Gazetteer of the State of Maine, 1882 page 266
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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

266    GAZETTEER    OF    MAINE.

and Wheeler, being a carpenter, built mills; and tbe settlement soon
became known as Wheelersborough. Being molested and threatened
by the British, the settlers, in 1779, retired through the woods to the
Kennebec, and from thence to Woolwich and Portland. In 1783 they
returned. In 1796 the township was surveyed and lotted by Ephaun
Ballard, and every householder received 100 acres of land. If he were
a settler before 1784, he paid the government $6 ; but if afterward and
before January, 1794, he paid $50. The residue of the township was
assigned to General Knox, to make up for a deficiency under the
Waldo Patent. After the peace there were large accessions of settlers,
—many from Cape Cod; and in 1794 the town was incorporated. The
name was chosen in honor of the English patriot, John Hampden.

Among the early settlers were Gen. John Crosby, who entered into
commercial business, and carried on an extensive trade both with
Euiope and the East Indies. Another prominent man was General
Gabriel Johonot, a brave Frenchman who served under Washington,
and was subsequently his friend and correspondent. Hon. Martin
Kinsley, General Jedediali Herrick, Enoch Brown and John Godfrey
were also prominent citizens of the town. Hon. Hannibal Hamlin,
Vice-President and Senator of the United States, settled in Hampden
as a lawyer about 1832.

During the last war with England the United States corvette
“Adams,” of 24 guns, commanded by Capt. Charles Morris, having
struck a sunken rock in Penobscot Bay, came to Hampden to repair
the injury. A principal object of the British expedition up the river
in the autumn was the capture of this vessel while she was dismantled
and helpless. The British force consisted of two sloops of war, one
brig, and several transports, with their crews and several hundred reg-
ulars. Captain Morris landed his guns, and erected two batteries, one
on the wharf, and one on a hill 200 yards below. The militia collected
to the number of about 600 ; and under the command of General Blake,
of Brewer, took up a position on the ridge to oppose the troops as they
advanced up the road from where they had landed at Bald Hill Cove.
When within about 300 yards of General Blake’s position, the British
opened fire, then advanced with fixed bayonets in “ double quick.”
Being without breastworks, and outflanked, the militia quickly gave
way and made a precipitate retreat. The foe then charged on Captain
Morris’s batteries, driving their few defenders from their cannon at
the point of the bayonet. Captain Morris at once blew np his ship,
and with his men retreated to Bangor, thence to Portland. Incensed
at thus losing their prize, the officers for three days permitted the
sailors, marines and infantry full liberty on shore, where they com-
mitted many excesses in the plunder of citizens and destruction of
property. When the enemy finally departed they took with them
nearly 80 of the citizens as prisoners of war, who were only released on
the promise of the selectmen to pay a ransom of $1,000. This incur-
sion was a heavy blow to the citizens of Hampden ; but they fully re-
covered in a few years, and have ever since continued prosperous.

The well-known Hampden Academy was incorporated March, 1803,
and is still doing its good work of education. Many persons who have
taken leading positions in town and State were educated here. Hamp-
den has churches of the Congregationalists, Baptists and Methodists,
there being two of the latter. The number of public schoolhouses is


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