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Edward Kavanagh

Gov. Edward Kavanagh

  • March 7, 1843 - January 1, 1844
  • Democratic
  • April 27, 1795
  • January 20, 1844
  • Maine
  • Georgetown University; St. Mary's College
  • Succeeded;Resigned, NGA Chair
  • Representative


EDWARD KAVANAGH, the seventeenth governor of Maine, was born in Newcastle, Maine on April 27, 1795. His education was attained at the Montreal Seminary in Canada, at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and at St. Mary’s College in Maryland, which he graduated from in 1813. He studied law and established his legal career in Damariscotta, Maine. Kavanagh entered politics in 1824, serving as a selectman for Newcastle, a position he held three years. He served as a member of the Maine House of Representatives from 1827 to 1830, was secretary of the Maine State Senate in 1830, and served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1831 to 1835. He also served as the chargé d’affaires to Portugal from 1835 to 1841, was a member and president of the Maine State Senate from 1841 to 1843 and served as a commissioner that worked to resolve the northeastern boundary dispute. On March 7, 1843, Governor John Fairfield resigned from office, and Kavanagh, who was president of the senate at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. During his tenure, he challenged the federal government’s treatment of Maine over its failure to safeguard the state’s rights in the longstanding boundary dispute. Kavanagh served until January 1844, when he resigned from office and retired from public service. Governor Edward Kavanagh passed away on January 20, 1844 and was buried at the St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery in Damariscotta Mills, Maine.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Biographical Directory of U.S. Congress

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