Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date



This paper will highlight the clashes between the Kennebeck Proprietors and Thomas Hutchinson, the last Royal Governor of Massachusetts. The Kennebeck Proprietors were a company of influential Boston merchants who saw the Kennebec River valley as a lucrative opportunity on the Maine frontier. As the Proprietors expanded their claims Thomas Hutchinson often interceded to block their aspirations. These land disputes highlight the ambitions of the Proprietors and the actions Hutchinson took to block them. It would be these clashes that would motivate the Proprietors to have a direct interest in the events of August 1765.

The August 1765 attack on Thomas Hutchinson’s mansion is one of the most violent reactions against Crown authority before seen in the colony and has been blamed on many factors. The influence of the Kennebeck Proprietors is one factor that this paper seeks to explore. Thomas Hutchinson had produced evidence in his efforts to curb the Proprietor’s aspirations and historians have guessed that if they could destroy his collection of papers they would then be able to expand without his interference.

Highlighting this relationship also brings Maine history into the broader discussion of the pre-Revolutionary period. Actions in Maine impacted events in Massachusetts and decisions made in the Bay-Colony had profound implications for the settlers and establishments in Maine. Bringing these ideas to light allows a fuller understanding of the events in and of themselves as opposed to a mere precursor of the coming Revolution.