Emery J. San Souci

Gov. Emery J. San Souci

Rhode Island

January 4, 1921 - January 2, 1923

July 24, 1857

August 10, 1936



Birth State

Married Minnie A.J. Duffy; two children


EMERY J. SAN SOUCI was born in Saco, Maine. His formal education was limited, and he began working as a machinist’s apprentice at an early age. He went on to work in the shoe business before joining his brothers in a Providence, Rhode Island department store selling men’s shoes and clothing. He served as Secretary-Treasurer of the store from 1909 to 1919, and became a director of Union Trust Company and a trustee of Old Colony Cooperative Bank in Providence. He served as a Providence City Councilman from 1901 to 1907, aide-de-camp to Governor Aram Pothier from 1909 to 1915, and Lieutenant Governor from 1915 until 1920, when he was elected governor in the largest recorded vote to date, reflecting the fact that it was the first time women voted in a gubernatorial election. A number of social programs were reformed during San Souci’s single term as governor, among them vocational rehabilitation for the disabled, aid to disabled veterans, and increased workers compensation benefits. In 1922 San Souci called the state militia out to quell a textile workers’ strike, an action that ultimately cost him the Republican nomination for reelection in the gubernatorial race of 1922. He went on to secure an appointment from President Warren Harding as Collector of the Port of Providence, winning reappointment under the presidential administrations of Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.


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. 30. 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.