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Governor Robert Livingston Beeckman

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Office Dates:  Jan 05, 1915 - Jan 04, 1921

Born:  Apr 15, 1866

Passed:  Jan 21, 1935

Birth State:  New York

Party:  Republican

Family:  Married twice--Eleanor Thomas (died 1920), Edna Marston Burke

ROBERT LIVINGSTON BEECKMAN was born in New York City but moved to Providence, Rhode Island with his family at the age of five. He left school when he was sixteen and worked as a messenger in Newport, rising rapidly in the business world to purchase a seat on the New York Stock Exchange at the age of twenty-one. He joined the family firm of Lapsley Beeckman & Co. of New York City, remaining there until 1906. He was also Director of Industrial Trust Company of Newport and the International Silver Company. He was a Rhode Island state Representative from 1902 to 1912 and a state Senator from 1912 until 1914, when he was elected governor, winning reelection twice. While governor, he proposed reform of a number of state institutions—state prisons and hospitals among them. He also established a state Parole Board. As governor during World War I, he helped to mobilize state resources and visited Rhode Island troops on the battlefield in France. Beeckman ran for a U.S. Senate seat in 1922 but was defeated.


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. B. 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.