Henry A. S. Dearborn

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Henry Alexander Scammell Dearborn

Birthdate: (68)
Death: 1851 (68)
Immediate Family:

Son of Maj Gen Henry Dearborn, US Secretary of War and Dorcas Dearborn
Husband of Hannah Swett Dearborn
Father of Julia Margaretta Dearborn; Henry George Raleigh Dearborn and William Lee Dearborn

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About Henry A. S. Dearborn


Henry Alexander Scammell Dearborn (March 3, 1783, Exeter, New Hampshire – July 29, 1851, Portland, Maine) was an American lawyer, author, statesman and soldier. Dearborn was also the first President of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, a member of the Society of the Cincinnati, and the author of many books.

Early life

Dearborn was the son of Secretary of War and Major General Henry Dearborn by his second wife and named for his father's friend Alexander Scammell.

Dearborn was married to Hannah Swett Lee daughter of Colonel William Raymond Lee 1745-1824 of Massachusetts.

Dearborn attended the common schools and went to Williams College for two years and then graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1803.

Early career

Dearborn studied law, was admitted to the bar and practiced in Salem, Massachusetts and Portland, Maine (which was then a part of Massachusetts).

In 1808 he oversaw the construction of Fort Preble and Fort Scammel in the harbor defenses of Portland. He replaced his father as the collector of customs in Boston from 1812 to 1829. During the War of 1812 he commanded volunteers manning the defenses of Boston harbor. He was promoted to brigadier general in the Massachusetts Militia in 1813.

After the war, he was elected captain of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts in 1816.

Political career

Dearborn was a delegate to the Massachusetts state constitutional convention in 1820. He was a member of the Massachusetts state house of representatives in 1829 and a member of the Massachusetts Senate in 1830. He was elected as an Anti-Jacksonian U.S. Representative from Massachusetts 10th District to the Twenty-second Congress (1831–1833). He was defeated running for reelection in 1832.

He served as adjutant general of the Massachusetts Militia from 1834 to 1843.

He was elected Mayor of Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1846 and served from 1847 to 1851. In 1848, while he was Mayor of Roxbury, Dearborn designed and founded the Forest Hills Cemetery. He also designed Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the first rural landscaped cemetery in the nation.

Society of the Cincinnati

In 1832, following the decease of his father, he was admitted to the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati. In 1848, following the death of President General William Popham in September 1847, he was elected as President General of the Society. He was the first President General to be a hereditary member rather than a veteran of the Revolution.

As President General he proposed changes in the Society's membership rules to allow for descendants of other than original members to join. This provision is known as the Rule of 1854.

He died in office in 1851, having served a single three year term.

Death and interment

Dearborn died in Portland, Maine and is interred in Forest Hills Cemetery in Roxbury, Massachusetts.


The dearborn, a light four-wheeled carriage with curtained sides, was named after him (he maintained such a carriage).

Dearborn's nephew was William R. Lee (1807-1891) who was colonel of the 20th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment during the Civil War and was breveted to brigadier general after the war.

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Henry A. S. Dearborn's Timeline

January 25, 1808
Age 25
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
June 22, 1809
Age 26
Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States
June 12, 1812
Age 29
Age 68