Sprague taught elementary school in Potsdam, New York and later opened a school in Zanesville, Ohio. In 1838 he began to study law and was admitted to the bar in Ohio. Upon word of the discovery of gold in California, Sprague became a "Forty-Niner". After arriving in California in September 1849, Sprague worked a claim on Clear Creek on the Sacramento River. He settled in Reading's Springs, now Shasta, California, and once again became an attorney. He was elected to the California State Senate in 1852.
Sprague returned to Ohio briefly in 1852 to retrieve his wife Frances and their family; they returned to California with him. He had four children: Anna Maria Sprague (1845–1879); Arthur Hale Sprague (1848–1922); Ella Sprague (1853-5); and Frances Royal Sprague (1864–1957).
Sprague was elected to the Supreme Court of California in 1867 (as a Democrat); he was chosen to be Chief Justice in 1872 but died the same year. He is interred in Sacramento Historic City Cemetery.
A collection of his journals is in the collection of the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley.
- Sacramento Daily Union, January 1, 1873, "State & County Statistics (For the year 1872)
- http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/735/files/transcriptshastacemeterytour.pdf Cemetery tour of Shasta mentioning grave of Ella Sprague
- http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~shastaca/shastafam/d0003/g0000073.html#I06704 Royal Sprague genealogy
- Appleton's annual Cyclopaedia (1867), Volume 7, 1869
- http://www.sloco.net/history/CABio/ShastaBios.html Shasta county biographies
- "Sacramento Historic City Cemetery Burial Index". Old City Cemetery Committee. 2005. Retrieved April 6, 2011.
- http://www.oac.cdlib.org/ Online Archive of California, Royal T. Sprague journals, collection guide
Augustus L. Rhodes
|Chief Justice of California
William T. Wallace
|This article about a California politician is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|