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John Fairfield

Gov. John Fairfield

  • January 2, 1839 - January 6, 1841
    January 5, 1842 - March 7, 1843
  • Democratic
  • January 30, 1797
  • December 24, 1847
  • Maine
  • Bowdoin College
  • Married Anna Paine Thornton; nine children
  • Resigned, NGA Chair
  • Representative, Senator


JOHN FAIRFIELD, Maine’s thirteenth and sixteenth governor, was born in Saco, Maine on January 30, 1797. His education was attained in the common schools of his native state and later at Bowdoin College. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1826, and established his legal career, serving as the reporter of decisions for the Supreme Court of Maine from 1832 to 1835. Fairfield entered politics in 1835, serving as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, a position he held until 1838. He won the 1838 Democratic gubernatorial nomination and went on to win the general election. He was reelected in 1839, 1841 and 1842. During his tenure, the Aroostook War erupted over the long-disputed boundary quarrel, and the state militia was summoned to safeguard the contested land. Upon his election to the U.S. Senate, Fairfield resigned from the governor’s office on March 7, 1843. He served in the senate until he passed away on March 7, 1847. Governor John Fairfield was buried at the Laurel Hill Cemetery in Saco, 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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