George P. Wetmore

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George P. Wetmore

George Peabody Wetmore (born August 2, 1846 in London , England , † September 11, 1921 in Boston , Massachusetts ) was an American politician and governor of the state of Rhode Island from 1885 to 1887 . He also represented his state in the US Senate between 1895 and 1913 .

Early years and political advancement

George Wetmore was born in London while his parents were traveling abroad. He initially enjoyed a private education and then attended Yale University until 1867 . Then he studied until 1869 at the law school of Columbia University in New York law, but without ever working as a lawyer. Politically, Wetmore became a member of the Republican Party . In 1880 and 1884 he was the elector for his party in the presidential elections.

Governor of Rhode Island

In 1885, George Wetmore was elected Governor of Rhode Island. After a re-election the following year he was able to exercise this office between May 26, 1885 and May 31, 1887. In the elections of 1887 he was defeated by John Davis , the Democratic candidate . His tenure as governor was uneventful.

Wetmore in the US Senate

After his governorship ended, Wetmore became a member of a commission that planned and oversaw the construction of the new State House in Rhode Island. In 1889, Wetmore ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the US Senate. In 1894 he made the leap into this chamber of the US Congress . On March 4, 1895, he succeeded Nathan F. Dixon . In 1900 he was confirmed in office by the Rhode Island Legislature. Six years later he had to face not only the Democratic challenger Robert H. Goddard , but also a rival from his own party in Samuel P. Colt . The legislature was unable to agree on one of the candidates for a long time, so the Senate seat remained vacant for ten months. After Colt finally withdrew his application, Wetmore was re-elected. With the exception of a hiatus between March 4, 1907 and January 22, 1908, Wetmore served as a Senator between March 4, 1895 and March 3, 1913. He turned down another candidacy in 1912.

In the Senate, he was chairman of two committees ( Committee on Manufacturers and Committee on the Library ). Wetmore supported the development of the US fleet and he was a member of numerous commissions for the erection of monuments for historical figures of American history such as Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant . After his departure, his mandate went to LeBaron Bradford Colt .

Private life and retirement

Wetmore was also very open-minded culturally. He was a co-founder of the Metropolitan Opera in New York and was a curator of the Peabody Museum of Natural History . He also founded a jockey club and was involved in horse breeding. He was a member of numerous organizations and associations that dealt with culture or equestrian sport. Senator Wetmore had been married to Edith Malvina Ketettas since 1869, with whom he had four children. He died in September 1921.


  • Robert Sobel and John Raimo (Eds.): Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789–1978. Volume 4, Meckler Books, Westport, 1978. 4 volumes.

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