Back to former Massachusetts governors
Levi Lincoln Sr.

Gov. Levi Lincoln Sr.

  • December 10, 1808 - May 1, 1809
  • Democratic-Republican
  • May 15, 1749
  • April 14, 1820
  • Massachusetts
  • Harvard University
  • Married Martha Waldo; nine children
  • Succeeded
  • Representative, Cabinet secretary


LEVI LINCOLN, the six governor of Massachusetts, was born in Hingham, Massachusetts on May 15, 1749. His education was attained in the Hingham common schools and at Harvard University, where he graduated in 1772. With the outbreak of the Revolution, Lincoln joined the Minutemen and participated in the Cambridge fight. Resuming his education, Lincoln studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1775. He established a successful legal career, serving as probate judge of Worcester County from 1775 to 1781. He also served as the Commonwealth’s prosecutor in its case in attaining restitution from loyalist estates. Lincoln first entered politics as a member of the Public Safety Committee. He also served as a member of the 1779 Massachusetts Constitutional Convention, was a member but declined to serve in the Continental Congress in 1781, served as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1796, and served as a member of the Massachusetts State Senate in 1797 and 1798. He served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1800 to 1801, was the U.S. attorney general in President Thomas Jefferson’s cabinet, he served briefly as acting secretary of state in 1801, was a member of the Governor’s Executive Council in 1806, and served as the lieutenant governor of Massachusetts from 1807 to 1808. On December 10, 1808, Governor James Sullivan passed away, and Lincoln, who was lieutenant governor at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. He served in this capacity until May 1, 1809. Lincoln then served again on the Governor’s Executive Council from 1810 to 1811, and was appointed to serve on the bench of the U.S. Supreme Court, but declined, due to his deteriorating eyesight. Governor Levi Lincoln passed away on April 14, 1820, and was buried in the Rural Cemetery in Worcester, 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.

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

Interactive State House

Recent Massachusetts Governors