Maine Bicentennial



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Extract of the charge issued by Honorable Chief Justice Prentiss Mellen to the first grand jury seated in Maine followed the establishment of statehood. Chief Justice Mellen of Portland, was appointed to the court by Maine's first Governor, William King. His service began July 1, 1820 and concluded October 11, 1834.

“It is believed that a charge of this nature, from the Court to a Grand Jury, is calculated to make good impressions : to diffuse in no small degree a knowledge of our criminal code, enacted for the prevention and punishment of offences : to give information to the citizens, with regard to their obligations to the government, and to each other: and to increase their respect for those principles and laws which ought to govern the conduct of all : especially, if at the same time, they perceive the tribunals of Justice anxiously endeavoring to give them their aid, and sanction by a calm, impartial and unwearied discharge of their duty.”

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Publication Date



A. Shirley


Portland, ME


Maine Statehood, Maine Courts, Maine Government


United States History


Pamp 1398

The Following Extract of the Charge of the Hon. Chief Justice Mellen, Delivered on the Late Circuit, is Communicated to the Public at the Request of the Grand Juries, for the Counties of York, Cumberland, and Oxford



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