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 Anson P. Morrill

Anson P. Morrill

DATE OF BIRTH:  June 10, 1803
DATE OF DEATH:  July 4, 1887
PROFESSION:  Businessman
TERM IN OFFICE:  January 6, 1855 – January 4, 1856
FIRST LADY:  Rowena M. Richardson

QUOTE: The main pillars of our free institutions rest upon the intelligence of the people. The only true ground of hope that this Republic will survive the lapse of ages, and be perpetuated from generation to generation, following not in the downward course of those Republics which have disappeared from the governments of the earth, is, that knowledge, in this country, is more universally diffused among the people.

Inaugural Address, January 6, 1855

OTHER ELECTED OR APPOINTED OFFICES: Postmaster of Belgrade, Sheriff of Somerset County, Land Agent, Congressman, President of the Maine Central Railroad, State Representative


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

“Death of Anson P. Morrill,” Daily Kennebec Journal, July 6, 1887.

Moody, Robert E.  “Anson Peaslee Morrill,” Dictionary of American Biography.  New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1933, Vol. 13, pp. 196-197.


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