Hayward’s New England Gazetteer (1839) page 345
Click on the image to view a larger, bitmap (.bmp) image suitable for printing.


Click on the image above for a larger, bitmap image suitable for printing.


Portland, Me.

Chief town, Cumberland oo. This
beautiful city lies upon a peninsula
at the western extremity of Casco
bay ;• its length is three miles from
east to west, and the average width
is three quarters of a mile; con-
taining about two thousand two
hundred acres of land. The settle-
ment of this neck of land was com-
menced as early as 1632, by two
individuals from England, George
Cleaves and Richard Tucker, who
purchased the whole tract in 1637,
of Gorges, the proprietor. For the
first 40 years the settlement made
but little progress, and it was en-
tirely destroyed in the Indian war
of 1675. In 1680, it was revived
under more favorable auspices, the
government of Massachusetts hav-
ing some years previous to that
time extended her sovereignty over
this part of Maine. It'had scarce-
ly begun to
4 gather the fruits of
prosperity, before it was again
doomed to a second entire over-
throw in 1690, by the remorseless
enemy, who spared neither dwell-
ings nor their inhabitants.

The territory lay waste after this,
until about 1715, wben a new at-
tempt was made, and the founda-
tions of the present city were laid.
The inhabitants in the early period
of the settlement, suffered much
from the privations which awaited
them in this their remote wilder?
ness. The Indians were still hang-
ing about them in an unquiet state,
and occasionally visiting them with
rapine and blood.

After supplying the first necessi-
ties of their condition, the people
turned their attention to the lumber
business,-the materials and the fa-
cilities of which, were abundant
about thefn. In about 20 years from
the re-settlement, it became the
principal port on the coast from
which the English Davy was sup-
plied with masts and spa/s. They
were transported in large ships
owned abroad. Manufactured lum-
ber was sent to the West Indies and
to the colonies on the continent.

• At the commencement of the re-
volutionary war, there were owned
in Portland, 2,555 tons of shipping.
The population was about 1,900, oc-
cupying 230 houses : there were
two religious societies, one congre-
gational-, the other episcopalian, and
the place was marked by enterprise
and prosperity. But it was destined
a third time to be prostrated by the
ravages of war. In 1775 it was
bombarded by a British fleet, by
which catastrophe 136 of the prin-
cipal houses were destroyed, to-
gether with a new court house, the
episcopal church, and the town
house, to the loss of the inhabitants
of over £54,000.

From the close of the revolution-
ary War, to the year 1307,the growth
of the town was almost unexam-
pled. The amount of tonnage,
which in 1789 was but 5,000 tons,
Jiad increased in 1807 to 39,000, and
the amount received for duties had
advanced from $8,000 to $346,000.
During the restrictions and war, the
town suffered severely. It had been
sustained principally by foreign
commerce, which those disastrous
times wholly prostrated. After the
peace of 1815, the old channels of
trade'were revisited, and new ones
opened with still increasingsuccess.
Portland probably enjoys a larger
commerce with the West Indies,
than any other port in the union.
In 1830, the quantity of shipping
was 43,071 tons; in 1832, there
were owned in this port 412 vessels,
employing 2,700 seamen; in 1834
the tonnage of vessels belonging to
the port wa£ 51,433 tons, and in
1837, 53,081 tons. There arrived
in one year 434 vessels exclusive of
coastwise arrivals from ports north
of Cape Cod, of which 163 were
from foreign ports, and 321 were
coastwise. The importations were
as follows, molasses, 30,425 hhds;
flour,65,471 barrels; corn, 76,118


This page was written in HTML using a program written in Python 3.2 and image-to-HTML text generated by ABBYY FineReader 11, Professional Edition.