Nehemiah R. Knight, 9th Gov. of Rhode Island

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Nehemiah Rice Knight

Birthdate: (73)
Birthplace: Cranston, Providence County, Rhode Island, United States
Death: April 18, 1854 (73)
Providence, Providence County, Rhode Island, United States
Place of Burial: Providence, Providence County, Rhode Island, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Hon. Nehemiah Knight, US Congress and Eleanor Rice Knight
Husband of Lydia Knight
Father of Susan Sukey Knight; Nehemiah R Knight and Nathan Knight
Brother of Sylvester Knight; Nancy Harris; Penelope Gorton; Abigail Manchester; Eleanor Rice Aldrich and 6 others

Occupation: Politician: 9th Governor of Rhode Island, US Senator, judicial clerk, President of the Roger Williams Bank, State Constitutional Convention Delegate in 1843
Managed by: Private User
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About Nehemiah R. Knight, 9th Gov. of Rhode Island

Nehemiah Rice Knight (December 31, 1780 – April 18, 1854) was a United States Senator from Rhode Island. Born in Cranston, he attended the common schools. In 1802 he was a member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives; he moved to Providence and was clerk of the Court of Common Pleas from 1805 to 1811 and clerk of the circuit court from 1812 to 1817. He was also collector of customs for the same period. He was the ninth Governor of Rhode Island from 1817 to 1821 and president of the Roger Williams Bank from 1817 to 1854.

Knight was elected in 1821 as a Democratic-Republican to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of James Burrill, Jr.; he was reelected in 1823 as a Crawford Republican, in 1829 as an Anti-Jacksonian, and again in 1835 as a Whig, and served from January 9, 1821, to March 4, 1841. While in the Senate he was chairman of the Committee to Audit and Control the Contingent Expenses (Twenty-second, Twenty-third and Twenty-sixth Congresses) and a member of the Committee on Manufactures (Twenty-fourth Congress). Knight retired from public life and was a delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1843. He died in Providence in 1854; interment was in Grace Church Cemetery.

Nehemiah Rice Knight's father, Nehemiah Knight, had been a U.S. Representative from Rhode Island.

From Knight Family tree:

Gov Nehemiah Rice Knight b 31Dec1780 in Cranston, Providence, RI, d 18Apr1854 in Providence, Providence, RI, bur Grace Church Cem, Providence, RI-Historical Cem #PV005. Nehemiah m Lydia Waterman 21Jul1799 in Providence, RI.

Biographical Directory of Am Congress, 1774-1949, p 1422

Served as State Sen from RI, Attended common schools; mbr State House of Rep 1802; moved to Providence, RI, & was Clerk of Court of Common Pleas 1805-1811; Clerk of Circuit Court 1812-1817; Collector of Customs for same period; Gov of RI 1817-1821; Pres of Roger Williams Bank 1817-1854; elected in 1821 as Republican to US Senate to fill vacancy caused by death of James Burrill Jr; reelected in 1823, 1829, & again in 1835, last time as Whig & served Jan 9 1821-Mar 3 1841; chr Committee to Audit & Control Contingent Expense (22nd, 23rd & 24th Congress); retired from public life; delegate to State Constituional Convention in 1843.

Herringshaw's Encyclopedia of Am Biography of 19th Century, p 562

Life & Times of Samuel Gorton, Founders & Founding of Republic, Philadelphia, 1907, p 265

Sprague Families of RI, Cotton Manufacturers & Calico Printers by Benjamin Knight Sr, Santa Cruz, H Coffin Book & Job Printer, 1881, p 8

Incidents in Life & Times of Stukeley Westcote w/some of his Descendants, J Russell Bullock, 1888, p X

Manual w/Rules & Order for use of Genl Assembly of State of RI, Providence, RI, EL Freeman & Sons, State Printers, 1901

1816 Election for Gov of RI, for William Jones, for Nehemiah Knight

1817 Election for Nehemiah R Knight, for William Jones

1818 Election for Nehemiah R Knight, for Elisha R Potter

1819 Nehemiah R Knight Elected w/out opposition

1820 Nehemiah Knight elected number of votes not recorded

1834 Election for John Brown Francis, for Nehemiah R Knight

1835 Election for John Brown Francis, for Nehemiah R Knight

Elections for US Senator

Jan 9 1821: Nehemiah R Knight elected unanimously for unexpired term of James Burrill Jr, deceased, (ending Mar 3 1823)

Jan 17 1823. Vote in Grand Committee, 1st Ballot

Nehemiah R Knight--39

Elisha R Potter--37

William C Gibbs--1

Samuel W Bridgeham--1

William Valentine--1

2nd Ballot

Nehemiah R Knight--40

Elisha R Potter--39

Nehemiah R Knight elected for 6 yrs commencing 4 Mar ensuing.

Oct 31 1828: Nehemiah R Knight elected unanimously for 6 yrs, commencing 4 Mar ensuing.

May 13 1835: Nehemiah R Knight elected for 6 yrs, commencing 4 Mar preceding. Vote was:

Nehemiah R Knight--41

Elisha R Potter--38

State of RI & Providence Plantations at End of Century: A History, Edited by Edward Field, AB, Mason Pub Co,

Boston & Syracuse, 1902

Nehemiah R Knight's long political career is well documented in this volume.

Canandaiqua NY Ontario Repository April 1817

RI Knight-Nehemiah Knight is elected Gov of RI by small majority over Gov Jones, Fedl candidate. There are 31 towns in state, 26 of which had been heard from. Election took place on 18th inst. Assembly will be Federal.

Knight, Nehemiah Rice, banker, state legislator, Gov, US Sen, b Dec 31 1780, in Cranston, RI, elected to RI state legislature; & for many yrs Pres of Roger Williams Bank. Elected Gov of RI in 1817, & re-elected in 1819 & 1820. Senator in congress 1821-1841. He d Apr 19 1854, in Providence, RI.

1833 Newport Mercury, Wm & J H Barber, 133 Thames St: Newport RI newspapers in excellent condition from bound vol, 4 pages 13" x 17" each issue.

Senate 2/20/1833-discussing amending revenue Act of 1832, reimposing duty on copper, ship's bottoms-Mr Smith fears ruin of US manufacturer's, as English stored lrg quantities in Baltimore; Mr Knight also favors protection; Poindexter from MS opposed bill & criticized Mr Webster's speeches during late war; Mr Grundy gave way to Mr Webster of MA-reply mentions Mr Calhoun of SC; contemptuous rebuttal by Poindexter resulted in him being called to order; Mr Grundy & Mr Ewing spoke at length in favor of bill; Mr Calhoun wanted to postpone bill vote to next morning; Mr Wilkins did not agree; final vote 32 Yeas-Bell, Chambers, Clayton, Dallas, Dickerson, Dudley, Ewing, Foot, Forsyth, Frelinghuysen, Grundy, Hendricks, Hill, Holmes, Johnston, Kane, Knight, Naudain, Prentiss, Rives, Robbins, Robinson, Ruggles, Silsbee, Sprague, Tipton, Tomlinson, Waggaman, Webster, White, Wilkins, Wright-1 Nay Tyler.

From: Helen Cooper

Subject: Nehemiah Rice Knight, Gov

Date: Sun, 31 Jan 1999 07:18:12 -0800

Historic Gleanings in Windham Co, CT p 157

talking about growth of towns:-"A future Gov of RI, Nehemiah Knight, Residing for time as business agent at Quinebaub Falls-now in Putnam, was extremely popular amg country belles, & is accredited w/honor of instituting picnic in Windham County, & also for providing place for it, laying out walk on tongue of land bet Quinebaug & Mill Rivers, under fanciful name of LaSolitaire."

Knight Family, Am Genealogical Inst, 1975, p 84-90

Nehemiah Rice Knight (31Dec1780-18Apr1854): Senator & 7th Gov of RI, b in Cranston, RI, son of Nehemiah Knight. Knight lacked formal education, as he spent his early yrs on father's farm. He represented Cranston in Genl Assembly in 1802 at which time he moved to Providence where he would remain rest of his life. Here he was clerk of court of common pleas for 6 yrs beginning in 1805. During War of 1812 Knight was appointed collector of internal revenue & clerk of circuit court for District of RI. Elected Gov in 1817, Knight urged legislature to establish public school system. Bill would not be passed until 1928, however, because of public adversity to free schools. In 1821 Knight was elected to US Senate & would serve until 1841. He represented Providence in 1843 convention that passed present state constitution. In addition to political duties, Knight was Pres of Roger Williams Bank. He m Lydia Waterman. Knight d in Providence at age 73.

Census: 1850 US Census

Name: Nehemiah R Knight Age: 69 Est Birth Yr: c1781 Birth Place: RI Gender: Male Home in 1850: Providence Ward 6, Providence, RI Household Mbrs: Name/Age

Sarah Jordon/61

Lydia Knight/69

Nehemiah R Knight/69

Michael Maloy/16

Mary McGhan/23

Suson Spooner/35

Source Citation: Yr: 1850; Census Place: Providence Ward 6, Providence, RI; Roll: M432_845; p 450; Image: 457

LAND: Providence, Providence, RI Tax, ordered by city council Jun 1845, to be assessed at rate of $.38/$100.00 of ratable property. Following individual was rated as follows.

                                  Real.      Per.       Amt. Of  Tax

Nehemiah R Knight 106 113 83,22

DEATH: New Eng Ancestry of Susan Alma Cook, 1866-1934, Researched & Compiled by Philip R Bunnelle, Santa Clara, CA, 1998, PB Press, p 41

Hon Nehemiah Rice: b Cranston 31Dec1780; d 18Apr1854 (Cooper, p 136), bur Grace Church Cem, Prov (Cranston?); m Cranston 21Jul1799 Lydia Waterman; no heirs; elected US Sen 9Jan1821, for unexpired term of Jame Burrill Jr, dec; following his election, newly founded Pawtucket Worsted Co presented him w/vest of their own manufacture, which he wore to Washington, & which attracted considerable attention being 1st specimen of worsted goods manufactured in US. Jul 1854 issue of New Eng Historic Genealogical Register carried following notice under Deaths:

Knight, Hon Nehemiah R, Providence, RI, 18April, ae 74; of whom Providence Jrnl remarks, there is no man living in state who has been so long in public life. Gov of RI 1817-1821, Sen of US 1821-1841.

Marriage: Vital Record of Cranston, Johnston & North Providence, RI, James N Arnold 1983

Knight Nehemiah, of Nehemiah, of Cranson, & Lydia Waterman, of Job, of Johnston; m by Eld Samuel Winsor, Jul 21, 1799

US Senator, Rhode Island Governor. Served as a United States Senator from 1821 to 1841. Also served as a Member of the Rhode Island State House of Representatives in 1802, Delegate to the Rhode Island State Constitutional Convention in 1843, and Governor of Rhode Island from 1817 to 1821. (bio by: K)

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Nehemiah R. Knight, 9th Gov. of Rhode Island's Timeline

December 31, 1780
Cranston, Providence County, Rhode Island, United States
Age 14
February 16, 1818
Age 37
Cranston, Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Age 39
Cranston, Providence, Rhode Island
April 18, 1854
Age 73
Providence, Providence County, Rhode Island, United States
Providence, Providence County, Rhode Island, United States