General William Sprague Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: September 12, 1830 in Cranston, Rhode Island
Died: September 11, 1915 in Paris, France
Biography | show moreshow less
William Sprague IV (1830-1915), who was the Republican Governor of Rhode Island (1860-1863) when the American Civil War broke out, raised troops that participated in the First Battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861. Sprague, who at first believed that the war would last only 48 hours, was offered a commission as Brigadier General of Volunteers on August 9, 1861, but he declined the appointment. Sprague attended the Loyal War Governors' Conference in Altoona, Pennsylvania in 1862 to show his support for Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and Union war efforts. He resigned his governorship on March 3, 1863 to become a U.S. Senator from Rhode Island (1863-1875). Sprague, who had amassed a fortune with his family's weaving mills, was first married to Kate Chase (1863-1882), the daughter of Lincoln's Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon P. Chase. After the couple's divorce, he later married Dora Inez Clavert of West Virginia and rekindled his interest in politics, becoming the Town Council President of Narragansett, Rhode Island in 1900. After a fire destroyed the couple's mansion there, they moved to Paris, where Sprague died.   

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