(1813-1883), a U.S. Representative and brother of Elihu Benjamin Washburn, Cadwallader Colden Washburn, and William Drew Washburn, was born in Livermore on June 6, 1813. (See more on the Washburn family at Norlands.)
Washburn attended the common schools and was educated by private tutors, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1834 and commenced practice in Orono. He was a member of the Maine House of Representatives in 1842 and 1843.
An unsuccessful candidate for the Thirty-first Congress in 1848, he was elected as a Whig to the Thirty-second and Thirty-third Congresses and as a Republican to the Thirty-fourth, Thirty-fifth, and Thirty-sixth Congresses. He served from March 4, 1851, to January 1, 1861, when he resigned, having been elected Governor. In Congress he was chairman of the Committee on Elections (Thirty-fourth Congress).
Governor of Maine in 1861 and 1862, he declined to be a candidate for renomination. Washburn was appointed by President Lincoln as collector of customs at Portland and served from October 31, 1863, until March 16, 1877, when he resigned. He also served as president of the board of trustees of Tufts College, Medford, Massachusetts.
Thereafter he engaged in literary pursuits, and died in Philadelphia on May 12, 1883, with interment in Mount Hope Cemetery, Bangor, Maine. The Aroostook County town of Washburn was named in his honor.
*Biographical Encyclopedia of Maine of the 19th Century. Boston: Metropolitan Publishing and Engraving Company, 1885, pp. 114-127.
Chase, Henry. ed. Representative Men of Maine.
*“Death of Hon. Israel Washburn, Jr.,” Bangor Daily Whig & Courier, May 14, 1883.
Hunt, Gaillard, comp. Israel, Elihu, and Cadwallader Washburn: A Chapter in American Biography. New York: Macmillan, 1925.
*Kelsey, Kerch. Israel Washburn, Jr., Maine’s Little Known Giant of the Civil War. Rockport, Maine: Picton Press, 2004.
*Pope, Jennie Barnes. “Israel Washburn,” Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Scribner’s Sons, 1933, Vol. 19, pp. 502-503.
*Richardson, Heather Cox. “Israel Washburn, Jr.,” American National Biography. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999, Vol. 22, pp. 746-747.
*In Memoriam, Israel Washburn, Jr. Privately Printed, 1884.
Philoon, James E. The Norlands: Home of the Famed Washburn Family of Livermore. 1957?
Washburn, Israel. Notes, Historical, Descriptive, and Personal, of Livermore, in Androscoggin (formerly in Oxford) County, Maine. Portland, Bailey & Noyes. 1874.
*Cited in Friends of the Blaine House at http://blainehouse.org/governors (accessed April 26, 2011)