Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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KNIGHT, Nehemiah Rice, statesman, born in Cranston, Rhode Island, 31 December, 1780; died in Providence, Rhode Island, 19 April, 1854. His father, Nehemiah, was a member of congress from 1803 till his death in 1808. The son received a public school education, represented Cranston in the legislature in 1800, and, removing to Providence in 1802, became, in 1805, clerk of the court of common pleas. From 1812 till 1817 he was clerk of the circuit court, and in 1817-'2t he was governor of Rhode Island. During the administration of President Madison he was collector of customs at Providence, in 1820 was elected to the United States senate as a Whig in place of James Burrill, Jr., deceased, and was three times re-elected, serving till 1841. He was a delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1843, and for many years was president of the Roger Williams bank in Providence. Mr. Knight was moderate and conciliating in his political course, and of sterling character. While governor he recommended the establishment of free schools in the state.
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