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Program 13: Struggle for Identity

Have you ever wondered how Maine got its boundaries, or why it looks the way it does on a map? The idea of Maine’s independence from Massachusetts had its detractors, not just from the so-called slave states but even from within, and the northern and northeastern borders were still in dispute over two decades after Maine became a state in 1820.

May’s second new installment of HOME: The Story of Maine explores the tug-of-war with Canada, Britain and Massachusetts over Maine’s boundaries and provides a historical perspective on the bloodless “Aroostook War” of 1839 that eventually drew a line through Madawaska and Edmunston, New Brunswick and resulted in the creation of the military outposts of Fort Fairfield and Fort Kent.

Also examined in this program is the quick rise of Eastport as a thriving sea port to facilitate the illegal shipping of lumber to Britain in violation of President Thomas Jefferson’s trade embargo, which crippled Maine’s early forest economy.

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:A "View of the Original Statehouse" in Augusta circa 1836.
Pictured above:A "View of the Original Statehouse" in Augusta circa 1836. Oil on canvas by Charles Codman. Image courtesy Maine State Museum and Maine Historical Society.

 

 

A YOUNG SOLDIERS ACCOUNT OF THE AROOSTOOK WAR | BORDER TREATIES


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