Henry B. Anthony

Last updated
Henry Bowen Anthony
Henry B. Anthony - Brady-Handy.jpg
Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference
In office
December 1862 September 2, 1884
Preceded by John P. Hale
Succeeded by John Sherman
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
In office
January 25, 1875 February 17, 1875
Preceded by Matthew H. Carpenter
Succeeded by Thomas W. Ferry
In office
March 23, 1869 January 24, 1873
Preceded by Benjamin F. Wade
Succeeded by Matthew H. Carpenter
United States Senator
from Rhode Island
In office
March 4, 1859 September 2, 1884
Preceded by Philip Allen
Succeeded by William P. Sheffield
21st Governor of Rhode Island
In office
May 1, 1849 May 6, 1851
Lieutenant Thomas Whipple
Preceded by Elisha Harris
Succeeded by Philip Allen
Personal details
Born(1815-04-01)April 1, 1815
Coventry, Rhode Island, US
DiedSeptember 2, 1884(1884-09-02) (aged 69)
Providence, Rhode Island, US
Resting place Swan Point Cemetery
Political party Whig
Know Nothing
Spouse(s)Sarah Aborn Rhodes (1837–1854, her death)
Alma mater Brown University
ProfessionPolitician, Editor
Signature Appletons' Anthony Henry Bowen signature.png

Henry Bowen Anthony (April 1, 1815 – September 2, 1884) was a United States newspaperman and political figure. He served as editor and was later part owner of the Providence Journal . He was the 21st Governor of Rhode Island, serving between 1849 and 1851 as a member of the Whig Party. Near the end of the 1850s, he was elected to the Senate by the Rhode Island Legislature and was re-elected 4 times. He would be twice elected to the Senate's highest post as President pro tempore during the Grant Administration, and served until his death in 1884.

Governor of Rhode Island head of state and of government of the U.S. state of Rhode Island

The Governor of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is the head of the executive branch of the Government of Rhode Island and serves as commander-in-chief of the State's Army National Guard and Air National Guard. The current governor is Gina Raimondo.

Whig Party (United States) Political party in the USA in the 19th century

The Whig Party was a political party active in the middle of the 19th century in the United States. It was based among middle class conservatives. It favored business, banks, industry, education and social modernization, and opposed a powerful presidency and territorial expansion. Four presidents belonged to the party while in office. It emerged in the 1830s as the leading opponent of Jacksonian democracy, pulling together former members of the National Republican and the Anti-Masonic Party. It had some links to the upscale traditions of the long-defunct Federalist Party. Along with the rival Democratic Party, it was central to the Second Party System from the early 1840s to the mid-1860s. It originally formed in opposition to the policies of President Andrew Jackson and his Democratic Party. It became a formal party within his second term, and slowly receded influence after 1854. In particular terms, the Whigs supported the supremacy of Congress over the presidency and favored a program of modernization, banking and economic protectionism to stimulate manufacturing. It appealed to entrepreneurs, planters, reformers and the emerging urban middle class, but had little appeal to farmers or unskilled workers. It included many active Protestants and voiced a moralistic opposition to the Jacksonian Indian removal. Party founders chose the "Whig" name to echo the American Whigs of the 18th century who fought for independence. The political philosophy of the American Whig Party was not related to the British Whig party. Historian Frank Towers has specified a deep ideological divide:

United States Senate Upper house of the United States Congress

The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress which, along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol Building, in Washington, D.C.


Early life

The son of William Anthony and Mary Kennicut Greene, [1] Anthony was born in Rhode Island. [2] He attended Brown University, graduating in 1833 at the age of 18. [3] After his graduation, he went to work as a broker in his brother's cotton products firm, sometimes residing in Savannah, Georgia. He later invested in the firm when his father died in 1845 and earned a substantial income from his investment. [1]

Brown University University in Providence, Rhode Island

Brown University is a private Ivy League research university in Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1764 as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, it is the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution.

Savannah, Georgia City in the United States

Savannah is the oldest city in the U.S. state of Georgia and is the county seat of Chatham County. Established in 1733 on the Savannah River, the city of Savannah became the British colonial capital of the Province of Georgia and later the first state capital of Georgia. A strategic port city in the American Revolution and during the American Civil War, Savannah is today an industrial center and an important Atlantic seaport. It is Georgia's fifth-largest city, with a 2018 estimated population of 145,862. The Savannah metropolitan area, Georgia's third-largest, had an estimated population of 389,494 in 2018.


He became editor of the Providence Journal in 1838. In 1840, he was admitted into the partnership, the paper then being published by Knowles, Vose & Anthony until the death of Vose in 1848, when it was continued by Knowles & Anthony until 1863, when it became Knowles, Anthony & Danielson. Anthony also wrote poetry. [3]

As editor of the Journal, Anthony was a conservative, supporting law and order, property requirements for voting, and restrictions on the political power of immigrants. [1] In 1849, and again in 1850, he was elected governor of Rhode Island. As a Whig at the first election he had a majority of 1,556; at the second, fewer than 1,000 votes were cast against him. After declining a third election, he gave himself once more entirely to his editorial work. [3]

In politics, law and order refers to demands for a strict criminal justice system, especially in relation to violent and property crime, through stricter criminal penalties. These penalties may include longer terms of imprisonment, mandatory sentencing, three-strikes laws, and in some countries, capital punishment.

In 1855, he traveled in Europe, sending letters with unfavorable observations back to the Journal. On returning, he joined the Know Nothing movement and used the Journal to back its American Party. In Rhode Island, the American Party merged into the Republican Party, and Anthony was elected to the United States Senate as an "American-Republican." [1]

Know Nothing American political movement and party in the 19th century with anti-catholic tendency

The Native American Party, renamed the American Party in 1855 and commonly known as the Know Nothing movement, was an American nativist political party that operated nationally in the mid-1850s. It was primarily anti-Catholic, xenophobic, and hostile to immigration, starting originally as a secret society. The movement briefly emerged as a major political party in the form of the American Party. Adherents to the movement were to reply "I know nothing" when asked about its specifics by outsiders, thus providing the group with its common name.

Republican Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major political parties in the United States; the other is its historic rival, the Democratic Party.

United States Senator

Henry B. Anthony H. B. Anthony.jpg
Henry B. Anthony

Anthony served as a Republican Senator from Rhode Island from March 4, 1859, until his death on September 2, 1884. [4] Initially conciliatory toward the secessionists, he was a strong supporter of Abraham Lincoln's efforts to restore the Union during the American Civil War. [1] After the war, in recognition of his support for the Union, he was elected a third class (i.e. honorary) companion of the District of Columbia Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.

Abraham Lincoln Sixteenth president of the United States

Abraham Lincoln was an American statesman, politician, and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the nation through the American Civil War, its bloodiest war and its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis. He preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the U.S. economy.

American Civil War Civil war in the United States from 1861 to 1865

The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North (Union) and the South (Confederacy). The most studied and written about episode in U.S. history, the Civil War began primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people. War broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North, which also included some geographically western and southern states, proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery.

The Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS), or simply as the Loyal Legion is a United States patriotic order, organized April 15, 1865, by officers of the Army, Navy, or Marine Corps of the United States who "had aided in maintaining the honor, integrity, and supremacy of the national movement" during the American Civil War. It was formed by loyal union military officers in response to rumors from Washington of a conspiracy to destroy the Federal government by assassination of its leaders, in the immediate aftermath of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. They stated their purpose as the cherishing of the memories and associations of the war waged in defense of the unity and indivisibility of the Republic; the strengthening of the ties of fraternal fellowship and sympathy formed by companionship in arms; the relief of the widows and children of dead companions of the order; and the advancement of the general welfare of the soldiers and sailors of the United States. As the original officers died off, the veterans organization became an all-male hereditary society. The modern organization is composed of male descendants of these officers, and others who share the ideals of the Order, who collectively are considered "Companions". A female auxiliary, Dames of the Loyal Legion of the United States (DOLLUS), was formed in 1899 and accepted as an affiliate in 1915.

He was twice the chairman of the committee on printing, his practical knowledge of that subject enabling him to introduce many reforms in government printing. [3] The Government Printing Office was formed during his tenure. [1] He was at different times a member of the committees on claims, on naval affairs, on mines and mining, and on post offices and post roads. In the trial of Andrew Johnson, he voted for impeachment. He continued to contribute to the Providence Journal during his service in the Senate. [3]

He served as the President pro tempore of the United States Senate from 1869 to 1873 and again briefly in 1875. He gave up that post when he was elected conference chairman in 1875. As chair, Anthony acted much like the later majority leaders, giving committee assignments to members of his party, calling up bills for debate, and often speaking for his party on the issues of the day. He was also the author of the "Anthony Rule," an early attempt to limit debate in the Senate in the days before cloture. He was known as the "Father of the Senate". [2]

Death and legacy

Anthony's funeral, which took place from the First Congregational Church in Providence on 6 September 1884 was the largest funeral ever known in Rhode Island.

Anthony bequeathed a portion of his library, known as the "Harris Collection of American Poetry," to Brown University. It consisted of about 6,000 volumes, mostly small books, many exceedingly rare. It was begun in the first half of the 19th century by Albert G. Greene, continued by Caleb Fiske Harris, and, after his death, completed by his kinsman Senator Anthony. [3] [5]

His name is engraved on a Civil War vintage artillery piece belonging to the Squantum Club in East Providence, Rhode Island. The artillery piece is reputed to have been the only gun from Battery A, 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery which did not fall into Confederate hands at the Battle of Bull Run. There is another nearly identical piece, known as the "Bull Run Gun", enshrined at the Rhode Island State House for which is claimed the same distinction.


In 1837 Anthony married Sarah Aborn Rhodes, daughter of Christopher Rhodes of Pawtuxet. She died in 1854. [3] They had no children, and he never remarried. [1]

See also

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 William M. Ferraro (1999). "Anthony, Henry Bowen". American National Biography . New York: Oxford University Press.
  2. 1 2 "Henry B. Anthony: A Featured Biography". senate.gov.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Wikisource-logo.svg  Wilson, J. G.; Fiske, J., eds. (1900). "Anthony, Henry Bowen"  . Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography . New York: D. Appleton.
  4. United States Congress. "Henry B. Anthony (id: A000262)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress .
  5. Wikisource-logo.svg  Gilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "Anthony, Henry Bowen"  . New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.See J. C. Stockbridge, Anthony Memorial (1886) for an annotated catalog of the collection, with a biographical sketch of Anthony.
Political offices
Preceded by
Elisha Harris
Governor of Rhode Island
Succeeded by
Philip Allen
Preceded by
Benjamin F. Wade
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
March 23, 1869 – January 24, 1873
Succeeded by
Matthew H. Carpenter
Preceded by
Matthew H. Carpenter
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
January 1875 – February 17, 1875
Succeeded by
Thomas W. Ferry
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Philip Allen
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Rhode Island
March 4, 1859 – September 2, 1884
Served alongside: James F. Simmons, Samuel G. Arnold, William Sprague, Ambrose E. Burnside and Nelson W. Aldrich
Succeeded by
William P. Sheffield