Province Of Maine

A Brief History

"Maine was named, as early as 1639, from Meyne in France, of which Queen Henrietta Maria was then proprietor. Generally, Maine is not considered a distinct colony or province, as its history is intermingled with that of Massachusetts.

As early as 1626, a few small settlements were commenced along the coast of Maine, but before they had gathered any strength, the Council of Plymouth granted to several companies portions of the same territory, which were the source of several serious controversies.

But in 1639, Sir Ferdinand Gorges secured himself a distinct charter of the land from Piscataqua to Sagadahock, which received the name Province of Maine. Soon after, Gorges formed a system of government for the province, and incorporated a city near the mountain Agamenticus in York by the name Georgeana; but neither province nor city flourished.

In 1652, the province was taken under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts by request of the people of Maine. This province was made into a county with the name Yorkshire. Massachusetts had laid claim to Maine as lying within her charter of 1628, and after several controversies, the territory was incorporated with Massachusetts in 1692. In 1786, 1787, 1802, and 1816, efforts were made by a portion of the people of Maine to become separate from Massachusetts, but to this a majority of the inhabitants were against. In 1818, however, this measure was effected, and on the 16th of March 1820, the district, by an act of Congress, became an independent state.

The early settlements in Maine suffered untold calamities and savage cruelty. In different years, Salmon Falls, Casca, Berwick, and Wells were laid waste, with their inhabitants murdered or led into a captivity worse than death. But if early Maine drank deep of the cup of affliction, that cup had passed away, and in the years following statehood, Maine rapidly increased in population, wealth, and moral strength.


— A History of the United States, by Charles A. Goodrich, 1857 (edited)


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