THOMAS GOODWIN TURNER was born in Warren, Rhode Island. As a young man he worked with his father on a passenger and cargo boat that sailed between Warren and Newport. He then clerked in a dry goods store and later became a partner in a dry goods and merchant tailoring business, after which he went on to become President of the Equitable Fire and Marine Insurance Company. In 1857 he became Lieutenant Governor and won election as governor the following year. A supporter of Abraham Lincoln, he 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. Turner was a trustee of Brown University, and served on the board of the American Baptist Missionary Union and as a member of the Rhode Island Historical Society. He also was Director of Warren Manufacturing Company; First National Bank of Warren; Mechanics Machine Company; City National Bank and City Savings Bank of Providence; and Providence Warren and Bristol Railroad Company.
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.