Halvor Langdon Halvorson
November 25, 1835
Bath, Maine, U.S.
|Died||September 5, 1900 (aged 64)|
Small Point, Maine, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Emma Duncan Crocker|
|Children||2, including Harold|
Arthur Sewall (November 25, 1835-September 5, 1900) was an American Democratic politician and shipbuilder from Maine, best known as the Democratic nominee for Vice President of the United States in 1896. From 1888 to 1896 he served as a member of the Democratic National Committee and unsuccessful ran for Maine's Senate seat against Eugene Hale. The only elective offices Sewall held were as councilman and alderman in the town of Bath, Maine.
Following the death of his father he and his brother lead their successful and wealthy shipbuilding business and following his brother's death in 1879 he took complete control. He served as President of the Maine Central railroad from 1884 to 1893 and also served as President of the Bath National Bank.
In June 1895 he came out in support of free silver and at the 1896 Democratic National Convention he took third place on the first ballot behind Representative Joseph C. Sibley and Publisher John R. McLean and after initially losing delegates on the second ballot rebounded and took the majority on the fifth ballot before behind nominated by acclamation. His selection is believed to have been an effort to win votes among conservative and New England members of the party who were disturbed by the populist aspects of William Jennings Bryan. Arthur Sewall is also one of the few politicians to be an adherent of Swedenborgianism, a religion based on the writings of Swedish theologian Emanuel Swedenborg. His main vice-presidential opponent, Garret A. Hobart (Rep), was also an Eastern banker and industrialist who had served on his party's national committee. Sewall was Bryan's running mate for the first of Bryan's three times as the Democratic presidential nominee.
Sewall's grandson, Sumner Sewall, served as Governor of Maine from 1941 to 1945, as a Republican.
In 2008, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch referenced Sewall in an article criticizing Senator John McCain's selection of Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential candidate in the 2008 presidential election, saying he had picked "the least qualified running mate since the Swedenborgian shipbuilder Arthur Sewall ran as William Jennings Bryan's No. 2 in 1896."
|Party political offices|
Adlai Stevenson (I)
| Democratic nominee for Vice President of the United States
Adlai Stevenson (I)