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William Durkee Williamson

Gov. William Durkee Williamson

  • May 28, 1821 - December 5, 1821
  • Democratic-Republican
  • July 31, 1779
  • April 27, 1846
  • Connecticut
  • William College, Brown University
  • Married three times--Jemima Montague Rice, Susan Esther, Clarissa Emerson
  • Succeeded; Resigned, NGA Chair
  • Representative


WILLIAM D. WILLIAMSON, the second governor of Maine, was born in Canterbury, Connecticut on July 31, 1779. His education was attained at Williams College, and at Brown University, where he graduated in 1804. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1807, and then established his legal career, serving as the Hancock County attorney from 1811 to 1816. Williamson entered politics in 1816, serving as a member of the Massachusetts Senate, a position he held four years. After Maine separated from Massachusetts in 1820, Williamson served as a member of the new state’s first senate. He also served as president of the senate from 1820 to 1821. On May 28, 1821, Governor William King resigned from office, and Williamson, who the president of the senate at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. During his tenure, he continued to carry out the policies of the King administration. He also campaigned for industrial expansion within the state. Williamson resigned from office on December 5, 1821, to take his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, an office he held until 1823. He also served as probate judge for Penobscot County from 1824 to 1840. Governor William D. Williamson, who was the author of History of the State of Maine, passed away on May 27, 1846. He was buried at the Mt. 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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