Maine's Governors

Since William King was inaugurated as Maine’s first governor on June 2, 1820, the state has been led by 70 men and one woman. The position held today by Janet Trafton Mills has been occupied by such notable figures in our history as Hannibal Hamlin, Abraham Lincoln’s first vice president; Abner Coburn, generous benefactor to Maine educational institutions; Joshua L. Chamberlain, Civil War hero at the Battle of Gettysburg; Percival P. Baxter, donor of Mount Katahdin to the state; and Edmund S. Muskie, champion of Federal environmental protection legislation.

Only two governors are not represented by pictures. Of the balance, four are shown in portraits and the rest in photographs. Photographic images dating back to the 1840s enable us to study with complete clarity the faces of the men who governed Maine during the first decades of statehood before the Civil War as well as their more recent successors. These pictures come from three sources, the Maine State Archives, the Maine Historical Society, and the Maine Historic Preservation Commission.

These pages are based upon research which I initially undertook in 2001 assisted by the Commission’s summer intern Adam M. Crowley of the University of Maine at Orono, now an Assistant Professor of English at Husson College in Bangor. At that point, the project was envisioned as a publication, but the ever expanding use of the internet during the last decade has led me to offer this information to a broader online audience. I want to thank the Friends of the Blaine House for hosting this information. 

Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr.
Maine State Historian


Governor Albion K. Parris

Albion K. Parris

DATE OF BIRTH:  July 19, 1788
DATE OF DEATH:  February 11, 1857
POLITICAL AFFILIATION:  Democratic-Republican
TERM IN OFFICE:  January 5, 1822 – January 4, 1827
FIRST LADY:  Sarah Whitman Parris

QUOTE: It gives me anxiety, to be obliged to inform you, that in consequence of the disagreement of the American and British Commissioners under the treaty of Ghent, in relation to the true boundary between the United States and the British Provinces, the final division of the lands…will necessarily be delayed to a period uncertain.

Inaugural Address, January 5, 1822

OTHER ELECTED OR APPOINTED OFFICES: County Attorney for Oxford County, Massachusetts State Representative and Senator, Congressman, U. S. District Court Judge, County Attorney for Cumberland County, U. S. Senator, Maine Supreme Court Justice, Comptroller of the U. S. Treasury, Mayor of Portland


Arndt, J. Chris.  “Albion Keith Parris,” American National Biography.  New York: Oxford University Press, 1999, Vol. 17, pp. 64-65.

Biographical Encyclopedia of Maine of the 19th Century.  Boston: Metropolitan Publishing and Engraving Company, 1885, pp. 81-84.

Chase, Henry.  Representative Men of Maine.  Portland: The Lakeside Press, 1893, p. VII.

“Death of Hon. A.K. Paris,” Eastern Argus, Portland, February 12, 1857

Moody, Robert E.  “Albion Keith Parris,” Dictionary of American Biography.  New York: Scribner’s Sons, 1933, Vol. 14, p. 254.

Willis, William.  “Albion Keith Parris,”  Maine Historical and Genealogical Recorder, Bangor, July, 1893, pp. 117-121.




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