Prentiss Mellen

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Prentiss Mellen (1764 – 1840) was the first Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

He was also a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts.

Mellen was born in Sterling, Massachusetts on October 11, 1764. He graduated from Harvard University in 1784; studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1788 and commenced practice in Sterling and Bridgewater, Massachusetts, and in Dover, New Hampshire.

Image of Prentiss Mellon from the Maine Historical Society

He moved to Biddeford, Massachusetts (later a part of the State of Maine in 1820), around 1791 and practiced law, eventually settling in Portland, Maine, around 1806; member of the Massachusetts executive council 1808-1809, 1817; presidential elector in 1817; trustee of Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine from 1817 to 1836; elected to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Eli P. Ashmun and served from June 5, 1818, to May 15, 1820, when he resigned.

Upon the admission of the State of Maine into the Union in 1820, he became Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court and served until his resignation in 1834. He was also a member and chairman of the commission to revise and codify the public statutes of Maine in 1838. He died in Portland, Maine on December 31, 1840 and was interred in Western Cemetery.

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