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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesRhode Island

Nelson Wilmarth ALDRICH

(1841-1915)
Senate Years of Service:
1881-1911
Party:
Republican

ALDRICH, Nelson Wilmarth, (father of Richard Steere Aldrich, cousin of William Aldrich, grandfather of Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller, and great-grandfather of John Davison Rockefeller), a Representative and a Senator from Rhode Island; born in Foster, R.I., November 6, 1841; attended the public schools of East Killingly, Conn., and the Academy of East Greenwich, R.I.; entered the wholesale grocery business in Providence; during the Civil War enlisted as a private in Company D, First Regiment, Rhode Island National Guard, in 1862; member of the city council 1869-1874, serving as president in 1872 and 1873; member of the State house of representatives in 1875 and 1876, elected speaker in 1876; elected as a Republican to the Forty-sixth and Forty-seventh Congresses and served from March 4, 1879, to October 4, 1881, when he resigned to become Senator; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Ambrose E. Burnside; reelected in 1886, 1892, 1898, and 1904, and served from October 5, 1881, to March 3, 1911; was not a candidate for reelection in 1911; chairman, Committee on Transportation Routes to the Seaboard (Forty-eighth and Forty-ninth Congresses), Committee on Rules (Fiftieth through Fifty-second, Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth Congresses), Select Committee on Corporations Organized in the District of Columbia (Fifty-third Congress), Committee on Finance (Fifty-fifth through Sixty-first Congresses); chairman, National Monetary Commission (1908-1912); retired to Providence, R.I.; died in New York City, April 16, 1915; interment in Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, R.I.

Bibliography

American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; Stephenson, Nathaniel W. Nelson W. Aldrich: A Leader In American Politics. 1930. Reprint. New York: Kennikat Press, 1971; Sternstein, Jerome L. “Corruption in the Gilded Age Senate: Nelson W. Aldrich and the Sugar Trust.” Capitol Studies 6 (Spring 1978): 13-37.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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