Charles Jackson (Rhode Island)

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Charles Jackson
Charles Jackson Governor.jpg
18th Governor of Rhode Island
In office
May 6, 1845 – May 6, 1846
Lieutenant GovernorByron Diman
Preceded byJames Fenner
Succeeded byByron Diman
Member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives
Personal details
Born(1797-03-04)March 4, 1797
Providence, Rhode Island
DiedJanuary 21, 1876(1876-01-21) (aged 78)
Providence, Rhode Island
Resting placeNorth Burial Ground
Political partyWhig,[1]
Liberation Party[2]
Spouse(s)Catharine Dexter,
Phebe Tisdale
Alma materBrown University
ProfessionLawyer, Businessman

Charles Jackson (March 4, 1797 – January 21, 1876) was the 18th Governor of Rhode Island from 1845 to 1846.

Political cartoon attacking Charles Jackson and others for freeing those convicted in the Dorr Rebellion.

Early life[edit]

Jackson was born in Providence, Rhode Island on March 4, 1797, and was the son of Richard Jackson, Jr..[3] He graduated from Brown University in 1817, and received a master's degree in 1820.[4] He also studied law with James Burrill, Jr., and was admitted to the bar in 1820.[5]

Business career[edit]

In addition to practicing law, Jackson was involved in several businesses, including a cotton manufacturing company. He also built a rubber factory after acquiring patent rights from Charles Goodyear. Jackson's ventures proved successful, and he later expanded into firearms as operator of the Burnside Rifle Works and a company that manufactured railroad equipment.

Political career[edit]

Jackson was active in politics as a Whig, served several terms in the Rhode Island House of Representatives, and was Speaker from 1841 to 1842. In 1843 he was a delegate to the state constitutional convention.[6]

Jackson served as governor from 1845 to 1846, after defeating incumbent James Fenner. He was elected as a Whig identified with the Liberation movement, which advocated freedom for those imprisoned as a result of the Dorr Rebellion. Jackson signed a bill freeing rebellion leader Thomas Wilson Dorr and all others who had been convicted. In response, Whig opponents of freeing Dorr organized a "Law & Order Party." Jackson was nominated for governor by the Democrats, and was defeated by Lieutenant Governor Byron Diman.

In 1857 Jackson was an unsuccessful candidate for the United States Senate.[7]

Death and burial[edit]

Jackson died in Providence on January 21, 1876. He was buried at North Burial Ground in Providence.[8]


Jackson was married twice. His first wife was Catherine Dexter (1805-1832), whom he married in 1827. In 1836 he married Phebe Tisdale (died March 3, 1883) of Scituate, Rhode Island. He had seven children, five of whom lived to adulthood.


  1. ^ "Rhode Island Governor Charles Jackson". National Governors Association. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  2. ^ "Rhode Island Governors 1640 – Present". Rhode Island Secretary of State. State of Rhode Island. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  3. ^ James T. White & Company, The National Cyclopedia of American Biography, Volume IX, 1899, page 397
  4. ^ Brown University, Historical Catalogue of Brown University, 1764-1914, 1914, page 97
  5. ^ Daniel Webster, author, Andrew J. King, editor, The Papers of Daniel Webster, 1989, page 896
  6. ^ Rhode Island Historical Society, Annual Meeting Proceedings, President's Address, 1910, page 15
  7. ^ Rhode Island Department of State, State of Rhode Island Manual, 1914, page 155
  8. ^ Rhode Island Genealogical Society, North Burial Ground, Providence, Rhode Island: Old Section, 1700-1848, 2000, page 275

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
James Fenner
Governor of Rhode Island
Succeeded by
Byron Diman