The New International Encyclopædia/Sprague, William

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SPRAGUE, William (1830—). An American manufacturer and politician, born at Cranston, R. I. After studying at the Irving Institute, Tarrytown, N. Y., he entered his father's calico factory, and afterwards became interested in linen weaving and locomotive building. He was elected Governor of Rhode Island, but at the outbreak of the Civil War he offered his services to the United States Government, and served with the Rhode Island troops, participating in the first battle of Bull Run and in the Peninsular campaign. From 1863, when his term as Governor expired, until 1875, he was a member of the United States Senate and served as chairman of the committees on public lands and on manufactures and as a member of the committees on commerce and on military affairs.