Oxford County, Maine, gained an early reputation as a bastion of Jeffersonian-Jacksonian Democracy in the otherwise Whiggish Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and accordingly political foes disparaged the county as a land of “backwoods bears.” Residents, ironically; adopted the image, and this early political labeling became a symbol of a shared culture and heritage. This article examines the “Oxford Bear" as an example of county history and the dynamics of local identity. Author Larry Glatz received an A.B. from Dartmouth and a M.A.T. from Harvard. He became involved in computer technology as an educator, and this eventually led him to a career as director of management information services for Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway and later for a national healthcare rights organization. Mr. Glatz has been involved in numerous activities related to history, including a 1994 seminar devoted to Norway writer Charles A. Stephens, several works relating to Stephens and his circle, and a computerized compilation of Maine's 1850 federal census. His transcriptions of six counties are accessible at the MHS website.
Glatz, Larry. "The Century of the Oxford Bear: Party Politics, Patronage, and the Popular Press in Creating Maine County Identity, 1820-1920." Maine History 42, 3 (2005): 106-133. https://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/mainehistoryjournal/vol42/iss3/2