Rodman M. Price was born in Sussex County, New Jersey on May 5, 1816. His early education was attained in the common schools in New York and New Jersey. He later attended Princeton University, but did not graduate. He also studied law for a short time, but gave up his studies when he secured an appointment in 1840 to serve as a purser in the U.S. Navy. During the Mexican War, he served as an officer on the fleet that took Monterey, California. He also served as prefect and alcalde of Monterey in 1846; and was the naval agent from 1848 to 1850. Price first entered politics in California, serving as a delegate to the first constitutional convention. After moving back to New Jersey, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, a position he held from 1851 to 1853. He next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in 1853. During his tenure, a geological survey was authorized; a railroad monopoly question was resolved; the state militia was restructured; and the state’s school system was vastly improved. After completing his term, he served as a delegate to the 1861 peace convention that was held in Washington, D.C. Governor Rodman M. Price passed away on June 7, 1894, and was buried in the Reformed Cemetery in Mahwah, New Jersey.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
New Jersey State Library (pdf)