"Thursday last witnessed the birth of a new State and ushered MAINE into the Union," announced an article in Portland's Eastern Argus newspaper on March 21, 1820. "The day was noticed, as far as we have heard from the various towns," it continued, "by every demonstration of joy and heart-felt congratulation, becoming the occasion... May the day, which has so auspiciously commenced our political existence as a State, long be remembered with complacent feelings, and every annual return bring with it, by the many blessings it may produce, additional inducement for its celebration."
As Maine’s Bicentennial approaches, institutions, scholars, students and residents are once again looking to examine the events that culminated in Maine’s statehood. To support these efforts, we have gathered from our collections items that we hope will be of particular relevance and will provide a variety of perspectives on sensitive topics related to political, economic, social, business, and ethical issues related to boundaries and land use that remain pressing in discussions in the state today.
In an effort to make these primary texts as accessible as possible, in addition to PDF format, we have made selected publications available in ePUB format. We hope this allows readers to optimize their research experience using personal reader technology. Please feel free to provide feedback regarding the availability of these ePUB documents.
Those interested in this topic will also want to watch the Maine Bicentennial 2019-20 page developed by our colleagues at the UMaine Clement and Linda McGillicuddy Humanities Center.
For more information about this digital collection and other items available in the Special Collections Department of Fogler Library, contact us at 207.581.1686 or um.library.spc @ maine.edu.
To the honorable the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in General Court assembled, at Boston, January, 1803 : humbly represent, the subscribers, inhabitants of the town of Pittston in the District of Maine
Town of Pittston and David Cobb
Broadside signed by residents of Pittston, Maine, arguing for the separation of the District of Maine from Massachusetts and suggesting that the legislature authorize a convention of delegates from all towns in the district "to declare the sense of their constituents, to frame a constitution ... and to do and transact all things ... necessary to the ... establishment of a separate and independent state."
Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Committee of both Houses to whom were referred the Petitions concerning the Separation of the District of Maine from Massachusetts
General Court of Massachusetts
The Committee of both Houses, to whom were referred the Petitions concerning the Separation of the District of Maine from Massachusetts Proper, and forming the same into a separate and Independent State, and also sundry memorials against that measure, beg leave respectfully to report that they have considered the subject committed to them, with that deliberation which so momentous a question deserves. A question, whether this great Commonwealth shall be divided, and the connexion which has so long, and so happily existed, shall be forever dissolved. They are sensible that nothing should be done to hasten an event, so important and lasting in its consequences. On the contrary, they would gladly strengthen and promote a union, which has, hitherto, been productive of so much good. This is not a question which concerns the District of Maine alone, but the whole Commonwealth. The Legislature of Massachusetts are called on to consent to relinquish their jurisdiction over one third of her citizens, and the largest portion of her territory. But your Committee have not been deterred by these considerations, from listening to the prayer of the Petitioners, and from recommending such measures as they deem just and expedient, however they may regret the present application.
Shall the Legislature be required to give its consent to the separation of the District of Maine from Massachusetts proper and to the erection of said District into a separate state. — Mass. Resolves.
Printed by Request.
Descendant of Miles Standish
The agreement for the sale of the Commonwealth’s Lands in the State of Maine, will be submitted to the Legislature for their ratification or rejection the present session. Permit one, who never owned a foot of land in Maine, and who has no possible interest, except for the good of posterity, in the decision, to offer a few remarks upon the expediency of ratifying that bargain.
One Hundred Years of Statehood: Centennial Studies Celebrations in the Public Schools of Maine, 1920
State Superintendent of Schools
During the centennial year the children of the public schools should become familiar with the history of Maine from the struggle to subdue the wilderness and plant a civilization to these days of comfort, education and culture.
Struggling against adversity our forefathers toiled to make the sea yield its substance, uproot the forest, plant farms, build homes and to rear their young in the paths of industry and virtue. The task they undertook was of such tremendous proportions that we, who are accustomed to the comfortable homes of today, all the conveniences of travel and facilities for communication, can scarcely comprehend what life in those early days meant.