State of Maine History
Among the states in New England, Maine which found in the northeastern part of the United States is the largest. It became the twenty third state in the country in 1820 and has continued to grow in various areas since then. However, Maine was initially inhabited by indigenous peoples who spoke Algonquian languages and lived in the area until the Europeans started settling in the area. Some of these Algonquian speaking people included the Penobscot, Abenaki, Maliseet and Passamaquoddy. In 1604, Maine experienced its first encounter with French Europeans who settled in Saint Croix Island and they included notable names such as Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons who was a merchant as well as explorer. These French settlers named the area Arcadia which included the current area referred to as the state of Maine.
Nevertheless, in 1607, the Plymouth Company established the Popham Colony, an English settlement which did not last long in the area. In 1623, they attempted to set up another settlement in York through the efforts of Christopher Levett, a naval captain and explorer but that also failed. Majority of these English settlements that were situated along the coast of the state were evident in most of the 1620s but were met with resistance from the indigenous peoples who lived in the area, which resulted in most of them leaving the area within a short time period.
In the eighteenth century, there were still some European settlements in Maine but there still some forces such as those of the British as well as French that were in contention for the control of the territory. To take Maine into captivity these forces which had natives allied to each of them fought for most of the seventeenth century and early in the eighteenth century which resulted in the taking of captives so as to ask for ransom or even adoption by American tribes who were natives of the area. However, by the 1740s the British managed to overpower the French and they secured the territory from Penobscot River which was placed under Nova Scotia which is province in the area.
The fight for Maine was not over with the defeat of the French as forces from Britain and the United States also engaged in two wars, which are the 1812 war as well as the American Revolution. The result of the wars was in the favor of the British and they were able to occupy eastern Maine although the boundary of the state with that of British North America was ambiguous according to the revolution treaty. However, in 1842 through the Webster-Ashburton treaty the border was established but this is after Maine was already officially within Massachusetts.
Until 1820, Maine was part of Massachusetts before it seceded through a successful vote and in the same year it became the twenty third state when it became part of the Union in relation to the Missouri Compromise. The agreement essentially gave Maine an opportunity to join the existing Union as a state that was free and later Missouri also joined but as a slave state. These two states joining the Union in these two ways made it possible for the balance of states at least numerically to be preserved in the United States. However, the journey to secession from Massachusetts faced a lot of hurdles even though there had been disagreements on land speculation as well as settlements by residents of Maine who wanted to be independent.
As a free state, Maine had a capital which was Portland and is the largest city in the state but this changed in 1832 when it was changed to Augusta because it was more centrally placed in the state.
Unique facts on the history of the state of Maine
Although, Maine has a rich history that explains its origin as a state in America there are a number of facts in its history and current position that are unique to it. Some of these facts can be very informative and other funny depending on the angle through which they are viewed and they include:
- The origin of the name "Maine" is not known as some theories suggest that the name was derived from the term mainland which was used a lot in those days. Also, there are some that believe that it was named by French colonialists whose country has a province referred to as Mayne. Apart from having a unique name, Maine is also the sole state that has one syllable as part of the letters that make up its name.
- Jamestown is regarded as the premier permanent colony in the United States even though Popham colony had been established earlier by English colonialists. The main reason for this is because the colonialists had to leave the area after George Popham, their leader died and also because the harsh climate was too overwhelming for them to survive.
- The state of Maine has a floral emblem which was chosen in 1895 and has a tassel as well as a white pine cone. Also, they have a flag which became official in 1901 and its has a pine tree in its center as well as a polar star which is blue in color.
- Maine has a variety of nicknames that highlight the various features that are available in the state. Some of the most common nicknames for Maine include Pine tree state which is because of the large number of pine trees within the state which act as forest cover.
- Lastly, Maine has a state motto which is "Dirigo" which when translated means "I Lead or I direct". This motto is a sense of pride for many of the residents of the state as they have a sense of belonging to their home town.
Overall, the history of the state of Maine is interesting as well as resourceful to anyone who is originally from the state or looking to settle in the area in future but wants to gather as much information as possible before making a decision.