James Fenner

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James Fenner
Official Rhode Island State House portrait by James Sullivan Lincoln
7th, 11th, and 17th Governor of Rhode Island
In office
May 6, 1807 – May 1, 1811
Lieutenant Constant Taber
Simeon Martin
Isaac Wilbour
Preceded by Isaac Wilbour
Succeeded by William Jones
In office
May 5, 1824 – May 4, 1831
Lieutenant Charles Collins
Preceded by William C. Gibbs
Succeeded by Lemuel H. Arnold
In office
May 2, 1843 – May 6, 1845
Lieutenant Byron Diman
Preceded by Samuel Ward King
Succeeded by Charles Jackson
United States Senator
from Rhode Island
In office
March 4, 1805 – September 1807
Preceded by Christopher Ellery
Succeeded by Elisha Mathewson
33rd Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court
In office
Preceded by Tristam Burges
Succeeded by Isaac Wilbour
Personal details
Born (1771-01-22)January 22, 1771
Providence, Rhode Island
Died April 17, 1846(1846-04-17) (aged 75)
Providence, Rhode Island
Political party Democratic-Republican

James Fenner (January 22, 1771 – April 17, 1846) was an American politician who served as an United States Senator as well as the seventh, 11th and 17th Governor of Rhode Island (on three separate occasions). He was the son of Arthur Fenner, the fourth governor of Rhode Island.

Fenner was born in Providence, Rhode Island. He graduated from Brown University in 1789, and was married to Sarah Whipple Jenckes (his first cousin, once removed) on 17 November 1792. He served as United States senator from 1805 to 1807, then gave up his senatorship to become Governor of Rhode Island, two years after his father died in office. Fenner served as governor from 1807 to 1811, from 1824 to 1831, and from 1843 to 1845. Fenner was elected to his first two terms as a Democratic-Republican and as his third term as a member of the Law and Order Party of Rhode Island. In his final term, Fenner became the first governor to serve under the Rhode Island Constitution, adopted in 1842.

Fenner died in his mansion "What Cheer" in 1846, and was interred in the North Burial Ground in Providence.

Fenner had four children with his wife, Sarah Jenckes:

  • Almira Theodosia (17 January 1793 – 10 October 1872)
  • Sarah
  • Freelove (ca. 1799 – 2 August 1817)
  • Arthur (ca. 1810 – 8 March 1832)

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Isaac Wilbour
Governor of Rhode Island
Succeeded by
William Jones
Preceded by
William C. Gibbs
Governor of Rhode Island
Succeeded by
Lemuel H. Arnold
Preceded by
Samuel Ward King
Governor of Rhode Island
Succeeded by
Charles Jackson
United States Senate
Preceded by
Christopher Ellery
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Rhode Island
Served alongside: Benjamin Howland
Succeeded by
Elisha Mathewson