Gazetteer of the State of Maine, 1882 page 268
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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


set off and annexed to Lincoln County. In 1827, a portion was taken
off for Waldo. In 1831, and again in 1844 a change was made in the
partition line between Hancock and Washington Counties. In 1858,
Greenfield was set off and annexed to Penobscot.

The first European who made definite mention of the Penobscot
bay and river, which wash its western side, was Thevet, a French
explorer, in 1556. Martin Pring and Captain Weymouth, the English
explorers, sailed along its shores in 1603 and 1605, and DeMonts, the
Frenchman, explored some portions of the coast in 1604 and 1605.
There is a tradition that Rosier, the historian of Weymouth’s expedi-
tion, explored Deer Island thoroughfare, making a halt at the bold
promontory in Brooksville, known as Cape Rosier. They found the
county occupied by a tribe of Indians, who with those on Passama-
quoddy waters, were noted for their long journeys in canoes ; whence
the general name for these Indians,
EtecJimins. DeMonts claimed the
country in the name of the King of France in the true catholic style,
setting up a cross and calling the country “ Acadie.” By this name it
continued to be known until the capture of Quebec by general Wolfe in
1759. When Weymouth came in 1605, he also claimed the country in
the name of his King, James I. of England. Thus the two leading
powers of Europe became adverse claimants of the soil of Hancock
County, and the wars these claims occasioned kept the county an
almost unbroken wilderness during the provincial history of Maine.
Indeed, it was not until after the war of the Revolution that the French
claim to the territory between the Penobscot and St. Croix w’as relin-
quished. The patent of Acadia granted to DeMonts in 1603 was
surrendered two years later to Madame de Guercheville; who, in 1613,
sent over Saussaye with 25 colonists. This lady was a zealous Catholic,
and wished to convert the Indians to that faith. Her colony landed
on Mount Desert on May 16, 1613, where they built a fort, erected a
cross, celebrated mass, and named the place “ St. Sauveur.” The exact
locality is now supposed to be that now known as Ship Harbor, in the
town of Tremont. The “ Pool ” at Somes’ Sound, is supposed to have
been the place where the Jesuit missionaries, Biard and Masse, located
themselves in 1609. This colony was attacked, captured, and removed
from the island in the same season by Captain Argali, of Virginia.

The first English possession was a trading post of the Pilgrims at
Pentagoet (Castine) in 1625-6. This, however, soon fell into the hands
of the French, and the flag of France floated over it during nearly the
whole of the 17th century. The indications of old French settlements
have also been found at Castine, Newbury Neck, Surry, Oak Point,
Trenton, East Lemoine, Crabtree’s Neck, Hancock, Butler Point,
Franklin, Waukeag Neck and Sullivan. No permanent English settle-
ments were made until after the fall of Quebec, in 1759.

The first grants of land in the county were six townships, each six
miles square, between the rivers Penobscot and Union (then known as
the Donaqua), which were granted to David Marsh
et als, by the Gene-
ral Court of Massachusetts, upon conditions, one of which was chat
they should settle each township with 60 Protestant families within
six years. These grants were No. 1, Bucksport; 2, Orland ; 3, Penob-
scot ; 4, Sedgewick ; 5, Bluehill; and 6, Surry. Six other townships
east of the Union River were granted on the same terms; three of
which are in this county, viz.: No. 1, Trenton, granted to Eben


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