The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Sprague, William

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SPRAGUE, William, American legislator: b. Cranston, R. I., 12 Sept. 1830; d. 1915. He entered the counting-house of his father, senior partner of the A. and W. Sprague Manufacturing Company, when 16, and afterward with his brother succeeded to the ownership of the business. He was governor of Rhode Island in 1860-63 and was among the most active of the “war governors.” He went to the front, participated in the first battle of Bull Run and in the Peninsular campaign and in 1863 was elected to the United States Senate, whereupon he resigned his governorship. He served in the Senate until 1875 and then returned his manufacturing business. He was married in 1863 to the celebrated Kate Chase, daughter of Salmon P. Chase, from whom he was afterward divorced.