PARIS — A bicentennial celebration of U.S. Vice President Hannibal Hamlin’s birth will be held on Paris Hill this weekend with speeches, tours and a rededication of a memorial stone erected in his honor in 1909.

 Festivities will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday on the common near the home where he was born Aug. 27, 1809. Centennial and sesquicentennial celebrations were held in 1909 and 1959.


“The event is to honor and remember our native son Hannibal Hamlin, our great statesman,” said Wini Mott, a member of the committee organizing the event. Hamlin was vice president under Abraham Lincoln in the early 1860s.


Mott said the morning will include a series of speeches. The sister and daughter of Dr. Cyrus Hamlin, a descendant of Hannibal Hamlin, will read greetings on behalf of the family. Other speakers are Hamlin historian Richard Newcomb and writer Matthew Simmons.


People will also read from speeches given by Gov. Bert Fernald at the centennial event and U.S. Sen. Margaret Chase Smith in 1959. Readings will also be taken from Hamlin’s speeches, including his 1856 announcement that he would be changing political parties.


A walking tour to the historic buildings around the commons will take place at 1 p.m. During the afternoon, old-time crafts and games will be available on the common and exhibits on Hamlin will be open at the Hamlin Memorial Library and Museum, Paris Hill Historical Society and Paris Hill Academy. A “Hamlin Family Gathering” will be open for anyone believed to be related to Hamlin to check their genealogy.


At 3 p.m., there will be a rededication of a memorial stone and tablet by the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. The memorial was first installed by the organization in 1909.


Hamlin served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1843 to 1847 and the Senate from 1848 to 1857. He served as the governor of Maine for about two months in 1857 before returning to the Senate.


He was chosen as Lincoln’s running mate in the 1860 presidential election, and was vice president until Lincoln opted to run in the 1864 election with Andrew Johnson, then the military governor of Tennessee, on the ticket.


Hamlin also served an additional 12 years in the Senate and worked as U.S. minister to Spain. He died in 1891.


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