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Henry B. Cleaves

Gov. Henry B. Cleaves

  • January 4, 1893 - January 2, 1897
  • Republican
  • February 6, 1840
  • June 22, 1912
  • Maine
  • National Guard


HENRY B. CLEAVES, the forty-third governor of Maine, was born in Bridgton, Maine on February 6, 1840. His education was attained at a local academy and in the common schools of his native state. During the Civil War, he enlisted as a private in Company B, 23rd Maine Volunteers, and attained the rank of lieutenant by time he was mustered out of service. After his military duty, Cleaves studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1868, and then established a successful legal practice in Portland, Maine. He entered politics in 1876, serving as a member of the Maine House of Representatives, a position he held until 1877. He also served as the city solicitor for Portland from 1877 to 1879, and was the attorney general of Maine from 1880 to 1885. In 1892, Cleaves won the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and then went on to win the general election by a popular vote. He was reelected to a second term in 1894. During his tenure, problems resulting from the 1893 national economic depression were dealt with, and William McKinley was endorsed in the 1896 presidential election. After completing his term, Cleaves left office on January 2, 1897, and retired from political life. Governor Henry B. Cleaves passed away on June 22, 1912.


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.

Bio of Henry B. Cleaves

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