Posts Tagged With: WWII

Maine’s Malta War

This story relates the uprising of the settlers from an area we know today as Windsor, Maine. Only one person was killed, and seven men were tried for the murder of that one man. Follow along as we explore a moment in Maine’s past….

The Malta War

An uprising in Maine

The town of Malta was incorporated on March 3rd of 1809. Between then and now, it has been referred to as New Waterford and Gerry. Today we know it as Windsor. This community is situated at the headwaters of the Sheepscot River. On the 8th of September of that year, 1809, one Mr. Paul Chadwick was Murdered. The lands of that town were claimed to be owned by the holders of the Plymouth Patent. Mr. Chadwick was hired by the proprietors of the patent to survey the lands.

The settlers of the area were understandably upset, as the truthful ownership of the area was being called into question. They had presumed to be the lawful owners, when in fact, that may not have been the case. Joined as one, the people living on the lands being surveyed made a resolution to defend their property at all costs. Ten or more men gathered themselves together, and went to speak to Mr. Chadwick.

Some were disguised as Indians, and were fully armed, as they were resentful upon the encroachment of their homes. They advised Chadwick to cease his survey operations and quit the territory, or suffer the consequences. To his error, Chadwick did not believe the men, and was subsequently shot. His wounds, though mortal, allowed him to live until the following day, when he died.

Almost immediately, seven men were arrested for the crime. These were; David Lynn, Nathaniel Lynn, Ansel Meigs, Jabez Meigs, Adam Pitts, Elijah Barton and Prince Cain. They were brought to Augusta and confined in the jail there, and charged with the crime of murder.

While awaiting trial rumors began circulating around Augusta that a large party of armed men intended to storm the jail to rescue the seven men. Prone to believing the wild stories, the residents felt they were in imminent peril. The fear of the possibility of the town being burned down by these people turned into “supposed fact”. To calm the public, the judges of the court, known then as “Justices of the Common Pleas” and the Sherriff requested that Maj-General Sewall of the 8th division send troops to quell the uprising.

However, General Sewall did not believe that this situation required as drastic a response that was requested. He replied by sending a couple of patrols to stand watch and patrol the streets. October 1st was a night that would change this view. After midnight approximately seventy men approached the town. All were armed and some were in disguise to hide their identity.

They came to within one hundred fifty rods on the East side of the bridge into Augusta. The leaders of the mob sent a spy closer to the bridge to reconnoiter the situation and report back, so a plan could be made. Unfortunately, the spy got too close to the guards and was taken prisoner. He was dragged off some distance, and nearly three dozen men took chase and attacked the soldiers.

They managed to subdue the soldiers because of their numbers, and rescued their fellow miscreant. A few soldiers fired their muskets as a warning and the reports were heard in the city. Immediately, the bell in the courthouse tower was rung. The streets of Augusta were filled with citizens, some in terror of the rumored attack on the city.

General Sewall immediately called up three hundred soldiers to curtail the commotion and return peace to Augusta. The following day, when it was shown that there would be no more violence, he recalled two hundred, leaving the other hundred soldiers in town for guard and patrol duty. The seven prisoners were indicted on charges of murder, and held until their trial in November of that year.

The trial commenced on the 16th of November and lasted eight days. In addition to remarks and testimony of the defendants and their legal representation, testimony from a total of forty four witnesses was heard. The jury deliberated the case over a course of two days, and acquitted the seven men by unanimous verdict.

The prosecutor in this case was Daniel Davis, representing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Attorneys for the defendants were Prentiss Mellen, Samuel S. Wilde, Thomas Rice and Phillip Leach. Comments made by Judge Parker on the case indicated that the State was not in agreement with the verdict. However, as the law was held by the court the verdict was allowed to stand.

It is interesting to compare the situation of two hundred years ago to today. While a mob of people protected the land they felt was lawfully theirs the same would not be allowed today. In this day the written law has become so convoluted with caveats and loopholes that only a team of lawyers could have tackled the problem.

I would wonder why the Plymouth Company still had valid title to the area. One would think that all patents by the English Crown would have become null and void at the end of the Revolutionary War. They were not, however, as a court had given title back to the original patent owners after the war.

Another interesting note on this incident is that an act was made to institute a statute prohibiting any person from disguising themselves as an Indian, with the intent of prohibiting a law enforcement officer or surveyor from completing their duties.

Maine History news

A look at the past of America’s pastime

NEW GLOUCESTER, Maine — One hundred and fifty years ago, when batters were called “strikers” and home plate was actually an iron plate, you couldn’t blame the umpire for striking out. There were no called strikes in the early days of a game called “base ball.” “The only time a …

Family of World War II tank driver arranges surprise visit

AUGUSTA, Maine — Family members of World War II tank driver Harry Grimm, who turned 90 on Monday, have undertaken a secret mission. They are taking him on a ride Friday to a place that should put a smile on his face and may cause a tear to fall from…

Transylvania by the sea: Washington County rich in ghost stories

LUBEC, Maine — She walks the trails at West Quoddy Lighthouse State Park, stopping only to gaze out to sea. The wind billows her long…

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The Mitchell B-25 and the Panchito

This film contains archival footage and video taken by the Remember ME! Media crew at the Great State of Maine Air Show, 2011 in Brunswick Maine. The Panchito is a faithfully restored B-25 medium bomber used in conjunction with the DAV’s outreach program to spread the services available to our veterans in the US.

The purpose of this short film is to tell the story of this fabulous little bomber and the impact that it had on all theaters of the WWII conflict. Primarily utilized in the Pacific Theater, the B-25’s most famous moment was when Lt. Colonel “Jimmy” Doolittle used 16 of these airplanes in a daring sea launched raid over Japan.

Launched 600 miles from Japan from the aircraft carrier the USS Hornet after having been prematurely discovered by the Japanese, these airmen volunteered without exception to carry on with the mission, even though they knew there would be insufficient fuel to carry them to safe bases in China where they could be safely recovered.

All but one plane crashed, and the one surviving plane was confiscated when the pilot landed in Russia.

The plane used in the clips from the movie Aerial Gunner was not actually a B-25, although I had been assured it was. It is actually what was designated a B-34, or more properly a Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon/Ventura. My guess would be that there were no B-25’s available for filming, and this is the closest variant the film company could come up with.

However, the set props were B-25 components for the most part. Remember that Hollywood is Hollywood, and artistic license trumps detail nearly every time.

It was still a great little movie and worth seeing sometime, and can be downloaded in full from the Prelinger Archives, along with miles of other vintage footage.

Enjoy the video!

Categories: antiques, events, historic preservation, history, Maine things to do, museum news, preservation, Uncategorized, WWII | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More Maine History Headlines

Here’s another bushel of history related headlines from some of my favorite papers. As usual, simply click onto the headlines to go to the source and read the full articles.

Norlands timber frame workshop attracts woodworkers

LIVERMORE — A little rain could not dampen attention Monday as Brett Hellstedt and Matt Aranjo of Maine Post & Beam presented a workshop on timber frame joinery at the Washburn-Norlands Living History Center. Nearly 50 people of all ages watched and listened intently as the men e…

Volunteer turnout good for Grange building bee

FARMINGTON — A good turnout of volunteers at the west Farmington Grange’s building bee Sunday provided a healthy boost of labor to move forward plans for a commercial kitchen and food storage facility that will be open to the community and area farmers. &nbs…

Photo: Heritage Park opens in Canton

Tom and Jolene Adley cut the ribbon, symbolically opening the new Canton Heritage Park. The Adleys led the volunteers who created the park on land vacated because of frequent flooding. Jordan Hutchins and Dylan Winship hold the ribbon. Looking on are some of the many residents who …

New England Trappers Weekend Aug. 26-29

BETHEL — Trapping enthusiasts from 26 states and two Canadian provinces are expected to attend the 34th annual New England Trappers Weekend on Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 26-29, event organizer Neil Olson said recently. According to the schedule, dealers will set up Thursday, Aug. …

Scenic Byway will preserve ‘Maine’ view

TOWNSHIP D — A bald eagle  soared high over the Height of Land overlook beside Route 17 Saturday morning just prior to a groundbreaking ceremony for a $2.9 million reconstruction. From far below in Bemis Stream Valley came the muted rumble of heavy equipment at a logging operati…

New Oquossoc sporting heritage museum enthralls hundreds

Piper Tim Sullivan, right, of Gloucester, Mass., who has a nearby camp on Bald Mountain Road in Oquossoc, plays bagpipe music during Saturday’s grand opening of the new $1 million Rangeley Outdoor Heritage Museum on Route 17 as a line of people from Maine and across the nation head inside.

WINDSOR FAIR: Promoters use new ways to sell old event

WINDSOR — Livestock and agriculture continue to play a major role in the marketing and promotion of the Windsor Fair.
WINDSOR FAIR: Model trains will ride the rails

19th-century music score found inside auctioned picture frame

BANGOR, Maine — David Slagger of Kenduskeag was visiting his bank last month when a framed sketch depicting an early 19th century streetscape in downtown Bangor caught his eye. In the background …

Events planned for 65th anniversary of end of WWII

BANGOR, Maine — For the past 11 years, Cole Land Transportation Museum in Bangor has done all it could to encourage World War II veterans to march in area parades, including the distribution of …

War monument at Hermon Corner to get new home

HERMON, Maine — The town’s Soldier’s Monument, which has stood sentry at Hermon Corner since 1901, soon will be relocated. The move is the result of several years’ worth of discussion as …

Categories: articles, breaking news, events, headlines, history, Maine, museum news, preservation, restoration, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WWII Diary of Lt. Reichard…

Lt. Reichard’s WWII Diary – January 13, 1943

Lt. Lawson F. Reichard, a young man with an artistic eye and a gift for writing, kept a diary from 1943 to 1945, which captures the daily life of a Lieutenant during World War II. Now 66 years later, you can read his daily diary on With World War II veterans in their 80s and 90s, dying at the rate of nearly 1,000 a day, those who lived through the war will soon be gone. Publishing Lt. Reichards diary is the way WorthPoint can remember the debt the world owes to the men and women who fought so valiantly to preserve freedom. It is our way to pay tribute and to say a final thank you for a job well done!

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