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Program 9: Rolling Back the Frontier

POPHAM COLONY

In August 1607, approximately 100 English colonists landed near the mouth of the Kennebec River. Under the leadership of George Popham and Raleigh Gilbert, the men set about to build a fort, Fort St. George, and settle.

Popham Colony PlanThe Popham Colony was the first organized attempt to establish an English settlement in New England. The effort was short-lived, however. Following the death of George Popham and the planned departure of Raleigh Gilbert, the colonists abandoned their effort and returned to England in the fall of 1608. Despite its failure as a permanent settlement, the Popham Colony provided an important English toehold in the New World and helped contribute to the success of the Plymouth Colony in 1620.

Beginning in 1994, archaeologists began a systematic investigation of the Fort St. George site, which previously had not been located with certainty. This important archaeological research continues to the present day and has yielded remarkable evidence of the structures and objects that were a part of the English colonists' early, year-long stay on the present-day coast of Maine.

To learn more about the Popham Colony's history, as well as current archaeological research on the site, visit the Maine's First Ship website: http://www.mfship.org

 

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FERDINANDO GORGES | FUR TRADE | MASSACHUSETTS BAY COLONY | POPHAM COLONY | FEATURED INTERVIEWS | TRANSCRIPT


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