Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: 1880-1883
John Davis Long returned to his home state of Maine after graduating from Harvard College and studying at Harvard Law School. Eventually he established a law practice in Boston. Mr. Long settled in Hingham, Massachusetts where he won a seat as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, 1875-1878. He served as Speaker of the House, 1876-1878 and quickly advanced to serve as Lieutenant Governor.
Elected Governor on the Republican ticket, Mr. Long succeeded Governor Thomas Talbot. Governor Long shrank state government, reduced taxes on mortgages and local shipping, and opposed the principle of the Commonwealth's capitol punishment laws.
Governor Long stood for reelection twice and declined to run for a fourth term. Later he would be elected to Congress, serving from 1883-1889. President McKinley appointed him Secretary of Navy, 1887-1902. During that time he administered the Navy's highly successful participation in the Spanish-American War.
John Davis Long published several titles including an original and widely used translation of Virgil's Aeneid, a memoir Reminiscences of My Seventy Years' Education, and a treatise The New American Navy, published in 1903.