SHEFFIELD, William Paine, (1820 - 1907)

Senate Years of Service: 1884-1885
Party: Republican

Rhode Island Historical Society

SHEFFIELD, William Paine, (father of William Paine Sheffield [1857-1919]), a Representative and a Senator from Rhode Island; born in New Shoreham, Block Island, Newport County, R.I., August 30, 1820; completed preparatory studies; attended Kingston Academy, Rhode Island, and graduated from the law department of Harvard University in 1843; admitted to the bar in 1844 and commenced practice in Newport, R.I.; delegate to the State constitutional conventions in 1841 and 1842; member, State house of representatives 1842-1845, 1849-1853, 1857-1861; moved to Tiverton, R.I.; returned to Newport, R.I.; elected as a Union candidate to the Thirty-seventh Congress (March 4, 1861-March 3, 1863); resumed the practice of law; appointed in 1871 one of the commissioners to revise the State laws; member, State house of representatives 1875-1884; appointed as a Republican to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Henry B. Anthony and served from November 19, 1884, to January 20, 1885; resumed the practice of his profession; died in Newport, R.I., June 2, 1907; interment in the Island Cemetery.


Sheffield, William P. A Historical Sketch of Block Island. Newport: J.P. Sanborn & Co., 1876; Sheffield, William P. The Mode of Altering the Constitution of Rhode Island, and a Reply to Papers, by Honorable Charles S. Bradley, and Honorable Abraham Payne. Newport: Davis & Pitman, 1887.