Gazetteer of the State of Maine, 1882 page 464
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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


Both Jonathan Morgan and Captain Porter had previously experb
merited with steamboats of their own construction ; the Kennebec, built
by the latter in 1822, having been the first to run in Casco Bay. In
1838, the steamer Chancellor Livingston, built under the direction of
Robert Fulton, ran between Portland and Boston ; Snd the Cumber-
land Steam Navigation Company, formed in the same year, put the
steamer Commodore McDonough on the route in opposition. The
Cumberland and Oxford Canal connecting the waters of Lake Sebago
with Portland Harbor, was begun in 1828, completed in 1830, at a cost
of $206,000. This helped the business of the town somewhat; yet the
steamboats and the Portland, Saco and Portsmouth Railroad, opened
in 1842, took much Portland business to Boston. A new railroad con-
necting with Boston diverted also to that city the trade of northern
Vermont, which had previously come through the north of the White
Mountains to Portland. The fifth period commenced with the opening
of the Atlantic and St. Lawrence Railroad to Canada, in 1853. To
aid in its construction, Portland loaned its credit in bonds to the
amount of $2,000,000. This Grand Trunk road brought the city in
connection not only with the cities of Canada, but with the vast grain-
growing regions of the West. Then came, as necessary adjuncts of
the road, a winter line of steamers to Liverpool, and the construction
of a new business avenue along the whole water front of the city, a
mile long and 100 feet wide, running over tide water, across the heads
of wharves. This is Commercial street, the scene of a large wholesale
trade in flour, grain and groceries. Then came the building of the
system of railroads, now consolidated under the name of the Maine
Central, opening to the trade of Portland all parts of the State, and
the Lower Provinces of Canada. Then Brown’s Sugar House and the
Portland Company’s Works, and other manufacturing establishments
sprang np, giving employment to hundreds of people.

The financial panic of 1857-8 brought no serious disaster to the
business of the city; and trade had again attained to a flourishing con-
dition, when the war of the Slaveholder’s Rebellion broke out. Port-
f    land,    as usual, was prompt to the demands of patriotism,—six companies

of the First Maine regiment, Colonel Jackson, having been raised here.
Later regiments organized in Portland were the 5th, 9th, 10th, 12th,
13th, 17th, and 25th. The latter was a nine-months regiment of Port-
land boys, led by Col. Francis Fessenden. In all, Portland contributed
to the army and navy of the Union during the war, 5,000 men to whom
she paid a bounty of $428,970. Of these, 421 lost their lives in battle,
or by disease. Her citizens also contributed largely in aid of the san-
itary and Christian commissions, and many of her noble women gave
their services in nursing the sick and wounded.

One morning in June, 1863, the United States Revenue cutter Caleb
Cushing, was missed from her moorings, and Revenue Collector Jewett
and Major McLellan, promptly manning and arming the steamers
Forest City and Chesapeake, found her in the hands of the rebels,
becalmed near Green Islands. On discovering the approaching Amssels,
her captors set her on fire, and took to their boats. She presently blew
up; and the rebel crew were soon captured by the pursuing steamers,
and lodged in Fort Preble, as prisoners of Avar. During the war, much
shipping of Portland had been transferred to the British flag; but the
business of the city did not otherwise suffer much loss.


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