Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Connor, Selden

Selden Connor, governor's portrait (Maine State Museum)

Selden Connor, governor's portrait (Maine State Museum)

was a Civil War general, formerly a Colonel in the 19th Maine Volunteers, and governor from 1876 through 1879.

He was born in Fairfield on January 25, 1839, attended local schools, and graduated from Tufts College in 1859.

In 1861, as Civil War threatened the country, Connor joined the 1st Vermont Regiment. He rose through the ranks to Lieutenant-Colonel, then Colonel, then Brigadier-General before he was mustered out in 1866.

Seldon Connor (courtesy, Maine State Archives)

Seldon Connor (courtesy, Maine State Archives)

In 1868 he moved to Maine holding posts in the Internal Revenue service. Maine Republicans, fearing a split in their party, selected Connor in 1875 as a compromise candidate for governor. He won and was twice reelected. In his third attempt at reelection he won 44.8 percent of the vote to 22.4 percent for the Democrat’s Dr. Alonzo Garcelon. John Smith the Greenback-Labor candidate got 34.5 percent. Without a popular majority vote, the election was thrown to the legislature to decide. The Democrats and Greenbackers united against Connor and chose Garcelon.

After leaving office he was appointed United States Pension Agent in 1882, then Maine’s Adjutant-General in 1893. Later Connor returned to be United States Pension Agent in Augusta from 1897 to 1912. He died in that city on July 9, 1917.

Additional resources

*Biographical Encyclopedia of Maine of the 19th Century. Boston: Metropolitan Publishing and Engraving Company, 1885, p. 147.

Chase, Henry. ed. Representative Men of Maine.

“Do you want Gen. Connor or Joseph H. Williams for governor?” 1878? (Broadside in the Maine State Library)

*Kennebec Journal, Augusta, July 10, 1917.

Selden Connor, 1839-1917: Lieutenant Colonel, 7th Maine Regiment, Maine Volunteers, Colonel, 19th Maine Volunteers, Brevet Brigadier General, U.S. Volunteers, Governor of Maine, 1876-1879. Augusta, Me. Maine State Archives, 1997.

Lemke, William. A Pride Of Lions: Joshua Chamberlain And Other Maine Civil War Heroes. North Attleborough, Mass. Covered Bridge Press. c1997.

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*Cited in Friends of the Blaine House at http://blainehouse.org/governors(accessed April 25, 2011) (accessed April 25, 2011)

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This entry was last modified: October 24, 2011 01:10 AM

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