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James Fowler Simmons (September 10, 1795July 10, 1864) was a United States Senator from Rhode Islandmarker. Born on a farm near Little Comptonmarker, he attended a private school in Newportmarker and moved to Providencemarker in 1812. He was employed in various manufacturing concerns in Rhode Island and Massachusettsmarker and engaged in the manufacture of yarn at Simmonsville, New Hampshire in 1822. He moved to Johnston, Rhode Islandmarker in 1827 and resumed the manufacture of yarns and engaged in agricultural pursuits; he was a member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives from 1828 to 1841, and was elected as a Whig to the U.S. Senate and served from March 4, 1841, to March 3, 1847. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1846 and for election in 1850 to the United States Senate; while in the Senate, he was chairman of the Committee on Manufactures (Twenty-seventh and Twenty-eighth Congresses) and a member of the Committee on Printing (Twenty-seventh and Twenty-eighth Congresses).

Simmons returned to Johnston and resumed his former pursuits. He was again elected to the United States Senate as a Republican and served from March 4, 1857, through the first year of the American Civil War to August 15, 1862, when he resigned. He was chairman of the Committee on Patents and the Patent Office during the Thirty-seventh Congress. He resumed his former manufacturing pursuits and in 1864 died in Johnston; interment was in North End Cemetery, Providence.


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