Maine Statehood and Bicentennial Conference


Thursday, May 30 to Saturday, June 1, 2019

A majority of voters in the District of Maine cast votes to separate from Massachusetts in July 1819, and Maine became the twenty-third state in March 1820. During the bicentennial moment, conference organizers hope to encourage public reflection and a deeper understanding of the meaning of the relatively distant past for the present and future of the state of Maine and its people.

This scholarly conference will be open to the public, and it also seeks to include Maine teachers and students (esp. grades 6-12) as well as local historical societies and cultural organizations as participants and presenters. Initial funding has been provided by the President's Office at the University of Maine.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

Alan Taylor (Thomas Jefferson Foundation Chair, University of Virginia)
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (300th Anniversary University Professor, Harvard University)

Anticipated Conference Themes

Without precluding other approaches to the statehood process and bicentennial commemoration, we anticipate attention to: Separation Votes, Partisan Politics, and the “Two Maines,” ca. 1785-1820s; the Maine-Missouri Crisis and National Racial Politics; Wabanaki Sovereignty, Statehood, and the Maine Constitution (Native American Programs, UMaine, organizer); Mapping and Statehood (Osher Map Library, Univ. of Southern Maine, organizer); Acadian and Cross-Border Ambiguities in the St. John Valley (Acadian Archives acadiennes, UMaine Fort Kent and Franco American Programs, UMaine, organizers); Maine Land Use, Settlement, and Conservation.

Additional session proposals currently under review. More information coming soon.

Additional Resources:

Browse the contents of Maine Statehood and Bicentennial Conference:

Conference Program