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About Thomas Goodwin Turner
Thomas Goodwin Turner (October 24, 1810 – January 3, 1875) was an American politician and businessman who was the 26th Governor of Rhode Island 1859-1860.
Turner was born in Warren, Bristol County, Rhode Island. He was married to Mary Pierce Luther, had seven children, and was a Baptist.
Turner was the Republican Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island from 1857 and succeeded his fellow Republican Elisha Dyer as Governor of Rhode Island from May 31, 1859. He held the office until May 29, 1860.
He was a supporter of Abraham Lincoln, and failed to win renomination by the Republican Party in 1860. After leaving office, he was appointed by President Lincoln to the position of First Collector of Internal Revenue for the First District of Rhode Island.
Turner was President of the Equitable Insurance Company, of Providence, Rhode Island, in his later years. He died in his home in Warren, Rhode Island. He was buried at South Burial Ground, Warren, Bristol County, Rhode Island.
Thomas Goodwin Turner, son of Captain William and Abiah (Goodwin) Turner. He was born in Warren, Rhode Island, October 24, 1810. His father commanded the packet "Hannah and Nancy," plying between Warren and Newport, and was assisted by his sons, William, Jr., and Thomas G., while they were yet lads. Thomas G. left the vessel at the age of fourteen and became a clerk in the dry goods store of Mr. Cahoon, in Newport. He adopted the best of business habits, and by application to books acquired a good education. Returning to Warren, he entered into partnership with Martin L. Salisbury, the firm-name being Turner & Salisbury, in the dry goods and merchant tailoring business, with which was soon afterward connected the manufacture of neck-stocks. Disposing of this business, he accepted the Presidency of the Equitable Fire and Marine Insurance Company, of Providence, which position he filled till his death. During the "Dorr war" he accepted a colonel's commission in the State militia, and was in command at Acote's Hill. He also belonged to the First Light Infantry Company of Providence. He was an active member of the Rhode Island Historical Society. He was a Director in the Warren Manufacturing Company; in the First National Bank, of Warren; in the Mechanics' Machine Company; in the City National Bank, and City Savings Bank of Providence; and in the Providence, Warren, and Bristol Railroad Company. For several years he ably represented Warren in the General Assembly of the State, both in the House and the Senate. He was Lieutenant-Governor of the State from 1857 to 1859. During the great religious revival in the winter of 1857-8 he became a prominent Christian, and ever afterwards was active in church and missionary work. His membership was in the Warren Baptist Church. He became a member of the Board of the American Baptist Missionary Union, and was a trustee of Brown University. In the years 1859 and 1860 he was elected Governor of the State. During the Rebellion he stood bravely by the imperiled nation. President Lincoln chose him as the first Collector of Internal Revenue for the First District of Rhode Island. His many honors were worn with great quietness and grace, and all his duties were performed with conscientious fidelity and thoroughness. He married, April 4, 1833, Mary Pierce Luther, daughter of Jonathan and Rosamond Luther, of Warren, a woman of marked abilities and excellences. He had seven children, four of whom died in very early life. His son, Daniel Luther, a merchant in Warren, married, October 15, 1858, Elizabeth S., daughter of Hon. Nathan M. Wheaton, and has one son. His daughter, Sarah Cole, married, January 22, 1858, Commander Trevett Abbot, U. S. N. and has two daughters. His son William, died at Holyoke, Massachusetts, May 27, 1876, aged twenty-six years. Governor Turner died at his residence in Warren, January 3, 1875, in his sixty-fourth year, and was buried with the highest marks of esteem and honor. Touching addresses were made by Rev. S. K. Dexter and Rev. E. G. Robinson, D.D., President of Brown University.