a riot in Providence, setting a precedent for state authority in controlling unrest. After serving two gubernatorial terms, Arnold was defeated for reelection and moved to South Kingston, Rhode Island. He served on the Executive Council during the 1842 Dorr Rebellion [named for its leader, Thomas Dorr, who sought to extend suffrage beyond the propertied class]. In 1844 he won election to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Liberation Whig. Leaving Congress two years later, he returned to the practice of law.
Mohr, Ralph S. Governors for Three Hundred Years (1638-1954): Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. State of Rhode Island, Graves Registration Committee, August 1954.
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 9. New York: James T. White & Company.
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.