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 Sidney Perham

Sidney Perham

DATE OF BIRTH:  March 31, 1819
PLACE OF BIRTH:  Woodstock
DATE OF DEATH:  April 10, 1907
PLACE OF DEATH:  Washington, D.C.
PROFESSION:  Teacher, Farmer
TERM IN OFFICE:  January 5, 1871 – January 7, 1874
FIRST LADY:  Almena J. Hathaway

QUOTE: It is a source of regret that so many young men, well situated in the country, are allured by the success of the few who have exchanged the farm for the city, and with eyes closed to the failure of the many, are crowding into the large cities.

Inaugural Address, January 1, 1872

OTHER ELECTED OR APPOINTED OFFICES: Woodstock Selectman, State Representative (Speaker of the House), Presidential Elector, Clerk of the Supreme Court for Oxford County, Congressman, President of the Board of Trustees of the Industrial School for Girls, Collector of Customs for Portland, President of the Board of Trustees of Westbrook Seminary, Chairman of the Pension Committee, Appraiser of the Port of Portland


Biographical Encyclopedia of Maine of the 19th Century.  Boston: Metropolitan Publishing and Engraving Company, 1885, pp. 143-146.

Chase, Henry.  Representative Men of Maine.  Portland: The Lakeside Press, 1893, p. 61.

Kennebec Journal, Augusta, April 12, 1907.

Home of Maine's Governors since 1919.
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