Gazetteer of the State of Maine, 1882 page 54
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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


and Cumberland counties, in New Brunswick, to obtain freedom; and
for nearly a year the contest was kept up. Finally, the British re-
covered the St. John’s and all the country east thereof; but tbe noble
Colonel John Allan, by great self-sacrifice, succeeded in retaining tbe
attachment of the Penobscot and Passamaqouddy tribes of Indians,
and by their means, held the territory as far as the St. Croix for the
American Union. In 1777, Machias was made a national military
station, and supplied with a garrison of three hundred men under
Colonel Allan. Fort Pownal on the Penobscot was also garrisoned by
thirty men, ten of whom were Indians. A British force was soon after
sent to visit with desolation this spirited section of the country. In
August, before the garrison was collected together, a small British
force consisting of a sloop, two frigates and a brig entered Machias
River and made an attack upon the town. They succeeded in burn-
ing a tide-mill and taking a coasting sloop, then sent several barges
laden with soldiers up the west branch to effect further destruction.
But the inhabitants had gathered in answer to the alarm, and the
British were driven from the river with much loss.

The Continental currency had now fallen in value until it required
thirty dollars in bills to equal one in specie. In 1778 the Hon. John
Adams was appointed ambassador to the French Court. He was
conveyed to France by the frigate Boston, commanded by Samuel
Tucker, afterward a citizen of Bremen, in this State. Captain Tucker
is said to have captured during the Revolutionary War, more of the
enemy’s vessels than any other commander. On this voyage he was
chased by three armed vessels of the British, who wrere on the watch
to capture the ambassador, but they failed. Later in the voyage,
Captain Tucker captured an armed brig of the British. Mr. Adams’s
mission was followed by the sending of a French fleet under Count
d’Estaing to aid the American cause.

Early in June, 1779, the British General McLean with a force of
seven or eight vessels and nine hundred men came to Penobscot and
took possession of Castine, building a strong fort there. At the last
of July they were besieged by a fleet under Commodore Salstonstall,
of Connecticut, and about one thousand Maine and Massachusetts mil-
itia under General Lovell, of the latter State , aud General Wadsworth,
of Maine. The operations of the militia were brilliant and would have
been successful but for the over caution of the fleet, by Avhich the final
assault was delayed until a strong British force from Halifax entered
the bay, when the Salstonstall fleet scattered, and were mostly burned
or captured ; while the army was obliged to abandon the siege, and
make its way through the wilderness to the Kennebec. The British
held the Penobscot until the close of the war ; but Machias remained
unsubdued ; and the treaty of peace between Great Britain and the
United States, signed in September, 1783, placed our boundary at the
St. Croix, instead of at the Penobscot.

The first newspaper published in Maine was the Falmouth Gazette,
the first number being issued on New Year’s day, 1785. In 1786, a
large quantity of the public land in Maine was disposed of by lottery ;
William Bingham, of Philadelphia, by purchase of tickets and of prizes,
becoming the possessor of extensive tracts in eastern Maine,—he having
purchased also about 1,000,000 acres in what are now the counties of
Piscataquis, Somerset and Franklin. In 1790 a census of Maine under
Federal authority showed it to have a population of 90,000.


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