"Thursday last witnessed the birth of a new State and ushered MAINE into the Union," announced an article in Portland's Eastern Argus on March 21, 1820. "The day was noticed, as far as we have heard from the various towns 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 events unfold, 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.
We were particularly pleased that these items could be available in advance of the Maine Statehood and Bicentennial Conference held in Orono May 30-June 1, 2019. Visit their conference space for full event content, including videos of all the sessions.
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.
John Gardner and Benjamin Gardner
Pen and ink map of Hinkley Township & Gore in Washington County, Maine, and includes Grand Lake featuring Dyer Cove and Grand Lake Stream. Scale: 160 Rods to an Inch.
Frederick Henry Hedge
The Bangor Lyceum was first established in November 1829 as a forum for members to attend lectures on various topics of interest. This pamphlet contains the text of Rev. Frederic Henry Hedge's introductory lecture of the 1836 season. Hedge frames his remarks in the period of sharp economic decline, known as The Crisis of 1839, as turbulence raged between the Democrats and Whigs over Jacksonian Economics and the general public attitude toward intellectualism during the period.
Frederic Hedge, 1805-1890, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts and became a Unitarian minister, Transcendentalist, and was considered one of the leading scholars in German literature during the 19th Century. Hedge resided in Bangor but was a key founder of "Hedge's Club," made up of a group of leading New England intellectuals eventually including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau and Margaret Fuller. The group gave rise to the philosophical movement, Transcendentalism.
An Address Delivered on the Twenty-sixth of May, 1836, the Centennial Anniversary of the Settlement of Gorham
Text of a speech given by Josiah Pierce at the centennial anniversary celebration of the settlement of Gorham, Maine. The speech includes references to the history of the Gorham region from 1675 to 1836, including brief biographies of the town's earliest settlers.
William M. Sargent
William M. Sargent's combination of a brief history about the discovery and settlement of Cushing's (or Cushing) Island combined with poetry and engravings depicting the island's landscape as well as scenes around Casco Bay. The volume includes bits of regional folklore. In the 20th and 21 Century, Cushing Island is privately owned.
Charles G. Wetmore
Text of the act to incorporate the Tobique Mill Company as an international entity operating in both Fredrickton, New Brunswick, Canada and Maine. The company, established by George F. S. Burton, James Taylor, John F. Taylor, William H. Street, William P. Ranney, John A. Beckwith, Ephraim H. Lombard, and Thomas H. Howe with a capital stock of £75,000 divided into shares valued at £25 each.
The company contracted with the provincial government to purchase 100,000 acres of land along the Tobique River, including its tributary lakes and streams, in tracts of 10,000 acres. The document states, "It is believed that this purchase comprises the most valuable pine timbered lands upon the whole river St. John..." containing "more pine timber than any ten townships [in Maine]." Land purchases by the Tobique Mill Company significantly impacted reserves previously set aside for the Maliseet people.
List of Mines and Minerals Belonging to the Maine Mining Company which have been Explored and Reported on by Charles T. Jackson, M.D. Whilst Employed by the Company and the Legislature of Maine and also the Reports of Their Agents
Charles Thomas Jackson
In 1836, Charles T. Jackson of Boston, was contracted by the State Legislature to conduct the first Anglo-European evaluation of Maine’s mineral resources. The List of Mines and Minerals, issued in 1837, is one the reports Jackson produced as part of this survey.
G. W. Boynton
Map of Maine, 1838.
Map of the Seat of War showing the Disputed Territory and the Boundary lines claimed by Maine & Great Britain and that proposed by the King of the Netherlands
Taken from the Tate State survey the Public Lands in the State of Maine. The territory contains ten thousand seven hundred & five square miles, being two thousand nine hundred & five square miles or One Million eight hundred & fifty thousand, two hundred acres more than the whole State of Massachusetts.
Map of the Disputed Territory Reduced from the Original of Messrs. Featherstonhaugh & Mudge, British Commissioners 1839
James D. Featherstonhaugh and Richard Z. Mudge
Map showing the disputed region of the Maine-Canadian boundary that lead to the Aroostook War, 1838-1839.
The Maine Civil Officer, or, The Powers and Duties of Sheriffs, Coroners, Constables, and Collectors of Taxes; with an Appendix, Containing the Necessary Forms and an Abridgment of the Law Relative to the Duties of Civil Officers
The office of Sheriff is of the highest nature, from the importance of the trusts confided to it and the great power with which it is invested. The officer himself is supposed to possess a respectable character, corresponding to the importance of his trust and powers. All judicial processes, whether civil or criminal, must be served by him, both at their commencement and final execution; and he is the principal keeper of the peace within the county. An accurate knowledge of the laws conferring and defining these extensive powers and duties, as well as the mode prescribed for their exercise, is therefore necessary, as a guide to the Officer, and for the security of the citizen.
The powers and duties of Coroners and Constables, in the service of precepts, being generally the same as those of Sheriffs, may be learned by consulting the laws contained under that title. The principles of common law, as collected from the decisions of the courts, are applicable alike to all Civil Officers.
The signature of George F. B. Leighton, dated 1841, appears on the first and final pages of the book. George Frost Blunt Leighton was born in July 1816 in York County and died in April 1905.
Hand-drawn pen and ink map on vellum. The caption on the bottom of the map reads: Plan of Township No. 9 in the 4th Range of Townships West from the East line of the State as surveyed AD 1839 on a scale of 40 chains [4 rods] to an inch or 1:31,680 by Noah Barker, surveyor. Map is stable but yellowed and shows a degree of foxing.
An Address Delivered before the Penobscot Association of Teachers and Friends of Popular Education, at Bangor, Dec. 26, 1838
Joseph Cammet Lovejoy
A pamphlet providing a view on public education in post-Colonial America as: "the science of rearing men, fitted to be useful members of society on earth, and for everlasting felicity in heaven."
Maine and New Brunswick : Message from the President of the United States, upon the Subject of the Present State of Affairs between the State of Maine and the British Province of New Brunswick
Martin Van Buren
A message from President Van Buren to the 25th Congress regarding the bloodless Aroostook War that took place in disputed lands along the Maine-New Brunswick border between 1838-1939.
It will appear from these documents, that a numerous hand of lawless and desperate men, chiefly from the adjoining British provinces, but without the authority or sanction of the Provincial Government, had trespassed upon that portion of the territory in dispute between the United States and Great Britain which is watered by the river Aroostook, and claimed to belong to the State of Maine ; and that they had committed extensive depredations there, by cutting and destroying a very large quantity of timber.
Charles D. Gilmore
Hand-drawn and tinted property map for the city of Bangor. Some lots include property owner names. Maine roads depicted in red. Map size: 55 x 65 cm. Map is stable but shows signs of foxing and yellowing.
Two Messages from the President of the United States Communicating Additional Correspondence in Relation to the Adjustment of the Northeastern Boundary, and the Occupation of the Disputed Territory
Martin Van Buren, Henry S. Fox, John Forsyth, Alpheus Lyon, Philip C. Johnson, Thomas Bartlett, Samuel Cony, Mark Little, Gustavus G. Cushman, John Fairfield, and Benjamin Wiggin
Correspondence authored by President Van Buren, American Secretary of State, John Forsyth, Maine Governor, John Fairfield, British Envoy Henry S. Fox, and others regarding the occupation and movement of British soldiers in the disputed territory along the northeastern boundary of the State of Maine between Maine and modern-day New Brunswick, Canada. The border issue was resolved on August 9, 1842 with the Webster-Ashburton Treaty.
Pen and ink map on vellum of Lewy Lake and Lewy Island in Princeton Indian Township drawn by John Gardner and dated December 16, 1840. The map depicts Putnam Rolfe lands and the location of the proposed dam at the northeast end of Lewy Island.
Hand-tinted, pen and ink map of Bangor dated March 26, 1842 depicting holdings of Benjamin Bussey, a successful and wealthy Massachusetts businessman who owned large plots of land in Bangor, Dixmont, Newburg, Frankfurt, and Augusta, Maine in the late 18th and early 19 centuries. Bussey died on his Roxbury, Massachusetts estate January 13, 1842. Rufus Gilmore was the eldest son of David Gilmore, an early settler of Newburg, Maine and Land Agent for Benjamin Bussey. Map scale: 1:19,800. Map size: 53 x 72 cm.
Map includes the following inscription: "This plan represents the town of Bangor in the County of Penobscot and State of Maine. The lots coloured green were State lands and granted to the settlers. The lots marked "P" were sold by Benjamin Bussey or his agent, and are all paid for. The lots marked "M" are more or less part paid. The ballance secured by a Mortgage. The lots marked "B" colored yellow, [--?--] is now in the Estate of Benjamin Bussey. Protracted on a scale of 100 rods to an inch. March 26, 1842. [signed] Rufus Gilmore. Fred H. Dickey. to R. E. Lord"
Slavery exerted no slight influence over the public mind at the period when the Federal Constitution was framed; but it has continually increased in power, and become more and more malignant, from that time until the present. In proof of this, I might advert to many of the leading measures of the National Government, and to much of the history of our country, since the adoption of the Constitution; but I choose to illustrate this position, by referring to the prevailing opinion of those who framed the Constitution, and to a single subsequent act of the Government, viz., “The Missouri Compromise.” I thus restrict myself, for the purpose of presenting at large the testimony of several witnesses, who were actors in the scene they describe, and who were competent, in all respects, to form a correct judgment.
Edwin A. Ayer and James P. Crockett
Large-format broadside advertisement promoting Ayer & Crockett's Dry Goods located at 32 and 34 Main Street, Bangor, Maine, ca. 1840.
Luther Severance (1797-1855) was a printer, politician, and diplomat. He established the Kennebec Journal in Augusta, Maine in 1825 and served in both the Maine House of Representatives and State Senate. A prominent member of the Whig party, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives serving during the 28th and 29th sessions of Congress (March 4, 1843–March 3, 1847).
Rep. Luther Severance response to efforts Rep. Edward Black of Georgia and Rep. George C. Dromgoole of Virginia to amend the rules of the U.S. House of Representatives to prohibit discussion on the floor of any proposal of measures to limit or outlaw slavery in the United States:
"No petition, memorial, resolution, or other paper, praying the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, or any State or Territory, or the slave trade between the States or Territories of the United States in which it now exists, shall be received by the House, or entertained in any way whatever.”