Nehemiah R. Knight

Nehemiah Rice Knight (December 31, 1780 – April 18, 1854) was Governor of Rhode Island and United States Senator from Rhode Island.

Nehemiah Rice Knight
RI Governor Nehemiah R Knight portrait.jpg
9th Governor of Rhode Island
In office
May 7, 1817 – May 2, 1821
LieutenantEdward Wilcox
Preceded byWilliam Jones
Succeeded byWilliam C. Gibbs
United States Senator
from Rhode Island
In office
January 9, 1821 – March 3, 1841
Preceded byJames Burrill, Jr.
Succeeded byJames F. Simmons
Member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born(1780-12-31)December 31, 1780
Cranston, Rhode Island
DiedApril 18, 1854(1854-04-18) (aged 73)
Providence, Rhode Island
Resting placeGrace Church Cemetery, Providence
Political partyDemocratic-Republican, National Republican, Whig
Spouse(s)Lydia Waterman Knight
Parent(s)Nehemiah Knight
ProfessionPolitician, Clerk

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.


  • United States Congress. "Nehemiah R. Knight (id: K000287)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

External linksEdit

Party political offices
Preceded by Democratic-Republican Party nominee for Governor of Rhode Island
1816, 1817, 1818, 1819, 1820
Succeeded by
First Whig nominee for Governor of Rhode Island
1834, 1835
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by 9th Governor of Rhode Island
Succeeded by
U.S. Senate
Preceded by U.S. senator (Class 2) from Rhode Island
January 9, 1821 – March 3, 1841
Served alongside: William Hunter, James De Wolf, Asher Robbins and Nathan F. Dixon
Succeeded by