AUBURN — The Androscoggin Historical Society will host retired professor Doug Hodgkin at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27, at the Historical Society’s headquarters at the county courthouse, 2 Turner St. The event will be on the third floor. An elevator is available.

Hodgkin will give a talk on stealing the 1879 election in Maine, drawn from his most recent book, “Lewiston Politics in the Gilded Age: 1863-1900.” The book will be available for purchase.

When the votes were counted on election night in the Maine election of 1879, the Republicans apparently had won the majorities in both the State Senate and the House of Representatives. No candidate for governor won the majority of votes as required at that time, so the Legislature was expected to elect the Republican.

However, the Greenback and Democratic parties had won the previous election and controlled the certification of the results. Through technicalities and outright fraudulent practices, they deprived enough Republicans of their seats to change control of the Legislature.

“This is the story of how two competing legislatures and governors were chosen amid threats of violence and how it was resolved,” said Hodgkin. “Important actors were Democratic Gov. Alonzo Garcelon of Lewiston, Republican U.S. Sen. James G. Blaine and Gen. Joshua Chamberlain.”

Hodgkin is professor emeritus at Bates College, the Historical Society’s president and editor of its newsletter. He has written eight other books on local topics, including Lewiston before the Civil War, the Lewiston Grange, the Lewiston and Auburn Railroad and Auburn Baptist churches. A Lewiston native, Hodgkin graduated from Lewiston High School and has degrees from Yale and Duke Universities.

Admission to this program is free, but donations will be accepted. FMI: 207-784-0586.


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