BYRON DIMAN was born in Bristol, Rhode Island. Starting at the age of sixteen, he worked for more than two decades in a counting-house, after which he engaged in the whaling and mill businesses. He also served in the Rhode Island Militia, rising to the rank of Brigadier General. He was a member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives for several terms and served on the Governor’s Council during the Dorr Rebellion [which, named for its leader—Robert Dorr—sought to extend suffrage beyond the propertied class]. He then served as Lieutenant Governor for three years before winning election as governor as a Law and Order party candidate. Although neither he nor incumbent Governor Charles Jackson won the majority of votes, he was selected the winner by the General Assembly. Declining to run for a second term, Diman went on to serve in the state Senate for three years and was active in organizing the Republican Party in Bristol.
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.