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Seth Padelford
Rhode Island

Gov. Seth Padelford

  • May 25, 1869 - May 27, 1873
  • Republican
  • October 3, 1807
  • August 26, 1878
  • Massachusetts
  • Married twice--Louisa Rhodes, two children; Mary Barton Pierce


SETH PADELFORD was born in Taunton, Massachusetts. After receiving a public education, he entered the grocery business, where he remained for forty years. He was a representative on the Providence City Council for six years, a member of the Providence School Committee for more than a decade, and a member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives from Providence for two years. Defeated in the gubernatorial election of 1860 due in large part to his anti-slavery convictions, he won two consecutive elections for Lieutenant Governor in 1863 and 1864. He went on to win the gubernatorial election of 1869 and was reelected for three additional terms before declining to run again. During Padelford’s gubernatorial administration, a strict system of school supervision was established and appropriations for public education were quadrupled. After leaving office, Padelford served on the Sinking Fund Board for four years. He also was a member of various civic, community, and religious organizations.


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.

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