Arthur Sewall (November 25, 1835 – September 5, 1900) was a U.S. Democratic politician from Maine most notable as William Jennings Bryan's first running mate in 1896. As the Populist Party nominee, Bryan had another running mate as well, Thomas E. Watson. Sewall never held elective office, although he was a member of the Democratic National Committee from 1888 to 1896.
Arthur Sewall's main claim to fame had been as an exceptionally successful, wealthy shipbuilder and New England industrialist. He was a director of the Maine Central railroad and President of the Bath National Bank for years. 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.
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."
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|Democratic vice presidential nominee
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