Albion Parris

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Albion Keith Parris (January 19, 1788 – February 11, 1857) was an American politician and jurist of Maine. Parris served in many elected and appointed positions throughout this life, including state legislator, U.S. Senator, the fifth Governor of Maine, state Supreme Court judge, and mayor.


Parris was born in Hebron, Maine, then a part of Massachusetts. His father, Samuel, was from Massachusetts and has been one of the first settlers of the town following the American Revolutionary War. His cousin was Virgil Delphini Parris, also a politician. Parris entered Dartmouth College in 1803, graduating in 1806. He later studied law and was admitted to the bar, beginning practice in 1809 in Paris, Maine. In 1810, he married Sarah Whitman, the eldest daughter of the Reverend Levi Whitman of Wellfleet. He had three daughters and two sons (including Albion Woodbury Small), all of who survived him.

In 1811, Parris became the Oxford County prosecutor. From 1813 to 1814, Parris served in the State House; from 1814 to 1816 he was a member of the State Senate.

On March 4, 1815, Parris began his term as a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts, elected as a Democratic-Republican. On January 27, 1818, Parris was nominated by President James Monroe to become a judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maine, the seat having been vacated by David Sewall. The appointment was confirmed by the United States Senate the next day, and Parris resigned from Congress on February 3, 1818, to assume his judgeship. In 1819, Parris was a delegate to the Maine constitutional convention. He served as a judge until January 1, 1822, when he resigned to become the Governor of Maine. Parris served as Governor until 1827.

That year, Parris was elected to the U.S. Senate, serving from March 4, 1827, to August 26, 1828, when he resigned to become a judge on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. Parris served as a Supreme Judicial Court judge until 1836, when he became the Second Comptroller of the Treasury; Parris served in this position until 1850. In the fall of 1846, he served as one of the three commissioners negotiating a treaty at Washington, D.C. with the Winnebago (Ho-Chunk) Indians.[1]

In 1852, Parris became the mayor of Portland, defeating Whig incumbent Neal Dow. He did not seek reelection and launched an unsuccessful bid in 1854 as a Democrat to become Governor; he was defeated by Know Nothing candidate Anson Morrill.[2] In his later years he was an active member of the High Street Church and a Sunday School teacher. He died at age 69 in Portland and was interred at the Western Cemetery. Removed to Evergreen Cemetery.


United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Levi Hubbard
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 20th congressional district

(Maine district)
March 4, 1815 – February 3, 1818
Succeeded by
Enoch Lincoln
Legal offices
Preceded by
David Sewall
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maine
Succeeded by
Ashur Ware
Political offices
Preceded by
Benjamin Ames
Governor of Maine
Succeeded by
Enoch Lincoln
Preceded by
Neal S. Dow
Mayor of Portland, Maine
Succeeded by
J. B. Cahoon
United States Senate
Preceded by
John Holmes
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Maine
March 4, 1827 – August 26, 1828
Served alongside: John Chandler
Succeeded by
John Holmes