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William G. Crosby

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

William G. Crosby
William G. Crosby (Maine Governor).jpg
23rd Governor of Maine
In office
January 5, 1853 – January 3, 1855
Preceded byJohn Hubbard
Succeeded byAnson Morrill
Personal details
Born(1805-09-10)September 10, 1805
Belfast, Massachusetts
(now Maine)
DiedMarch 21, 1881(1881-03-21) (aged 75)
Belfast, Maine
Political partyWhig

William George Crosby (September 10, 1805 – March 21, 1881) was an American politician and the 23rd Governor of Maine. A Whig, Crosby served two single-year terms as governor from 1853 to 1855.

Early life

Crosby was born in Belfast (in modern-day Maine, then a part of Massachusetts) on September 10, 1805. He studied at Belfast Academy. He graduated from Bowdoin College in 1823, and his classmates included William Pitt Fessenden, with whom he remained friendly until Fessenden's death in 1869. He then studied law with his father, Judge William Crosby, was admitted to the bar, and practiced in Boston. He returned to Belfast two years later to become his father's law partner. In 1831, Crosby married Ann M. Patterson of Belfast.


Crosby was an unsuccessful Whig candidate for Congress in 1838. He actively campaigned for William Henry Harrison during the presidential election of 1840. Crosby served as delegate to the 1844 Whig National Convention that nominated Henry Clay for President of the United States. From 1846 to 1849, Crosby served as Secretary of the Maine Board of Education, the first person to hold this position. In 1850, he was the unsuccessful Whig nominee for Governor of Maine.

In 1852, Crosby was elected governor, and he was reelected in 1853. Both times Crosby finished second in a three-way race, with the Democratic candidate receiving the most popular votes; in accordance with Maine law, the state legislature made the choice if no candidate received a majority, and the legislature selected Crosby. The Whig Party ceased to be a major national party after the 1852 presidential election, and Crosby left office on January 3, 1855.

Later years

After leaving the office, he served as a trustee of Bowdoin College and a member of the Maine Historical Society. He also accepted an appointment as federal collector of customs for he district which included Belfast. In 1870, he received the honorary degree of LL.D. from Bowdoin.

He died in Belfast on March 21, 1881, and was buried at Grove Cemetery in Belfast.

William G. Crosby High School in Belfast was built in 1923, and later served as the city's middle school. It was closed in 1991, and since then it has been used for a variety of other activities.


  • Sobel, Robert and John Raimo. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978. Greenwood Press, 1988. ISBN 0-313-28093-2
  • William G. Crosby at National Governors Association
Party political offices
Preceded by
Elijah Hamlin
Whig nominee for Governor of Maine
1850, 1852, 1853
Succeeded by
Isaac Reed
Political offices
Preceded by
John Hubbard
Governor of Maine
Succeeded by
Anson Morrill
This page was last edited on 13 May 2020, at 02:55
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