In coastal southern Maine, a number of towns people enslaved others in the years through the end of the American Revolution. The height of slavery in the region was the period just before the American Revolution. During the revolution, attitudes changed dramatically leading to emancipation in Massachusetts and what is now Maine. This article explores the lives of Cape Neddick’s early black community, before and after freedom, using sparse public documents, contemporary newspaper accounts, local histories, and the unpublished diary of farmer Joseph Weare. The diary provides evidence of how a prominent slaveholder’s grandson frequently cooperated with a neighboring free family over more than forty-five years. That black family has disappeared along with most other vestiges of slavery and early free blacks in rural coastal Maine. Bryan Weare grew up in Cape Neddick and attended York schools, after which he graduated from Bates College with a degree in physics and received his PhD in biophysical sciences from the University at Buffalo. He is currently a professor emeritus of atmospheric science at the University of California at Davis. Inquiries are invited at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Weare, Bryan C.. "Slaves and Free Blacks in Mid-Eighteenth to Mid-Nineteenth Century Cape Neddick, Maine." Maine History 51, 2 (2017): 203-227. https://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/mainehistoryjournal/vol51/iss2/4