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Bangor Photo Tour #5: Hannibal Hamlin’s mustache

04/13/2013
A statue to Abe Lincoln's fist vice president stands in a park next to the Kenduskeag River in downtown Bangor.

A statue of Abraham Lincoln’s first vice president, Hannibal Hamlin, stands in a park next to the Kenduskeag Stream in downtown Bangor. Hamlin favored a “radical reconstruction” agenda that guaranteed the rights of freed African Americans.

Inspired by a cruel April snowstorm in Maine, I decide to post this chilly picture taken recently in a downtown Bangor riverside park. A statue to a man lost in history.

Hannibal Hamlin is the Maine native who served as vice president during the first term of Abraham Lincoln. Hamlin left office 42 days before the Lincoln assassination…yes, he missed becoming president by just over a month.

A mischievous artist added a mustache to Vice President Hamline's statue

A mischievous artist added a mustache to Vice President Hamlin’s statue

Perhaps the strange and twisted events felt like a cruel joke to him.

Here’s a brief Hannibal Hamlin history lesson: In the run up to the 1864 election, Vice President Hamlin was replaced by Andrew Johnson as Lincoln’s running mate. Johnson was from Tennessee, which gave Lincoln a stronger base in the south during expected reconstruction. The Lincoln/Johnson ticket won the election in November, 1864; Hamlin’s vice presidential term expired March 4, 1865; the South surrendered April 9, 1865 and Lincoln was shot and died six days later…making Johnson, a southerner, the country’s 17th president.

Hamlin returned to Maine and served as its U.S. Senator from 1869 to 1881. He died in Bangor in 1891 at the age of 81.

As you can see in the close-up, an “artist” added a mustache to the Hamlin statue prior to the snow storm…and another appendage not suitable for a PG-rated blog post.

Another cruel joke on Mr. Hamlin, I suppose.

Update: I’m happy to report Bangor park officials or a local park guardian removed the offensive violations soon after the picture was taken.

Rest easy, Mr. Vice President.

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From → Bangor, Photos

2 Comments
  1. John Freed permalink

    There’s a building on the U of M campus named after him. Can’t remember if it is a dorm or a classroom building. Most of the dorms are named after the state’s counties. I was in Cumberland in ’67 and ’68.

  2. Interesting stuff, Mark. Wonder how things would have been different had he been in charge during the Restoration? Better or worse. And, wow, that’s a lot of snow…

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