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James Dunning, Bangor, ca. 1867

Contributed by Maine Historical Society and Maine State Museum
MMN Item 101216 Item Details
James Dunning, Bangor, ca. 1867
MMN Item 101216 Zoom


James Dunning of Bangor operated a seed and grocery store and was involved in efforts to build a rail line from Bangor to Waterville. That project included stock sales on which most investors lost money.

Dunning is shown here in a sketch John Martin of Bangor made on page 51 of his "Scrap Book no 3," a series of recollections on his life and commentary on contemporary events.

Martin (1823-1904) devoted a section of the "Scrap Book" to politics around 1866. He described Dunning, a former Democrat who became active in the Republican Party, as "always to be seen on public occasions." He described a number of Democrat "rascals" and included Dunning in the "rascal" category, recounting a number of Dunning's schemes.

A text "bubble" coming out of Dunning's mouth in the illustration quotes Dunning in response to a question about whether he could support President Andrew Johnson's policies as asking the questioner, "if he thought I was a d -- med fool."

The quote is from a speech he gave at Bangor City Hall September 16, 1866.

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