August 1, 1810, Bangor, Maine (then a district of Massachusetts).

March 8, 1901, West Somerville, Massachusetts).

Springfield Cemetery, Springfield, Massachusetts.

Son of Theodore and Margaret Dennett Trafton, Mark was apprenticed at age 15 to a Mr. Weed, a shoe maker in Bangor. He studied at Kent’s Hill Seminary, and was ordained a pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Westfield, Massachusetts. In the early 1850’s, he traveled in Europe, publishing his letters home as Rambles in Europe: In a Series of Familiar Letters (Boston: 1852). The volume is dedicated to George W. Pickering, a cousin and prominent merchant in Bangor, Maine, who may have financed the trip. Trafton never lost touch with his home town, returning to speak at Bangor’s centennial celebration in 1869.

Trafton was elected as the candidate of the American Party (the Know-Nothing Party) to the Thirty-fourth Congress (March 4, 1855–March 3, 1857). All 11 U.S. Representatives in the Massachusetts delegation were members of the American Party, including Speaker of the House Nathaniel P. Banks. According to his New York Times obituary, Trafton had been an active leader in the anti-slavery reform, and while a member of Congress he secured the cordial hate of his opponents by his bold assaults upon the slave power. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1856 to the Thirty-Fifth Congress, and resumed his ministerial duties as pastor of a church in Mount Wollaston, Massachusetts. He also served as pastor of Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church in Charlestown, Massachusetts.

Trafton’s works include:

  1. Blest Ones at Home, The
  2. Marching to Canaan