HAMLIN, Hannibal

1809–1891

Biography

HAMLIN, Hannibal, a Representative and a Senator from Maine and a Vice President of the United States; born at Paris Hill, Oxford County, Maine, August 27, 1809; attended the district schools and Hebron Academy; took charge of the family farm and worked as a surveyor, compositor in a printing office, and school teacher; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1833 and practiced in Hampden, Penobscot County, until 1848; member, State house of representatives 1836-1841, 1847, and served as speaker in 1837, 1839, and 1840; unsuccessful Democratic candidate for election in 1840 to the Twenty-seventh Congress; elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-eighth and Twenty-ninth Congresses (March 4, 1843-March 3, 1847); chairman, Committee on Elections (Twenty-ninth Congress); unsuccessful Democratic candidate for election to the United States Senate in 1846; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1848 by the anti-slavery wing of the Democratic party to fill the vacancy caused by the death of John Fairfield; reelected in 1850 and served from June 8, 1848, to January 7, 1857, when he resigned to become Governor; chairman, Committee on Commerce (Thirty-first through Thirty-fourth Congresses); Committee on Printing (Thirty-second Congress); left the Democratic Party in 1856; Governor of Maine January to February 1857, when he resigned; elected to the United States Senate as a Republican and served from March 4, 1857, until his resignation, effective January 17, 1861, to become vice president; elected Vice President of the United States on the ticket with Abraham Lincoln 1861-1865; appointed collector of the port of Boston in 1865 but resigned in 1866; again elected to the United States Senate in 1869; reelected in 1875 and served from March 4, 1869, until March 3, 1881; was not a candidate for renomination; chairman, Committee on the District of Columbia (Forty-first Congress), Committee on Manufactures (Forty-second Congress), Committee on Mines and Mining (Forty-second and Forty-third Congresses), Committee on Post Office and Post Roads (Forty-fourth and Forty-fifth Congresses), Committee on Foreign Relations (Forty-fifth Congress); United States Minister to Spain from 1881 to 1882, when he resigned; devoted the remainder of his life to agricultural pursuits; died in Bangor, Maine, July 4, 1891; interment in Mount Hope Cemetery.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

American Baptist Historical Society

Rochester, NY
Papers: 1836. 1 letter. Concerns a revival in Topsham, Maine.

Boston Public Library

Boston, MA
Papers: 4 items.

Columbia University
Rare Book and Manuscript Library

New York, NY
Papers: 9 microfilm reels of originals (1829-1909) at Columbia and other repositories including the University of Maine.

Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH
Papers: 1 letter (December 14, 1854) from George Mifflin Dallas concerning a mission to search for Elisha Kent Lane; correspondence in Elizabeth Goodwin collection, 1758-1891; and 2 letters (1864) in Susan Lord Hayes correspondence concerning release of her son, Brig. Gen. Joseph Hayes, from Confederate military prison.

Henry E. Huntington Library

San Marino, CA
Papers: 10 items in William Jones Rhees papers, 1744-1906.

Knox College
Seymour Library

Galesburg, IL
Papers: 1 letter (October 6, 1882) in Bookfellow Foundation autograph collection.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: 1834-1882. 10 items. Also 9 microfilm reels of originals (1829-1909) at Columbia University and other repositories. Finding aid.

Maine Historical Society

Portland, ME
Papers: Correspondence in Aurestus S. Perham papers, 1865-1928; and miscellaneous political and personal papers.

Maine State Archives

Augusta, ME
Papers: In Civil War collections, correspondence between Vice President Hamlin and Senator Lot Morrill.

Massachusetts Historical Society

Boston, MA
Papers: 11 items (1852-1870) in various collections. Finding aid.

Massachusetts State Archives

Boston, MA
Papers: Correspondence (1846) in Land Office records, 1782-1849, relating to the eastern boundary of the U.S.

New-York Historical Society

New York, NY
Papers: 1844-1881. 15 items. Personal and official correspondence. Finding aid.

New York State Library
Manuscripts and Special Collections

Albany, NY
Papers: December 20, 1883. 1 letter (3 pages). To E.S. March concerning Spain.

Pierpont Morgan Library

New York, NY
Papers: 6 items (1850-1872); and 5 letters (1847-1891), chiefly regarding politics, in the Gilder Lehrman collection. Finding aid.

Stanford University Libraries
Special Collections

Stanford, CA
Papers: In Elmer E. Robinson collection, 1764-1982.

University of Maine
Raymond Folger Library

Orono, ME
Papers: In Hamlin family papers, 1828-1891. 11 feet. Correspondence, letters of condolence, speeches, newspaper clippings, and bust. Available on microfilm, negative at Columbia University. Finding aid.

University of Michigan
Bentley Historical Library

Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: Letters by Hamlin in Louis Charles Karpinski papers, 1878-1956.

University of Rochester
Rush Rhees Library

Rochester, NY
Papers: 14 letters by and 3 to Hamlin (1852-1862) in various collections. Finding aid.

Washburn-Norlands Library

Livermore Falls, ME
Papers: 1 letter in the Israel Washburn papers, 1841-1883. Finding aid.

Yale University Libraries
Manuscripts and Archives

New Haven, CT
Papers: In James Watson Webb papers, 1819-1967; and S. Griswold Flagg collection, 1825-1938.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Carroll, Howard. "Hannibal Hamlin." In Twelve Americans: Their Lives and Times, pp. 117-45. 1883. Reprint. Freeport, NY: Books For Libraries Press, 1971.

Hamlin, Charles Eugene. The Life and Times of Hannibal Hamlin. 2 vols. 1899. Reprint. Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1971.

Hunt, H. Draper. Hannibal Hamlin of Maine, Lincoln's First Vice-President. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1969.

___. "President Lincoln's First Vice: Hannibal Hamlin of Maine."Lincoln Herald 88 (Winter 1986): 137-44.

Kazarian, Richard, Jr. "Working Radicals: The Early Political Careers of William Seward, Thaddeus Stevens, Henry Wilson, Charles Sumner, Salmon P. Chase and Hannibal Hamlin." Ph.D. dissertation, Brown University, 1981.

Knight, Enoch. "An Old-Fashioned Statesman,--Hannibal Hamlin." Overland Monthly, 2d ser. 18 (November 1891): 519-23.

Scroggins, Mark. Hannibal: The Life of Abraham Lincoln's First Vice President. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1993.

Weisenberg, Leonard A. "Hamlin of Maine." Civil War Times Illustrated 10 (December 1971): 34-44.

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