Description and Holding Information
1821- , Governor. Messages to the Legislature
1821- Messages of the Governors of the State of Maine to both branches of the legislature regarding the state of the state and other issues.
Consistent issues included the failure of the United States and Great Britain to finalize the north eastern border, the continuing theft of timber, settling
wilderness areas, the need for an agricultural college, the organization and failures of the militia, the value of farmers and ways to support
agriculture in general, reports from the state prison, lunatic hospital, land agent, money owed for militia services in past wars, how to settle the
Aroostook region, banking and currency issues, debtor and creditor laws, need for surveys of land and resources, the need for teachers' colleges, limits on
the sale of ardent spirits, deaf and blind students sent out of state to school, moving the costs of criminal cases from the state to the counties,
various topics associated with soldiers in the Civil War, how to support railroad construction, and money.
**1821 Message of the Governor of the State
of Maine to both branches of the Legislature, January 11, 1821. Governor King noted the state had only been created on March 15, 1820. Neither the
court system nor the militia were organized, so there was work to do. He said the state now would have to pay an annuity to the Penobscot tribe, as
had been done by Massachusetts. Because the United States and Britain were in no hurry to finalize the border, the Canadians regularly plundered timber
from Maine's land.
**1822 same title Governor Parris spoke on January 5, 1822.
The State Constitution had been ratified. He extolled the
wonderful resources of the state and expected great things for its economy. He specifically asked for an agricultural college and pointed out that county
jails could not manage a "solitary confinement" or "hard labor" requirement.
**1823 Governor's message, January 2, 1823. Governor Parris talked a
lot about farmers and transportation of products. A committee was trying to revise the statutes of Massachusetts to be the statutes of Maine and
there were several election riddles to solve. There had been a formal division of property with Massachusetts. The militia had its flags and musical
instruments. The county jails were overwhelmed by prisoners.
**1824 same title Governor Parris spoke on January 10, 1824. Ten acres of land, with a
quarry and a wharf, had been purchased for a State Prison to be occupied in the spring. A system for managing and occupying the public lands was
urgently needed. The militia needed an armory. The Treasurer had died, but there was no provision to pay a replacement. Election procedures had to be in
place for the presidential election.
**1825 same title, January 7, 1825. The title page and p. 7 are difficult to read. The Maine statutes had
been completed. There was an appropriation for a school for the deaf, but it made better economic sense to send people to the school in Connecticut
instead. There needed to be procedures for timber harvesting on land owned jointly with Massachusetts. The state prison was occupied with sixty men.
Lafayette might visit during his tour.
**1826 same title, January 9, 1826. Governor Parris spoke at length on a reorganization of the federal
government, and gave a long history of the border dispute. There had been no action from the federal government on money owed to Massachusetts/Maine for
services in the 1812 war. There was discussion about the several issues facing the Aroostook region. The Governor would retire at the end of the
**1827 Speech of the Governor of the State of Maine delivered to both branches of the Legislature, January 4, 1827. Governor Lincoln saw an urgent
need to populate the state. There were several issues in the northeast. It was time to focus on the common schools and the education of girls. As
banks proliferated, there needed to be controls.
**1828 Governor's speech, January 3, 1828. He urged the Legislature to get moving on roads and
river improvements. Where should the state capital be? The state had six million acres of wilderness that could fund many improvements. There was a
poorly explained international incident on the New Brunswick frontier.
**1829 Speech of the Governor of Maine to both branches of the Legislature,
January 8, 1829. Governor Lincoln discussed the federal tariff and the upheaval it generated; the south was already talking about dis-union. Page five is
missing text on each long edge. He considered how to defend Maine from a British/Canadian invasion. The projected site for the state capital was
near a quarry, which would cut costs. The issue of debtor/creditor appeared.
**1830 Message of the Governor of Maine to both branches of the
Legislature, February 10, 1830. Governor Hunton spoke; Governor Lincoln had died. Hunton thought it was time for a lunatic hospital; many sufferers were
in the prison, which was not right. Maine's cost per prisoner was more than most other states--why was that? The state needed to invest in accurate
surveys of the wild lands; good information made it easier to sell them. Please revamp the accounting system.
**1831 and 1832 were not
**1833 same title, January 4, 1833. Governor Smith talked about the current controversies over whether the national government could put any money into
local improvements, the Bank of the United States, the tariff, and a balanced budget. He presented a South Carolina resolution about their grievances.
Please legalize the study of anatomy. The agent had sold almost 125,000 acres for 80c/A. The state lacked a law on fugitives going to and from
**1834 same title, January 2, 1834. Governor Dunlop pushed for a Commission for Public Works and for a teachers' college. The session laws
needed to be printed.
**1835 same title, January 9, 1835. Governor Dunlop thought the national bank was too powerful. The state should spend more on
the education of girls and women. There had been a $25,000 appropriation for a lunatic hospital, conditional on a match from the public; it failed.
A Board of Commissioners on Internal Improvements had completed one road to Canada.
**1836 Message of Governor Dunlop to both branches of the
Legislature of the State of Maine, January 1836. The Governor urged hiring agriculturalists to improve farming skills in the state, expressing interest in
mulberry trees and hemp. $20,000 in outside donations came close enough to the appropriation that land had been bought for the lunatic hospital.
Seven students were sent at state expense to the school for the Blind in Boston. Engineers were researching a railroad route to Quebec. The land agent
had given lots to 227 war veterans and had selected lands to be sold for the benefit of schools.
**1837 same title, January 1837. Governor Dunlop
said he was retiring at the end of the year. Despite great resources, there was not much money for capital improvements. The geological survey had
begun. The court system was overwhelmed; cases took forever. An upheaval in the national economy was beginning; the money supply was
**1838 same title, except substitute Kent for Dunlop. Governor Kent spoke in January 1838. He blamed the federal government for the economic
downturn, saying it had failed to control the circulation of currency. Removing small bills in favor of coins had not worked so far. He urged that wild
lands be sold to settlers, not speculators. He wanted all land transactions recorded with the county clerk. There was a long discourse on the
northeastern boundary. He had been asked to return a runaway slave from Georgia and declined--this turned into a national story. He suggested laws to limit
** 1839 not present
**1840 same title, but Governor Fairfield on January 3, 1840. The state had had to spend a lot of money to
protect the frontier, but expected to recoup much of it from the federal government. Construction of the insane hospital was stopped. He recommended
renewal of the state tax, based on an every five years assessment. Georgia threatened maritime officers and boat traffic from Maine.
**1841 same title
Governor Kent spoke on January 15, 1841. He viewed the federal patronage system with alarm and hinted that the westward expansion was draining Maine
of its best and brightest. The state needed to encourage settlement and manufactures and that meant roads and railroads. The Insane Hospital had
opened. The legislative sessions were the most expensive item in the budget.
**1842 same title, January 7, 1842. Governor Fairfield worried about
the state debt of $1.7 million. He discussed the fierce national argument over the distribution of money from the sale of public lands; he wanted Maine
to refuse its share. The 1840 census showed Maine needed to re-district, so that needed doing, as did firmer controls on elections in general. He
wanted to switch the legislative sessions to the summer.
**1842 same title, May 18, 1842. Britain had sent a man to Washington to finish the
northeastern boundary, and Maine had actually been invited to participate in the process, so the Legislature needed to select their representatives to attend
**1843 same title, January 7, 1843. Governor Fairfield reported this was his last message. The land agent recommended a different
sales system to try to get the market moving. Fairfield was deeply disappointed by the northeastern boundary settlement--he thought Maine had been
robbed. No one liked the national Bankruptcy Act, either.
**1844 same title, January 5, 1844. Governor Anderson discussed the election. Federal
money had finally arrived-$433,000, but $200,000 more was expected. The state was also entitled to $17,000 from the sale of public lands if the
Legislature would accept it. The economy was crawling back; the land sales were an example. He hoped the legislature would have time to consider the
**1845 same title, January 3, 1845. Governor Anderson thought the state had made moderate progress. He went on at length about the common
schools, the issue of Texas, and the tariff.
**1846 same title, May 15, 1846. Governor Anderson planned to retire at the end of the year. Moving
the time of the legislative session had been approved, so this was the first try. He made suggestions about the banking laws and urged the creation of
a Board of Commissioners for the common schools. The Mexican War and the Oregon controversy were mentioned.
**1847 same title, May 19, 1847.
Governor Dana thought business was its own best regulator. He glorified the Mexican war for several pages, saying when it was over, there would be a big
fuss about the expansion of slavery. He was in favor of scientific farming and railroads to move products to market. He recommended the Legislature
stay in session a short time and not do too much law-making.
**1848 same title, May 1848. Governor Dana expected federal reimbursement for the
efforts of Maine soldiers in the Mexican War. He asked the legislature to develop a place for young offenders so they did not have to go to prison and to
clean up the capital punishment procedure. He worried about the willingness of the south to dissolve the Union. The first Teachers' Institutes were
held around the state.
**1849 same title, May 14, 1849. This was Governor Dana's last year. He admitted that the spring legislative session had
not been a good idea, so the Legislature would have to make the change. There were so many national and state issues that were not settled.
same title, May 14, 1850. Governor Hubbard thought "the desire to accumulate wealth has become the master passion of the mind." He talked about debt
and banks and wanted an agriculture school and a school for women. How about offering a certain number of free lots to settlers, not
**1851 same title, May 15, 1851. Governor Hubbard noted the tremendous national argument about states' rights and slavery. He talked about a railroad
from Bangor east to the state line and made the first mention of the telegraph. He warned that Maine had to keep up or it would lose commerce.
Relations with Massachusetts were not good. Both the prison and the insane hospital burned, so rebuilding will be a heavy expense. A Female Seminary was
in the works.
**1852 not present
**1853 same title Governor Crosby spoke in January 1853. [Notice the move back to a winter session.] Last year
Maine legislated that ardent spirits could only be bought in licensed liquor stores, usually one to a jurisdiction. Maine was losing lots of people to
the California gold fields--the state had to develop its resources--this was the Age of Enterprise. There was now a State Board of
**1854 Address of Governor Crosby to the Legislature of the State of Maine, February 8, 1854. The state had bought title to the Massachusetts lands
within the state. The sale of the public lands had been suspended until the legislature came up with a procedure. Something unexplained had gone wrong
with the state election.
**1855 Message of Governor Morrill to the legislature of the State of Maine, January 6, 1855. He warned that public
opinion was offended by too much legislation that proved not to have been carefully thought out. This had been a drought year and a maritime depression.
He thought timber permits should be continued as one way to prevent poaching. He discussed the slavery question at length.
**1856 Address of
Governor Wells to the Legislature of the State of Maine, January 4, 1856. Slavery "continues to engross a large share of the public mind." In his five pages
on the subject, he showed himself in favor of gradual emancipation and mentioned the Missouri Compromise. However, he was not happy with the state's
recent law on fugitive slaves. He argued for a district court layer in the judicial system. A Reform School was in operation.
**1858 same title Governor Morrill spoke on January 8, 1858. The economy was upended again. He offered a long discussion on banks, currency,
Maine's resources, and six pages on slavery.
**1859 same title, January 7, 1859. Governor Morrill complained about the expense of the Legislature--what
about a biennial session? The state needed to pay extra attention to elections in the plantations because the electorate was largely French and
inexperienced with voting.
**1860 same title, January 6, 1860. Governor Morrill said the population was increasing, but slowly; personal wealth was up.
There was now a rail connection to Canada and then to Detroit; work on the northeastern railroads continued. The State Treasurer had embezzled
between $80,000-$90,000. He was bonded, but still-- A committee could not agree on whether to add to the prison or build a second one. The Governor
spent five pages on slavery.
**1861 same title, January 3, 1861. Governor Washburn was pleased with the economy. He suggested recruiting Norwegians to
populate the Aroostook area--they would think the weather was balmy! It was essential to have a state auditor and to give the judges a raise. Since
Lincoln had been elected President, the South was seriously threatening secession, but he did not think it would happen.
**1861.2 Address of
Governor Washburn delivered before the Legislature and Council of the State of Maine, February 22, 1861. Governor Washburn delivered a Washington's
Birthday speech and wished the President were alive in the perilous times.
**1861.3 Address of Governor Washburn to the Legislature of the State of Maine,
April 22, 1861. In January, Maine assured President Lincoln of its loyalty and willingness to supply resources to the Union. The time had come to
stand by that pledge. The Governor had already been asked for a regiment, with more requests to come, but his reading of the law led him to think he
needed authority and appropriations from the Legislature to complete the tasks. Resolve: It was the duty of every citizen of Maine to give earnest and
undivided support to the General Government. "We pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."
**1862 same title, January 2, 1862.
Governor Washburn said the war was not to be for the abolition of slavery, but the preservation of the Union. The state had so far spent over $1,000,000 to
equip and send several thousand soldiers south. Aroostook County sent the most. The direct tax on the states showed Maine had to pay $358,000. There
was some risk of invasion from Canada.
**1863 same title, January 8, 1863. Governor Coburn told the legislators that 33,137 men had gone to fight,
plus about 4,000 to the Navy or Marines. Pages 4 and 5 are difficult to read. He went through the state's financials and discussed bounties to
soldiers and support for their families. The state could benefit from 210,000 acres of land under the Morrill Act, but there were a lot of strings.
Maine wanted the United States to opt out of the Reciprocity Treaty; Canada was definitely not a good neighbor. He mentioned the Emancipation
Proclamation allowing former slaves into the Army; they could staff all the malaria-ridden forts in the South because they were used to the weather.
same title Governor Cony spoke on January 7, 1864, citing a good economy. The draft was in place, but the need for soldiers was lessening. The state
had accepted the terms of the Morrill Act, so thirteen regents had five years to decide on a location for the agricultural college. The Legislature
needed to create the procedures so soldiers could vote. He noted considerable negative reaction to the Emancipation Proclamation.
**1865 same title,
January 5, 1865. Governor Cony went through the finances first. He was not happy that the federal government was strong-arming state banks into the
national bank system. Maine could tax its state banks, but not national banks, so it would lose significant revenue. The soldiers did vote: 4,915 of
them. He went through the naval battles. There were many tasks, but the war got in the way.
**1866 same title, January 1866. Governor Cony said
8,446 men from Maine had died in the conflict, and listed several officers, one of whom was shot by one of his men. The state debt went from $700,000
in 1861 to $5,000,000 in 1865. Inflation and speculation were bad. The prison was self-supporting and no longer used corporal punishment. The Normal
School was going well. The Reciprocity Treaty would end soon. He spent a long time talking about black and white relations and tried to explain
that it would take time for blacks to get an education and get jobs that would support a family. He was not in favor of putting them on ships to
Liberia. He thought it was very unfair that whites could vote, but blacks could not. He regarded Reconstruction as a huge problem, especially because the
nation would lose interest too soon. He would retire at the end of the year.
(Digitized from a microfilm copy of title originally held by the Maine
Historical Society Library, the Maine State Library and the Library of Congress).
Message of the Governor of the state of Maine, to both branches of the Legislature : reformatted from the original and including, Message of the Governor of the state of Maine, communicated to both branches of the Legislature ...