Maine politics

Blaine's career as a Republican newspaperman led naturally to involvement in Republican party politics. In 1856, he was selected as a delegate to the first Republican National Convention. From the party's early days, Blaine identified with the conservative wing, supporting Supreme Court Justice John McLean for the presidential nomination over the more radical John C. Frémont, the eventual nominee. The following year, Blaine was offered the editorship of the Portland Daily Advertiser, which he accepted, selling his interest in the Journal soon thereafter. He still maintained his home in Augusta, however, with his growing family. Although Blaine's first son, Stanwood, died in infancy, he and Harriet had two more sons soon afterward: Walker, in 1855, and Emmons, in 1857. They would have four more children in years to come: Alice, James, Margaret, and Harriet. It was around this time that Blaine left the Presbyterian church of his childhood and joined his wife's religion, becoming a member of the South Parish Congregational Church in Augusta.

In 1858, Blaine ran for a seat in the Maine House of Representatives, and was elected. He ran for reelection in 1859, 1860, and 1861, and was successful each time by large majorities. The added responsibilities led Blaine to reduce his duties with the Advertiser in 1860, and he soon ceased editorial work altogether. Meanwhile, his political power was growing as he became chairman of the Republican state committee in 1859, replacing Stevens. Blaine was not a delegate to the Republican convention in 1860, but attended anyway as an enthusiastic supporter of Abraham Lincoln. Returning to Maine, he was elected Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives in 1861 and reelected in 1862. With the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, he supported Lincoln's war effort and saw that the Maine Legislature voted to organize and equip units to join the Union Army. Best online review with bonuses to acquire actual money. .