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James Fowler Simmons


In office
March 4, 1841 – March 3, 1847
March 4, 1857 – August 15, 1862
Preceded by Nehemiah R. Knight
Charles T. James
Succeeded by John H. Clarke
Samuel G. Arnold

Born September 10, 1795
Little Compton, Rhode Island, USA
Died July 10, 1864
Johnston, Rhode Island, USA
Political party Whig, Republican
Profession Politician, Manufacturer

James Fowler Simmons (September 10, 1795 – July 10, 1864) was a United States Senator from Rhode Island. Born on a farm near Little Compton, he attended a private school in Newport and moved to Providence in 1812. He was employed in various manufacturing concerns in Rhode Island and Massachusetts and engaged in the manufacture of yarn at Simmonsville, New Hampshire in 1822. He moved to Johnston, Rhode Island in 1827 and resumed the manufacture of yarns and engaged in agricultural pursuits; he was a member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives from 1828 to 1841, and was elected as a Whig to the U.S. Senate and served from March 4, 1841, to March 3, 1847. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1846 and for election in 1850 to the United States Senate; while in the Senate, he was chairman of the Committee on Manufactures (Twenty-seventh and Twenty-eighth Congresses) and a member of the Committee on Printing (Twenty-seventh and Twenty-eighth Congresses).

Simmons returned to Johnston and resumed his former pursuits. He was again elected to the United States Senate as a Republican and served from March 4, 1857, through the first year of the American Civil War to August 15, 1862, when he resigned. He was chairman of the Committee on Patents and the Patent Office during the Thirty-seventh Congress. He resumed his former manufacturing pursuits and in 1864 died in Johnston; interment was in North End Cemetery, Providence.

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United States Senate
Preceded by
Nehemiah R. Knight
United States Senator (Class 2) from Rhode Island
March 4, 1841 – March 3, 1847
Served alongside: Nathan F. Dixon, William Sprague III, John B. Francis and Albert C. Greene
Succeeded by
John H. Clarke
Preceded by
Charles T. James
United States Senator (Class 1) from Rhode Island
March 4, 1857 – August 15, 1862
Served alongside: Philip Allen and Henry B. Anthony
Succeeded by
Samuel G. Arnold
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