Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

William George Crosby


The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography 311 (New York:
James T. White & Company, 1896)(Vol. 6)

George Bancroft Griffith (ed.), The Poets of Maine 76 (Portland, Maine: Elwell, Pickard & Co., 1888):

Born in Belfast in 1805, and died there March 21. 1881. Governor of Maine in 1853 and 1854, by election of the Legislature. Gov. Crosby was admitted to the bar in Boston, and practiced there from 1826 to 1828, when he returned to Belfast. In 1846 Mr. Crosby was elected Secretary of the Maine Board of Education, and held this important and honorable office three years. Subsequently, on retiring from the office of chief magistrate, he resided for a while in Boston, editorially connected with Mr. Littell in some of his publications. On returning to Belfast, he resumed his profession, and held high rank at the bar. In 1866 he received the appointment of collector for the district, his last public position. He was a man of cultivated literary tastes, and his Commencement part at Bowdoin College was a poem. He published a series of fifty-two papers, entitled, "Annals of Belfast for Half a Century, by an Old Settler," and delivered one of a popular course of lectures. In 1870 he received the degree of LL.D. from the college, and was a time on its Board of Directors.

The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography 311-312 (New York: James T. White & Company, 1896)(Vol. 6):

Crosby, William George, seventeenth governor of Maine (1853-55), was born in Belfast, Me., Sept. 10, 1805. . . . His father, Judge William Crosby, was an eminent jurist, and his mother was Sally, daughter of Benjamin Davis of Billerica, Mass. Young Crosby received his preparatory education at Belfast Academy, and entered Bowdoin College, where he was graduated in 1823, being the first person born in Belfast to receive a college education. Among his classmates were such eminent men as Franklin Pierce, William Pitt Fessenden, Henry W. Longfellow, Nathaniel Hawthorne, John S.C. Abbott, and others of genius and distinction. Mr. Crosby studied law with his father and began to practice in Boston, where he remained two years. He returned to Belfast in 1828, and continued to reside there permanently. From the first of his career, Mr. Crosby became prominently identified with the politics of his state. He was a Whig . . . . He was an active participant in the campaign for "Harrison and Reform," and in 1844 was a delegate to the national convention which nominated Henry Clay, and was one of his warmest supporters. . . . In 1950 he was nominated by his party for governor of the state, but was defeated, and again in 1852, when, owing to the division in the Democratic party through the agitation of the Maine law and free soil issues, there was no choice of the people. The election was thrown into the legislature, and after a long struggle he was elected governor. He was re-elected in the same manner in the following year. . . . While at college he contributed fugitive poems to the newspapers, which were afterward published in book form. He was also the author of "Poetical Illustrations of the Athenaeum Gallery." He died in Belfast, March 21, 1881.

Governor Willam George Crosby
Representative Men of Maine
(Portland, Maine, The Lakeside Press, 1893)


William George Crosby, Poetical Illustrations of the Athenaeum Gallery of Paintings (Boston: True and Greene, 1827) [online text]


William George Crosby, "Annals of Belfast for Half a Century," in Early Histories of Belfast, Maine (Camden, Maine: Picton Press, 1989)