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Maine is commonly known as the Pine Tree State, but is sometimes called the Star in the East.
It lies between 43°6' and 47°27' N. lat., and 66°56' and 71°6' W. long., bounded on the north by the Provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick ; on the east by New Brunswick ; on the south-east and south by the Atlantic Ocean; on the west by the State of New Hampshire and the Province of Quebec. It has an area of 33,040 square miles, including some 3000 square miles of water. The coast of Maine has numerous indentations; with a coastline of 218 miles, when measured direct, it has a sea-coast of 2500 miles. As a result, it has beautiful bays such as Penobscot and Pasamaquoddy; a number of fine harbours, Portland harbour on Casco Bay being one of the best on the Atlantic. The islands off the coast of Maine are very numerous. In Penobscot Bay alone there are some five hundred. The principal rivers of Maine are the Saco, Androscoggin, Kennebec, Penobscot, and St. Croix, which flow south, and the St. John, flowing at first northerly and gradually turning and flowing in a south-easterly direction through New Brunswick into the Bay of Fundy. These rivers and their tributaries, which are in general rapid streams, afford many great and valuable sources of water-power, estimated to represent some 3,000,000 available horse-power. By the Treaty of Washington, also called the Ashburton Treaty, made in 1842 to end the dispute relative to the proper location of the north-eastern frontier, the St. John River was constituted the northern boundary of Maine for a distance of 72 miles, and the St. Croix for a distance of 100 miles or more. Unfortunately, it failed in part at least to accomplish its purpose, for at the present time (1910) a Joint International Commission is endeavouring to harmonize the differences concerning the use of the river which have arisen, and are liable to arise in the future between citizens of Maine on the northern border and British subjects living on the lower St. John.
The number of lakes in Maine is about 1580. The largest and most celebrated is Moosehead Lake near the centre of the state, drained by the Kennebec. There are no long mountain ranges in Maine, but there is a general elevation which extends from the northeast boundary at Mars Hill to the sources of the Magalloway River in the west, and constitutes a divide between the streams flowing south, and those flowing north or east. There are several mountain peaks, the principal being Mount Katahdin (5385 feet), near the geographical centre of the state, Saddleback Mountain (4000 feet), Mount Blue (3900 feet), Mount Abraham (3387 feet), and Green Mountain on Mount Desert Island (1800 feet). The soil of Maine is for the most part hard, dry, and rocky, but along the river valleys, and in low lands originally covered by water, there is considerable fertile land, while in the northern portion of the state, in the valleys of the St. John and its tributary, the Aroostook, the soil is equal in fertility to any in the world.
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Besides the above specified industries, large amounts are derived from others of which no accurate report can be readily obtained. A large sum is derived each year from the fisheries, apart from what results from the canning industry. The manufacture of lime in the vicinity of Rockland is carried on a very large scale. The granite quarries at Vinalhaven yield a large return. A very considerable amount is obtained through the mining industries, the numerous mineral springs, located chiefly in Androscoggin County, and numerous lesser industries of which no report is made to the labour commissioner. A very conservative estimate places these at six millions or more.
Finally, and most important by far as the source from which the livelihood of the vast majority of the population is drawn, come the agricultural products. The County of Aroostook was reported a few years since as ranking second in the Union in the value of its agricultural products, and there has been a great increase in the quantity and value of its products since then. The potato crop of that county in 1908 brought nearly $15,000,000. Taking then the state as a whole, and reckoning potatoes, hay, oats, wheat, buckwheat, barley, rye, corn for canning purposes, apples (of which there were grown two million barrels in 1907), vegetables and dairy products (the last a very large and important item), it is safe to estimate the agricultural products, with those mentioned which are akin to them, at more than $50,000,000 in an average year. In brief, Maine produces through its varied industries some $275 to $300 annually for each inhabitant.
FLORA AND FAUNA
The forests of Maine cover the greater part of the state, and the value of its standing woods is immense. Spruce is first in quantity, as it is also in greatest demand. After spruce comes hemlock; next, white birch used in the manufacture of spools; poplar for pulpwood; cedar for shingles, and birch for the manufacture of furniture. The pine is also found, but no longer in large quantities. In addition to these are found the maple, ash, beech, and other varieties. Owing to the large extent of forest, game is so plentiful that Maine is called the "hunter's paradise ". During the open or hunting season, which in general covers the period from 1 October to 1 December the woods are filled with hunters from all parts of the Union. The hunter from abroad is in pursuit of the moose, caribou, or deer, but the local hunter adds to these the fox, beaver, marten, sable, mink, and wild cat. Along the coast especially, and to some extent in the lake regions, wild fowl abound. The various lakes, ponds, and streams abound with landlocked salmon, trout, and togue, for which the close time extends from 1 October until the ice has left the pond, lake, or river. Many other varieties of fish are also found, making Maine as attractive to the angler as to the hunter.
The climate of Maine, as its latitude indicates, is cold during a considerable portion of the year. In the extreme north the ground is covered with snow from the middle of November to the first of April (and even later) in the average year. But the climate is most healthful at all seasons. Tens of thousands of people from all parts of the country have their summer homes in Maine, or at least spend several months of each year in the state. Not at the famous summer resorts of Old Orchard and Bar Harbor only is the summer visitor found, but everywhere along the coast, in the interior of the state in the vicinity of some of its many lakes, and even at the northernmost extremity of the state in the St. John Valley. The marvellously beautiful scenery, which every successive season attracts people in increasing numbers to Maine, enjoys so wide a renown that anything more than a passing reference to it is unnecessary here.
The population of the territory of Maine according to the census of 1790 was 96,540; it was 151,719 in 1800; 228,705 in 1810; 298,269 in 1820, when it became a state (15 March); 399,455 in 1830; 501,793 in 1840; 583,034 in 1850; 628,279 in 1860; 626,915 in 1870; 648,936 in 1880; 661,086 in 1890; 694,480 in 1900. The Catholic population is 123,547. It will be observed that, while the growth of population has not been rapid, it has been steady and regular, one decade only from 1860 to 1870 showing a slight decrease. This is accounted for by the fact that Maine furnished 70,107 soldiers to the Federal army in the Civil War, of whom 9398 died during the war. It is safe to predict that the census now being taken (1910) will add fully ten per cent to the figures of the last census, making the population about 765,000.
CONSTITUTION AND GOVERNMENT
Its constitution was modelled after that of the Federal government. The legislative power is vested in a senate composed of thirty-one members and a house of representatives of one hundred and fifty-one members, both senators and representatives being chosen for a period of two years. The election is held on the second Monday of September in the even years, and the official term begins on the day before the first Wednesday of January following the election. Every bill or resolve passed is submitted to the governor for his approval, but, should he veto it, it may become a law without his approval, if passed by a two-thirds vote of each branch of the legislature.Initiative and Referendum
An amendment to the Constitution, which came into effect in the first Wednesday of January, 1909, established "a people's veto through the optional referendum and a direct initiative by petition and at general or special elections".Executive Department
In the executive department of the government, the governor has associated with him seven executive councillors, each representing one of the seven councillor districts into which the state is divided. These are chosen by the legislature in joint convention at the beginning of the session; and to this board the nominations made by the governor are submitted for confirmation. Under the state government, the following are the principal heads of departments: state auditor, chosen by popular vote at the September election; attorney-general; secretary of state; state treasurer; three state assessors, chosen by the legislature; superintendent of public schools ; highway commissioner; auditor of state printing; land agent and forest commissioner; insurance commissioner; bank examiner; state liquor commissioner; pension clerk; commissioner of industrial and labour statistics; commissioner of agriculture; inspector of workshops, factories, and mines; three railroad commissioners; three enforcement commissioners; state librarian; three commissioners of inland fisheries and game; three commissioners of sea and shore fisheries; keeper of the state arsenal; three commissioners of harbours and tidal waters; three cattle commissioners; three commissioners of pharmacy; agent of the Penobscot Indians ; agent of the Passamaquoddy Indians; three inspectors of prisons and jails; two inspectors of steamboats; inspectors of dams and reservoirs.
There are also appointed eight medical men to constitute a state board of health; six medical men to constitute a board of registration; five lawyers to make up a board of legal examiners; three veterinary surgeons to form a board of veterinary examiners, and five dentists to constitute a board of dental examiners. Besides these there are numerous boards of trustees to supervise the management of state institutions. All of these are nominated by the governor and confirmed by the council. The principal ones are: Maine Insane Hospital at Augusta ; Eastern Maine Insane Hospital at Bangor; state prison at Thomaston; State School for Boys at South Portland ; Maine Industrial School for Girls at Hallowell; Military and Naval Orphan Asylum at Bath ; the University of Maine at Orono; College of Law of the University of Maine at Bangor; state normal schools at Castine, Farmington, Gorham, Presque Isle, and Calais; the Madawaska Training School at Fort Kent and the Maine School for the Deaf at Portland. In this connexion, although not immediately under state authority, may be named certain institutions of a public nature, such as the Maine General Hospital at Portland, Central Maine General Hospital at Lewiston, Eastern Maine General Hospital at Bangor, the Eye and Ear Infirmary at Portland, Maine State Sanitorium Association and Maine Institution for the Blind-all of which have received assistance from the state.
The judicial department is composed in the first place of a supreme court of eight justices, viz, a chief justice and seven associate justices. These sit individually in the several counties of the state to hear cases at nisi prius , and as a court of law to hear cases brought before them on exceptions at three different places, namely Portland, Bangor, and Augusta. These judges are also vested with full equity powers to hear and determine cases in equity with or without the intervention of a jury. Besides these, superior courts have been established in the counties of Cumberland and Kennebec with a jurisdiction fixed by the acts establishing them, and broad enough to enable them to hear and decide the vast majority of cases arising within their respective counties. Each city and a number of the larger towns have municipal courts of limited jurisdiction in both civil and criminal matters, and finally in every county in the state are trial justices having jurisdiction in petty civil and criminal cases subject to an appeal to a higher court, and authority to issue warrants for the apprehension of offenders in all cases, and to hind over the party accused for trial at the Supreme or Superior Court as the case may be. The municipalities are divided into three classes: cities, towns and plantations. Augusta is the capital of the state. Portland, the largest city in the state, is one of the most beautiful residential cities in the whole country. Maine has 21 cities, 430 towns, and 73 plantations.
The declaration of rights prefixed to the Constitution of Maine, article 1, section 3, reads as follows:--"All men have a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences, and no one shall be hurt, molested or restrained, in his person, liberty or estate, for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience, nor for his religious professions or sentiments, provided he does not disturb the public peace nor obstruct others in their religious worship; and all persons demeaning themselves peaceably as good members of the state shall be equally under the protection of the laws and no subordination nor preference of any one sect or denomination to another shall ever be established by law, nor shall any religious test be required as a qualification for any office or trust under the state; and all religious societies in this state whether incorporate or unincorporate shall at all times have the exclusive right of electing their public teachers and contracting with them for their support and maintenance." The fore-going is the only constitutional provision having reference to religious opinions or practices.
The statute provides penalties for "whoever on the Lord's Day or at any other time, behaves rudely or indecently within the walls of any house of public worship; wilfully interrupts or disturbs any assembly for public worship within the place of such assembly or out of it"; for one "who on the Lord's Day, keeps open his shop, workhouse, warehouse or place of business on that day, except works of necessity or charity"; for an innholder or victualler who, "on the Lord's Day, suffers any person, except travellers or lodgers to abide in his house, yard or field, drinking or spending their time idly at play, or doing any secular business except works of charity or necessity." "No person conscientiously believing that the seventh day of the week ought to be observed as the Sabbath, and actually refraining from secular business and labour on that day, is liable to said penalties for doing such business or labour on the first day of the week, if he does not disturb other persons." Service of civil process on the Lord's Day is also forbidden, and, if in fact made is void.Administration of Oaths
Oaths may be administered by all judges, justices of the peace, and notaries public in the form prescribed by statute as follows: the person to whom an oath is administered shall hold up his right hand, unless he believes that an oath administered in that form is not binding, and then it may be administered in a form believed by him to be binding; one believing any other than the Christian Religion, may be sworn according to the ceremonies of his religion. Persons conscientiously scrupulous of taking an oath may affirm.Blasphemy and Profanity
The statutes provide that "whoever blasphemes the Holy Name of God, by denying, cursing or contumeliously reproaching God, His creation, government, final judgment of the world, Jesus Christ , the Holy Ghost , or the Holy Scripture as contained in the canonical books of the Old and New Testament or by exposing them to contempt and ridicule, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than two years or by fine not exceeding two hundred dollars". A fine of five dollars is provided for one who "profanely curses or swears."Use of Prayer in Legislature
There is no statute on this subject, but since Maine became a state it has been customary for the president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives to invite in turn the several clergymen of Augusta, Hallowell, and Gardiner, to open each day's session in their respective branches with prayer. Until some twenty years ago, Protestant clergymen alone were invited, but since that time Catholic priests are invited and officiate in their turn.School or Church closed? - Here's FREE help!
The statutes provide that "no person shall be arrested in a civil action, or mesne process or execution or on a warrant for taxes, on the day of annual fast or thanksgiving, the thirtieth day of May, the fourth day of July, or Christmas." The Legislature of 1907 passed an act abolishing the annual fast day and substituting Patriots' Day therefor.Seal of Confession
There is no record of any attempt to obtain from any priest information acquired by him through the confessional, by any tribunal of this state or by any one practising before the same.Incorporation of Churches
The statutes provide that "any persons of lawful age, desirous of becoming an incorporated parish or religious society, may apply to a justice of the peace", and full provision is made for their incorporation into a parish, and further that "every parish may take by gift or purchase any real or personal property, until the clear annual income thereof shall amount to three thousand dollars, convey the same and establish by-laws not repugnant to law. By Act of the Legislature approved 27 February, 1887, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Portland was created a corporation sole.Exemption of Church Property from Taxation
The statutes provide that "houses of religious worship, including vestries and the pews and furniture within the same, except for parochial purposes; tombs and rights of burial ; and property held by a religious society as a parsonage, not exceeding six thousand dollars in value and from which no rent is received, are exempt from taxation. But all other property of any religious society, both real and personal, is liable to taxation, the same as other property."Exemption of Clergy from certain Public Duties
Settled ministers of the gospel are exempt by statute from serving as jurors, and by the constitution ' ministers' are among those entitled to be exempted from military duty.Marriage and Divorce
The statutes provide that "every justice of the peace, residing in the State; every ordained minister of the gospel and every person licensed to preach by an association of ministers, religious seminary or ecclesiastical body, duly appointed and commissioned for that purpose by the governor may solemnize marriages within the limits of his appointment. The governor with the advice and consent of Council, may appoint women otherwise eligible under the constitution to solemnize marriages." Another section safeguards the rights of those contracting marriage in good faith by making it valid, although not solemnized in legal form, and although there may be a want of jurisdiction or authority in the justice or minister performing the ceremony.
The statutory grounds for divorce are prescribed in the following section: "A divorce from the bonds of matrimony may be decreed by the Supreme Judicial Court in the County where either party resides at the commencement of proceedings for cause of adultery, impotence, extreme cruelty, utter desertion continued for three consecutive years next prior to the filing of the libel, gross and confirmed habits of intoxication, cruel and abusive treatment, or, on the libel of the wife, where the husband being of sufficient ability, grossly or wantonly and cruelly refuses or neglects to provide suitable maintenance for her; provided that the parties were married in this state or cohabited here after marriage; or if the libellant resided here when the cause of divorce accrued or had resided here in good faith for one year prior to the commencement of the proceedings. But when both parties have been guilty of adultery, or there is collusion between them to procure a divorce, it shall not be granted." Either party may be a witness.
The law makes liberal and ample provision for a system of common schools covering the entire state. The number of school children in the state according to the report of the state superintendent for the year 1909 was 212,329, and the amount expended for school purposes was S2,368,890. The statutes relating to public schools contain no reference to religion or religious teaching. Free high schools are encouraged by reimbursing any town establishing one a certain proportion of the amount expended in connexion therewith. Such schools have been established in all of the cities and in more than half of the towns, and scholars from other towns are admitted without charge for tuition, the amount being charged to the town in which they reside. Under the head of normal schools we find the following statute: "Said schools, while teaching the fundamental truths of Christianity and the great principles of morality, recognized by law, shall be free from all denominational teachings and open to persons of di fferent religious connections on terms of equality." The higher education is furnished by the University of Maine at Orono; Bowdoin College at Brunswick ; Bates College at Lewiston; Colby College at Waterville; St. Mary's College at Van Buren. Concerning the Catholic schools, which are attended by 12,274 pupils, see Portland, Diocese of .
The statutes provide a method of organizing charitable societies, and there is also a provision exempting them from taxation. "The real and personal property of all literary institutions, and all benevolent, charitable and scientific institutions incorporated by the state, corporations whose property or funds in excess of their ordinary expenses are held for the relief of the sick, the poor or the distressed, or of widows and orphans, or to bury the dead, are benevolent and charitable institutions within the meaning of this specification, without regard to the sources from which such funds are derived, or the limitations in the classes of persons for whose benefit they are applied, except that so much of the real estate of such corporations as is not occupied by them for their own purposes, shall be taxed in the municipality in which it is situated."
SALE OF LIQUOR
On the first Wednesday of January, 1885, the following provision became a part of the constitution: "The manufacture of intoxicating liquors, not including cider, and the sale and keeping for sale of intoxicating liquors, are and shall be forever prohibited, except, however, that the sale and keeping for sale of such liquors for medicinal and mechanical purposes and the arts and the sale and keeping for sale of cider, may be permitted under such regulations as the legislature may provide. The legislature shall enact laws with suitable penalties for the suppression of the manufacture, sale and keeping for sale of intoxicating liquors, with the exceptions herein specified."Prohibitory Legislation
Beginning with 21 June, 1851, the date of the approval of the first act, the legislature has passed fifty-six acts intended to prevent the sale of intoxicating liquors. The law in its present state covers twenty pages of the Revised Statutes and is in substance as follows: (1) A law prohibiting the manufacture or sale by any one of such intoxicating liquors (except cider); (2) prohibiting peddling intoxicating liquors; (3) against the transportation from place to place of intoxicating liquors with intent to sell; (4) prohibiting any sale of intoxicating liquors by self, clerk, servant, or agent; (5) to punish the offence of being a common seller; (6) to punish the keeping of a drinking house and tippling shop; (7) against keeping intoxicating liquors in one's possession intended for unlawful sale; (8) a law providing for a search and seizure of intoxicating liquors intended for unlawful sale, and for their forfeiture; (9) against advertising sale or keeping for sale of intoxicating liquors in newspapers. The penalties range, according to the gravity of the offence, from a fine of fifty dollars and costs to a fine of $1000 and costs, and imprisonment from thirty days to six months. For a second or subsequent offence the penalties are to be increased. Formerly the duty of enforcing the prohibitory law rested upon certain county officers, such as the sheriff and his deputies and the county attorney, and upon certain municipal officers. In addition to these, by act approved on 18 March, 1905, the governor was authorized to appoint a commission of three persons, who in turn may appoint such number of deputies as in their judgment may be necessary to enforce the laws against the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors.State and Town Agencies
A state agency exists "to furnish municipal officers of towns and cities with pure, unadulterated intoxicating liquors to be kept and sold for medicinal, mechanical and manufacturing purposes". The municipal officers are authorized to appoint "some suitable person, agent of said town or city", who is authorized to purchase liquors from the state agent and "to sell the same, at some convenient place therein, to be used for medicinal, mechanical and manufacturing purposes and no other." "No such agent shall have any interest in such liquors or in the profits of the sale thereof."
PRISONS AND REFORMATORIES
There is a state prison located at Thomaston, the Reform School being situated at Cape Elizabeth. There is a county jail in each county except Piscataquis, which uses the Penobscot jail at Bangor, and every city and large town has its police station or lock-up. There is also the Industrial School for Girls at Hallowell.
WILLS AND TESTAMENTS
The statutes provide that "a person of sound mind and of the age of twenty-one years, may dispose of his real and personal estate by will in writing signed by him, or by some person for him at his request and in his presence, and subscribed in his presence by three credible attesting witnesses not beneficially interested under said will."Charitable Bequests
There is no statute on this subject, but a bequest, for any purpose not against public policy, will be sustained, provided there be a person or persons or corporation empowered to accept and receive the same.
The statutes provide as follows: "Section 1. Towns may raise and assess money, necessary for purchasing and suitably fencing land for a burying ground. Section 2. Persons of lawful age may incorporate themselves for the purpose of purchasing land for a burying ground." Another section requires that ancient cemeteries belonging to any town, parish, or religious society shall be fenced; still another exempts lots in public or private cemeteries from attachments and levy on execution.
So conspicuous were the islands and the coast of Maine, that it is beyond question that they were known to nearly all of the early explorers. In 990 Biarne sailed from Iceland for Greenland and, driven by storms from his course, discovered an unknown land to the south, covered with forests. The account of his voyage leads one to believe that he passed in sight of the Maine coast. After him came other Northmen ; the sons of Eric the Red successively made voyages to the coast of New England, Leif in 1000, Thorwald in 1002, and Thornstein in 1004. The last named came in search of the body of his brother Thorwald, slain in battle by the natives in the vicinity of what is now Boston Harbour; he remained through the winter, returning in 1005. After these came Thorfinn Karlsefne in 1006; Thorhall the hunter in 1008, who beyond question was actually upon the coast of Maine, and Thorfinn Karlsefne, who came again in 1009 in search of Thorhall the hunter, but probably did not quite reach the coast of Maine. During the period which elapsed until the time of Columbus (1492), while many voyages were made from Denmark and Iceland to "Vineland", which comprised the coast of Maine and New Hampshire, and to Markland, which was identical with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick of today. There is no certainty that any of the vessels of the Northmen landed on the coast of Maine proper. The prevailing opinion was that this region formed a part of Europe, and it is so set down in the maps of that period. Later it was believed to be a part of Asia. Columbus in voyaging westward was in search of a passage to India.
The first voyage of John Cabot and his son Sebastian in 1497, in which the land of North America was observed, left them under the impression that it was the coast of Eastern Asia. In 1498 Sebastian Cabot passed along the entire length of the coast of Maine going and returning. Then for the first time and to his disappointment, Sebastian Cabot discovered that this land stood as an apparently impassable barrier between him and "far-off Cathay". In 1524 the Italian, Verrazano, for the French Government, explored the coast bordering "on the gulf of Maine", and describes it very minutely. In 1525 Estevan Gomez, in behalf of the Spanish Government, made a voyage to the New World , and entered many of the ports and bays of New England. For a long time afterwards, the territory of which Maine forms a part was known on Spanish maps as the "Country of Gomez". In 1527 John Rut, on an English vessel, visited the coast, being the first Englishman to set foot upon American soil. It was at this time that the territory of Maine became known as Norumbega, called after an imaginary city located in the interior on the banks of the Penobscot. All of these expeditions were sent out in the hope of discovering a north-west passage to India. In 1541 Diego Maldonado visited the coast of Maine. He was in charge of a Spanish expedition sent out in search of Ferdinand De Soto, who had explored the southern coast of North America to take possession of it for the Spanish Government.
In 1556. André Thevet, a passenger on board a French vessel, landed with others on the banks of the Penobscot This traveller has given a very complete and interesting account of his visit. In 1565 Sir John Hawkins explored the coast, and Sir Humphrey Gilbert perished on the way to establish an English colony at Norumbega on the Penobscot. In 1602 Bartholomew Gosnold appears to have landed in the vicinity of the city of Portland, and in 1603 Martin Pring entered Penobscot Bay, the mouth of the Kennebec, and Casco Bay.
The first attempt at founding a colony within the territory of Maine was made by Pierre du Guast, Sieur de Monts, who, having received authority from Henry IV of France in 1603 to colonize "Acadia", by which was meant all of the territory between the fortieth and fifty-sixth degrees of north latitude, sailed from Havre in company with the still more famous Samuel de Champlain in the spring of 1604, with two vessels carrying one hundred and twenty persons. After stopping at several places, among others at the mouth of the river which he named and which is still known as the St. John, he sailed into Passamaquoddy Bay, as it is now called, up the St. Croix River, as he named it, and landed on an island to which he gave the same name. This is now known as De Monts Island, and is within the limits of the parish of the Immaculate Conception, which includes the city of Calais. Here, in a small chapel, quickly erected, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was offered for the first time on the soil of New England by Rev. Nicholas Aubry of Paris in July, 1604. From this little colony the Gospel spread among the Indians, the Abenakis being the first on the continent to embrace the Faith ; this they did in a body, and they have stood steadfast in the Faith to this day. The colony was transferred near the close of the following year to a new location at Port Royal on Annapolis Bay. In July, 1605, Captain George Weymouth landed on the coast of Maine within the limits of the town of St. George.
On 10 April, 1606, James I of England granted a charter, called the Charter of Virginia, providing for two colonies, one between the thirty-fourth and thirty-eighth and the other between the forty-first and forty-fifth degrees of latitude, the latter including substantially the whole of the Maine coast, and extending a considerable distance into the interior. Under this charter a small colony was established in 1607 on the peninsula of Sagadahoc on the spot now commemorated by Fort Popham. This settlement appears to have been broken up. It was renewed, however, after a few years and has continued down to the present time. These settlements, the one made by De Monts on St. Croix Island, and that made at Fort Popham, have formed respectively the basis of the claim made by the French and the English to the territory of Maine -- a controversy long, and bitter, and bloody, in which the religious element was ever present. The French king claimed as far west as the Kennebec; the English claimed as far east as the present line of the state. The English occupancy spread from the mouth of the Sagadahoc in both directions, so that in 1614, when Captain John Smith visited the coast, he found a few settlers on the island of Monhegan and around Pemaquid Bay. The history of the English settlement from 1616 until 1677 consists of the doings of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, his son Robert, and his nephew. Ferdinando Gorges in 1622 received from the English king a patent of the land between the Merrimac and the Kennebec, and in the next year sent his son Robert as governor and lieutenant-general of the Province of Maine. He was accompanied by a minister of the Church of England and several councillors. The first court was convened at Saco on 21 March, 1636. In 1639 he received a charter which made of the Province of Maine a palatinate of which Sir Ferdinando Gorges was lord palatine. This is the only instance of a purely feudal possession on the American continent. In 1641 the first chartered city in the United States Gorgiana, now York, was established. In that period (1630-2) settlements were begun in Saco, Biddeford, Scarboro, Cape Elizabeth, and Portland, which progressed fairly well until the Indian war in 1675, during which they were almost destroyed.
In 1677 Massachusetts purchased the interest of the Gorges in the Province of Maine, and in 1691 it became definitively part of "The Royal Province of Massachusetts Bay", and so continued until 1820. The Maine men in the Revolutionary War were reckoned as Massachusetts troops, and a regiment of Maine men fought at Bunker Hill. The first naval battle was that at Machias, in which Jeremiah O'Brien and his five sons captured the British ship, Margaretta (11 July, 1775). The French occupancy consisted of a few missions, the principal being the one at Pentagoet (Castine) on the Penobscot and another at Narantsouac (Norridgewock) on the Kennebec. The history of the French occupancy is accordingly the history of the Catholic missions. In 1611 Jean de Biencourt, Sieur de Poutrincourt, having succeeded to the title of De Monts, landed on an island at the mouth of the Kennebec. He was accompanied among others by Father Biard . This is believed to have been the second place in Maine in which the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was celebrated. In 1613 another attempt was made at founding a Catholic colony on the coast. Antoinette de Pons, Marchioness de Guercheville, sent out under the command of Sieur de ha Saussaye an expedition which sailed from France on 12 March, 1613, and landed on the southeastern shore of Mount Desert. Here the missionaries planted a cross, celebrated Mass, and gave the place the name of St. Sauveur. This settlement was destined to be short-lived. Captain Samuel Argall from Virginia, in a small man-of-war, attacked the colony, took, and destroyed it. Father Masse, with fourteen Frenchmen, was set adrift in a small boat, and the others were carried prisoners to Virginia. Soon after, the governor of Virginia sent Argall to destroy the remnant of the St. Croix and Port Royal colonies, which he did, burning such buildings as had been erected.
In 1619 the Recollects of the Franciscan Order were given charge of the territory, which included Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Maine. They ministered to the spiritual wants of Indians and whites alike, and so continued in charge until the year 1630. The Capuchins, another branch of the Franciscan Order, succeeded them three years later. From Port Royal as a centre, they had missions as far as the Penobscot and the Kennebec, the principal one in Maine being that at Pentagoet on the Penobscot. In 1646, at the request of the Indians of the Kennebec, the superior of the Jesuit mission in Canada sent Father Gabriel Druillettes, who founded the mission of the Assumption. He returned to Quebec the following year, but in 1650 was back at his post, being stationed at Norridgewock. He appears to have lived alternately there and at Quebec until 1657, when he returned finally to Quebec. The Capuchin mission at Pentagoet was broken up about this time by an expedition sent by Cromwell, and the missionary, Very Rev. Bernadine de Crespy, was carried off to England. In 1667, Pentagoet having been restored to France by the Treaty of Breda, Catholic worship was restored. Rev. Lawrence Molin, a Franciscan, was placed in charge, and from this point visited all the stations in the state. The Baron de Castine, from whom Castine (Peatagoet) derives its name, was a strong supporter of this mission at this period. After Father Molin came Father Morain in 1677 to minister to the Penobscots and Passamaquoddies. In 1684 Rev. Louis P. Thury was sent by Bishop Laval, and settled at Castine. In 1688 he built the church of St. Ann at Panawaniski (Indian for Oldtown), which exists this day and is the oldest parish in New England Baron de Castine appears to have been the chief promoter of this church, and also offered to maintain the missionary at his own expense. The baron had married the daughter of the Sagamore Modockewando. About 1701 he returned to France ; but his half-breed son, Anselme, Baron de Castine, was long a prominent figure in the wars which were continually waged between the French and their Indian allies and the New Englanders, representing British interests. In the same year (1668) Father James Bigot built a chapel at Norridgewock. His brother, Rev. Vincent Bigot, also served the mission for some little time, leaving it in 1699. Besides these, and during the same period, the Jesuit fathers , Peter Joseph de la Chasse, Julien Binnetau, and Joseph Aubery, served the missions in Maine. Rev. Jacques Alexis de Fleury d'Eschambault succeeded Father Thury, who had been called elsewhere. Father d'Eschambault died in 1698, and was succeeded by Rev. Philip Rageot and Rev. Father Guay until 1701, and by Rev. Anthony Gaulin until 1703. Rev. Sebastian Rule was also located at Norridgewock during the same period, and continued there for thirty years.
In 1704-5 expeditions were sent from Massachusetts to destroy the mission stations in Maine. Those on the Penobscot were ravaged, and the church and all of the wigwams were burned. In 1722 another expedition sent out by the Governor of Massachusetts burned the church on the Penobscot. The same expedition in January, 1722, had proceeded to Norridgewock for the purpose of capturing or killing Father Râle. On this occasion, being warned in time, he and his flock escaped by taking to the woods. At last the end came. The frequent attempts, all more or less successful, to destroy the Maine mission stations, forced the Indians to prepare to defend themselves. After several battles between the Massachusetts forces with their Indian allies and the Indians of the Kennebec, a small force attacked the village of Norridgewock on 23 August, 1724. Father Râle, well knowing that he was the one whose life was sought, and apparently anxious to divert the attack from his people, went forth to meet the enemy and fell pierced by many bullets. After the death of Father Râle, the only missionaries in Maine appear to have been Fathers De Syresm and Lanverjat, and these remained only until 1731. In 1730 a chapel had been erected on the Kennebec, but for fifty years or more the Indians had to content themselves with occasional pilgrimages to certain places in Canada, notably Becancour and St. Francis on the Chaudière River. They were occasionally visited by Father Charles Germain from St. Anne's mission, now Fredericton, New Brunswick. At the beginning of the Revolutionary War, the Abenakis having taken the side of the patriots, all persecution for religious or other reasons ceased, and the General Council of Massachusetts desired to furnish them a priest, but were unable to obtain one at that time. At the close of the war, Rev. Father Ciquard, a Sulpician, was sent to Old-town and remained there until 1794, whence he went to Fredericton.
The foundation of the Catholic Church in Maine practically dates from the arrival of Father (afterwards Bishop ) Cheverus from Boston in July, 1797, to take charge of the two Indian missions at Pleasant Point. The few white Catholics scattered here and there claimed his attention equally with the red men. The progress made was slow, but on 17 July, 1808, he had the satisfaction of dedicating St. Patrick's church at Damariscotta. Fully two-thirds of its cost had been contributed by two gentlemen partners in business, Messrs. Kavanagh and Cottrill. It is a remarkable circumstance that the two most distinguished Catholic laymen of the past century in Maine were of their descendants. Edward Kavanagh, son of the senior partner, represented his native district in the twenty-second and twenty-third congresses, and after his second term was appointed by President Jackson minister to Portugal. In 1842 he was elected to the state senate, and was chosen president of that body. Governor Fairfield having been elected to the United States senate, Kavanagh became acting governor. A monument to the sterling Catholic principles of the Kavanagh family, exists in the splendid "Kavanagh School which stands near the cathedral in Portland, erected with means contributed by a sister of the governor. James C. Madigan (b. in Damariscotta, 22 July, 1821; d. in Houlton, 16 October, 1879) was the grandson of Matthew Cottrill. He was sent by Governor Kavanagh to establish schools in the Madawaska territory in 1843, and made his home for a number of years at Fort Kent. He later removed to Houlton, where he spent the remainder of his days. He was the most conspicuous Catholic in New England for many years. A gentleman of noble presence, of rare culture, elegant manners, and high character, he was well fitted to adorn the highest office in the land. He was one of the five members of the commission appointed in 1875 by Governor Dingley to revise the constitution of the state. He was an able and learned lawyer, and an eloquent and powerful advocate. He was a devout Catholic and probably no lay man in the entire country in his time stood so high in the estimation of the clergy. At Whitefield, Rev, Denis Ryan being pastor, a church was built and dedicated in June, 1822. Rev. Benedict Joseph Fenwick having been chosen to succeed Bishop Cheverus, who had returned to France, he was consecrated Bishop of Boston on 1 Nov., 1825. During his government of the Diocese of Boston , St. Dominic's church in Portland was built, and was dedicated on 11 August, 1833. In 1834 Bishop Fenwick, having secured a half township of land in Aroostook County, established the prosperous Catholic colony of Benedicta. In 1835 St. Joseph's Church in Eastport was dedicated ; on 4 Au gust, 1838, one in Gardiner; on 10 Nov., 1839, St. Michael's in Bangor.Knownothingism
The growth of the Catholic Church in Maine and New Hampshire was such that in 1853, these states were taken out of the Diocese of Boston to form the Diocese of Portland . On 22 April, 1855, Rev. David William Bacon was consecrated bishop. It was just after the outbreak of Knownothingism which resulted in the tarring, feathering, and riding on a rail of the saintly Father John Bapst at Ellsworth. This was on 15 October 1854. On the preceding 8 July, the Knownothings had burned the church at Bath. Subsequent events appear to justify the belief that this persecution was the herald of the remarkable growth and development of the Catholic Church in Maine. It is not easy to foresee to what lengths this anti-Catholic agitation might have gone, had not events of national importance begun to loom on the horizon. The Civil War, in which so many Catholics of Maine and of all parts of the Union took part, and so many greatly distinguished themselves by their courage and valour, put an end to this persecution -- it is to be hoped, for ever. An attempt was made during the period from 1890 to 1895 to establish an order of the same nature, under the name of the "American Protective Association", but it soon died a fitting death.
EARLY CATHOLIC SETTLER
The State of Maine, although settled a few years earlier than Massachusetts, is peopled for the most part by inhabitants who claim descent from settlers from Massachusetts and other parts of New England. The
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