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Henry Alexander Scammell Dearborn

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Title: Henry Alexander Scammell Dearborn  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Mayors of Roxbury, Massachusetts, House Island (Maine), Mount Auburn Cemetery, Writers from Portland, Maine, Members of the American Antiquarian Society
Collection: 1783 Births, 1851 Deaths, Collectors of the Port of Boston, College of William & Mary Alumni, Massachusetts Lawyers, Massachusetts National Republicans, Massachusetts State Senators, Mayors of Roxbury, Massachusetts, Members of the American Antiquarian Society, Members of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Members of the United States House of Representatives from Massachusetts, National Republican Party Members of the United States House of Representatives, People from Exeter, New Hampshire, People from Portland, Maine, People from Salem, Massachusetts, Writers from Portland, Maine
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Henry Alexander Scammell Dearborn

Henry Alexander Scammell Dearborn
2nd Mayor of Roxbury, Massachusetts
In office
1847 – July 29, 1851[1]
Preceded by John Jones Clarke
Succeeded by Samuel Walker
9th Adjutant General of Massachusetts
In office
February 5, 1835 – March 6, 1843
Preceded by William H. Sumner
Succeeded by Joseph E. Boyd
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts's 10th congressional district
In office
March 4, 1831 – March 3, 1833
Preceded by John Bailey
Succeeded by William Baylies
Personal details
Born March 3, 1783
Exeter, New Hampshire
Died June 29, 1851(1851-06-29) (aged 68)
Portland, Maine
Nationality American
Political party National Republican
Spouse(s) Hannah Swett Lee
Relations A nephew was Civil War US General William Raymond Lee 1807-1891
Children Julia Maragretta Dearborn, William Dearborn, Henry George Raleigh
Alma mater The College of William and Mary
Profession Attorney

Henry Alexander Scammell Dearborn (March 3, 1783, Exeter, New Hampshire – July 29, 1851, Portland, Maine) was an American lawyer, author, statesman and soldier. Dearborn was also the first President of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, a member of the Society of the Cincinnati, and the author of many books.


  • Biography 1
    • Early life 1.1
    • Early career 1.2
    • Political career 1.3
  • Society of the Cincinnati 2
    • Death and interment 2.1
  • Legacy 3
  • References 4
  • Notes 5
  • External links 6


Early life

Dearborn was the son of Secretary of War and Major General Henry Dearborn by his second wife and named for his father's friend Alexander Scammell.

Dearborn was married to Hannah Swett Lee daughter of Colonel William Raymond Lee 1745–1824 of Massachusetts.

Dearborn attended the common schools and went to Williams College for two years and then graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1803.

Early career

Dearborn studied law, was admitted to the bar and practiced in Salem, Massachusetts and Portland, Maine (which was then a part of Massachusetts).

In 1808 he oversaw the construction of Fort Preble and Fort Scammel in the harbor defenses of Portland. During the War of 1812 he commanded volunteers manning the defenses of Boston harbor. He replaced his father as the Collector of the Port of Boston and served from 1813 to 1829. He was promoted to brigadier general in the Massachusetts Militia in 1814.

After the war, he was elected captain of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts in 1816. Dearborn was also elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1815.[2]

Political career

Dearborn was a delegate to the Massachusetts state constitutional convention in 1820. He was a member of the Massachusetts state house of representatives in 1829 and a member of the Massachusetts Senate in 1830. He was elected as an Anti-Jacksonian Representative from Massachusetts 10th District to the Twenty-second Congress (1831–1833). He was defeated running for reelection in 1832.

He served as adjutant general of the Massachusetts Militia with the rank of major general from 1834 to 1843.

He was elected Mayor of Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1846 and served from 1847 to 1851. In 1848, while he was Mayor of Roxbury, Dearborn designed and founded the Forest Hills Cemetery. He also designed Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the first rural landscaped cemetery in the nation.

Society of the Cincinnati

In 1832, following the decease of his father, he was admitted to the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati. In 1848, following the death of President General William Popham in September 1847, he was elected as President General of the Society. He was the first President General to be a hereditary member rather than a veteran of the Revolution.

As President General he proposed changes in the Society's membership rules to allow for descendants of other than original members to join. This provision is known as the Rule of 1854.

He died in office in 1851, having served a single three-year term.

Death and interment

Dearborn died in Portland, Maine and is interred in Forest Hills Cemetery in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.


The dearborn, a light four-wheeled carriage with curtained sides, was named after him (he maintained such a carriage).[3]

Dearborn's nephew was William R. Lee (1807–1891) who was colonel of the 20th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment during the Civil War and was breveted to brigadier general after the war.

There have been three successive grade schools in Roxbury that have been named after General Dearborn. The first was built in 1852, the second, still standing at 25 Ambrose St. was built in 1905 and after that closed the old Roxbury High School was renamed the Dearborn Middle School in 1981. A forth school, the Dearborn STEM School is in the planning stages.


  • History of the Forest Hills Cemetery


  1. ^ A Catalogue of the City Councils of Boston, 1822-1908, Roxbury, 1846-1867, Charlestown 1847-1873 and of The Selectmen of Boston, 1634-1822 also of Various Other Town and Municipal officers, Boston, MA: City of Boston Printing Department, 1909, p. 327 
  2. ^ American Antiquarian Society Members Directory
  3. ^ Dearborn

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Bailey
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 10th congressional district

March 4, 1831–March 3, 1833
Succeeded by
William Baylies
Political offices
Preceded by
John Jones Clarke
Mayor of Roxbury, Massachusetts
1847 - 1851
Succeeded by
Samuel Walker
Military offices
Preceded by
Adjutant General of Massachusetts
1834 - 1843
Succeeded by
Henry K. Oliver
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