Education

New Salt & Pines Presentation

I have done a video of my latest Salt & Pines presentation dealing with lumbering in Maine’s bygone days. It is a shortened version, the full length presentation includes more video and still shots, as well as additional narration. This piece works to satisfy the short attention span for most Youtubers, (actually it is still too long for most) But you’ll find it interesting. Enjoy, and if you’re interested in more, drop me a note!

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Categories: Education, history, Maine, Maine video | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tax Day in Maine; circa 1765

Well, Federal and state taxes are due in just a few days, and of course, being the folklorist I am I had to do a piece regarding the Stamp Act of 1765. This of course was a British law that imposed a tax on the British colonies, and especially upon the American colonists. The gist of the law was to help pay for the British soldiers stationed in the colonies. Since the colonists benefitted most from their presence, Parliament felt it only appropriate that we should pay part of the bill. You have to remember that the great Indian wars were just recently ended at this time in history.

However, as we all know, neither the law nor the tax was received in a very cordial manner from the colonists. We are all familiar with the Boston Tea Party, but how many of you knew there was a tax revolt right here in Portland Maine way back in January of 1766. Of course, at that time Portland was called Falmouth, and Maine was part of Massachusetts, thanks to some tricky legal maneuvers on the part of certain people.

This following piece is from The Story of Old Falmouth, and was published in 1901:

THE STAMP ACT.

The news of the passage of the Stamp Act aroused the greatest indignation in Falmouth, as it did in other settlements throughout the colonies; and on January 8th, of the year 1766, when a brig arrived from Halifax with the stamped papers for Cumberland County, a mob surrounded the custom house, demanding that the paper be given up to them.

The people had assembled in such numbers that the officers could do no less than comply with their demands; and when the stamped paper had been delivered over to the leaders of the mob, it was carried through the town at the top of a pole, to a bonfire especially prepared for the occasion, where it was publicly burned.

On the 16th of May in the same year, when the news came that the Stamp Act had been repealed, it was as if the people of Falmouth had suddenly grown wild with joy. The Boston Evening Post of June 2d, 1766, in giving an account of what occurred at Falmouth at this time, states: “The morning following the arrival of the express was ushered in with every demonstration of loyalty and joy; such as ringing of bells, firing of cannon at the fort and on board the shipping in the harbor. In the evening the houses of the town were beautifully illuminated, fireworks played off, bonfires erected, etc., — the whole conducted with so much ordering and decorum that it did great honor to the town.”

Mr. Gould gives the following account of how the good people of Falmouth evaded the sugar act: —

“On the 7th of August, 1767, the collector of Falmouth seized a quantity of rum and sugar, belonging to Enoch Illsley, for breach of the revenue act. In the evening, a mob attacked the house of the comptroller, Arthur Savage, where the Casco Bank now is. The collector, Francis Webb, was in the house at the time, and him they prevented from leaving the house until another party broke into the custom house on India Street, and removed the goods to secret places of safety.

“Governor Bernard issued a proclamation offering a reward of fifty pounds for the discovery of any person engaged in the removal of the goods from the custom-house.”

The ire felt by the colonists over this new law was so great that in a way it could be said that this tax was the match that lit the fuse on the cannon of revolution. There was much more at issue beyond the taxes, of course, so this would be a rather simplistic view by saying the war was over taxes. This next bit is from Falmouth Neck in the Revolution, by Nathan Gould, published in 1897.

The prominent events of the Revolution can be said to have begun on the Neck soon after the passage of the stamp act, for a mob marched to the customhouse, in January, 1766, and demanded the stamps, which were carried through the streets on a long pole to a bonfire, probably on the parade-ground, where they were burned in the presence of a concourse of approving people. The news of the repeal of the act was received here May sixteenth, and there was great rejoicing. Parson Smith says: — “Our people are mad with drink and joy : bells ringing, drums beating, colors flying, the court-house illuminated and some others, and a bonfire, and a deluge of drunkenness.” The parson lighted up his house.

In August, 1767, a mob removed Enoch Ilsley’s rum and sugar from the custom-house, which had been seized for breach of the revenue act, and a mob, in July, 1768, rescued from the jail two men, John Huston and John Sanborn, who had been convicted for being concerned in the riot. November 13, 1771, Arthur Savage, the controller, was mobbed. This was an outbreak of popular feeling and three men named Sandford, Stone and Armstrong were committed for trial on the charge of participating in it. The enforcement of the revenue laws, which had been practically a dead letter, was obnoxious to the colonists. The cause of the mob is a question, although William Tyng’s schooner was seized for smuggling only a fortnight before, which may have had connection with it.

In February, 1774, the committee here wrote to that of Boston that ” neither the Parliament of Great Britain, nor any other power on earth, has any right to lay tax on us except by our consent or the consent of those whom we choose to represent us.” Also, ” Our cause is just and we doubt not fully consonant to the will of God. In Him, therefore, let us put our trust, let our hearts be obedient to the dictates of His sovereign will and let our hands and hearts be always ready to unite in zeal for the common good and transmit to our children that sacred freedom which our fathers have transmitted to us and which they purchased with their purest blood.”

As you can see, there was much more to the history of the revolutionary war than most people know about. In large part, taxation without representation was the mitigating factor, but the lack of representation was probably the bigger part of the entire key to the war. It is funny how things can change so much, and yet they stay the same, isn’t it? After all, we talk about the lack of representation of the colonists in the 1700’s, but what do we have today for representation? Think about that as you rush to get your 1040’s in by the deadline. Speaking of 1040’s and tax time, did you know that your donations to many historical societies and museums can be taken as deductions if you itemize your deductions? Never too late to get those contributions and member pledges into your local historical society!

Categories: Education, history, Maine, stories, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The First Railroads in Maine

The wood block print to the left is from 1836, and depicts what the artist called the Veazie Railroad, or the Bangor, Oldtown and Milford, which was the first railroad constructed in the state of Maine. The first railroads were actually of wood rails laid on log ties, and pegged into place when needed with widen pegs. Later, the wood rails would be replaced with iron strapping, then bars, and finally the t shaped rails we see today.

Initially, horses pulled the rail cars, which were actually stagecoaches and wagons fitted up with special wheels that were grooved or shaped somehow to engage the rails in use. After the early 1800’s, steam engines, having proved successful in other enterprises such as steam boating, began to be built for these railroads.

Today, much of Maine’s history would have been quite different if these railroads had not been constructed. Much of our sporting and early tourist heritage would never had been birthed if it were not for the railroads ability to carry passengers and freight to the out in the boonies sporting camps and hotels.

Aroostook’s potato industry would not have been possible without the railroads freight capabilities to haul the annual harvest to points out of state. Railroads are just another part of who we are, and as such we should take the effort to learn more about this part of Maine history, and if you have the opportunity, please visit some of the railroad museums and displays and think about volunteering at one of the many non-profit societies working to preserve this part of Maine’s heritage.

Early Railroads in the state of Maine

[From History of the Railroads & Canals of the US of A, Henry V. Poor, pub 1860

Androscoggin.

Androscoggin and Kennebec.
Atlantic and St. Lawrence.
Bangor, Oldtown and Milford.
Calais and Baring.
European and North American.
Great Falls and South Berwick.
Kennebec and Portland.

Lewey’s Island.
Maciiiasport Or Franklin.
Penobscot.

Penobscot and Kennebec.
Portland and Oxford Central.
Portland, Saco and Portsmouth.
Somerset and Kennebec.
York and Cumberland.

The first railroad constructed in the State of Maine was the Bangor, Oldtown and Milford, under the title of the Bangor and Piscataquis Railroad and Canal Company, chartered on the 8th of February, 1833. It was opened in the latter part of 1836. It has proved unproductive, in part from the unfortunate location of its line.

The road next constructed was the Portland, Saco and Portsmouth, as a prolongation of the Eastern and the Boston and Maine Railroads of Massachusetts. The means for the construction of the same were furnished chiefly by parties connected with these Companies, to which it was leased on the 28th of April, 1847, for a term of 90 years, with a guarantee of dividends at the rate of per cent, per annum. These, however, have been earned by the road.

The third road undertaken was the Atlantic and St. Lawrence, and was the first attempt at anything like a railroad system for the State, having for its object the development of its resources and the centralization of its trade and that of the interior at its chief commercial city. It was constructed with a view of uniting with the St. Lawrence and Atlantic of Canada commenced at the same time—the two to form one line between the Atlantic Ocean and the River St. Lawrence. It now forms a part of the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada, to which it is leased at the rate of 6 percent, per annum on its capital. Since the date of the lease the Grand Trunk Company has expended in construction about $1,500,000. This enterprise led to the immediate commencement of the Androscoggin and Kennebec, the Kennebec and Portland, and the Buckfield Branch. The Androscoggin and Kennebec Railroad was commenced in July, 1847, and completed in November, 1849. For several years past this road has been united with the Penobscot and Kennebec Railroad, both of which are operated as one line. Its earnings have been sufficient to meet the interest on its indebtedness, but not to divide anything on its share capital.

The construction of the Kennebec and Portland Railroad was commenced in 1847, and finally opened to Augusta early in 1852. It commenced at the point of junction with the Atlantic and St. Lawrence Railroad, but as it adopted a different gauge, the construction of a new road into Portland, a distance of 11 miles, became necessary. This was constructed in 1850-1, The road was necessarily expensive, and the Company for several years past has only been able to meet the interest on its first mortgage amounting to $800,000, and on the extension certificates $202,400, which are a first mortgage on that portion of road. In the season of navigation the road sufiers from the competition of a parallel water line.

The Buckfield Branch (Portland and Oxford Central) Railroad was opened in 1849, but having proved unproductive has been abandoned.

York and Cumberland was commenced in 1849, and opened to Gorham, 10i miles, in 1851, and to the Saco River, 20 miles, in 1853. It has been uniformly unfortunate and unproductive.

The Calais and Baring, a local road, was opened in 1837. Its earnings have been sufficient to meet the interest on its indebtedness, and pay 3.2 on its share capital.

The Androscoggin was opened to Livermore Falls in 1852—to its present terminus in 1859. This road has failed to pay the interest on its last class of bonds.

The Penobscot and Kennebec Railroad was commenced in 1852, and completed in 1855. This road and the Androscoggin and Kennebec are operated as one line. Its net earnings have been sufficient to meet the interest on its two first mortgages, amounting to $1,050,200.

The Great Falls and South Berwick Railroad was opened in 1854, and has proved unproductive. After being disused for some time, it has again been put in operation.

The total amount of share capital and debts of the railroad companies of the State is $17,923,612. Of the share capital, $4,297,300 receives, (with the exception of the Calais and Baring), dividends at the rate of 6 per cent. Of the total indebtedness, interest is paid at the rate of six per cent, on $7,819,718; leaving share capital to the amount of $3,188,411, and debts to the amount of $2,618,183, on which neither interest nor dividends are paid. The total amount of productive capital invested in railroads in the State is

Categories: Education, historic preservation, history, preservation, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Maine’s Part in the Fenian War of 1866

Civil War history is all the rage this year as we celebrate the sesquicentennial of that great conflict. It’s funny how we call it the Civil War, when in fact it was anything but a civil war. In reality, it is more properly called the War for Southern Independence, or secession. We seem to forget as we gloss over history and change the story to fit our agenda that the southern states decided to secede from the union and form their own nation for many of the same reasons that we declared independence from England and formed the United States. We became a nation of rebels, just as the southerners became rebels upon the firing of Fort Sumter in April of 1861.

However, I digress. One of the outcomes of the War Between the States was the lingering ill feelings between England and the United States over the English support of the Confederacy, albeit unofficial from the Crown’s public stand. There were many factions in this nation that would have enjoyed a new war between England and the US, and one of these groups was an Irish and Irish-American society called the Fenian Brotherhood, hailing mostly from New York. They had already attempted to invade British America on several occasions, and in this following article, we read how they used the State of Maine as a staging point for a failed attempt to maybe rile the two nations into warfare against each other one more time. It comes from The Canadian magazine, written by J. Vroom.

THE FENIANS ON THE ST. CROIX

It is now more than thirty years since the Fenian’s added their borrowed name to the story of the river St. Croix; yet the older men among the dwellers on the New Brunswick shore, looking back over that time, must find it hard to realize that their memory covers the longest period of unbroken peace in the history of the province.

Four times since its Loyalist founders settled on its rocky coast have the people of New Brunswick been aroused by threats of armed invasion.

In the war of 1793, French privateers, or lawless New Englanders sailing under French letters of marque, appeared in the Bay of Fundy. Men and money were quickly raised to defend the seaport towns; and one vessel, La Solide, was captured by New Brunswick militiamen and carried into St. Andrews as a prize. Again, in the war of 1812, the bay was infested by New England privateers; and the people stood ready to defend their homes, until the British occupation of Eastport deprived the enemy of a port of refuge, and the boundary line, for the time being, was carried west to the Penobscot. Once more, in 1837, the Aroostook war brought a call to arms; and once more it found a ready response, as volunteers from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia hurried forward to repel invasion. And when, in 1866, the rumors of Fenian activity in the United States proved to have some foundation in fact, the people of New Brunswick answered to the call, and their province was the first to meet the threatened danger.

In the autumn of 1865, the movements of the Fenian’s in New York first aroused suspicions that they were planning a raid on some part of British America. Early in December of that year, Sir Arthur Hamilton-Gordon, at that time Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick, visited the border towns to urge upon the inhabitants the wisdom of taking some precautions.

The question of the Confederation of the provinces of British North America was then before the people. Many were disposed to laugh at the “Fenian scare,” as it was called; believing it to be a political move, planned and subsidized by the promoters of the Quebec Scheme for the purpose of influencing the electorate. Many who were willing to believe that the Fenian leaders would really attempt an invasion of British territory were still unwilling to see in the common danger an argument for union, and felt sure that Upper Canada was the province most exposed to their attack. So it happened that when the spring of 1866 brought the report of a Fenian plan of campaign to include the occupation of St. Andrews or Campobello, looking to the conquest of New Brunswick as a convenient base of operations against England, there was very much incredulity mingled with surprise and alarm.

The military authorities, however, had not been idle. Volunteers were already enrolled in all the border parishes; and the news from New York, Buffalo, and other centres of Fenian activity was awaited with eager interest.

The sudden appearance at Eastport of B. Doran Killian, with a few followers, at last convinced the people of the need of action. This was on the 6th of April, 1866. Four days later, another detachment of Fenians arrived by the steamer from Portland; and H.M.S. Pylades, from Halifax, anchored at Welshpool, Campobello, on the opposite side of the narrow strait which here forms the international boundary line. Business was immediately suspended at St. Andrews, where two companies of volunteers were on duty under Col. Anderson; and the volunteers at St. Stephen, St. George and Woodstock were called out for active service. The Fenian scare was now found to be a serious matter.

The Pylades was followed by the Rosario, which anchored off St. Andrews, nearly opposite the Maine town of Robbinston.

Fenians continued to arrive from the westward, and were quartered at hotels and private houses in Eastport, Lubec, Robbinston and Calais, or encamped in small parties along- the Maine side of St. Croix. They were a rough-looking lot of men, but quiet and well disciplined; and as they seemed to have no commissariat, but depended upon the ordinary local sources of supply, it may be safely estimated that their number did not exceed 500 in all.

The officers, Gen. Killian, Major Sinnott, Capt. Gaynor, and others, paraded their titles and proclaimed their plans and motives, announcing to the world that they had come to prevent the British Government from dragooning the colonists into Confederation; but they were evidently disappointed at the lack of sympathy and support from the people on both sides of the line.

Strengthened by Killian’s reference to the matter of Confederation at a public meeting in Calais, there was still a lingering doubt with some as to whether the threatened invasion was more than a sham; when, one night in April, a party of armed men, supposed to be Fenians, made a descent upon Indian Island, a little island in Passamaquoddy Bay, lying nearly opposite Eastport.

Campobello and St. Andrews were protected by the warships; volunteers were on guard at Deer Island, and at every important point along the shores of the river and bay; but Indian Island was unguarded.

About two o’clock on Sunday morning, the 15th of April, a few men stepped ashore from a boat, went to the house of the collector of customs, demanded and received the custom-house flag, and rowed away with it. It was a bloodless foray, ridiculously trifling in itself; but it was the cause of intense excitement in the neighboring towns. Capt. Hood, of the Pylades, reported to headquarters at St. Andrews. At St. Stephen the volunteers were at church on Sunday morning, when a dispatch reached the commanding officer and was read aloud. The Fenian’s had landed on Indian Island, and carried off the British flag. The effect was magic. The men were no longer playing soldier. As they returned to barracks, others gathered at street corners, eager to be enrolled; and before an hour had passed there were all the volunteers required to form another company if needed.

More ships were sent from Halifax, including the flagship Duncan, which brought Admiral Sir James Hope and Major-General Sir Hastings Doyle, with 570 men of the 17th Foot, a company of Royal Engineers, and a battery of artillery. A Fredericton volunteer company, called the Victoria Rifles, was also sent to the front, and Governor Gordon followed them by special train to St. Andrews.

But Indian Island was still unguarded; and, a week after the affair of the flag, the bonded warehouse and three storehouses were burned by incendiaries. Then earthworks were thrown up by men detailed from the Rosario: and the Niger, the Pylades, the Fawn, and the Cordelia in turn furnished a guard until the arrival from St. Andrews of twenty men of the Gordon Rifles, under Ensign Chandler. These St. Andrews men, by the way, carried off the honours of the campaign for the only real encounter with the enemy; as, a few nights later, their sentries fired upon and drove off two boats from Eastport that were trying to effect a landing.

Gen. Meade now arrived with a force of United States regulars, making his headquarters at Eastport and stationing a guard at Calais. The Fenian’s at Eastport had been waiting all this time for arms and ammunition that had been shipped from Portland by sailing vessels, because the passenger steamers had refused to bring them; but when at last the guns arrived, they were promptly seized by the United States authorities. Killian, boldly demanding to have the guns restored, was threatened with arrest; and so, deprived of his arms, and disappointed in the attitude of the Provincialist’s, and in his hope of easily involving the United States in a war with Great Britain, he found himself obliged to give up his scheme of invasion. Finally, he sent his followers back to Portland.

In May three companies of the 17th were sent to St. Stephen, to prevent a possible raid from Calais. Their services were not needed, as the last Fenian’s had left Calais before their arrival. Gen. Meade and his men, a few days later, were ordered to the Niagara frontier, where the Fenians were gathering in force; and the British troops and vessels along the border were gradually withdrawn. The 17th and the artillery were relieved by St. John volunteers of the 66th, and returned to

Halifax by the troop ship Simoon; the St. John men were in turn relieved by two companies of the 15th Regiment; and by the middle of June they also were recalled and the local volunteers disbanded.

The presence of the Fenians on the St. Croix was a matter of much more consequence than was apparent at the time. It drew the people of New Brunswick closer to the mother country, and to their fellow-subjects in the upper provinces; it elicited a display of loyalty worthy of the descendants of United Empire Loyalists; and it undoubtedly influenced the pending election. The election went strongly in favour of Confederation. Killian’s ambitious and absurd attempt to wreck the British Empire, so far as it had any permanent effect, only tended to strengthen that Empire at its weakest point, by its bearing upon the political movements of the day which led up to the formation of the Dominion of Canada.

Categories: articles, Education, events, history, Maine, Maine oddities, New Brunswick, stories, Uncategorized, weird Maine news | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Willowbrook Village Needs Your Help!

Willowbrook Village, a historic Maine gem, may be lost
Its endowment depleted, the museum of 19th century life in Newfield will close if it doesn’t get help.

19th Century Willowbook Village 501(c)(3) from Ameilia Chamberlain on Vimeo.

Civil War re-enactment coming to Otisfield The 1839 meetinghouse on Bell Hill Road will be transformed Sunday into a Civil War encampment for the first time in many years to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Members of Maine’s Company A, 3rd Maine Regiment Volunteer Infantry, will be camped out…

Volunteers unearth clues to town’s past Artifacts uncovered in a Freeport archaeological dig help tell the story of one of the community’s earliest residents…

The Value and Importance Of Maintaining Civil War Sites

Posted: 25 Jul 2011 08:54 AM PDT

It is an honor to stand with you on one of our most sacred American landscapes. Here, 150 years ago today, the nation got its first real look at civil war. This is where American democracy began its baptism by fire. Where the grueling four-year journey that shaped a nation, began in earnest. The battle of Manassas dispelled the myth that the war would be a quick affair…Over 620,000 lives. That was the price exacted by the Civil War. But those were only the military deaths. The war’s impact extended much farther than the battlefield….

Culture celebrated at Micmac farmers market It was a day of cultural and natural celebration at the Micmac farmers market Saturday aimed at encouraging natives and non-natives alike to get back to their roots. The Aroostook Band of Micmacs invited the public to their farmers market on Route 1 near the Caribou…

Last supper at Jacques Cartier Club
Just before 5 p.m. Saturday, a long table at the Jacques Cartier Club was brimming with baked beans of several varieties, hot dogs, bread, coleslaw and casseroles galore. More than 100 waited to eat, for $6 apiece, a meal that included dessert and beverage. For the last time…

Responding to ‘But, It’s ____’ Queries When conducting an appraisal, Worthologist Harry Rinker says he’s more likely to disappoint than please when providing values, as nearly everyone thinks what he/she owns is worth more than its value on the secondary market. When providing an appraisal value, he looks people straight in the eyes. Their facial expression, especially the eyes, is an excellent indicator of their unhappiness if they feel the value is too low. And then follows the question asking how can it be worth so little? “But, it’s (fill in the blank).” Click through to see how Harry answers this stock query. Read “Responding to ‘But, It’s ____’ Queries”

~~~

From the Museums of Old York:

Programs for adults

Thursday, August 4
Author Talk with David Remington at Remick Barn. We are very pleased to offer an evening with David Remington, who will speak on his recently published book, Ashbel P. Fitch, Champion of Old New York. This biography of his great-grandfather provides a rare glimpse into the gilded age of New York City’s political world. Free for Members of Old York. $5 for nonmembers. Remick Barn, 7 p.m. Email rbowen@oldyork.org for more information.

Saturday, August 6
Indian Encampment. Well-known re-enactor, Ken Hamilton, presents a 17th-18th-century Indian Encampment during the day in front of the Remick Barn and Jefferds Tavern. This is a not-to-be-missed event with exciting activities for all age groups. Donations are appreciated. Email rbowen@oldyork.org for more information.

Thursday, August 11
“History Challenge!” Game Show. Test your knowledge of our past. Put together a team of two to four people and register to participate in this fun and challenging “Jeopardy”-style history game who. Answer questions correctly to gain points. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins cash! $5 per person to play, $1 suggested donation to be in the audience. Call 207-363-4974 or email rbowen@oldyork.org to register your team. Meet at 7 p.m. in the Visitor Center at Remick Barn, 3 Lindsay Road, York.

Through Saturday August 13
Emerson House — 2011 Decorator Show House. Our fundraiser continues with tours on Mon-Wed-Fri-Sat from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., and Sunday afternoons from 1-4 p.m. The house is closed to visitors on Tuesdays. Tickets are $20 at the door. We also have just a few tickets remaining for our final luncheon and designer discussion on August 10 at The York Harbor Reading Room. Tickets are $55 and include lunch, lecture and a full show house tour. To purchase tickets, please call (207) 363-4974. Visit our website for updates on the show house and other special events.

Sunday, August 14
Lost York: The History that Nature Has Reclaimed. Join Old York staff for a guided tour of the Highland Farm area off Rte. 91. Email rbowen@oldyork.org for details and reservations.

Monday, August 15
2011 Elizabeth Perkins Fellows Symposium & Exhibit Opening. The Revitalization of Jefferds Tavern and Grand Opening of the Exhibit — Rebecca Bush, Tess Kahn, Lisa Hartung, and Emily Shafer; Report on Library and Archives Project — Jessica Frankenfield, Remick Barn, 3 Lindsay Road, York Village, Maine, 5:00 ~ 6:00 p.m. Reception immediately following. Email development@oldyork.org for more information.

Save the Date: August 15, 2011
2011 Elizabeth Perkins Fellows Symposium & Exhibit Opening

The Revitalization of Jefferds Tavern and
Grand Opening of the Exhibit

Rebecca Bush, Tess Kahn, Lisa Hartung, and Emily Shafer

Report on Library and Archives Project
Jessica Frankenfield

Remick Barn
3 Lindsay Road, York Village, Maine

Monday, August 15, 2011
5:00 ~ 6:00 p.m.

Reception Immediately Following

RSVP by email or phone: (207)363-4974

Save the Date: August 21, 2011
Annual Meeting to Feature Discussion of Dramatic Changes for Old York
Calling all members! Please join us this year to weigh in on a new vision for your organization! Old York’s board and staff are working on a strategic plan to address the significant changes affecting Old York and historical museums nationwide. Join a lively discussion of where we may go from here to thrive as a vital part of our community.

There will be a recap of highlights of the past year and a financial report. Enjoy refreshments with staff, trustees, and other members.

Museums of Old York Annual Meeting
Sunday, August 21, 2011, 4 p.m., Remick Barn, York
Phone (207) 363-4974 for more information

~~~

From the Maine Historical Society:

Stories from Maine Memory Network

Historic Photograph: Model Train Races, Houlton, ca. 1960

Click the photograph above, contributed to Maine Memory Network

by the Oakfield Historical Society, to learn about the race!

This Week

Tuesday, July 26, 12pm

Screening: Rapid River Races, 1940

Presenter: Zip Kellogg, Author and Paddler

Join us for a special screening and talk. This 17 minute silent color film is a window into canoe and kayak racing equipment and techniques from another era. It documents the 1940 National Whitewater Canoe & Kayak Championships which were held on the Rapid River in western Maine. The film was lost since it was made 70 years ago; Maine paddler Zip Kellogg had been on the lookout for it for 30 years. Only by utter chance and a twist of fate did it turn up! Zip will share this wonderful story of historical serendipity.

National Whitewater Canoe, Royal River, 1940

Next Week

Tuesday, August 2, 12:00pm

Book Talk: Portland’s Greatest Conflagration: The 1866 Fire Disaster

Speakers: Michael Daicy and Don Whitney, Authors

Friday, August 5, 5-8pm

Dressing Up: First Friday Art Walk

Will you come dressed up to “fit in” or “stand out”?

Categories: antiques, archeology, articles, breaking news, civil war, collectibles, Education, events, headlines, historic buildings, historic preservation, historical societies, history, Maine, Maine Historical Society, Maine things to do, museum news, Museums of Old York, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

History of Jay Through Photographs

For Immediate Release

Media inquiries contact: Gervase Kolmos, Sales and Marketing Specialist

843.853.2070 x 181

gkolmos@arcadiapublishing.com

History of Jay Told Through Photographs

Local author pens new book on Maine town

The newest addition to Arcadia Publishing’s popular Images of America series is Jay from local author Tamara N. Hoke. The book boasts more than 200 vintage images and memories of days gone by.

Jay is a small town with a grand history. The town was comprised of a number of villages, which served as self-sufficient communities, many with their own main streets. Among these villages were North Jay, East Jay, Bean’s Corner, and others that are still referred to by inhabitants today.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, Jay was home to a number of different types of mills, factories, and other industries, including the North Jay granite quarries, Noyes and Lawrence sawmill, Hutchinson and Lane lumber steam mill, Alvin Record’s mill, Jay Wood Turning Company, a canning factory, International Paper pulp and paper mills, and a carriage factory. Many immigrants came to Jay to work in the numerous industries. Some were temporary workers, and others made Jay their home. Among the nationalities were French Canadians, Italians, Lithuanians, Czechs, Poles, and Finns.

Join the Author for the Following Events!

Devaney, Doak & Garrett Booksellers

Thursday, August 4

7 p.m.

Barnes & Noble #2742 – Augusta

Friday, August 12

7 p.m.

*Joint signing with the authors of Damariscotta Lake

Available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at www.arcadiapublishing.com or

(888)-313-2665.

Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States. Our mission is to make history accessible and meaningful through the publication of books on the heritage of America’s people and places. Have we done a book on your town? Visit http://www.arcadiapublishing.com.

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The Caleb Cushing Affair

Yes indeed, the Civil War came to the state of Maine, albeit briefly and with little fanfare from the national front. One of these instances was the attempt by a few Southern privateers, or CSN sailors if you’d rather call them that entered Portland Harbor with the intent of disrupting shipping by burning and otherwise destroying the waterfront of this hub of marine activity. What follows is but a brief portion of a longer piece I have written under the same title, which will be available in an upcoming book. In 2007 I posted this piece to the Wikipedia platform, but it is far from complete in this format. But the general details given here can tell most of the story, and you can go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Portland_Harbor to read that version with its changes. The accompanying image is of the Caleb Cushing on fire from Harpers Weekly magazine.

The Caleb Cushing Affair;

The Civil War Comes To Maine

The Federal Government during the Civil War had made many preparations to prevent attacks by the Confederate Army and Navy along the Southern sections of the Eastern Seaboard. Various installations of cannon and earthworks were built here and there for protection against any possible incursions. Construction of earthen works and establishment of batteries at strategic points were planned and some were begun.

The construction of Fort Popham, in Phippsburg, was just one such installation. Portland Harbor was considered an important location as well, and several projects were begun, and forts were constructed. But a lot of time was wasted on some of the proposed projects, and one of those was the construction of earthworks and battery at Portland Head in Cape Elizabeth.

Before the earthworks were commenced, a small detachment was assigned to the Head with the intention of placing a cannon there for firing warning shots should the rebel navy make it this far along the coast. The actual establishment was delayed for some reason, and the detachment was not posted until well after originally planned.

This was a serious mistake on the governments part as the following year, on June 26th, a Confederate raiding party entered the harbor at Portland, sailing right past the Portland Head Light. Two days prior to this a Confederate raider named the Tacony was being pursued by the union navy at sea.

To thwart the pursuers, the Confederates captured a Maine fishing vessel of the name Archer from out of Freeport. After transferring their supplies and cargo onto the Archer, the Confederates set fire to the Tacony hoping the Union navy would believe the ship was destroyed. The rebels then slipped into Portland Harbor under the guise of fishermen. Their plan was to slip back out of the harbor and try to destroy the commercial shipping capability of the area.

Sometime after midnight, the raiders slipped into the harbor itself and proceeded to the federal wharf. Having the advantage of surprise, the crew seized a cutter belonging to the Revenue service, the USRC Caleb Cushing, named after a Massachusetts Congressman . They made their escape and fled out to sea. News of the actions of the Confederates spread and the military was informed of the rebel intrusion. They had been observed by several persons while taking over the cutter, and public fury was fanned by the incident.

The seventeenth infantry was stationed at Fort Preble and 28 infantry men along with ten artillery men were dispatched to pursue the Southerners. Early in the morning, the soldiers went in pursuit after the sailing vessel in two small steamers.

Along with the soldiers went a six pound field piece and a 12 pound howitzer. The soldiers commandeered the steamer “Forest City” a cruise ship, and another steamer called the “Chesapeake”. All of the civilians on board were issued muskets to defend against the Rebels. The Forest City, being a faster boat, caught up to the Cushing and the Archer first. The Cushing opened fire upon the Forest City when it was within the two mile range of the Cushing. The Captain of the Forest City was afraid, and refused to pursue any further.

The Chesapeake, which had left port sometime after the Forest City, finally caught up and continued on towards the Cushing. The wind was beginning to blow against the rebel sailors and the steamers soon caught sight of the Cushing. Lt. Read, of the Confederate Navy ordered the Cushing torched.

The munitions exploded and destroyed the cutter after it was abandoned by his two dozen crewmen escaped in the lifeboats. They were subsequently captured and held as prisoners of war at Fort Preble. The Archer was also soon captured and all Rebels were returned to Portland. It was discovered that the Rebels were in possession of over one hundred thousand dollars in bonds. These were to be paid after a treaty for peace was ratified between the North and the south.

Public anger against the Southerners was high, and additional troops to safeguard the prisoners was requested. They had to be spirited out of Portland during the night to prevent a riot from breaking in July, when they were removed to Boston Harbor, where they were then held at Fort Warren.

This true story is just one of thousands of little stories that make Maine what it is today. History tends to place emphasis on the heroes, the newsmakers, the solitary leaders surrounded by the story. But history is much more than the big news flash of the moment. History is all of the little stories combined. Fact and fiction strive against one another and legends are born in the process. Because of this educators and history buffs tend to overlook the many little pieces that assemble into the puzzle of our past.

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Dresden Dig Site Preserved

News headlines…

Camden Cake Walk: Treasure trove of sweets, community history A Mothers Day weekend collaboration of the Camden-Rockport Historical Society and 10 historic inns, the cake walk takes place Saturday, May 7from 1 to 4 pm, rain or shine. Earliest cake walks saw participants strutting or dancing, with the best winning…

Museum locates property Organizers of a living history museum aimed at showing how native Americans once lived in Maine have found property in Gardiner where they hopes to erect a permanent village…

Experts authenticate stone cross unearthed in remote Mahoosucs
Watercolorist Nainsi Muirin of County Magalloway reminds readers that according to Celtic legend, on the day a freestanding cross is set in place, evil will be gone within its view before sunset. With the rising of the next new moon, the reality of evil returns, and the future of the community… xxread more here

Maine Maritime Museum passes national muster
The Maine Maritime Museum on Monday announced it has achieved accreditation by the American Association of Museums, a designation the museum claimed is bestowed upon fewer than 5 percent of U.S. museums…

Deal preserves Dresden dig site
After nearly 25 years waiting at the gate — the last three of which involved heavy negotiations and deal-making among multiple parties — a Dresden property considered to be one of the most archaeologically significant sites in Maine is protected for research…

Work on Virginia replica to begin this summer
An organization that has long steered a course toward building a replica of the 1608 pinnace Virginia, believed to be the first English ship built in the New World, will begin construction this summer…

From our friends at Worthpoint…

Groans and Grins: Collecting Punny Postcards
Many postcard collectors have serious collections. They’re interested in preserving hometown history, amassing and cataloguing every postcard printed by a particular publisher or studying the changes in technology over time. But sometimes, postcards are just plain fun! Worthologist Bonnie Wilpon writes about some of the humorous cards she picked up for a little as 25¢ but still tickle the funny bone nearly 100 years later. Check out some of her punny postcards; they just may elicit a grin (or a groan)! Read”Groans and Grins: Collecting Punny Postcards”

Three-Mold Inkwells Highlight Vintage Bottle Auction
Three blown three-mold inkwells— each created sometime between 1815 and 1835 by Boston & Sandwich Glassworks —will highlight the upcoming Internet and catalog auction slated for April 29-May 7 by American Bottle Auctions. Among the other bottles that will surely gather attention is a collection of Western whiskey bottles and flasks and the only perfect example of a Julius Goldbaum known to exist. Find out more about an auction that’s sure to be a real corker. Read “Three-Mold Inkwells Highlight Vintage Bottle Auction”

May Happenings at the Museums of Old York…

Saturday April 30 and Sunday May 1; Before Tour of 2011 Decorator Show House

Come see historic “Emerson House” before it is transformed by a talented group of interior and landscape designers into our show house. Located at 31 Long Sands Road, Emerson House is a beautiful Georgian Colonial residence whose earliest roots date back to 1719. A special weekend open house will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday April 30 and Sunday May 1. Admission fee is $5. All proceeds support the museums’ education programs, exhibitions and preservation inititatives. Parking is available in the village and area lots. The Decorator Show House will run from July 16 through August 13, with an opening night reception planned for July 15. For more information, call the Museum office at 207-363-4974 or email
development@oldyork.org.

11 May Day Celebration

Join us for a traditional celebration of Spring! Build a tambourine, rattle, or drum and create a crown made from flowers and vines. Play your instrument and wear you crown as we parade around the gardens urging the flowers to blossom and bloom. Our parade will end at the May Pole where we’ll learn the traditional dance that weaves the long ribbons into a beautiful pattern of Spring colors. Do you play the fiddle or flute? Bring your instrument to play some tunes while we dance. Preregistration suggested. Everyone is welcome! Wednesday May 11, 3:00-5:00pm. $5 suggested donation. This event will take place at the Elizabeth Perkins House located just over Sewalls Bridge on Southside Rd.

13 Dinner at Jefferds Tavern

Celebrate spring with a hearth-cooked dinner of spring lamb and other seasonal favorite dishes. Guests are encouraged to bring their own favorite beverages to complement the meal. Friday, May 13, 6 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. $30 non-members and $25 members per person. Reservations required. For more information contact Richard Bowen or click here for menu.

21 Muskets, Swords, & Powder Horns

Observe Armed Forces Day at Old York. Back in 2011 after being received with great interest in 2010, this program will give enthusiasts of all ages the opportunity to view uniforms and weaponry from Old York’s collections. Certain items will be available to handle (with white curatorial gloves). Weapons from the 18th – 20th Centuries will be featured. Saturday, May 21, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Remick Barn.

4th Annual Old York Antiques Show

The 2010 Old York Antiques Show was a huge success and we plan to make 2011’s even better! This year’s show, which is a fundraiser to benefit the museums’ education programs, will be held September 10 – 11, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Museums of Old York Remick Barn Visitor Center, 3 Lindsay Road, with a preview party planned for September 9. For more information, call the Museum office at 207-363-4974 or email development@oldyork.org.

Categories: antiques, archeology, Art Exhibit, articles, breaking news, collectibles, Education, events, headlines, historic preservation, historical societies, history, Maine, museum news, Museums of Old York, preservation, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sumter 150 Years Ago

150 years ago today, as I write this, the ‘War between the State’s began as Rebel forces began the unprovoked bombardment of Fort Sumter. Following is a selection of press releases and articles concerning this fateful day;(image is an exterior view of Sumter taken sometime after the bombardment, LOC image)

April 10.—The floating battery, finished, mounted, and manned at Charleston, was taken out of the dock last evening, and anchored in the cove, near Sullivan’s Island.

The people are not excited, but there is a fixed determination to meet the issue. The Convention has just adjourned, subject to the call of the president. Before adjourning, it passed resolutions approving the conduct of General Twiggs in resigning his commission and turning over the public property under his control to the authorities.

Governor Pickens was in secret session with the Convention. About 1,000 troops were sent to the fortifications to-day; 1,800 more go down to-morrow.

Messrs. “Wigfall, Chesnut, Means, Manning, McGowan, and Boyleston, have received appointments in General Beauregard’s staff. A large number of the members of tho Convention, after adjournment, volunteered as privates. About 7,000 troops are now at the fortifications. The beginning of the end is coming to a final closing. Fort Sumter will be attacked without waiting for the fleet. Everything is prepared against a land attack. The enthusiasm is intense, and the eagerness for the conflict, if it must come, unbounded.—JV”. Y. Day Boon.

—The officers of the District of Columbia militia were ordered to meet at 10 o’clock AM in consequence of information relative to a contemplated movement for the seizure of the city of Washington by the secessionists under Ben McCullough. Orders were issued for the militia to assemble at their armories.

Seven militia companies reported to General Scott, and between six and eight hundred of them volunteered for any service in which the President might desire them to act.—Times, April 11.

April 11.—The steamship Coatzacoalcos arrived at New York this morning, bringing home the Federal troops who were left in Texas without a commander, after the treason of General Twiggs.

—The Government at Washington is acting on positive information in taking all possible precautionary measures for the defense of, and the maintenance of peace at, that point.

A company of military were marched inside the capitol to-night, and a picket of guards is stationed on each of the roads leading into the city. This was done on no new information, but is among the signs of the revolution. A military company has not been within the walls of the capitol before since the war of 1812.

The oath of fidelity was administered to several companies of volunteers today. — World, April 12.

—Unusual activity now prevails in military circles in Pennsylvania. New companies are forming, and the old organizations are drilling frequently. The prospect of active service in the event of the breaking out of actual hostilities in the South, is exciting much discussion among the volunteer companies, and it is understood that several have already tendered their services to the Secretary of War, in case the Government should need their aid. It is also understood that in the event of an attack on the Government, the latter will make an early call upon Pennsylvania for men. Our volunteers labor under great disadvantages in respect to arras, and in a case of emergency many more men would be forthcoming than there are arms to place in their hands. —Phila. Press.

—This morning the Commissioners of the Confederate States left Washington. They are satisfied that no recognition of the Southern Confederacy will ever take place under the administration of President Lincoln. In their final communication they reflect severely on the Administration, taking the ground they have exhausted every resource for a peaceful solution of the existing difficulties, and that if civil war results, on the head of the Federal Government will rest the responsibility. They charge the Administration with gross perfidy, insisting that under the shelter of the pretext and assertion that Fort Sumter was to be evacuated, an immense armada has been dispatched to provision and reinforce that fort. They repeat they had almost daily indirect assurances from the Administration that Fort Sumter was positively to be abandoned, and that all the Government’s efforts were to be directed toward peace. The commissioners allege that the Government at Montgomery was earnestly desirous of peace; and that, in accordance with its instructions, as well as their own feelings, they left no means unexhausted to secure that much-desired end; but all their efforts having failed, they were now forced to return to an outraged people with the object of their mission unaccomplished; and they express the firm conviction that war is inevitable.—(Doc. 51.)— World, April 12.

—at 2 P. M. Colonel Chesnut and Major Lee, aids to General Beauregard, conveyed to Fort Sumter the demand that Major Anderson should evacuate that fort. Major Anderson replied at 6 P. M. that his “sense of honor and his obligations to his Government would prevent his compliance” with the demand. He informed the gentlemen verbally that he would be “starved out in a few days.”

It was stated that there were at this time 7,000 men around Fort Sumter under arms, and 140 pieces of ordnance of heavy caliber in position and ready for use.—Charleston Mercury.

April 12.—At 1 A. M. a second deputation from General Beauregard conveyed to Fort Sumter the message that if Major Anderson would name the time when he would evacuate, and would agree not to fire in the mean time upon the batteries unless they fired upon him, no fire would be opened upon Fort Sumter. To this Major Anderson replied that he would evacuate at noon on the 15th, if not previously otherwise ordered, or not supplied, and that he would not in the mean time open his fire unless compelled by some hostile act against his fort or the flag of his Government. At 3.30 A. M. the officers who received this answer notified Major Anderson that the batteries under command of General Beauregard would open on Fort Sumter in one hour, and immediately left.

The sentinels in Sumter were then ordered from the parapets, the posterns were closed, and the men ordered not to leave the bombproofs until summoned by the drum.

At 4.30 A. M fire was opened upon Fort Sumter from Fort Moultrie, and soon after from the batteries on Mount Pleasant, Cummings’ Point, and the floating battery; in all 17 mortars and 30 large guns for shot—mostly Columbiads. Meantime the garrison of Sumter took breakfast quietly at their regular hour, were then divided into three reliefs, each of which was to work the guns for four hours; and the fire of Sumter was opened at 7 A. M. from the lower tier of guns, upon Fort Moultrie, the iron battery on Cummings’ Point, two batteries on Sullivan’s Island, and the floating battery simultaneously. “When the first relief went to work, the enthusiasm of the men was so great that the second and third reliefs could not be kept from the guns.

As the fire of the enemy became warm, it was found that there was no portion of the fort not exposed to the fire of mortars. Shells from every direction burst against the various walls. Cartridges soon run out; there were no cartridge bags, and men were set to make them out of shirts. There was no instrument to weigh powder, and this, with the absence of breech-sides and other implements necessary to point guns, rendered an accurate fire impossible.

Fire broke out in the barracks three times, and was extinguished. Meals were served at the guns. At C P. M. the fire from Sumter ceased. Fire was kept up from the enemy’s batteries all night, at intervals of twenty minutes.—Tribune, Times, and Herald, April 13, 14, 15.

April 13.—Fire from the enemy’s batteries was resumed at daylight and from Fort Sumter at 7 A. M. At about 8 the officers’ quarters in Sumter took fire from a shell, and the work at the guns was necessarily somewhat slackened, as nearly all the men were taken away to extinguish the flames. Shells from Moultrie and Morris’ Island fell now faster than ever. Dense volumes of smoke still poured out of the barracks at 9, when the men were again sent to the guns. At 10 o’clock the halyards on the flag-staff were cut by a shell, and the flag ran down a little and stuck, so that it appeared to be displayed at half-mast. Several ships, one a large steamer, were in the offing at 10.30, and shots were fired at them from Morris’ Island and Fort Moultrie. About 11 o’clock the fire in the barracks again burst forth fiercely. Three piles of hand-grenades and shells, placed ready for use, became heated by it and exploded at intervals. The day was oppressively warm, and the heat of the fire added, made the atmosphere of the fort almost insufferable. At 12 the whole roof of the barracks was in flames and soon after men were set to work to take the powder out of the magazine, lest the heat should reach and explode it there. Ninety barrels were rolled out and the doors closed. The fire of Fort Sumter was now almost entirely relinquished, though from the other forts it was rather increased. Cartridges were nearly all gone, and owing to the flying sparks no more could be made. Smoke from the fire was blown into the fort so thickly that the men could not see one another. As the fire in the barracks spread from the officers’ to the men’s quarters, it became necessary to throw overboard the powder that had been taken from the magazines. All was thrown over but three barrels, which were wrapped around with wet cloths and left. From these the garrison was soon separated by the fire, and now only the cartridges in the guns were left. These were fired now and then to indicate that the fort was not silenced. Thus in truth the work was held while there was a cartridge to fire or powder enough accessible to make one. The flagstaff, which had been hit nine times, was cut at about 1, and the flag was then nailed to the cut piece, and so raised upon the ramparts. At this time both officers and men were compelled to lay flat upon their faces in the casemates, and hold wet cloths to their mouths to escape suffocation. Soon after Ex-Senator “Wigfall came to the fort with a flag of truce, which he wished held up while he spoke; but the batteries did not respect it. He, however, represented himself as an aid of General Beauregard, and agreed for the evacuation of Fort Sumter. It was afterward learned that he had spoken falsely, and had no authority whatever from General Beauregard.

At 12.55 P. M. the flag of Fort Sumter was drawn down, and the fort was surrendered soon after upon honorable terms; the garrison to carry away the flag of the fort, and all company arms and property, and all private property; and all proper facilities to be afforded for their removal to any post in the United States the commander might elect.

No men were hurt in Sumter by the fire of the enemy. It is reported by the secessionists that no men were either killed or wounded upon their side.

A boat from the United States squadron outside, with a flag of truce, arrived at Morris’ Island, with a request to be allowed to come and take Major Anderson and his forces. — {Doc. 52.)—Tribune, Times, Herald, and World.

—A Dispatch from Montgomery, Ala., says that Fort Pickens was reinforced last night. — {Doc. 53.)

—To-day the President expelled from the Federal army, for refusing to act on a particular service, Captain William B. St. Johns, of the Third Infantry, and First Lieutenant Abner Smead, of the First Artillery.

—The Legislature of Pennsylvania passed the war bill without amendment last evening. Previous to its passage, the news of the bombardment of Fort Sumter was announced, and produced a profound sensation. The bill appropriates five hundred thousand dollars for the purpose of arming and equipping the militia; authorizes a temporary loan; provides for the appointment of an Adjutant-General, Commissary-General, and Quartermaster-General, who, with tho Governor, aro to have power to carry the act into effect. —Philadelphia Enquirer

—To-day the Virginia Commissioners were formally received by the President at Washington, when they presented the resolutions under which they were appointed.—{Doc. 54.)

—The attack upon Fort Sumter, and its surrender, instead of depressing, fires and animates all patriotio hearts. One deep, strong, overpowering sentiment now sweeps over the whole community—a sentiment of determined, devoted, active loyalty. The day for the toleration of treason—treason to the Constitution in defiance to the laws that we have made!—has gone by. The people have discovered that what they deemed almost impossible has actually come to pass, and that the rebels are determined to break up this Government, if they can do it. With all such purposes they are determined to make an end as speedily as may be.—{Doe. bo.)—Times, April 15.

—Bishop Lynch, Eoman Catholic, at Charleston, S. 0. celebrated the bloodless victory of Fort Sumter with a Te Deum and congratulatory address. In all the churches allusions were made to the subject.

The Episcopal Bishop, wholly blind and feeble, said it was his strong persuasion, strengthened by travel through every section of South Carolina that the movement in which the people were engaged was begun by them in the deepest conviction of duty to God; and God had signally blessed their dependence on him. If there is a war, it will be purely a war of self defense.—Tribune, April 16.

—General Beauregard, in general orders to-day, congratulates “the troops under his command on the brilliant success which has crowned their gallantry, by the reduction of the stronghold in the harbor of Charleston.”— {Doc. 56.)

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Maine in the Civil War

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I write this particular post we are just three short weeks away from the 150th anniversary of the shots that began the War Between the States, or what we call the US Civil War. Conflict between the North and the South actually began in 1860, but we look back in time and find that Fort Sumter seems to have been the rallying act that history has pegged as the turning point. In reality, military actions had been ongoing for months, and we find that the point of no return was reached in December of 1860. In fact, Ft Moultrie was evacuated on 26 December, with the guns having been spiked and the carriages destroyed while the troops were transported to Ft. Sumter.

Maine was one of the first responders to Abraham Lincolns call to arms, and over the next few months I’m going to be chronicling the history of our involvement in that conflict. April 12th of 1861 was the day war erupted when the newly formed confederacy opened fire on the US forces in the fort. An act that forever, and irrevocably, changed the destiny of this nation.

Here are some of the highlights from the month of March, 1861;

March 1.—General Twiggs was expelled from the army of the United States. The following is the official order for his expulsion:

War Department, } Adjutant-general’s Office, Washington, March 1,1861. The following order is published for the information of the army:

“War Department, March 1, 1861.”By the direction of the President of the United States, it is ordered that Brigadier-General David E. Twiggs be and is hereby dismissed from the army of the United States for his treachery to the flag of his country, in having surrendered on the 18th of February, 1861, on the demand of the authorities of Texas, the military posts and other property of the United States in his department and under his charge. J. Holt, Secretary of War. “By order of the Secretary of War.

“S. Cooper, Adjutant-General.” —Evening Post, March 4.

—the Secretary of War at Washington received a dispatch from Major Anderson, in which he contradicts the statement that President Davis had been to Charleston. He says that the report that he had been sick is without a particle of foundation. He is in good health, as is also his little band of soldiers. Affairs in Charleston harbor are arriving at a point when further delay on their part will be impossible. Their extensive works of defense and attack are nearly if not quite completed.

The feeling between the authorities and Major Anderson continues to be friendly, and ho is allowed all the facilities that ho could expect. Fresh provisions and marketing are supplied in abundance. Ho experienced no difficulty in sending or receiving his mail matter. — Washington Star.

March 2—The revenue cotter Dodge was seized in Galveston Bay, by order of the authorities of Texas. The officer in command resigned, as Breshwood did at New Orleans, and tendered his services to the rebels.—Times, March 6.

March 4.—Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated at Washington, sixteenth President of the United States, he kissed the thirty-four States of the Union as represented by thirty-four young ladies.

The inauguration procession proceeded to the east portico of the capitol, in front of which a platform had been erected. Every available space in the vicinity was packed with a curious crowd of spectators. Everything being in readiness, Senator Baker, of Oregon, came forward and introduced Mr. Lincoln in these simple words: “Fellow-citizens: I introduce to you Abraham Lincoln, the President-elect of the United States of America.” Mr. Lincoln then advanced to a small table, which had been placed for his accommodation, and proceeded to deliver his inaugural address, every word of which was distinctly heard on the outskirts of the swaying crowd. The oath of office was then administered to Mr. Lincoln by Chief Justice Taney; the procession was again formed, Mr. Lincoln was escorted to the White House, and was duly installed in the office of President of the United States.—{Doc. 42.)

—A State Convention declared Texas out of the Union and Governor Houston issued his proclamation to that effect.

March 5.—General Peter G. T. Beauregard, lately a major in the United States Engineer Corps, was ordered by Jefferson Davis, President of the Southern Confederacy, to proceed to Charleston and take command of the forces there assembled, and to be assembled for the investment of Fort Sumter.—Herald, March 7.

—In the Texas State Convention, a letter was received from General Wall, enclosing a letter from the Secretary of War of the Confederate States, in relation to the military complications in Texas. President Davis instructs the Secretary of War to say that he is disposed to assume every responsibility compatible with the relations of the Federal Government to Texas. Davis considers it due to international courtesy that the Government of the Confederate States (Texas included, after her withdrawal from the United States) should accord to the troops belonging to the Federal Government a reasonable time within which to depart from her territory. Should the Federal Government refuse to withdraw them, President Davis does not hesitate to say, that all the powers of the Southern Confederacy shall be promptly employed to expel them. General Waul says that the possibility of settling difficulties by a reconstruction of the old Union is never alluded to in the Congress, and that the proposal would receive about the same encouragement as a proposition to re-annex Texas to the States of Mexico.—Evening Post, March 20.

—The President’s inaugural meets with a varied reception throughout the country. The South pronounces it warlike, while a greater portion of the North considers it conservative. — (Doc. 43.)

March 6.—Fort Brown, Texas, was finally surrendered by arrangement between Captain Hill and the Texas Commissioners.—Galveston Civilian, March 11.

March 9.—The Southern Confederacy Congress passed an act for the establishment and organization of the army of the Confederate States.—(Doc. 44.)—Times, March 15.

March 12.—The London News of to-day publishes a strong protest against recognition of the Southern Confederacy by the British Government.—(Doc. 45.)

March 14.—The act, passed by the Florida Legislature, defining treason, became a law by the approval and signature of the Governor. It declares that in the event of any actual collision between the troops of the late Federal Union and those in the employ of the State of Florida, it shall be the duty of the Governor of the State to make public proclamation of the fact; and thereafter the act of holding office under the Federal Government shall be declared treason, and the person convicted shall suffer death.Evening Post, March 26.

March 18.—Supplies were cut off from Fort

Pickens and the fleet in the Gulf of Mexico — (Doc. 46.)

March 20.—At about 7 o’clock this evening, Lieutenant Homer, in command of the Continentals, at drill was informed that there was a sloop lying at the wharf at the foot of Spanish alley in Mobile, which was laden with supplies for the United States fleet outside, between that place and Pensacola. A detachment of the company was on drill at the time, and Lieutenant Homer immediately ordered them down to the point mentioned, and then and there took charge of the little sloop Isabel. She was laden with beef, pork, barrels of eggs, etc. The person in charge acknowledged that these supplies were intended for the fleet outside.—Mobile Tribune, March 21.

—Correspondence between Mr. Secretary Seward and the Commissioners from the Confederate States is published.—(Doc. 47.)

March 21.—A. H. Stephens, Vice-President of the “Confederate States” of the South, delivered a speech at Savannah, Ga. It is intended to be a vindication of the new features in the constitution, which has been adopted for their government.—(Doc. 48.)

March 22.—Governor Pettus, of Mississippi, in accordance with the order of the President of the Confederate States, issued a proclamation calling upon the organized military of the State for fifteen hundred infantry.— Georgia Republic, March 25.

—Dr. Fox, of the United States navy, a special messenger from the Government to Major Anderson, reached Charleston and visited Fort Sumter by permission, in company with Captain Hartstein.

“Intercepted dispatches”—by which we are to understand “stolen letters”—subsequently disclosed to the authorities in Charleston, it is said, that Mr. Fox employed tins opportunity to devise and concert with Major Anderson a plan to supply the fort by force; and that this plan was adopted by the United States Government.— Times, March 23 and April 13.

—A Meeting was held at Frankfort, Ala., at which the following resolutions, among others of a similar character, were passed:

Resolved, That we approve the course pursued by our delegates, Messrs. Watkins and Steele, in convention at Montgomery, in not signing the so-called secession ordinance. That secession is inexpedient and unnecessary, and we are opposed to it in any form, and the more so since a majority of tho slavo States have refused to go out, either by what is called “southern cooperation,” or “precipitate secession;” and that the refusal to submit the so-called secession ordinance to the decision of the people is an outrage upon our right and liberty, and manifests a spirit of assumption, unfairness, and dictatorship.

Resolved, That our congressional nominee, if elected, is to represent us in the United States Congress, and not in the Congress of this so called “Southern Confederacy.”—Tuscumbia North Alabamian.

—The Montgomery Mail protests against the word stripes:

“”We protest against the word ‘stripes,’ as applied to tho broad bars of the flag of our confederacy. The word is quite appropriate as applied to the Yankee ensign or a barber’s polo; but it does not correctly describe tho red and white divisions of the flag of the Confederate States. The word is bars—wc have removed from under the stripes.”—“World, April 2.

March 25.—Colonel Lamon, a Government messenger, had an interview at Charleston with Governor Pickens and General Beauregard.— Times, Marsh 20.

—The rumors from Charleston are very conflicting concerning the evacuation of Fort Sumter. One report states that Major Anderson is strengthening his position; another that he has received orders to evacuate the fort and report himself for duty at Newport barracks, and that the officers are packing their goods in expectation of immediate departure. The truth of the matter will probably be known in a day or two.—Evening Post.

March 28.—Governor Pickens, of South Carolina, sent a message to the convention of that State, informing it that six hundred men would be required to garrison the forts in Charleston harbor; besides giving other important details respecting the financial condition of the State.*

—The actual vote of the State of Louisiana on secession is given by the New Orleans papers of to-day as follows: For secession, 20,448; against it, 17,29G. — World, April 4.

March 80.—The Mississippi State Convention, at Jackson, ratified the Constitution of the Confederate States, by a vote of 78 to 7. — Tribune, April 1

Categories: civil war, Education, events, headlines, historic preservation, history, Maine, preservation, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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