Monday, June 28, 2010

Maine Minutiae: Maine Declares War on England !

In 1839, there was an on-going border dispute between Maine and the Canadian Province of New Brunswick. Things got so heated that Governor John Fairfield declared war on England ! (NOTE: Canada was till a part of the British Empire at this time) Thankfully, no blood was actually shed as the conflict was resolved before an actual war broke out.  From the Miller Center of Public Affairs : The situation grew more serious in 1838, when both the British and the Americans began surveying roads through the Maine lands. Additionally, lumberjacks from both countries traversed the Maine backcountry at will, angering both sides. William Harvey, the governor of New Brunswick, arrested a Maine census taker who was surveying the settlements along the Madawaska River. Finally, in January 1839, Governor Fairfield of Maine mobilized a militia and sent it to the Aroostook River Valley to expel timber cutters from New Brunswick. In response, Governor Harvey claimed that the Maine men were in New Brunswick territory and that he had the right to expel them by force." There's more to the story. Long version. Short version. It's an interesting story and I recommend at least a cursory perusal of it.

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