Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Maine (2.)
Copyright, 1882, by Joshua L. Chamberlain.
Plate V. MAINE, the most north-easterly of the United States, lies between 43° 4' and 47° 27' 33" N. lat., and between 66° 56' 48" and 71° 6' 41" W. long. It is 302 miles in extreme length and 285 in width, with a total area of 33,040 square miles (of which 29,895 square miles are land), being nearly, as large as all the other New England States combined. Its figure resembles that of a mountain peak, broken at the top. Its S.E. base rests on the Atlantic Ocean. On the E. and N. it has the province of New Brunswick, and on the N.W. the province of Quebec, while its southern half is bounded on the W. by the State of New Hampshire.
Coast-line. The coast-line measured direct is about 225 miles in extent; but the numerous river mouths and indentations of the sea make an actual tide-water line of not less than 2500 miles. The headlands and far-stretching narrow points, together with innumerable outlying islands, give to the whole ocean front the appearance of a fringed and tasselled border. This striking feature, which gives peculiar interest in many ways to the coast of Maine, is chiefly the result of a southward glacial movement, which, coinciding with the trend of the rocks produced by a remote geologic upheaval, cut these fiord valleys far out into the sea, the prolongation of their edges being marked by islands, reefs, and scattered knobs of rock. In these deep bays and river mouths, and behind these outlying islands, are numerous harbours, convenient, safe, and capacious, and the poet is well within the truth who sings of “hundred-harboured Maine.” There are no better harbours on the Atlantic coast than those of Portland and Wiscasset. The beaches and marshes and low grassy islands common in the west are scarcely found east of the Kennebec river, beyond which the shore becomes more and more bold, rising in the precipitous cliffs and rounded summits of Mount Desert and Quoddy Head to a height of from 1000 to 1500 feet.Drainage slopes. The general slope of the land surface falls from an extreme elevation of 2000 feet on the west, in the neighbourhood of the White Mountains, to 600 feet on the east. Two principal drainage slopes stretch respectively southward and northward from a watershed which crosses the State in a general easterly and westerly direction, at a distance of about 140 miles from the coast, while the northward slope has an extreme breadth of about 80 miles. The general direction of the rivers, as determined by these slopes, is about south-south-east for the southern slope and north-north-east for the northern. It is a noteworthy fact that the course of the principal rivers is at right angles to the general trend of the stratified rocks, throughout the large section where these are exhibited.Mountains. The surface is hilly and rolling rather than mountainous. The Appalachian range, which becomes so prominent in the White Mountain group just westward of the State, seems to have broken its force there and to have strewn only a few scattered mountain masses across middle Maine and into New Brunswick. These all have a peculiar aspect, rising in conical peaks, heavily wooded at the base and bare at the summit. The most noteworthy is Mount Katahdin, with a height of 5385 feet (a little less than Mount Washington), and in its isolation and crater-like formation the most remarkable mountain in New England.
Lakes. The lakes of Maine, situated for the most part among these mountain regions, are among its characteristic and most attractive features. They number more than 1570, with an aggregate area of 2300 square miles, about one-fifteenth part of the entire area of the State. The largest is Moosehead Lake, 35 miles long by 10 miles wide; but many others of less size are more picturesque. Their height above the sea-level is noticeable. Rangely Lake, at the head of the Androscoggin river, is 1511 feet high, this altitude being very nearly that of Lake Itasca at the head of the Mississippi; Moosehead, on the Kennebec waters, is 1023 feet in height, or nearly two-thirds as high again as Lake Superior at the source of the St Lawrence; Chamberlain Lake, on the headwaters of the St John, 926 feet, and Chesuncook, on the Penobscot, 900 feet high, are 400 or 500 feet above the level of Lake Winnepesaukee in New Hampshire. Most of the lakes of Maine lie within regions as yet unsettled, where nature's wild luxuriance and grandeur are still undisturbed by man. Few similarly habitable regions possess lakes in such numbers and of such size, variety of situation, and beauty of aspect and surroundings. They are, moreover, nearly all connected with the river systems of the State, and constitute vast reservoirs for evaporation, irrigation, and mechanical power.
Rivers. All the principal rivers rise at great elevations—the Saco at an altitude of 1890 feet, the Androscoggin 3000, the Kennebec 2000, the Penobscot 2500, the St John 1980. The general drainage areas, however, fall off in height and increase in breadth in proportion as their location is easterly. The principal features of the water systems of Maine are the great amount of fall, the control of steady volume by the storage capacity of the lakes, and the situation of the best falls in the lower sections of the rivers where the volume is largest, and in many instances at the head of tide-waters where vessels may come to their very feet. The water-power of the State available for industrial purposes has been estimated by Walter Wells, in his valuable report on that subject, to amount to 1,229,200,000,000 cubic feet, with gross power of 4427 horse for each foot of fall, making a total of 2,656,200 horse-power.
Geology and minerals. The important geological features are connected with the highly crystalline metamorphic condition of the strata, which rarely lie in horizontal position, but are upturned, bent, folded, and fractured. Fossiliferous rocks occur only in limited localities in the interior. In various places veins of silver-bearing galena and of copper are exposed. Granite of every variety and quality abounds in veins and in eruptive masses. The western portion of the State is largely granitic in its features, and a belt of the same rocks extends along the entire sea-coast. There are also beautiful varieties of syenite. In many places the granite is very coarse, so that the constituents can be separated, and each utilized for industrial purposes. The felspar, quartz, and mica often lie in large contiguous veins. Valuable beds of crystalline limestone are found in many places along the coast, and in the Aroostook region. Argillaceous slates as well as limestone occur in the interior and in the north. On the Piscataquis, a tributary of the Penobscot, the slate is suitable for writing-slates and pencils, blackboards, and tables, while large quantities of roofing slate are found throughout the whole region between the Kennebec and Penobscot. There are also some beds of marble well suited for building purposes. Some surface iron is found, especially in one locality in the interior known as the Katahdin iron-works, where the iron is remarkably pure owing to its freedom from sulphur and phosphorus. A bed of haematite is found in Aroostook county.
The soil is mostly of glacial origin, derived largely from boulders and a mixture of rocks transported from various and often distant localities. This drift is spread every where over the surface. Along the lake-beds and rivers are some alluvial soils and old flood-planes. Deposits of Quaternary marine clays occur along the south border, rising to the height of 200 feet above the sea. These clays were deposited during the Champlain epoch, at a time when the temperature of the water was much lower than at present, as is indicated by the fossil remains which abound in them. In the lower strata these remains of life are of the same species as are now found living in the Arctic seas. Skeletons of the walrus have been found in Portland and elsewhere. In the upper strata the remains of life indicate the same species as now exist on the coast. Isolated forms of life not elsewhere found north of Massachusetts occur in the north part of Quohaug Bay (north-east of Casco Bay), composed of various species which seem to be a remnant of former life on this coast. A family of living oysters is still found among the debris of giant progenitors in the Damariscotta river, east of the Kennebec; and remains of the oyster, quohaug, and scallop are abundant in the numerous and extensive shell-heaps found all along the coast.
Zoology. In general it may be said that animal life in this State shows a mixture of northern and southern forms, and but little that is peculiar as compared with surrounding regions. The moose, caribou, and deer still roam in the vast forests in the north. The bear, wolf, catamount, wolverene, wild cat, fox, beaver, raccoon, marten, sable, woodchuck, rabbit, and squirrel keep at a due distance from man, and so still exist. Seals are found in many of the bays. Wild geese and ducks and other sea fowl frequent the lakes and bays in the migratory season, and eagles, ospreys, gulls, hawks, kingfishers, owls, plover, woodcock, partridges, pigeons, quails, blackbirds, robins, orioles, bobolinks, blue birds, swallows and sparrows in all variety, yellow birds, and humming birds are common. The inland waters teem with fish of various kinds—pickerel, togue, and bream, and, chief of all, the trout, whose beauty and size attract numbers of sportsmen; while in the rivers the sturgeon, bass, and salmon are still plentiful. Game laws protect several species of the fish, birds, and other animals. Along the coast the clam, mussel, and lobster are abundant, and in some places the horse-shoe crab is found. Of shore-fish the cunner, flounder, rock-cod, and sculpin are most common, while off shore cod, haddock, hake, herring, pollack, menhaden, porgy, and mackerel abound. The black fish and porpoise are not uncommon. Gigantic cuttle-fishes, measuring 40 feet and upwards in the long tentacles, and thus not inaptly termed sea-serpents, have sometimes been seen in these waters.
Forests. The forests of Maine consist chiefly of pine, spruce, hemlock, and fir, although some oak is found along the coast, and other hard wood growth in the highlands of the Aroostook. The white cedar is common, especially in the low lands in the east and north-east. The hackmatack or black larch appears in the same localities. White and red oak, rock (or sugar) maple, white maple, white and yellow birch, white and brown ash, beech, cherry, basswood (linden), and poplar are the common deciduous trees. Chestnut and walnut are rare, and are found only near the south-west border. The majestic mast pine—the heraldic emblem of Maine, which has given it the sobriquet the “Pine Tree State”—is fast receding before the demands of commerce.Fruits. Of fruit trees the chief is the apple. The plum, cherry, and pear are also natural. The peach thrives only in the south-west border. Species of grape, gooseberry, and currant are native, and others are cultivated with advantage. The blackberry, raspberry, and strawberry grow wild in profusion throughout the State.
Climate. The climate of Maine, while on the whole cooler than might be expected from its mean latitude of 45° N., cannot be considered severe or unfavourable to health. The summer heats are tempered by the sea and the cool north winds. The winter cold has a constancy which makes it less severely felt than the changing temperature of more southern places. The air is also more dry and pure owing to the snow surface. The average winter temperature is about 20°, and remains pretty steadily below the freezing-point throughout the State for at least three months. By reason of the tides and the prevailing off-shore winds, which break up and drive off the ice, many of the harbours are unobstructed the winter through. The summers are short, giving something less than five months between frosts, even in the southern portion, but the heat sometimes rises for a few days to 100° Fahr. The average summer heat is 62°.5 Fahr. The lakes and forests of Maine attract great numbers of summer tourists, and the sea-coast is fast becoming lined with the cottages of summer residents from all parts of the country.
Health. The soil is well-drained, and the surface swept by sea breezes and winds from the forests and mountains of the north-west, which tend to banish malarious disease. The principal form of disease is phthisis or disease of the respiratory organs, the ratio of deaths therefrom being a little over 27 per cent. of the entire mortality. This has been called the “scourge of New England”; but in Old England the death-rate from this class of diseases is only a fraction less—26.6 per cent.
The old United States district court for Maine, constituted in 1779, remains; and Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island constitute the first district of the United States circuit court. The officers of these courts are a judge, district attorney, marshal, clerk, and reporter. Maine is also a district for the collection of United States internal revenue. There are seven United States forts in Maine, only one of which, Fort Preble, Portland, is fully garrisoned; and the United States navy yard, often called Portsmouth navy yard, is in Kittery, Maine.
Maine has two senators and four representatives in Congress, and six votes in the electoral college for choosing the president. The government of Maine rests on a constitution adopted in 1820, which closely resembles that of the other New England States. It is most liberal in respect to suffrage, every male citizen twenty-one years of age and upwards resident in the State for three months, except paupers, persons under guardianship, and Indians not taxed, being allowed to vote. The governor and legislature are chosen every two years, and the legislative sessions are also biennial. A council chosen by the legislature on joint ballot advises and assists the governor in the appointment of State officers, management of State institutions and lands, granting pardons, and other duties with which they may be charged by the legislature. The judiciary consists of a supreme court of eight members at a salary of $3000, with a reporter of decisions, appointed by the governor and council for seven years; the superior courts for Cumberland and Kennebec counties, whose judges are appointed in the same way; as also trial justices for the several counties with jurisdiction in minor cases; justices of the peace for the county, who are authorized to solemnize
marriage, with other prescribed duties; and municipal and police judges. Each county elects judges of probate and insolvency, and registers of the same, a county attorney, clerk of court, sheriff, and county commissioners.
The enrolled militia numbers 97,320. The present system keeps up an élite corps consisting of two regiments of volunteer infantry and one battery of light artillery, with two regiments of reserve infantry. Much pains is taken in the discipline and character of this small corps, and membership in it is regarded as honourable. The entire State militia is by existing orders constituted into one division under the command of a major-general, who is elected by concurrent ballot of the two houses of the legislature.
Reformatory and benevolent institutions.
Various reformatory, sanitary, and benevolent institutions are supported wholly or in part by the State. The State prison, with an average of one hundred and forty-six convicts, is managed on the “hard labour” and the “silent” system, at an annual expense of $30,000, which in some years is cancelled by the proceeds of the convicts labour, chiefly employed in carriage and harness making.
The hospital for the insane is an extensive establishment, with upwards of four hundred inmates and an increasing demand for more accommodation. The annual appropriation for State beneficiaries here is $40,000. An annual appropriation ($14,000) is made for the education of the deaf and dumb and the blind, and also ($1200) for the care of idiotic and feeble-minded persons in institutions out of the State.
The remnants of two tribes of Indians still exist in Maine, with which the State is in public relations, the Penobscots, numbering about six hundred, and the Passamaquoddies, numbering five hundred. The former have their chief gathering place on the islands in the Penobscot river, and the latter on the shores of Passamaquoddy Bay and the St Croix river. Though classed usually as civilized, they are still virtually in tribal relations. Their status is determined by a series of treaties from early times, which are a curious mixture of notions of international rights and of wardship.
Maine liquor law.
The public policy which has culminated in the well-known prohibitory “Maine Law” began with the “Act to restrict the sale of intoxicating liquors,” passed in August 1846. This was followed in 1851 by an “Act for the suppression of drinking houses and tippling shops,” and by thirty-nine other statutes directed against liquor selling, drunkenness, and the habit of drinking in the community. The manufacture for sale of any intoxicating liquors, except cider, is forbidden. The sale of such liquor by the manufacturer is punished by imprisonment for two months and a fine of $100. Unadulterated cider in quantities of 5 gallons and upwards may lawfully be sold. No person is allowed to sell any intoxicating liquors, including wine, ale, porter, strong beer, lager beer, and all other malt liquors, also cider for tippling purposes, on a penalty for a first offence of $30 and costs, or imprisonment for thirty days; for a second offence $20 and costs and imprisonment for thirty days; third offence $20 and costs and imprisonment for ninety days. A common seller on conviction is punished for a first offence by fine of $100 and costs, or imprisonment for three months; for a second and subsequent offences $200 and costs, and four months imprisonment. A person convicted of keeping a drinking house or tippling shop is punished by fine of $100 and costs, or imprisonment for three months, for a first offence, and the same with six months additional imprisonment for every subsequent conviction. Any one injured in person, property, means of support, or otherwise by an intoxicated person may bring an action for damages against the person who sold the liquor; and the owner or lessee of the building where it was sold is jointly liable if cognizant of such use. Any person convicted of being intoxicated in the streets or in any house, or of disturbing the public peace or that of his own or any family, is punished by a fine of $10, or thirty days imprisonment, and for the second offence $20 or ninety days. All intoxicating liquors kept for sale and the vessels containing them are contraband, and forfeited to the towns where seized, and are there to be destroyed. To provide for the necessary sale of such liquors a State commissioner is appointed by the governor and council to furnish to the municipal officers of towns pure, unadulterated intoxicating liquors to be sold for medicinal, mechanical, and manufacturing purposes. He is put under $10,000 bond, and is allowed 7 per cent. commission on his sales. Municipal officers may purchase what they deem necessary of such liquors, and appoint an agent to sell them for such purposes as have been named, and no other. This agent is forbidden to sell to any minor, soldier, Indian, or intoxicated person, or to any person of whose intemperate habits he has been notified by such person's relations or by the municipal officers. It is made the special duty of sheriffs and county attorneys to enforce the provisions of the laws relating to the sale of intoxicating liquors.
The history of this legislation is that of laws generally which are enacted rather from the high moral ends which they propose than from the sincere and settled judgment of the legislators, and which do not represent the average moral sentiment actually prevailing among the people in whose name they are enacted and are to be enforced. It was inevitable that towards an issue like this political parties should take an attitude not always sincere. The Maine law
has not entirely suppressed drunkenness, or even liquor selling, but it has had a decided influence in that direction. It has also tended to make drinking disgraceful, and has removed much temptation from young men. The people would be reluctant to abolish it until they could see something better to put in its place.
The population of Maine has not increased at an equal ratio with the other States of the Union, as will be observed from the subjoined table. There is a constant emigration from the State of native-born people to other parts of the country, which is only about half made up for by immigration from the adjoining provinces and the Old World.
per sq. mile.
In 1880 the number of native-born was 590,053, and of foreign-born 58,883.
The following cities had in 1880 a population of 5000 and upwards:—Portland, Lewiston, Bangor, Biddeford, Auburn, Augusta, Bath, Rockland, Saco, Calais, Brunswick, Belfast, Ellsworth.
Divorces in Maine reach the highest ratio to the marriages, or to the population, of any State of which statistics are reported. The privilege of a jury trial favours the plaintiffs, and it is not easy to find a jury who will withhold a verdict for divorce.
The birth-rate of the native or oldest and typical families of Maine has greatly fallen off, and the number of children of school age is diminishing, not only proportionately to the population but in positive numbers, the diminution for the last eleven years being 14,200.
The latest reports as to the religious societies of Maine show that there are 242 Congregationalist churches, with a membership of 21,340; 261 Baptist churches, membership 20,954; Methodist 228, membership 20,774; Freewill Baptist 286, and membership 15,822; Christian 60, membership 6000; Universalist 41, membership 4500; Unitarian 21, membership (estimated) 2500; Episcopal 32, membership 2115; New Jerusalem 5, membership 341; others 9500;—total Protestant membership 103,846. There are 42 Roman Catholic churches, with a membership of 40,000. The tendency seems to be to a decrease of the Congregationalists, and a corresponding increase of the Free Baptists and Methodists.
Common school education in the State is widespread. In the number of citizens able to read and write it stands in the very front rank of States. Instruction in the public schools is not under ecclesiastical control, and is free to all between the ages of four and twenty-one, and compulsory upon all between the ages of nine and fifteen years for twelve weeks each year. Every city and town is required to raise and expend annually for schools not less than 80 cents for each inhabitant. The State meets this on its part by distributing, in proportion to the number of children of school age in each town, the income of a permanent school fund ($44,275,791), and by a State tax of 1 mill per dollar of valuation on the property in the State, and a tax of one per cent. on the average annual deposits in savings banks. The average cost of supporting the public schools is $1,240,000 a year. In the larger towns the schools are graded into primary, intermediate, and grammar schools. A system of free high schools was established in 1878, for which the State contributes a sum equal to that paid by the town, not exceeding $250. The whole sum appropriated in 1881 was $26,000. There are three normal schools, intended for the training of teachers in the common schools. For these tuition is free, and the annual appropriation required is $19,000. The State college of agriculture and mechanic arts may in some respects be considered the culmination of the public school system. A large farm and various workshops are here provided, and every facility afforded at the least possible expense for a good education, chiefly directed to the industrial arts, but still liberal in scope. There are three colleges, with the usual course of study leading to the degrees of bachelor and master of arts:—Bowdoin, founded by the old State of Massachusetts in 1794, and since liberally endowed by private benefactions, from which Hawthorne and Longfellow graduated; Colby University, founded as Waterville College in 1820, and under the control of the Baptist denomination; and Bates College, founded in 1863, in the interest of the Free Baptist denomination, with a fitting school and a theological seminary attached. The theological seminary at Bangor, under the care of the Congregationalists, is open to all denominations, and attracts many students from the adjacent provinces of Canada. The medical department of Bowdoin College is known as the medical school of Maine. It has an annual attendance of more than 100, and has graduated 1300. There are
various societies which are of a nature to afford instruction. The Maine Historical Society is making interesting investigations, and preserving memorials and records of historical matters, and its publications are of much value.
The bonded debt of the State is $5,801,900, which matures on or before 1889. Deducting the sinking fund of $1,436,367, the actual balance of indebtedness is now (1882) $4,365,533. The local and municipal debt for all purposes, including aid to railroads, is $17,722,109.
The total settled area of Maine is 17,900 square miles, of which 6000 have a population of 2 to 6 to the square mile, 3500 have 6 to 18, 5600 have 18 to 45, and 2800 have 43 to 90.
Agriculture is still the most extensive occupation, engaging 83,000 of the people. There are 64,310 farms, with 1,864,136 acres of tillage. Of these 61,530 farms are occupied by their owners; 24,640 contain over 100 acres each, and nearly as many have between 50 and 100 acres. The chief farm products are annually:—potatoes, 8,000,000 bushels; hay, 1,200,000 tons; butter, 14,103,960 ℔; cheese, 1,167,770 ℔; oats, 2,265,575 bushels; maize, 960,633 bushels; wheat, 665,714 bushels; buckwheat, 382,701 bushels; barley, 242,185 bushels; rye, 26,398 bushels; wool, 2,776,404 ℔; milk sold, 3,720,783 gallons.
The remaining unsettled area is mostly unbroken forest. At present this region only furnishes material for lumbering. The pine has been cut back to the headwaters of the rivers, and the chief material is spruce and hemlock, with some cedar. The principal shipping port is Bangor on the Penobscot, where the amount surveyed has been 200,000,000 feet a year.
In fisheries the State stands second in the Union. There are 12,662 persons directly employed in fisheries, but it is estimated that 48,000 people are dependent chiefly on this business. The sea fish taken are cod, hake, haddock, pollack, herring, mackerel, and holibut. The amount taken is 206,778,693 ℔ annually. There are establishments for preparing oil from the menhaden, &c., where 168,732 gallons a year are produced. The canning of fish is a considerable industry; and in the lobster canning business this State has a monopoly. The catch in 1879 was for Maine 14,234,182 ℔, and that bought of British fishermen 10,588,578 ℔. In the home establishments 1,830,200 cans were put up, and in those worked in the British Provinces on account of Maine owners 2,198,024 cans. A recent but rapidly growing interest is that of sardine canning, chiefly carried on at Eastport. In 1880 there were 1328 persons employed in this industry, with an annual product of 7,550,868 cans and 8365 barrels. The river fish chiefly taken are salmon, shad, alewives, and smelts. Much interest is taken in restocking the lower rivers, especially with salmon, shad, and bass. The Penobscot is the only river on the Atlantic coast of the United States from which a supply of sea salmon eggs can be obtained for propagation. An association of the United States with the States of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut appoints agents for procuring these eggs, which are distributed in proportion to the respective contribution of funds. The great hatchery is at Orland, where also there is one for the eggs of the land-locked salmon; there is another at Grand Lake Stream, owned by the same association. The black bass and alewives have also been distributed in the lower ponds and streams.
The other native products are lime, quarried stone,—both for building and for monumental purposes—slate, iron, and copper. Ice is cat and shipped to various parts of the world, to the amount annually of 350,000 tons, and the value, when ready for transportation, of $600,000. Maine was long distinguished for her ship building; and, though of late years this industry has greatly fallen off, yet in the building of wooden ships the State probably holds her old rank. The shipping owned in Maine is mostly engaged in foreign commerce, or in coasting to and from distant States. There are 12,000 sailors in this service. There are 1022 miles of railroad in Maine. Of manufactories there are 24 cotton-mills, running 696,564 spindles, and employing 11,844 persons, of whom 7010 are women; and 97 woollen-mills of all kinds, employing 3265 persons, of whom 1160 are women. The other chief industries are flouring mills, leather tanneries, boot and shoe making, paper making, and iron working of various kinds.
The shores of what is now sometimes called the Gulf of Maine, whose waters stretch between Cape Sable and Cape Cod, attracted much attention from the early voyagers and explorers, as many glowing accounts remain to testify. The Cabots, under English auspices, visited this region in 1497; Verrazano, representing the French, in 1524; Gomez in the name of Spain in 1525, giving his name to Penobscot river and bay. In 1526 the Frenchman Thevet followed; he states that before that time the French had a fort 30 miles up the river, named Norumbega. The enterprise of Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Humphrey Gilbert first reveals a purpose on the part of Englishmen to colonize these shores. Gosnold (1602), Pring (1603), and Weymouth (1605) had made some explorations, but a century had passed and no European power had gained a foot hold on the Atlantic coast north of Florida. But in 1603 Henry IV. of France granted a charter to De Monts, a Protestant
gentleman of his household, of all North America between 40° and 46° N. lat. In 1604 De Moots established a settlement on what is now Neutral Island, in the St Croix river. In 1605 James I. of England granted to some English gentlemen all the territory between 34° and 45° N. lat. The portion between 40° and 45° was thus the subject of a double grant, to parties naturally antagonistic. The latter parallel, striking nearly at the mouth of the St Croix, includes almost all the southern half of Maine, and brought what was practically at that time the whole of Maine to be the theatre of the disputed jurisdiction. The French did not indeed claim further west than the Kennebec river, the limit of their actual occupation; but the English endeavoured by sporadic and violent sallies to hold, if not by occupation at least by desolation, to the St Croix river, the extreme north-east boundary of their claim. The Indians, already exasperated by the wrongs received from roving English shipmasters and traders, were easily persuaded to make alliance with the French, and this double frontier was a scene of strife for the space of one hundred years. The English with much earnestness of purpose proceeded to plant a colony in 1607, under the guidance of George Popham, brother of the chief-justice of England, and Captain Gilbert Raleigh, whose name indicates his lineage and spirit. This colony they planted with solemn ceremonies on a point at the mouth of the Kennebec. The little town rose rapidly, with its fort and its church in due order. They also built a vessel, the “Virginia of Sagadahock,” the first vessel built by Europeans in America. The colony grew discouraged by their winter experiences, and the next year broke up, most of the colonists returning to England. It appears, however, that they did not utterly forsake their object, for scattered settlements still remained and increased about the Point and Bay of Pemaquid and the island of Monhegan, midway between the Kennebec and Penobscot. This region became a centre of trade and a base of operations, being the headquarters of the famous Captain John Smith, where he built a fleet of boats in 1614, and explored the adjacent coast, which he named New England. In 1620 a new impulse found expression in the great charter of New England, given to Sir Ferdinando Gorges and others, who proceeded to lay out their plans on a large scale. Two years afterwards a patent under this charter conveyed to Gorges and Captain John Mason the country between the Merrimac and Kennebec and 60 miles inland, which they proposed to call the province of Maine. In 1629 they divided their possession, Gorges taking the portion between the Piscataqua and the Kennebec.
The great council of New England surrendered their charter in 1635, and in the division of its territory Gorges retained his portion previously granted, while the region between the Kennebec and the St Croix and the St Lawrence rivers, though still claimed by the French as part of Acadia, was given to Sir William Alexander, earl of Stirling, and this was to be called the county of Canada. Gorges named his tract the county of New Somersetshire, and immediately commenced the administration of government, setting up a court at Saco (1636) under direction of his kinsman, William Gorges. In 1639 he obtained from Charles I. a new and extraordinary charter, confirming to him his province of Maine under that name, and under the feudal tenure of a county palatine, Gorges, as lord palatine, being invested with vice-regal powers. In 1641 he established a capital and court at Georgiana (now York), the first chartered city in America. But it was no easy task to administer government or hold a jurisdiction in his palatinate. The great council of New England, before breaking up, had granted not less than nine patents, conveying territory already included in Gorges's thrice-granted jurisdiction, to various parties, who had made vigorous beginnings to improve their holdings and confirm their claims. In like manner the council had made two important grants within the jurisdiction of Sir William Alexander, so that difficulties arose in that quarter also. In this confusion of jurisdiction Massachusetts, under a new construction of the extent of her chartered rights, laid claim to a line which included nearly all the settled portion of Gorges's territory, and by a further extension she claimed the coast as far east as Penobscot Bay. This latter she named the county of Devonshire, and set up a court at Pemaquid (1674). This latter territory had been conveyed by the earl of Stirling to the duke of York, afterwards James II. of England. This was organized by James as the county of Cornwall, and was afterwards represented in the general assembly in New York (1683). In 1677, however, the claim of Massachusetts in Maine being contested and decided adversely to her, she took the occasion to buy of the heirs of Sir Ferdinand Gorges all his right, title, and interest in Maine for £1250. Matters were still more complicated by the persistent efforts of the Dutch to gain possession of the east coast, who had now (1676) effected a lodgment on the shores of Penobscot Bay; but they were finally driven off. The troubled state of things in England prevented Massachusetts from profiting very much by her purchase in Maine, and at last the new charter of William and Mary (1691) merged all the provinces of Plymouth, Massachusetts, Maine, Sagadahock, and Acadia under one title and jurisdiction, “the province of Massachusetts Bay.”
That part of Acadia east of the St Croix was five years afterwards ceded back to the Crown. Thus Maine, with the St Croix for its eastern boundary, became an integral part of the Province, afterwards the State, of Massachusetts Bay. From that time for over one hundred years the history of Maine is merged in that of Massachusetts. Although its people were not of the religious or political faith of the Puritan colony, and for that reason had been shut out of the famous New England confederacy of 1643, yet they were true Englishmen, and stood manfully for the common cause. Not only was Maine an exposed frontier and battleground, during the long struggle of the English against the Indians and the French, but its citizens bore a conspicuous part in the expeditions beyond its borders. Two of these were commanded and largely manned by men of Maine. Port Royal was taken by Sir William Phipps and Louisburg by Sir William Pepperell. In fact these expeditions were such a drain on Maine population that Massachusetts was called upon to send men to garrison the little forts that protected the homes left defenceless by the men who had gone to the front. The great losses and destruction of these wars kept this portion of the province back from its natural increase.
In tho stand made for the rights of Englishmen, which led to revolution and independence, Maine was behind none. Two years before the battles of Lexington and Concord its towns had offered themselves “as a sacrifice if need be to the glorious cause of liberty.” Some, it is true, were deep-rooted in sympathy with the mother country, and these retired eastward, first beyond the Penobscot and afterwards beyond the St Croix. This war made Maine again an outpost and frontier. That same picturesque and commanding promontory of Castine in Penobscot Bay, which had been once the most eastern post held by the Pilgrims of Plymouth and afterwards the western advanced post of the French in Acadia, was now the stronghold of the English in this region, as against the Americans. Early in the war (1775) the chief town, Falmouth (now Portland), was bombarded and nearly destroyed. Some patriots the same year attacked a king's ship off Machias, and after a desperate struggle the British flag was struck to Americans for the first time on sea or land. Maine was fully and honourably represented in the war by a division of the Massachusetts line. It had also representatives in Congress, and some eminent officers and patriots of the Revolution resided within its borders. In fact, to all intents and purposes except in name, Maine was one of the original States of the Union.
At the close of the war, the old spirit of independent personality and self-government made a forcible expression. The people sought to be separated from Massachusetts, and to make their laws and their history in their own name. There were two parties, however, and the troubles which agitated the whole country at that time, postponed action on this issue, and Maine continued almost forty years longer an integral part of Massachusetts, but was at no time a dependent province of that State. At the conclusion of peace there was a large immigration into Maine, chiefly of soldiers of the Revolution, who strengthened the already vigorous character of the people. Everything prospered until the Embargo Act of 1808, cutting off commerce and the coast trade, struck Maine in a vital point. Its shipping at this time amounted to 150,000 tons, its exports to a million dollars a year. The war with England, which soon followed, almost destroyed these interests. Other industries, however, were stimulated. Manufactories of woollen, cotton, glass, of iron and other metals were set on foot, only to be ruined by the influx of British goods, which followed the new peace. It was a discouraging time, and one or two unusually severe winters threatened the only industries which the war and peace had spared, while in 1815-16 not less than 15,000 people emigrated to Ohio. In 1820 Maine was recognized as a separate State of the Union. Its population was then about 300,000, and its chief industries, agriculture, lumbering, and shipbuilding, were in prosperous course. Its encouragement of manufactures was slow. A prejudice against great corporations long kept Maine from entering largely at the auspicious time into those industrial enterprises which have built up neighbouring States. It is only within recent years that the State has begun to take proper advantage of its unsurpassed facilities for manufacturing. The difficulties about the north-eastern boundary had increased with each year since the treaty in 1783. Great Britain had gradually obtained possession of considerable territory within the line claimed by the States under the treaty, and after the war of 1812 laid claim to territory which had long been under the actual jurisdiction of Massachusetts. The question assumed national and international importance. The Government of the United States, apparently desirous of gratifying Great Britain, offered Maine 1,200,000 acres of land in Michigan to yield its claim, but the proposition only roused indignant protest in the State, which culminated in the sending of a military force to defend its territory. Finally, however, considerations of national policy urged at Washington induced Maine to acquiesce in a treaty, which took away a large area additional to that already silently yielded, amounting in all to 5500 square miles,—an area greater by 600 square miles than the State of Connecticut, and by
1680 square miles than the States of Rhode Island and Delaware combined.
In the war against secession the service of the State was prompt and efficient. Maine sent to the front 72,000 men, of whom not less than 20,000 gave their lives for the cause. These volunteers were distributed in thirty-two regiments of infantry, two regiments of cavalry, one regiment of artillery, one battalion of sharpshooters, and 6764 enlistments in the navy. The whole amount of State and municipal debt incurred in raising and equipping these troops was about $12,000,000. The United States afterwards reimbursed the State to the amount of $668,284, most of which was applied to form a sinking fund for extinguishing the war debt at maturity. The State also provided pensions for its disabled soldiers and their families. (J. L. C.)
|VOL. XV.||MAINE.||PLATE V.|
|W. & A. K. Johnston Edinburgh|
|ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, NINTH EDITION|