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Hannibal Hamlin
Hannibal Hamlin, photo portrait seated, c1860-65.jpg
15th Vice President of the United States
In office
March 4, 1861 – March 4, 1865
President Abraham Lincoln
Preceded by John C. Breckinridge
Succeeded by Andrew Johnson
United States Senator
from Maine
In office
June 8, 1848 – January 7, 1857
Preceded by Wyman B. S. Moor
Succeeded by Amos Nourse
In office
March 4, 1857 – January 17, 1861
Preceded by Amos Nourse
Succeeded by Lot M. Morrill
In office
March 4, 1869 – March 3, 1881
Preceded by Lot M. Morrill
Succeeded by Eugene Hale
26th Governor of Maine
In office
January 8, 1857 – February 25, 1857
Preceded by Samuel Wells
Succeeded by Joseph H. Williams
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Maine's 6th district
In office
March 4, 1843 – March 3, 1847
Preceded by Alfred Marshall
Succeeded by James S. Wiley
United States Minister to Spain
In office
June 30, 1881 – October 17, 1882
Appointed by James Garfield
Preceded by Lucius Fairchild
Succeeded by John W. Foster
Personal details
Born August 27, 1809
Paris, Maine
Died July 4, 1891 (aged 81)
Bangor, Maine
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Ellen Vesta Emery Hamlin

Hannibal Hamlin (August 27, 1809–July 4, 1891) was a politician from Maine. Hamlin served as a lawmaker in Maine, Governor of Maine, in the U.S. House of Representatives, and in the U.S. Senate. He began his career as a Democrat but later became a Republican. He was the first Republican to serve as Vice President of the United States, elected as Abraham Lincoln's Vice President in the 1860 presidential election.

Early life

Hamlin was born in Paris, Maine. He was a descendant of James Hamlin who had lived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1639. He attended the area's schools, and later managed his father's farm. For the next few years he worked at several jobs. He studied law. He lived in Hampden, where he practiced law until 1848, when he moved away.

Political life

Hamlin studied law. He was admitted to the legal profession in 1833, and quickly became known as a good lawyer and a good speaker. In politics, he began as an against slavery Democrat. He was a member of the state House of Representatives from 1836-1840, in charge of the House during the last four years. He was a representative in Congress from 1843 to 1847, and a Senator of the United States Senate from 1848 to 1856. From the very beginning of his service in Congress he was a well-known opponent of the extension of slavery; a notable supporter of the Wilmot Proviso, an opponent of the Missouri Compromise, and in 1856, he left the Democrats and joined the new Republican party.

The Republicans in Maine supported him for governor in the same year, and he won a landslide victory. He was inaugurated as governor on the 8th of January 1857. In late February, however, he gave up the governorship, and was in the Senate from 1857 to 1861. From 1861 to 1865, during the Civil War, he was Vice-President of the United States. While in this office he gave a large amount of advice to then President Lincoln, and supported both the Emancipation Proclamation and the arming of the slaves. After the war he served in the Senate (1869-1881), was minister to Spain (1881-1883), and then left public life. He died at Bangor, Maine, on the 4th of July 1891.

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