General Samuel Fessenden (July 16, 1784 – 13 March 1869) was an abolitionist who served in the Massachusetts state legislature and was an elected general in the Massachusetts militia (and then the Maine militia, when Maine became a separate state).

Fessenden was a member of the Portland Anti-Slavery Society (follow the link to access a Maine History Online slideshow about the society).

Some sources suggest he ran for Massachusetts state congress as a member of the Free Soil Party, which opposed expansion of slavery into the U.S.’s western territories.

While searching…

General Fessenden’s sons included Samuel C. Fessenden (March 7, 1815 – April 18, 1882), a U.S. Congressman from Maine (1861-1863); William Pitt Fessenden (October 16, 1806 – September 8, 1869), who served in the United States House of Representatives and Senate before becoming Secretary of the Treasury (1864-1865); and Thomas Amory Deblois Fessenden (January 23, 1826 – September 28, 1868), a U.S. Congressman from Maine (1862-1863).


This post is part of the Roots of Greatness series inspired by Letitia Lee’s painting of that name.

A note on images: A web search will turn up images of General Samuel Fessenden, but I have not been able to identify one labeled for reuse so have opted not to include any on this page.

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