In partnership with the Maine Memory Network Maine Memory Network

Maine Memory Network

Colonial Cartography: The Plymouth Company Maps

Text by Frances Pollitt

Images from the Maine Historical Society

The Plymouth Company's land grant covered about three million acres located fifteen miles on either side of the Kennebec River from Merrymeeting Bay to Norridgewock and slightly beyond. Another land company, The Proprietors of the Township of Brunswick, and the Plymouth Company carried on a dispute about land ownership during the 1750s, using maps of the area to prove ownership.

Indian deeds are represented on some of these maps. A few maps show large regions of the patent, include flourishes such as compass roses, color washes, and cartouches, or have text describing local history.

Although maps such as these can no longer be considered accurate as to boundaries and ownership, they provide a glimpse of how early surveyors in the region around the Kennebec River created maps and how the settlers and land companies managed property disputes. Some, too, are quite beautiful.