ROYAL CHAPIN TAFT was born in Northbridge, Massachusetts. He was involved for a number of years in the manufacture of cotton and woolen goods in Connecticut and Rhode Island. He served on the Providence City Council in 1855 and 1856 and in the Rhode Island Legislature from 1880 to 1884. During his gubernatorial administration, legislation was enacting to reform voting and registration, to establish a soldiers’ home, and to add several new naval battalions to the Rhode Island Militia. Taft declined renomination for a second term because of business pressures. He was later President of the Merchants’ National Bank of Providence, Vice President of the Providence Institution for Savings, President of the Rhode Island Hospital, President of the Boston and Providence Railroad, and Director of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad.
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.