About Charles C. Van Zandt, Governor
Charles Collins Van Zandt (August 10, 1830 – June 4, 1894) was the 34th Governor of Rhode Island.
He was born in Newport, Rhode Island. He graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, then studied law and was admitted to the Bar in 1853. In 1863 he married Arazelia, daughter of the judge and poet Albert Gorton Greene.
In 1855, Van Zandt was elected City Solicitor of Newport and was chosen clerk of the state House of Representatives. In 1857, he was himself elected to the House. The following year, he became Speaker of the House. He was a State Senator from 1869 to 1870. He was a delegate to Republican National Convention from Rhode Island in 1868, Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island from 1873 to 1875, and Governor of Rhode Island from 1877 to 1880.
One of his foremost concerns as a governor was to expand the state's educational system, especially for the literacy needs of the state's large, urban immigrant population.
He died in 1894 and was interment at Island Cemetery, Newport, Rhode Island.