This most easterly State in the Union
was admitted in 1820.
Its shores were first visited by Europeans under Bartholomew Gosnold
(1602) and Martin Pring
(1603), though it is possible they were seen by Cabot
(1498) and Verrazano (1524). The French
, under De Monts
, wintered near the site of Calais
, on the St. Croix
(1604-5), and took possession of the Sagadahock, or Kennebec
was there in 1605, and kidnapped some of the natives; and in 1607 the Plymouth Company sent emigrants to settle there, but they did
not remain long.
A French mission established at Mount Desert
was broken up by Samuel Argall
(q. v.) in 1613, and the next year Captain Smith
, landing first at Monhegan Island
, explored the coast of Maine
The whole region of Maine
, and far southward, westward and eastward, was included in the charter of the Plymouth Company, and in 1621 the company, having granted the country east of the St. Croix
to Sir William Alexander
(q. v.), established that river as the eastern boundary of Maine
. Monhegan Island
was first settled (1622) and next Saco
(1623); and in 1629 the Plymouth Company, perceiving its own dissolution to be inevitable, parcelled out the territory in small grants.
In the course of three years the whole coast had been thus disposed of as far east as the Penobscot River
East of that river was claimed by the French
, and was a subject of dispute for a long time.
When the Plymouth Company dissolved (1635) and divided the American
territory, Sir Ferdinando Gorges
took the whole region between the Piscataqua
, and received a formal charter for it from Charles I. in 1639, when the region was called the province of Maine
, in compliment to the Queen
, who owned the province of Maine
In 1636 Gorges
sent over his nephew, William Gorges
, as governor of his domain, and he established his government at Saco
, where, indeed, there had been an
The old jail at York.
organized government since 1623, when Robert Gorges
was governor under the Plymouth Company.
In 1639 Sir Ferdinando was appointed governor-general of New England
, and his son Thomas
was sent as lieutenant to administer the laws in 1640.
He established himself at Agamenticus
), when, in 1642, the city called Gorgeana was incorporated.
There the first representative government in Maine
was established (1640). On the death of Sir Ferdinando (1647) the province of Maine
descended to his heirs.
and was placed under four jurisdictions.
, fearing this sort of dismemberment of the colony might cause the fragments to fall into the hands of the French
, made claim to the territory under its charter.
Many of the people of Maine
preferred to be under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts
, and in 1652 a large number of the freeholders in five towns took the oath of allegiance to the Bay
The latter province then assumed supreme rule in Maine
, and continued it until the restoration of the Stuarts (1660), when Charles II., on the petition of the heirs of Gorges
, sent over a commission to re-establish the authority of the grantees.
. after long resistance, purchased the interests (1677) of the claimants for £12,000 sterling.
In 1674 the Dutch
conquered the territory eastward from the Penobscot
, including that of Acadia
and Nova Scotia
and in 1676 Cornelius Steenwyck
was appointed governor of the conquered territory by the Dutch West India Company.
Settlers from Boston
soon afterwards expelled the Dutch
Meanwhile the horrors of King Philip's War had extended to that region, and in the space of three months 100 persons were murdered.
Then came disputes arising out of the claims
of the Duke
(to whom Charles II.
had given New Netherland) to the country between the Kennebec
and St. Croix rivers
, which in 1683 had been constituted Cornwall county
, of the province of New York, over which Sir Edmund Andros
(q. v.) was made governor.
, however, continued to hold possession of the whole province of Maine
, excepting at Sagadahock and Pemaquid
But when the duke became king (see James II.
) the charter of Massachusetts
was forfeited, and Andros
The Revolution of 1688 restored the former political status of Massachusetts
, and thenceforth the history of the province of Maine
is identified with that of Massachusetts
It remained a part of that province until March 15, 1820, when it was admitted into the Union
as the twenty-third State.
In 1890 the population was 661,086; in 1900, 694,466.
During the Revolutionary War Maine
was very little disturbed, but during that of 1812 it suffered much.
held possession of a part of the country, but their rule was comparatively mild
after they gained a foothold.
For more than half a century the governments of the United States
and Great Britain
were involved in a controversy concerning the eastern boundary, which the treaty of 1783 did not accurately define.
The dispute was finally settled by treaty in 1842, each party making concessions.
was twice invaded by Confederates during the Civil War
. On the night of June 29, 1863; the officers and crew of a Confederate privateer entered the harbor of Portland
, captured the revenue-cutter Caleb Cushing
, and fled to sea with her, sharply pursued by two steamers manned by armed volunteers.
Finding they could not escape with the cutter, they blew her up, and, taking to their boats, were soon made prisoners.
At mid-day on July 18, 1864, some Confederates came from St. John, N. B.
, and entered Calais
to rob the bank there.
Having been forewarned by the American
consul at St. John
, the authorities were prepared, arrested three of the party, and frightened the remainder away.
During the Civil War Maine
contributed its full share of men and supplies in support of the government.
In 1872 a Swedish colony was planted on the Aroostook
, at a place called New Sweden, where, in one year, about 600 Swedes, aided by the State
, had settled upon 20,000 acres of land.
They have their own municipal organization and schools, in which one of the chief studies is the English
See United States, Maine
, in vol.
governors. (Prior to 1820 Maine
was a part of Massachusetts