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[331] few memorials which they have left, it is not, perhaps,
Chap IX.} 1623 to 1628
possible to ascertain the precise time, when the rude shelters of the fishermen on the sea-coast began to be tenanted by permanent inmates, and the fishing stages of a summer to be transformed into regular establishments of trade.1 The first settlement was probably
1626
made β€˜on the Maine,’ but a few miles from Monhegan, at the mouth of the Pemaquid. The first observers could not but admire the noble rivers and secure bays, which invited commerce, and gave the promise of future opulence; but if hamlets were soon planted near the mouths of the streams; if forts were erected to protect the merchant and the mariner,β€” agriculture received no encouragement; and so many causes combined to check the growth of the country, that, notwithstanding its natural advantages, nearly two centuries glided away, before the scattered settlements along the sea-side rose into a succession of busy marts, sustained and enriched by the thriving villages of a fertile interior.

The settlement at Piscataqua could not quiet the ambition of Gorges. As a Protestant and an Englishman, he was almost a bigot, both in patriotism and in religion. Unwilling to behold the Roman Catholic church and the French monarch obtain possession of the eastern coast of North America, his first act with reference to the territory of the present state of Maine was, to invite the Scottish nation to become the

1 For the early history of Maine, the original authorities are in Purchas vol. IV.; the Relation of the President and Council for New England; Josselyn's Voyages; and the Narration which Gorges himself composed in his old age. Materials may be found also in Sullivan's History; and far better in the elaborate and most minute work of Williamson. I have also derived advantage from Geo. Folsom's Saco and Biddeford, and W. Willis's Portland. Williamson, i. 227, describes Saco as a permanent settlement in 1623; I incline rather to the opinion of Willis and Folsom.

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