Robert Fraser

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The successful British attack on the Penobscot Valley in fall 1814 was to annex eastern Maine to Canada, a move taken to protect the important line of communications between Halifax and Quebec. New England merchants had opposed the War of 1812, as it destroyed their international trade, and most New Englanders tried to remain neutral during the fray. At Hampden, enemy threats brought them out to defend their homes. Although Great Britain returned the area to the United States at war’s end, the occupation of the Penobscot Valley had lasting implications for the District of Maine. Between 1954 and 1984 Robert Fraser was assistant curator at the Cohasset Historical Society and a consultant to other historical societies. He writes historical articles for local newspapers and national magazines, and has published two books on lighthouses and another on local history. This article is the first in-dept study of the Battle of Hampden.

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