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Edward Kent

Gov. Edward Kent

  • January 19, 1838 - January 2, 1839
    January 13, 1841 - January 5, 1842
  • Whig
  • January 8, 1802
  • April 19, 1877
  • New Hampshire
  • Harvard University
  • Married twice--Sarah Johnson, Abby A. Rockwood; four children
  • Ambassador


EDWARD KENT, Maine’s twelfth and fifteenth governor, was born in Concord, New Hampshire on January 8, 1802. His early education was attained in the public schools of his native state. He later attended Harvard University, where he graduated from in 1821. After studying law, he established a legal practice in Bangor, Maine. Kent entered politics in 1829, serving as a member of the Maine Legislature, a position he held four years. He also served as the mayor of Bangor from 1836 to 1837. Kent won the 1837 Whig gubernatorial nomination, and went on to win the general election by a small margin. The Democrats challenged the election, but the State Supreme Court ruled that Kent was the legal governor. He was sworn into office on January 19, 1838. Kent lost his 1839 reelection bid, but won reelection in 1840, only after the Whig-majority legislature named him governor. During his tenure, he worked to settle the northeastern boundary dispute, which had beleaguered the state for many years. After completing his term, Kent secured an appointment as one of the commissioners that worked to negotiate a settlement on the northeastern boundary issue. He also served as the U.S. Consul to Rio de Janeiro from 1849 to 1853, was justice of the Supreme Court of Maine from 1859 to 1873, and served as the chairman of the 1875 Constitutional Commission. Governor Edward Kent passed away on May 19, 1877, and was buried at the Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


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.

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