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Henry Bradstreet Cleaves (February 6, 1840 – June 22, 1912) was an American politician and the 43rd Governor of Maine.

Early life[]

Cleaves was born in Bridgton, Maine on February 6, 1840. He studied at local schools.

American Civil War[]

Cleaves served during the American Civil War. He enlisted in the summer of 1862, as a private soldier in Company B, 23d Maine Volunteers, under Col. William Wirt Virgin, later a justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine. Cleaves attained the rank of lieutenant by time he was mustered out of service. He then studied law. 1868, he was admitted to the bar. He had a successful legal career in Portland, Maine.


Cleaves became a member of the Maine House of Representatives in 1876. He held that position until 1877. He also served as the city solicitor for Portland (1877–1879), and as the Attorney General of Maine (1880–1885). He was nominated for the governorship of Maine by the Republican party in 1892. He went on to win the general election by a popular vote. He was sworn into governor's office on January 4, 1893. He won the re-election in 1894. During his administration, problems which resulting from the national economic depression in 1893 was dealt with. He left office on January 2, 1897.

Cleaves died on June 22, 1912.


  • Sobel, Robert and John Raimo. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978. Greenwood Press, 1988. ISBN 0-313-28093-2

Template:Governors of Maine


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