Gov. Levi Lincoln, Jr., US Congress

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Levi Lincoln, Jr.

Birthdate: (85)
Birthplace: Worcester, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
Death: May 29, 1868 (85)
Worcester, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
Place of Burial: Worcester, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Levi Lincoln, US Congress and Martha Lincoln
Husband of Penelope Lincoln
Father of Sarah Warren LINCOLN; Levi Lincoln, III; William Sever LINCOLN; Daniel Waldo LINCOLN; Penelope Sever LINCOLN and 3 others
Brother of Daniel Waldo Lincoln; Martha Parker; John Waldo Lincoln; Enoch Lincoln, Governor; Waldo Lincoln and 4 others

Managed by: Private User
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About Gov. Levi Lincoln, Jr., US Congress,_Jr.

Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts 1825-1834

The son of the former Massachusetts Governor and U.S. Attorney General, Levi Lincoln, Jr. was born in Worcester. He returned there after attending Harvard College and began a legal career. In 1812, he represented Worcester in the Massachusetts Senate and then in the House of Representatives from 1814 to 1822. He was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1823 and served as Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court in 1825.

In 1825, he won the governorship running as an Adams Republican. During his first administration, he supported the owners of the Charles Street Toll Bridge who were opposed to the Commonwealth constructing a free bridge. The issue led to a gubernatorial challenge by the Free Bridge ticket, which Mr. Lincoln overcame. He was challenged seven times by Marcus Morton, who lost each time. In 1831, the state moved the gubernatorial race to November, which resulted in them facing each other twice in the same year.

It was Levi Lincoln, Jr. who received the Marquis de Lafayette, and joined him in a parade of 7,000 citizens honoring the Battle of Bunker Hill's surviving soldiers. The day was declared Lafayette Day, in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette's participation in the American Revolution.

In 1833, Governor Lincoln decided against further gubernatorial runs and instead mounted a successful Congressional bid. He served in Congress 1834-1841, then returned to serve in the Massachusetts Senate in 1844, and as President of the Senate in 1845. Mr. Lincoln returned to his native Worcester where he was elected Mayor in 1848.


American National Biography

Lincoln, Levi (25 Oct. 1782-29 May 1868), lawyer and politician, was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, the son of Levi Lincoln, a lawyer and later attorney general of the United States in the first Thomas Jefferson administration, and Martha Waldo. Levi Lincoln was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1805, three years after graduating from Harvard College. He established a practice in Worcester, and in 1807 he married Penelope Winslow, with whom he had eight children.

Lincoln became politically active as a Jeffersonian Republican. After serving from 1812 to 1813 in the Massachusetts Senate, he won election in 1814 to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, which Federalists and opponents of the War of 1812 dominated. He quickly established himself as the leader of the prowar Republican minority and consistently opposed the policies of Federalist governor Caleb Strong. When the Federalists passed an act authorizing participation in the Hartford Convention, an antiwar gathering, Lincoln wrote the minority protest that was signed by seventy-six members of the house and distributed statewide. The Hartford Convention, followed closely by the end of the war, discredited the Federalists and elevated Lincoln to prominence in the state. Lincoln further enhanced his reputation in the state constitutional convention of 1820-1821 by actively supporting the abolition of apportionment of seats in the senate based on tax assessments by districts. He advocated apportionment by population solely, a position that won him substantial approval from reformers, while his restrained manner preserved the respect of conservatives and his friends among the social and economic elite. Lincoln enjoyed a broad and increasing base of support, and members of the house chose him to serve as Speaker in 1822.

In 1823 Lincoln resigned from the house to accept appointment as lieutenant governor of Massachusetts. Two years later Federalists, suffering a clear and steady decline in their political power and authority, decided to endorse the moderate Lincoln for governor on an "amalgamation" ticket. With Marcus Morton, a highly partisan Republican, as Lincoln's running mate, the ticket drew support from both parties, and Lincoln won 94 percent of the votes cast. He served as governor until 1834 and was never seriously challenged in the annual elections.

As governor Lincoln laid the basis for the progressive economic development of the state. He carried out a survey of state geological resources and topography, promoted the charter of Massachusetts's first railroad companies, and endorsed protective corporation laws through legislative adoption of a principle of limited liability. He eased laws on imprisonment for debt and bankruptcy and reformed prison administration, and he promoted public education with the establishment of normal schools throughout the state and support for the programs of Horace Mann. Also highly regarded was his appointment of Lemuel Shaw as chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court in 1830.

Lincoln made an easy transition from a Jefferson Republican into a National Republican and was indirectly instrumental in organizing the Massachusetts Whig party. In 1824 he supported John Quincy Adams's election to the presidency and in 1827 declined appointment, which Adams promoted, to the U.S. Senate, partly out of concern that his departure from the state house would jeopardize the fragile Republican-Federalist coalition. With Lincoln representing former Jeffersonian Republicans, Daniel Webster representing former Federalists, and both coalescing behind Adams, the Massachusetts National Republican party was now fully organized.

Whereas subsequently Adams flirted with Antimasonry and Webster courted various coalitions in his pursuit of the presidency, Lincoln remained steadfast in the new political organization and held it together. In 1827 his veto of a bill permitting construction of a non-toll bridge across the Charles River that would have ended the monopoly of a toll bridge owned by Harvard College and conservative Bostonians won him conservative support. However, this concern for property rights and his associations with former Federalists and conservative Republicans alienated the Jacksonian elements in the state. By 1834 Lincoln's party evolved into the Massachusetts Whig party, which remained dominant in the state until the party collapsed nationally in 1854.

In 1834 Lincoln won election as a Whig and ally of Webster to the U.S. House of Representatives. He replaced John Davis, who in turn replaced Lincoln as governor. Lincoln served in the House from 17 February 1834 to 16 March 1841 and loyally supported Whig programs. He did not distinguish himself in the House, although he stood as an effective champion of American claims in the dispute with England over the Maine boundary.

Lincoln resigned from the House to accept appointment by President William Henry Harrison as collector of the Port of Boston, replacing Democrat George Bancroft. He served for two years, until President John Tyler replaced him with Democrat Robert Rantoul, Jr., in a bid for Massachusetts Democratic support. Lincoln's dismissal marked his only involuntary political retirement in his career. He returned to the Massachusetts State Senate in 1844 and 1845 and served as president of the senate in 1845. In 1848 Lincoln was an elector for Zachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore and was elected the first mayor of the newly incorporated city of Worcester, a largely ceremonial post he held for one year only. Following that service, at the age of sixty-seven and after thirty-five years in public office, Lincoln retired from politics.

Between 1849 and 1868 Lincoln devoted himself to philanthropic, charitable, and community affairs. He was a founder of the American Antiquarian Society, served on its council from 1817 to 1854, and was a vice president of the society from 1854 to his death. Although Lincoln's career is most associated with Massachusetts, his nationalism was deep and constant throughout his life. He supported Jefferson and James Madison through the War of 1812, condemned South Carolina's nullification ordinance in 1833, and as his last political act, cast electoral votes for Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson in the election of 1864. Neither a scholar, great legislator, nor charismatic public speaker, Lincoln was a stable and highly respected public official during a politically chaotic time. After an illness of two years, he died in Worcester.


Lincoln's papers are housed in the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston and the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester. The latter contains an extended contemporary eulogy, Charles Hudson, "Life, Services, and Character of Hon. Levi Lincoln of Worcester." Information can be drawn from several older publications and general histories of Mass., such as Waldo Lincoln, History of the Lincoln Family (1923), written by his son; and a collection of eulogies in A Memorial of Levi Lincoln, the Governor of Massachusetts from 1825 to 1834 (1868). Lincoln's activities are also described in Arthur B. Darling, Political Changes in Massachusetts, 1824-1848: A Study of Liberal Movements in Politics (1925); and Ronald P. Formisano, The Transformation of Political Culture: Massachusetts Parties, 1790s-1840s (1983).

Kinley Brauer -------------------------------------------------------------------------- US Congressional biography: LINCOLN, Levi, (1782 - 1868)

LINCOLN, Levi, (son of Levi Lincoln [1749-1820] and brother of Enoch Lincoln), a Representative from Massachusetts; born in Worcester, Mass., October 25, 1782; attended Leicester Academy, Leicester, Mass., and was graduated from Harvard University in 1802; studied law; was admitted to the bar and commenced the practice of his profession at Worcester in 1805; served in the state senate in 1812 and 1813; member of the state house of representatives 1814-1822 and served as speaker in 1822; delegate to the state constitutional convention in 1820; elected lieutenant governor of Massachusetts in 1823; appointed associate justice of the state supreme court in 1824; governor of Massachusetts 1825-1834; declined reelection; elected as an Anti-Jacksonian to the Twenty-third Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of John Davis; reelected as an Anti-Jacksonian to the Twenty-fourth Congress; elected as a Whig to the Twenty-fifth, Twenty-sixth, and Twenty-seventh Congresses and served from February 17, 1834, to March 16, 1841, when he resigned; chairman, Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds (Twenty-fifth and Twenty-sixth Congresses); collector of the port of Boston, by appointment of President Harrison, 1841-1843; served in the state senate in 1844 and 1845 and was president of that body in the latter year; first mayor of Worcester in 1848; presidential elector on the Republican ticket in 1864; died in Worcester, Worcester County, Mass., May 29, 1868; interment in the Rural Cemetery. [1, 2, 3]

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Gov. Levi Lincoln, Jr., US Congress's Timeline

October 25, 1782
Worcester, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
Age 25
August 22, 1810
Age 27
Worcester, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
November 22, 1811
Age 29
Worcester, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
January 15, 1813
Age 30
Worcester, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
July 1, 1815
Age 32
Worcester, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
October 19, 1816
Age 33
Worcester, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
August 28, 1818
Age 35
Worcester, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
December 2, 1820
Age 38
Worcester, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States