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Alexander Hamilton Rice

Gov. Alexander Hamilton Rice

  • January 6, 1876 - January 2, 1879
  • Republican
  • August 30, 1818
  • July 22, 1895
  • Massachusetts
  • Union College
  • Married twice--August E. McKim, Angie Erickson Powell; four children
  • Representative


ALEXANDER H. RICE, the thirty-second governor of Massachusetts, was born in Newton Lower Falls, Massachusetts on August 30, 1818. His early education was attained in the Newton public schools, and later at Union College, where he graduated in 1840. After establishing a successful paper manufacturing business in Boston, Rice entered into politics. He played a part in founding the Republican Party in Massachusetts, was the mayor of Boston from 1856 to 1857, and served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1859 to 1867. Rice won the 1875 Republican gubernatorial nomination, and then went on to win election to the Massachusetts governorship on November 2, 1875. He was reelected to a second term in 1876, and to a third term in 1877. During his tenure, two new mental hospitals were opened; the local-option liquor bill was vetoed; social welfare programs were endorsed; and discrepancies were corrected in the state almshouse. After declining to run for reelection, Rice left office on January 2, 1879, and retired from political life. He stayed active, returning to his duties in his paper business, as well as serving on several financial and educational boards. Governor Alexander H. Rice passed away on July 22, 1895, and was buried in the Newton Cemetery in Newton, Massachusetts.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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