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Seth Padelford

In office
May 25, 1869 – May 27, 1873
Preceded by Ambrose Burnside
Succeeded by Henry Howard

Born October 3, 1807(1807-10-03)
Taunton, Massachusetts
Died August 26, 1878 (aged 70)
Providence, Rhode Island
Political party Republican
Profession Politician
Religion Unitarian

Seth Padelford (October 3, 1807– August 26, 1878) was Governor of Rhode Island from 1869 to 1873.

Padelford was born in Taunton, Massachusetts. He worked as a grocer, as well as serving on the Providence, Rhode Island City Council, the Providence School Committee and in the Rhode Island House of Representatives.

Padelford was a Unitarian and an ardent abolitionist with ties to the New England Emigrant Aid Company, which armed and organized settlers who took part in the "Bleeding Kansas" conflict. In 1860, he was nominated as the Republican Party candidate for Governor of Rhode Island. Anti-war Republicans and textile interests joined Democrats to back the young William Sprague IV, the nephew of former Rhode Island Governor and Senator William Sprague III. Sprague, running as a "Conservative" against Padelford's "Radical" candidacy, won the election by a margin of 12,278 to 10,740 votes, with twice the customary turnout at the polls.[1]

After the American Civil War began in 1861, Padelford won two consecutive elections for Lieutenant Governor, serving from 1863 to 1865. He was elected Governor in 1869, serving four terms before stepping down.

Padelford died in 1878 in Providence, and is buried in Swan Point Cemetery.


  1. ^ Young, Robin (2005). For Love and Liberty: The Untold Civil War Story of Major Sullivan Ballou and His Famous Love Letter. Thunder's Mouth Press. pp. 154–155. ISBN 1560257245.  
Political offices
Preceded by
Ambrose Burnside
Governor of Rhode Island
1869– 1873
Succeeded by
Henry Howard


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