Gazetteer of the State of Maine, 1882 page 36
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Gazetteer of the State of Maine With Numerous Illustrations, by Geo. J. Varney

BOSTON: PUBLISHED BY B. B. RUSSELL, 57 CORNHILL. 1882. Public domain image from


reside in Oldtown on the Penobscot, and the other at Pleasant Point
near Perry, and on the Indian township at the Schoodic Lakes. These
are the beneficiaries of the State, having given up all their lands except
the tracts about a township in extent each,—assigned to their exclusive
use. In 1879, the Penobscots numbered 446; and the amount expended
for them by the State Government in that year was $7,554.26. The
Quoddy tribe numbered at the same period 528; and the expenditures
of the State on them was $5,547.85. Both tribes have an ample extent
of good land, and efforts to induce them to give more attention are
meeting with some success.


Undoubtedly the shores of Maine were first seen by European eyes
—about A.D. 996. The historic records of Norway, Denmark and
Iceland show that a Northman named Biarne, sailing for Greenland,
was in that year driven by gales far to the south. From his vague
descriptions of the voyage, it is surmised that he caught sight of Cape
Cod, and after the storm was over coasted back along the shores of
Maine and Nova Scotia to Greenland.

Again in 1008, an expedition from Greenland passed along within
view of Maine, on its way to Narraganset Bay, where a former expedi-
tion had erected huts. This location was known to the Northmen as
“ Vineland,” having received this name from them on account of the
wild grape vines found there. The leader of the expedition was a
wealthy citizen of Iceland, named Thorfinn; and his company consisted
of 160 men, in three ships. The noted stone tower at Newport is

claimed by some to be a relic of
these visitors ; but there exists un-
impeachable evidence that it is a
portion of a wind-mill erected by
Governor Arnold, of Rhode Island,
not far from the year 1653.

The next European who looked
upon Maine was probably Sebas-
tian Cabot, who set out with two
ships from Bristol, England, in
May, 1498. He is said to have
sailed along the coast of the Gulf
of Maine, scanning the shores from
his ship somewhat carefully ; yet
no definite record exists of his ob-

OLD STONE TOWER, OR MILL, NEWPORT.    ,.    •,    ^    n    j.    1

’    servations    here. Gasper Cortereal,

a Spanish explorer (who visited our coast in A.D. 1500), did better ; but
he only alluded to the country generally as aboundingin forests and large
rivers, and having its waters well stocked with fish. He adds that the
region is well adapted for ship-building. In all of these points he was
right; but he kidnapped fifty-seven of tbe natives, intending to sell
them for slaves, and therefore sinks in our esteem. One of his vessels,
containing himself, with a large portion of his spoils, did not reach Spain,
nor was its fate ever known. Verrazano, an Italian, was the next navi-
gator on the coast. He was sent out by the King of France in 1523,
returning the next year. It is possible that Maine was the scene of the


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