He was born in Westerly, Rhode Island on May 1, 1812. He attended Plainfield (Conn.) Academy, and graduated from Brown University in 1833. He later pursued the study of law at the Cambridge (Mass.) and New Haven (Conn.) Law Schools. He was admitted to the bar in 1837 and commenced practice in Westerly. He also engaged in banking.
He was a member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives 1841-1849, 1851–1854, 1858–1862, and 1871-1877. He was appointed a member of the Rhode Island Governor’s council in 1842. He was elected as a Whig to the Thirty-first Congress (March 4, 1849-March 3, 1851). He was not a candidate for renomination in 1850. He was elected as a Republican to the Thirty-eighth and to the three succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1863-March 3, 1871). He served as chairman on the Committee on Commerce (Forty-first Congress). He declined to be a candidate for reelection in 1870.
He was elected delegate to the Union National Convention at Philadelphia in 1866. He then resumed the practice of law and banking, and died in Westerly on April 11, 1881. His interment is in River Bend Cemetery.