Vienna Historical Society
Preserving the History of Vienna and Mount Vernon, Maine

John L. Stevens

                                                                           File:Johnlstevens.jpg                                                                                          John L. Stevens
                                                                          1820 - 1895

John L. Stevens was born in Mount Vernon, the son of Capt. John & Charlotte (Lyford) Stevens.  Following graduation from Kents Hill School, Stevens became a Universalist minister during which time he became a crusader against slavery. His lifelong friend, Gov. Anson P. Morrill, persuaded him to retire from the pulpit, and to become editor and publisher in partnership with James G. Blaine at the Kennebec Journal in Augusta, Maine. Stevens served as the K.J.'s chief editor until 1869. During that time he served in the State House of Representatives 1866-67 and State Senate 1868-69. While a member of the House he introduced the resolve that led directly to the establishment of the Industrial School for Girls in Hallowell.  He also pushed legislation abolishing capital punishment. In 1869 President Grant appointed him U.S. Minister to Uruguay, a post he held until 1874. From 1881-1884 he was appointed by the U.S. President to the post of U.S. Minister of Scandinavia. In 1889 President Harrison appointed John Stevens as Minister Resident at Honolulu.  In 1893, Stevens engineered the overthrow of Queen Lilluokalani.


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