Gazetteer of the State of Maine, 1882 page 462
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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

462    GAZETTEER    OF    MAINE.

north side of Bramhall’s Hill, and, after a sharp fight, drove them off;
losing in the contest eleven killed and ten wounded. The next year,
500 French and Indians, after a siege of five days, captured the fort,
and carried the garrison captive to Canada.

From this time until after the close of Queen Anne’s war in 1713,
the place remained “ deserted Casco.” With its settlement in 1715,
begins the second period of its history, which ends with its destruction
by Mowatt in 1775. The new settlement was on nearly the same site
as the old. In 1727, Rev. Thomas Smith commenced in the place his
long ministry of over sixty-eight years.

In the course of half a century a great trade with the West Indies,
as well as with England, sprang up ; so that on Nov. 1, 1766, six large
ships were lying in the harbor. At the commencement of the Revolu-
tion, 2,555 tons of shipping wTere owned in what is now Portland: and
the population was about 2,000. Its patriotism was then as prompt
as has ever since been. No vantage was allowed for the enforce-
ment of the Stamp Act; the hated stamps being seized and burned as
goon as they arrived ; and when the tax was placed upon tea, a popular
assemblage resolved “that we will not buy nor sell any India tea what-
ever; ” and when the British government closed the port of Boston in
1774, the bell of Falmouth meeting-house was muffled and tolled from
sunrise to sunset. Incensed by his capture and detention here in the
previous spring by a party of militia from Brunswick, Capt. Henry
Mowatt, in October, 1775, entered the harbor with a fleet of five war
vessels, and on the 18tb of that month, laid the town in ashes. The
citizens nobly refused to give up tlieir arms to secure the immunity of
their village, but mostly fled into the country, taking with them what
they could carry of their goods. Out of 514 buildings, only 100 dwell-
ing-houses were left standing. Thus for the third time, the town was
desolated. With the acknowledgment of our independence as a nation,
a period of prosperity again began. There were not only business but
social changes. “Distinctions of rank and of dress,” says Elwell, “gave
way before the democratic spirit of the times ; cocked hats, bush wigs,
and breeches passed out, and pantaloons came in. Capt. Joseph
Titcomb created quite a sensation wheh~~he returned home from the
South, in 1790, wearing the latter form of the nether garment, the first
seen here.” In 1785, the first brick house in town was commenced,
and the first newspaper appeared, the “Falmouth Gazette,” published
by Benjamin Titcomb and Thomas B. Waite. The same author pre-
viously quoted says, “In 1786, the town was divided, and the Neck,
with the name of Portland, started on an independent career, with a
population of about 2,000. In 1793, wharves were extended into the
harbor. In 1795, Nathaniel Deering built the first brick store. In
1799, the first bank was incorporated. Trade advanced westward
from the old site at the foot of India street, and in 1800, Exchange
(then called Fish) street was the principal seat of business.” Then the
wealthier merchants began to build them more stately residences,
fitted to the increasing refinement and the more lavish expenditure.
Such are the Matthew Cobb house, still standing at the corner of High
and Free streets ; the mansion built by Ebenezer Storer, on the corner
of High and Danforth street; that built by Joseph H. Ingraham, on
State street; and the fine old mansion on the corner of High and
Spring streets, long the residence of the late General Wiugate; all


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