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 Edmund S. Muskie

Edmund S. Muskie

DATE OF BIRTH:  March 28, 1914
DATE OF DEATH:  March 28, 1996
PLACE OF DEATH:  Washington, DC
TERM IN OFFICE:  January 6, 1955 – January 3, 1959
FIRST LADY:  Jane Gray

QUOTE: This is no time to point an accusing finger at one segment of our society or another. It is a time for all levels of government to work together to solve our national water pollution problem.

Letter to Maine, January 1, 1964

OTHER ELECTED OR APPOINTED OFFICES: Lieutenant JG in U. S. Navy, State Representative, State Director of the Office of Price Stabilization, U. S. Senator, 1968 Democratic Nominee for Vice President, U. S. Secretary of State


Apple, R.W., Jr.  “Edmund S. Muskie, 81, Dies.”  New York Times, March 27, 1996, p. D21.

Carter, Jimmy.  “Eulogy for Edmund Muskie, March 30, 1996,” as published in In Tribute, Eulogies of Famous People by Ted Tobias, Beverly Hills, 2001, pp. 116-120.

Lach, Edmund L., Jr.  “Edmund S. Muskie,” American National Biography, First Supplement, pp. 439-441.

Lippman, Theo, Jr. and Hanson, Donald C.  Muskie.  New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1971.

Modern Maine.  New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1951, Vol. 3, pp. 79-80.

Muskie, Edmund S.  Journeys.  New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1972.

Nevin, David.  Muskie of Maine.  New York: Random House, 1972.


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