Image of a portrait of Colonel Nelson Viall of Rhode Island.
Nelson Viall was born in Plainfield, Connecticut in 1827. He served in the Mexican War and Civil War. He was commander of the 14th Regiment of R.I. Heavy Artillery, a "colored regiment." He returned to Rhode Island and served as a Representative in the General Assembly. He was the first Providence Police Chief and then for 36 years was Warden of the Rhode Island State Prison. He died May 1, 1903 in Howard, R.I. of a kidney infection.Source: Rhode Island Historical Society- Manuscripts Division: Nelson Viall PapersSee also:
Warden's Correspondences, 1878-1911, with gapsRhode Island Historical Society- Manuscripts Division: Nelson Viall Papers