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Edward Kent

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Edward Kent January 8, 1802 – May 19, 1877 was the 12th and 15th Governor of the US state of Maine during the Aroostook War

Biographyedit

Born in 1802 in Concord, New Hampshire, he later moved to Bangor, Maine and spent the rest of his life there He was among the last prominent members of the Whig Party in Maine before it collapsed in favor of the Republicans He is the only Maine governor to have been elected to two non-consecutive terms 1838–39 and 1841–42, though his second term was through direct appointment by the Whig-dominated legislature

Kent graduated from Harvard in 1821, in the same class as Ralph Waldo Emerson According to a biographical article reprinted in the New York Times, "he had no rank in college and in truth was President of the 'Lazy Club' He apprenticed as a lawyer in Topsham, Maine, but established his own practice in the growing lumber-port of Bangor in 1825 He was elected to the Maine Legislature in 1829 and held political offices on and off the rest of his life, becoming the 2nd Mayor of Bangor 1836–37, then Governor, and then US Consul in Rio de Janeiro 1849–53 Tragedy struck him in Rio when two of his three children, along with his wife Sarah Johnston the daughter of Nathaniel Johnston of Hillsborough, NH died of yellow fever His surviving child died soon after they returned to Bangor Kent married a second time, to Abigail Ann Rockwood who was the niece of first wife Sarah Johnston, and had one more child, Edward Kent, Jr, who became the Chief Justice of the Arizona Territory Supreme Court1

Kent went into practice with Jonas Cutting in 1831 and their partnership lasted 18 years The two even built a double house together, in Bangor's Broadway neighborhood, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a unique example of the Greek Revival style1

Kent ended his public life as an Associate Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court 1859–73 His law partner and neighbor Jonas Cutting served almost concurrently in the same position 1854–75 Kent's uncle Prentiss Mellen had been the first Chief Justice of the same court

Kent played a part in both instigating and resolving the Aroostook War Fort Kent, situated where the Fish River meets the Saint John River in the Saint John River Valley, was named in his honor Later, the town of Fort Kent, Maine2 was named for the military installation of which only a single blockhouse survives and for Governor Kent He died of congestive heart failure in 1877 in Bangor, Maine, and is buried at the Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Referencesedit

  1. ^ a b "Edward Kent: Anecdotes of the Governor for Whom Maine Went", New York Times, Dec 4, 1881, p 2; Henry Chase, "Edward Kent", Representative Men of Maine Portland, 1893
  2. ^ Gannett, Henry 1905 The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States Govt Print Off p 129 

Further readingedit

  • David M Gold An Exemplary Whig: Edward Kent and the Whig Disposition in American Politics and Law Lexington Books; 2012 255 pages; scholarly biography
Political offices
Preceded by
Robert P Dunlap
12th Governor of Maine
1838–1839
Succeeded by
John Fairfield
Preceded by
John Fairfield
15th Governor of Maine
1841–1842
Succeeded by
John Fairfield
Preceded by
Allen Gilmam
2nd Mayor of
Bangor, Maine

1836–1837
Succeeded by
Rufus Dwinel
Legal offices
Preceded by
Joshua W Hathaway
Associate Justice of the
Maine Supreme Judicial Court

1859–1873
Succeeded by
John A Peters

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