The Edward Kavanagh Collection consists primarily of copies of autograph signed letters by Edward Kavanagh to individuals to whom he offered legal counsel and to associates during his service as charge d'affaires in Lisbon. The correspondence is in the original letter copy book used by Kavanagh.
Other material includes newsclippings of obituaries on Kavanagh; a letter from his biographer Charles W. Collins to the historian Martin Griffin; a black and white photograph of the Kavanagh family mansion at Damariscotta Mills, Maine; and equipment belonging to the letter book - 2 styluses and stencilling plates.
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Edward Kavanagh was the thriteenth governor of Maine from 1843 to 1844. He was born at Damariscotta Mills, Maine, on April 27, 1795. He was the son of James Kavanagh, originally from Ireland having arrived in Boston in 1780, and of Sarah Jackson, a native of the latter city. Raised as a Roman Catholic, Edward Kavanagh was educated at Jesuit colleges in Montreal and at Georgetown, Washington, D.C. He was graduated from St. Mary's College, Baltimore, in 1813.
For sometime after finishing college, Edward Kavanagh 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 next 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, Kavanagh was elected as a representative to the state legislature. He served as secretary of the senate of Maine in 1830. From 1831 through 1835, Kavanagh elected to serve as a Democratic member of the House of Representatives. From 1835 through June 1841, when he finally retired, Kavanagh 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 conclusion of a commerce and naval treaty between the U.S. and Portugal. In 1842 and 1843 he was elected for the state senate in Maine. In 1842 Kavanagh was also made chairman of the legislative committee on the settlment of the boundary between Maine and Canada, eventually settled in the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of August 9, 1842 (between Britain's Baron Ashburton and Daniel Webster of the U.S.). In 1843, Kavanagh accepted his final post as chief magistrate of the state senate. He died in Newcastle, Maine, January 20, 1844.
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Bulk dates: Span dates:
Extent: 0.25 linear feet, 1 box
Provenance: Gift of Martin Griffin?
Processed by Lisette C. Matano, October 11, 1990.
ALS Autograph letter signed
TLS Typed letter signed
EK Edward Kavanagh
BULK DATES: 1832 - 1837
SPAN DATES: 1832 - 1909
EXTENT: 0.25 lf., 1 box