Diman was born in Bristol, Rhode Island in
1795, the eldest son of Jeremiah and Hannah Diman. He
was tutored privately by Alexander Griswold,
(later Bishop of Massachusetts)
and at the age of 16, he
entered the counting house of James D' Wolf as an
1825 James D'Wolf Letter
for further information.
leaving the service of James D'Wolf, Governor Diman
became heavily engaged in the shipping and whaling industries.
He acquired his first ship in 1822
and over the next half-century, he was owner or part owner of
over twenty-one brigs and ships employed in
Coastal Trade, Whaling and the West
Indian Trade. After the decline of the Whale fishery, he
turned his attention to manufacturing. He was President
of the Bristol Steam Mill and served as one of the
Directors of the Pokanoket Mill. He
was also the President of the Bank of
Bristol. Governor Diman served for several years in the
lower house and then as a State Senator. He also
served as Lieutenant Governor for three years. He
was elected Governor of the State of Rhode Island
in 1846 as a member of the "Law and Order"
party. He served as Governor from May 6, 1846 to May 4,
The Law and Order Party was a coalition of Whigs and rural
Democrats originally formed in answer to Thomas Wilson Dorr's
"Progressive People's Constitution."
Dorr was elected governor under this document in 1842, however
the Law and Order party reelected Governor Samuel Ward King.
Dorr Rebellion Event Cover for further
Diman married Abigail Alden Wight in 1823
and married his second wife, Elizabeth Ann Wood in
1855. It has been said that Governor Diman had a
remarkable memory and that he was also fond of historical
Governor Byron Diman died in Bristol,
Rhode Island on August 1, 1865.