Born in Providence, Rhode Island, HENRY LIPPITT became co-owner with his father and brother of the Tiffany Mill—a cotton mill in Connecticut that later became the Quinnebaug Manufacturing Company. Lippitt was associated with a number of other mills as well, and became part owner of the Manville Company in Lincoln, Rhode Island. He organized and became President of the Silver Spring Bleaching and Dyeing Company. He also was an officer in a number of other banking, manufacturing, and land-related interests. He served as Lieutenant Colonel of the Providence Marine Corps of Artillery and was in command of a company that combated the forces of Robert Dorr, who sought to extend suffrage beyond the propertied class. During the Civil War, Lippitt was Commissioner of Providence County, enrolling and drafting soldiers as called for by Abraham Lincoln. In the gubernatorial elections of both 1875 and 1876, no single candidate captured a majority of the vote, as a result of which the state legislature made the final decision, choosing Lippitt governor. As governor, he was interested in Rhode Island's representation at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. He also favored Rhode Island constitutional amendments to repeal the registry tax and permit naturalized veterans to vote.
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.