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Hannibal Hamlin

Gov. Hannibal Hamlin

  • January 8, 1857 - February 25, 1857
  • Republican
  • August 27, 1809
  • July 4, 1891
  • Maine
  • Hebron Academy
  • Married twice--Sarah Jane Emery, Ellen Vesta Emery; six children
  • Resigned, NGA Chair
  • Representative, Senator, Vice President, Ambassador


HANNIBAL HAMLIN, the twenty-sixth governor of Maine, was born in Paris Hill, Maine on August 27, 1809. His early education was attained at the Hebron Academy, and in the common schools of his native state. He later studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1833, and established a legal practice in Hampden. Hamlin entered politics in 1836, serving as a Democratic member of the Maine House of Representatives, a position he held four years. He also served as speaker of the house in 1837, 1839 and 1840, and served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1843 to 1847. Hamlin served again in the Maine House of Representatives in 1847, and served as a member of the U.S. Senate from 1848 to 1857. After becoming disillusioned with the Democratic Party’s position on slavery, Hamlin switched his political allegiance, becoming a Republican in 1856. Hamlin won the 1856 Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote on September 8, 1856. He was sworn into office on January 8, 1857. However, three weeks later, he resigned from the governor’s office to take his seat in the U.S. Senate, an office he held until 1861. He also served as the U.S. vice president from 1861 to 1865, was the collector of the port of Boston from 1865 to 1866, and served again in the U.S. Senate from 1869 to 1881.After serving as the minister to Spain from 1881 to 1882, Hamlin retired from public service. Governor Hannibal Hamlin passed away on July 4, 1891, and was buried at the Mount Hope Cemetery in Bangor, 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.

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