Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Kavanagh, Edward

Edward Kavanaugh (courtesy Maine State Archives)

Edward Kavanaugh (courtesy Maine State Archives)

(1795-1844) a U.S. Representative, was born in Newcastle on April 27, 1795. He attended Montreal Seminary, Montreal, Canada, and Georgetown College, Georgetown, D.C., and was graduated from St. Mary’s College, Baltimore, Maryland, in 1813.

He studied law, was admitted to the bar and began his practice in Damariscotta. A member of the Maine House of Representatives 1826-1828, he was Secretary of the Maine State Senate in 1830.

Elected as a Jacksonian to the Twenty-second and Twenty-third Congresses (March 4, 1831-March 3, 1835), Kavanagh was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1834 to the Twenty-fourth Congress. Appointed Chargé d’Affaires to Portugal on March 3, 1835, he served until his resignation in June 1841.

One of the four Maine members on the joint commission on the northeastern boundary in 1842, he was also a member of the Maine State Senate in 1842 and 1843 and served as president of that body.

Kavanagh became the first Catholic Governor of Maine upon the resignation of Governor Fairfield on March 7, 1843, and served until the end of the term in 1844. He died in Newcastle January 22, 1844, with interment in St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery, Damariscotta Mills.

Additional resources

*Beale, Howard K. “Edward Kavanagh,” Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1933, Vol. 10, pp. 264-265.

Chase, Henry. Representative Men of Maine.

*“Governor Edward Kavanagh,” Maine Historical and Genealogical Recorder. Bangor, July, 1898, pp. 193-196.

*Hawes, Edward L. “Edward Kavanagh,” American National Biography. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999, Vol. 12, pp. 407-408.

*“Hon. Edward Kavanagh,” The Brunswicker, February 22, 1844, p. 1.

Lucey, William Leo. Edward Kavanaugh, Catholic, Statesman, Diplomat, from Maine, 1795-1844. Francestown, New Hampshire: Marshall Jones, 1947.

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*Cited in “Edward Kavanaugh” Friends of the Blaine House at http://blainehouse.org/governors/Edward_Kavanaugh.html (accessed April 21, 2011)

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