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Samuel Wells

Gov. Samuel Wells

  • January 2, 1856 - January 8, 1857
  • Democratic
  • August 15, 1801
  • July 15, 1868
  • Maine


SAMUEL WELLS, the twenty-fifth governor of Maine, was born in Durham, New Hampshire on August 15, 1801. His early education was attained in the common schools of his native state. He later studied law and was admitted to the bar. He established a successful legal career, serving as an associate justice of the Maine Supreme Court, a position he held from 1847 to 1854. Wells entered politics in 1836 when he was elected to the Maine House of Representatives. In 1856, he won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. After the general election failed to provide a plurality winner, the Democratic majority legislature declared Wells the legal governor. He was sworn into office on January 2, 1856. During his tenure, the 1851 prohibitory law was rescinded, and a replacement bill was sanctioned that permitted a restricted number of liquor sales in each municipality. After running unsuccessfully for reelection, Wells left office on January 8, 1857, and retired from public service. He later moved to Boston, where he continued to practice law. Governor Samuel wells passed away on July 15, 1868.


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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