William P. Preble to William King regarding Missouri Compromise, Portland, 1820


Although delighted by the arrival of statehood for Maine, William Pitt Preble expressed his disgust with the circumstances in which it was eventually achieved: "The chagrin manifested here is beyond anything I have ever seen... And as to those of our representatives who have done so much to embarrass and so little to aid us; may they not be forgotten."

Many people in Maine were unhappy with the Missouri Compromise which admitted Maine into the Union as a free state and Missouri as a slave state. Preble's letter is addressed to William King, future first governor of Maine.

William Pitt Preble was born in York, Maine in 1783, where he started a law practice in 1809 after graduating from Harvard. He was appointed County Attorney for York in 1811, and the United States Attorney for Maine from 1814-1820. Preble was also a delegate at the Maine Constitutional Convention. In 1820, he became a justice of the Maine Supreme Court.


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