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Edward Kavanagh (1795-1844)


Edward Kavanagh

Edward Kavanagh was the thirteenth governor of Maine from 1843 to 1844. He was born in Newcastle, Lincoln County, Maine, April 27, 1795. Edward was the son of James Kavanagh, originally from Ireland having arrived in Boston in 1780, and of Sarah Jackson, a native of Boston. Raised as a Roman Catholic, Edward was educated at Jesuit colleges in Montreal and at Georgetown, Washington, D.C. He graduated from St. Mary's College, Baltimore, in 1813.

For sometime after finishing college, Edward joined his father in the lumber and shipbuilding business. Then, after the end of the Naploenic wars, he traveled to Europe and Britain for two years. Returning home, he studied law and on admission to the bar, settled in Damariscotta as a cousellor in which capacity he soon gained respect and prominence.

In 1826, Edward was elected as a representative to the state legislature. He served as secretary of the senate of Maine in 1830. From 1831 through 1835, Edward elected to serve as a Democratic member of the House of Representatives.

From 1835 through June 1841, when he finally retired, Edward was appointed U.S. charge d'affaires to Portugal by President Jackson. In this capacity he oversaw the settlement of claims of American citizens abroad, and the conclusion of a commerce and naval treaty between the U.S. and Portugal.

In 1842 and 1843 he was elected to the state senate in Maine. In 1842 Edward was also made chairman of the legislative committee on the settlement of the boundary between Maine and Canada, eventually resolved in the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of August 9, 1842 (between Britain's Baron Ashburton and Daniel Webster of the U.S.).

In 1843, Edward accepted his final post as chief magistrate of the state senate. He died in Newcastle, Maine, January 21, 1844. He is buried in St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery, Damariscotta Mills, Maine.

The following image is the official US government record of Edwards nomination to the post of charge d'affaires to Portugal.

Link to Official US congress biography of Edward Kavanagh