Bio of Charles Johnson Talbot
As found in REPRESENTATIVE MEN OF MAINE
A Collection of Biographical Sketches.
Prepaired under the direction of Henry Chase
Portland, ME.
The Lakeside Press, Publisher
1893

MR. TALBOT was of English ancestry. His great-grandfather, Dea. Ambrose Talbot, came to Dorchester. Mass., with his parents. On becoming of age he purchased a large tract of land at Strout’s Point, in the old town of North Yarmouth, married Miss Mary Bailey, had six sons (the two older were soldiers of the Revolution) and five daughters, and was the first Deacon of the First Congregational Church in Freeport, Me. His grandfather, Asa Talbot, Esq., was one of the early settlers in Avon and built the first frame house on the “Mile Square". “ Through the preaching of Rev. Jesse Lee he became a Methodist, and his house was for many years the place of public worship. His grandmother, Abigail Johnson Talbot, was the daughter of Jacob Johnson, of Harpswell, who was in the United States privateer service in the War of the Revolution. His father, Rev. Archibald Talbot, was a farmer, Methodist class-leader and local preacher, for many years chaplain of Maine Lodge of Masons. He held many positions of honor and trust, being several years County Commissioner, also a Trustee of the State Insane Asylum at Augusta. His mother, Sophia Smith Ta]bot, was an estimable Christian woman of culture, the daughter of Capt. Samuel Smith, commander of a company in the War of 1812, a cousin to the late Chief Justice Whitman of Maine.

Charles Johnson Talbot was born in Avon, Me., September 18, 1820. He was an only son, having and applying the educational advantages of the common school, high school, and the Academy at Farmington, then a college fitting school. He taught several terms of school, and at the age of twenty-one was elected Superintending School Committee of Phillips. He read law in the office of Hon. Moses Sherburne (afterwards Judge of the United States Court of Minnesota Territory), and was admitted to the Bar in Franklin County. In 1847 he was elected Register of I)eeds for that county, and resided in Farmington until 1857, when be removed to Wilton. Prior to 1854 he was a Democrat, strongly opposed to the extension of slavery.

Mr. Talbot was President of the Anti-Slavery and Temperance State Convention, held in Portland, June 7, 1854, that nominated Hon. Anson P. Morrill for Governor, the first Republican Governor of Maine. The Portland Advertiser of that date states that Mr. Talbot, in taking the chair, eloquently denounced the supporters of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill in Congress nullifying the “Missouri Compromise,” and earnestly appealed to the friends of freedom and temperance, of every party, to act together in solid column in support of these vital issues.

He was the leader and organizer of the movement to unite the Whigs, Free Soilers, and Anti-Slavery Democrats in Franklin County, and a leading member (joint Committee on Resolutions) of the famous Convention held at Strong, Me., August 7, 1854, when those three organized political parties met in three separate delegate Conventions, and then assembled in one convention, dropped their former names, and all united in adopting the name, “Republican party.” This was the birth of the Republican party and the first delegate nominating Convention in the United States to adopt that name. The bold and stirring resolutions adopted by this first Republican Convention were drafted by him and adopted as they came from his pen. The thirtieth anniversary of the first naming of the Republican party was celebrated at Strong, in 1884, during the presidential candidacy of Hon. James G. Blaine. Mr. Talbot was chairman of the Committee on Resolutions in the Republican State Convention, held at Portland in 1856, that nominated Hon. Hannibal Hamlin for Governor, the first Republican Governor of Maine elected by the people. At this Convention be was elected a member of the State Committee, and held that position later for several years. He attended the National Conventions and made the personal acquaintance of many prominent Anti-Slavery leaders.

In 1861 he was commissioned, by President Lincoln, United States Surveyor of Customs for the Port of Portland, holding that office during President Lincoln’s administrations, and was re-commissioned in 1866 by President Johnson, but removed as soon as the President commenced “Swinging round the circle.” In 1869 he was, by President Grant, commissioned United States Collector of Internal Revenue for the Second District of Maine, and in January, 1876, commissioned Collector for the consolidated Second and Third Districts, holding this United States Collectorship eight years. In 1877 he was appointed State Railroad Commissioner by Governor Connor, and in 1880 re-appointed by Governor Davis, holding the office six years.

Mr. Talbot was, for a long period, prominently mentioned and, at one time, strongly supported as a candidate for Representative to Congress. He was a pioneer in the organization, and, for more than a quarter of a century, a conspicuous leader of the Republican party in Maine. He was a good public speaker, quite prominent as such in the early campaigns, and a constant reader, with a taste for legal studies, having a clear, lucid mind and retentive memory.

While he was a lawyer he was also a farmer, owning a large, well-cultivated and productive farm in East Wilton, on which he erected a fine set of buildings, and expended a large sum of money irrigating, fertilizing and perfecting, giving employment to many. He was one of the corporators and founders of the Franklin County Savings Bank, Farmington, in 1868, and, for several years, a member of its Board of Trustees. He did a large Probate business, settling many estates as Executor and Administrator, often holding trust funds as Guardian. In every position of trust, both public and private, he discharged the duties with ability and strict fidelity. He was very careful in drafting legal instruments of all kinds, and a prudent counselor, always keeping in mind the interest of those who sought his advice.

Although deprived of robust health he had an energetic nature, and was first and foremost in all enterprises that aided in promoting the welfare of mankind. He enjoyed the prosperity of his friends and neighbors, was always courteous and kind, and ever ready to contribute to the wants of others.

Mr. Talbot, in 1843, married Miss Delphinia S. Robbins, daughter of Asa Robbins, Jr., Esq., of Phillips. She died in 1859. By this marriage he had two sons. Archie Lee Talbot, of Lewiston, general agent for Maine for the Provident Life and Trust Company, of Philadelphia, and Asa Charles Talbot, of East Wilton, a successful farmer. In 1861 he married Mrs. Myra A. Smith, sister of the late Ambrose Colby, of Portland, who survives him. By this marriage he had one daughter (Lura), Mrs. Edwin S. Farnum, of East Wilton, and one son, Erlon Colby Talbot, deceased.

Mr. Talbot united with the Methodist Episcopal Church at the age of nineteen, and continued an influential and highly esteemed member in that church until his death. He died at his home in East Wilton, March 10, 1884, and his remains were interred in his family lot in Riverside Cemetery, Farmington, with Masonic honors.


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