A native of Newport, Rhode Island, WILLIAM COLE COZZENS ran a successful dry goods business for many years. He also was President of the Rhode Island Union Bank. He served as Mayor of Newport and represented the city in both houses of the Rhode Island General Assembly. When William Sprague resigned the governorship to become a U.S. Senator, Cozzens as President of the Rhode Island Senate became acting governor. He ran for reelection in his own right but was defeated.
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.