Governor Enoch Lincoln
As found in REPRESENTATIVE MEN OF MAINE
A Collection of Biographical Sketches of all the Governors since the formation of the State.
Prepaired under the direction of Henry Chase
Portland, ME.
The Lakeside Press, Publisher
1893

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GOVERNOR ENOCH LINCOLN, the fifth Governor of Maine, the third elected by the people, was a son of Levi Lincoln, born in Hingham, Mass., May 5, 1749. The father removed to Worcester and was LieutenantGovernor of the State two years, 1807-8. Enoch was born in Worcester, December 28, 1788. He entered Harvard College in 1806, in the Sophomore class, but in his Senior year some trouble arose in the college and he, with others, voluntarily withdrew in 1808. Bowdoin College, in 1821, bestowed upon him the honorary degree of Master of Arts.

On leaving the university he commenced the study of law with his brother Levi, who was an attorney in Worcester, and was admitted to the Worcester County Bar in 1811. He settled in Salem, Mass., and opened a law office, but remained there only one year, when he removed to Fryeburg, Me. Here he pursued his profession, devoting his spare hours to literary pursuits, of which he was very fond. He paid particular attention to the study of the Indian language and to the history, character, habits, etc, of the once powerful tribe that occupied this region of country. It was his purpose to publish, at some future time, a history of the aboriginal inhabitants of this State and he collected a great mass of material on this subject, hut he did not live to carry his purpose into execution.

In 1815 Mr. Lincoln was appointed Assistant United States District Attorney by the Hon. William P. Preble. He eagerly espoused the cause of the Democracy and labored earnestly to advance the interests of his party. In 1818 Hon. A. K. Parris resigned his seat in Congress to accept a judgeship in the United States District Court, and Mr. Lincoln was chosen to fill the place. He was re-elected two succeeding terms, and in 1826, when only thirty-eight years of age, he was elected, by a very large majority, Governor of the State. When Judge l'arris moved from Paris to Portland, in 1819, Mr. Lincoln went to Paris and succeeded the judge in his law practice; he also succeeded him as member of Congress and as Governor of the State. It will be noticed that they were both born the same year, 1788.

He was re-elected in 1827 and again in 1828, hut early in 1829 he positively declined to again be a candidate. Mr. Lincoln was immensely popular with the people, and his elections were carried by very large majorities. The most important matter of State which he was called upon to treat during his terms of office as Governor was the northeastern boundary question, which was assuming alarming proportions and becoming a subject of national concern. He earnestly defended the rights of the State to the whole territory in dispute, and further maintained that the national government had no right to cede any territory without the State's consent, standing firmly on the ground of the State's control over its own soil. His correspondence on this subject with the authorities at Washington and New Brunswick were regarded as model documents of the kind, and showed great ability, firmness, and a complete knowledge of the subjects treated.

It was in Governor Lincoln's administration, and through his influence largely, that Augusta was selected as the seat of government and the eminence in the southerly part of the city as the site of the capitol. This was decided on by the Governor and Council at a session at Augusta in June, 1827. The Governor, during his term of office, gave great attention to the Cause of education and promoted it in every possible way. The subject of internal improvemenLs also had his hearty support, and he pressed upon the attention of the Legislature the valuable report made by the Hon George Evans on a highway to Canada, also the report of Judge Coodnow on a general system of internal improvements.

Governor Lincoln purchased a farm in Scarborough, near the King mansion, where he intended to enjoy, after retiring from the gubernatorial chair, a quiet, rural life and the pursuits of literature and of scientific investigation, all of which had largely been denied him during the busy years of official life. But this sweet enjoyment was not to l)e vouchsafed to him. Though feeble in health he was persuaded to go to Augusta and deliver the oration on the occasion of laying the corner-stone of the capitol The mental and physical strain of this effort proved too much for him, and he died October 8, 1829, at Augusta, aged forty years. He was buried with great public honors on the beautiful State grounds fronting the capitol, on the bank of the Kennebec River. Here his remains repose in a granite tomb erected by the State in 1842. Governor Lincoln was never married.

The politicians of the present day might study his life with profit. A writer has well said of him: "lie was a popular as well as an upright and honest chief magistrate; lie had a high sense of honor and would not stoop for party purposes, or any purpose, to lower the dignity of his high station as a public officer or his selfrespect as a man. H is heart glowed with generous impulses and his conduct was guided by upright intentions."



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