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 William G. Crosby

William G. Crosby

DATE OF BIRTH:  September 10, 1805
DATE OF DEATH:  March 21, 1881
TERM IN OFFICE:  January 8, 1853 – January 6, 1855
FIRST LADY:  Ann M. Patterson

QUOTE: The age in which we live may be termed emphatically the Age of Enterprise. Man’s moral and intellectual nature, quickened by new impulses, or aroused to a more energetic exercise of its innate powers, is seeking new and wider fields of action. The great heart of humanity is beating quicker and stronger.

Inaugural Address, January 18, 1853

OTHER ELECTED OR APPOINTED OFFICES: Secretary of the State Board of Education


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

Williamson, Joseph.  “Gov. William G. Crosby,” Maine Historical and Genealogical Recorder.  Bangor, 1887, pp. 153-160.

Williamson, Joseph.  History of the City of Belfast.  Portland: Loring, Short and Harmon, 1877, p. 400.

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