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A TIMELINE OF MAINE HISTORY: through 1820

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Go to TIMELINE: 1821 to present

17,000 BP (before the present) The last glacier, known as the Wisconsin glaciation, begins to recede.
11,000 BP Maine is free of the glacier, except for a few ice caps in the north.
10,500 BP Maine's first human population arrives: the Paleo-Indians.
10,000 BP - 7500 BP The Paleo-Indian population dies out or diminishes.
7500 BP - 6000 BP Prehistoric Maine's population increases.

Sea levels rise; the Atlantic Ocean reaches present day Millinocket.

6000 BP - 3000 BP Prehistoric Maine's population continues to increase.

"Red Paint" burial sites date from this time.

4700 BP (2700 BC) The first pyramids are built in Egypt.
3000 BP to 500 BP Maine Indians discover how to make ceramic pottery.

The first wigwam evidence in Maine dates from this period.

2550 BP (551 BC) Confucius is born in China.
1000-1100 AD Leif Eriksson and the Norsemen explore North America, possibly the coast of Maine.
1337 - 1453 AD France and England battle over territory in the Hundred Years War.
1492 (ca. 500 BP) Christopher Columbus arrives in the West Indies.
1497 John Cabot plies the Grand Banks off of Newfoundland and records the abundance of codfish he found there.
1524 Giovanni da Verrazzano names Maine "the Land of the Bad People."
1534 Henry VIII dissents with Catholic Church, and declares himself Head of the Church of England.
1559 David Ingram tells lies to the English public about the wealthy land of Norumbega.
1564 William Shakespeare is born.
1604 -5 Samuel de Champlain charts the Maine coast and tries to establish a permanent settlement on St. Croix Island.
1605 George Weymouth explores the mouth of the Kennebec River, and captures five Indians (probably Etchemins.)
1607 George Popham and Raleigh Gilbert try to establish an English settlement, known as the Popham Colony, at the mouth of the Kennebec River.

French colonists at St. Croix Island relocate to Port Royal, Nova Scotia.

Jamestown, Virginia is founded.

Souriquois Indians attack Almouchaquois Indians on the Saco River.

1608 George Popham dies, Raleigh Gilbert returns to England, and the fledging Popham Colony is abandoned.
1610 Jamestown begins sending fishing vessels to the Gulf of Maine.
1613 Father Biard, a French Jesuit priest, attempts to establish a settlement at Somes Sound, on Mount Desert Island.

English captain Samuel Argall destroys the French settlements at Somes Sound, Port Royal, and St. Croix Island.

1614 John Smith visits Maine, writes his Description of New England, which encourages Englishmen to settle in Maine.
1615 Bashaba, a great western Etchemin chief, is killed by Micmacs and other eastern Etchemin tribes.
1616-1619 The "Great Dying": over 75% of western Maine's Native Americans (probably) die of European diseases.
1620 The Pilgrims establish Plymouth colony.
1621 King James I signs a charter that grants most of the land that is Maine today to the Council for New England, a group of English noblemen who plan to settle the area.
1625 A trading post at Pejepscot is operating.
1628 Trading posts at Cushnoc (Augusta) and Richmond Island are operating.
1630 The Massachusetts Bay Colony is established.

Settlements at York, Cape Porpus, and Saco are established.

1631 A settlement at Kittery is established.
1634 One of earliest known sawmills in America is built on the Piscataqua River.
1636 Maine's first court convenes at Saco.
1640 An Abenaki chief, is baptized by French Jesuits and named Jean Baptiste.
1642 Parliament rebels against King Charles I in the English Civil War.

A group of Mohawk Indians raid western Maine Indian territory.

1652 The Massachusetts Bay Colony annexes southwestern Maine.
1661 Abenaki Indians kill 30 Mohawks who attempt to coerce their submission to the Iroquois Nation.
1662 The Mohawks retaliate, attacking Etchemin on the Penobscot River killing or capturing nearly 100.
1671 Abenaki and Mohawk tribes make a tentative peace.

French regain control of Eastern Maine; St.-Castine arrives.

1677 Massachusetts buys the deed to Maine.
1675-1678 Western Maine Indians make their first raids on English settlements in Maine during King Philip's War, later joined by more easterly tribes.
1688 - 1699 King William's War.
1703 - 1713 Queen Anne's War.
1722 - 1727 Dummer's War or Lovewell's War.
1740 Maine's European population reaches 12,000.
1744 - 1749 King George's War.
1745 Sir William Pepperell, of Kittery, captures Louisbourg for the British.
1752 Benjamin Franklin invents the lightning rod.
1754 1763 The French and Indian or Seven Years' War; most Maine Indians are forced north to Canada or into eastern Maine.
1755 Acadians disperse after the British force them off their land. Some travel north to the St. John Valley.
1759 Sally Sayward Barrell is born in York; later she becomes known as Madam Wood, Maine's first female novelist.

Quebec falls to the British.

1764 The spinning jenny is invented.
1765 Maine's European population swells to 23,000.
1766 A mob in Falmouth seizes and burns tax stamps newly arrived from England.
1769 The steam engine is patented.
1770 Ludwig Van Beethoven is born.
1773 The Boston Tea Party: Boston patriots protest British tax laws by dumping British East India Co. tea into Boston Harbor.
1774 The "York Tea Party."
1775 Maine's population reaches 47,000 settlers.

Patriots fight the British in the Battle of Lexington and Concord.

The British ship Margaretta is captured by Machias residents.

British Captain Mowatt burns Falmouth, Maine (present-day Portland).

Benedict Arnold marches 1000 men up the Kennebec River to Quebec; his army is defeated.

1776 The Declaration of Independence is written and approved.
1779 British forces occupy Castine and take control of eastern Maine.

The Penobscot Expedition against the British at Castine is a military disaster.

1780 The Massachusetts Constitution is written.
1783 Slavery is abolished in Massachusetts (and Maine).
1784 Maine's population rises to 56,000.
1785 Maine's first newspaper, The Falmouth Gazette and Weekly Advertiser, is first printed.
1786 Portland (previously Falmouth) is incorporated.
1787 The U.S. Constitution is written.
1789 The French Revolution begins.
1791 Academies in Berwick and Hallowell are established.

The First Bank of the United States opens in Philadelphia.

1793 Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin, reviving slave plantations in the South.
1794 Passamaquoddy Indians give up their claim to all but 23,000 acres of Maine land in a treaty with Massachusetts.
1796 Penobscot Indians give up 190,000 acres of their land in a treaty with Massachusetts.
1799 The first Maine bank opens in Portland.
1800 Maine's population rises to 150,000.
1801 Dorothea Dix is born in Hampden, Maine.
1802 Bowdoin College is established in Brunswick.
1804 Napoleon declares himself emperor of France.
1807 President Thomas Jefferson sets an embargo on foreign trade.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is born in Portland.

1809 Settlers in Malta (present-day Winsor) rise up against agents of land proprietors in the "Malta War."

Hannibal Hamlin is born in Paris, Maine.

1810 Maine's population rises to 230,000.

Eben Bamford of Livermore patents the window sash.

1812 The War of 1812 begins.
1813 The British ship Enterprise is defeated by the U.S. ship Boxer off the Maine coast.
1814 The British occupy Castine again for a year.
1818 The Maine Literary and Theological Institute in Waterville (now Colby College) opens its doors to its first students.
1819 The Maine Constitutional Convention drafts the Maine Constitution.

John Harrison Hall of Portland patents the breach-loading rifle.

1820 Congress passes the Missouri Compromise.

Maine enters the Union as the 23rd state.

Maine's population is 300,000.

William King is elected first state governor.

Portland is chosen as the state capital.

Hallowell quarries sell the granite that will build Boston's Quincy Market.



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The 2003 and 2004 seasons of HOME: The Story of Maine on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network was made in partnership with the Maine State Museum. Major funding was provided by the  Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency committed to fostering innovation, leadership and a lifetime of learning. Additional funding provided by Elsie Viles.
Major funding for previous seasons of  HOME: The Story of Maine was made possible by a grant from Rural Development, a part of the USDA. Special support is provided by The Maine State Museum and Northeast Historic Films.