Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Pattangall, William

William Robindon Pattangall, courtesy Maine State Museum

William Robindon Pattangall, courtesy Maine State Museum

William Robinson Pattangall (1865-1942) was at once a humorist, politician and sage. He was born in Pembroke, Washington County, and graduated from the University of Maine in 1884.

At the turn of the century, Pattangall became well known for his biting political satire in two books: The Meddybemps Letters and The Maine Hall of Fame. According to one account

The major thrust of Pattangall’s barbed wit was to point out the graft and conflict of interest amid the leading Republicans of the day. It was said that the Letters “made the entire state laugh. They began to undermine the very foundations of Republican Party domination. For the first time, the sacred careers of the great were dissected by simple humor.”

A defector from the Republican party, he joined the Democrats and became their unsuccessful candidate for governor in 1922 and in 1924 during a period of “rock ribbed Republicanism.”

He was a Democratic state legislator and later a Republican Attorney General. In 1931 Governor William Tudor Gardiner appointed him to the Maine Supreme Court.

Additional resources

Fellows, Raymond. William Robinson Pattangall of Maine, Lawyer, Judge, and Politician … together with The Meddybemps Letters, The Maine Hall of Fame, Anecdotes and Speeches. Bangor, Me. 1954.

Isaacson, Dorris A. Maine: A Guide Downeast.

Maine State Bar Association. Report of Oroceedings at the Testimonial Dinner to Retired Chief Justice William R. Pattangall: by the Maine State Bar Association at the Augusta House, Augusta, Maine, December Third, 1935. Augusta, Me. The Association. 1935? [University of Maine School of Law. Garbrecht Law Library; Maine State Library]

Pattangall, William R. Great Maine Men. Brewer, Me. Cay-Bel Publishing. c1985.

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This entry was last modified: March 01, 2014 03:54 PM

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