John Chandler

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For other people named John Chandler, see John Chandler (disambiguation).
John Chandler
Senator John Chandler.jpg
United States Senator
from Maine
In office
June 14, 1820 – March 3, 1829
Preceded by None
Succeeded by Peleg Sprague
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 17th district
In office
March 4, 1805 – March 3, 1809
Preceded by None
Succeeded by Barzillai Gannett
Personal details
Born February 1, 1762
Epping, New Hampshire
Died September 25, 1841(1841-09-25) (aged 79)
Augusta, Maine
Resting place Mount Pleasant Cemetery
Political party Democratic-Republican

John Chandler (February 1, 1762 – September 25, 1841) was an American politician and soldier of Maine. The political career of Chandler, a Democratic-Republican, was interspersed with his involvement in the state militia during both the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.

Chandler was born in Epping, New Hampshire, the brother of Thomas Chandler. His father was a captain in the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War, and had died in 1776. Chandler was self-educated and enlisted in the Continental Army at age 15. After the end of the war, he settled on a farm near Monmouth, Maine, then a part of Massachusetts. At the time, Chandler was both illiterate and without money. However, he had become the protégé of General Henry Dearborn, (1751-1829), a future fifth U.S. Secretary of War (1801-1809), who was also an important commander of the Northeast sector at Fort Detroit, in the Old Northwest Territory, but a terrible failure during the War of 1812. Chandler borrowed $400 from the Dearborns and bought 200 acres (0.8 km²) of land. He became wealthy as a blacksmith.

From 1803 to 1805, Chandler served in the Massachusetts Senate; he later was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Republican, serving from March 4, 1805 to March 3, 1809. Chandler was not a candidate for renomination in 1808 and was appointed Sheriff of Kennebec County the same year.

During the War of 1812, Chandler served in the United States Army from 1812 to 1815. Initially his appointment was as the commander of a brigade of U.S. Volunteers, troops recruited for one years service. On July 8, 1812, he was commissioned as a brigadier general. Chandler was wounded and captured during the Niagara campaign at the Battle of Stoney Creek in Canada, when he wandered into the British line, thinking it was his own.

In the same battle, another acting commander Gen. William Winder, (1775-1824), was also captured. Winder was later placed in command of the Fifth Military District around the National Capital of Washington in the summer of 1814. Appointed by fourth President James Madison, (1751-1836) of Virginia, and U.S. Secretary of War James Armstrong, (1748-1828), of Pennsylvania. His titanic failures despite great personal efforts at the Battle of Bladensburg in August 1814, resulted in the rout characterized as "The Bladensburg Races" and culminated in the loss and the "Burning of Washington" for which he was later court-martialed, but acquitted.

In 1814 he served defending the coast of New Hampshire and Maine, coordinating efforts between the local militia and federal units. After the war ended, Chandler returned to politics as a member of the Massachusetts General Court in 1819.

Chandler was the first president of the Maine Senate and a member of the Maine Constitutional Convention. Upon the admission of Maine to the Union, Chandler was elected to the U.S. Senate. Chandler began his term on June 14, 1820, and was reelected in 1823. During his time in the Senate, Chandler was the chairman of the Committee on Militia during the 18th through 20th Congresses and played a key role in establishing the arsenal at Augusta, as well as the construction of the military road from Bangor to Houlton. He resigned on March 3, 1829, to become the customs collector of Portland, a post he held until 1837. Chandler died in Augusta at age 79 and was buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

Chandler was a trustee of Bowdoin College. He was the uncle of Zachariah Chandler.

Sources[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
none-new position
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 17th congressional district

(Maine district)
March 4, 1805 – March 3, 1809
Succeeded by
Barzillai Gannett
United States Senate
Preceded by
none-new office
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Maine
1820–1829
Served alongside: John Holmes, Albion K. Parris
Succeeded by
Peleg Sprague
Political offices
Preceded by
None
1st President of the Maine Senate
1820
Succeeded by
William Moody