Eastern lands broadside, ca. 1820

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A descendant of Miles Standish appeals to the legislators to not sell portions of the Commonwealth's Eastern lands in Maine in this broadside addressed to the members of the legislature of Massachusetts,. The author evokes his ancestry in addressing both the legislature and Massachusetts residents who encountered the posted broadside—audiences who would be familiar with the successes of the pilgrim Miles Standish.

After the Province of Maine separated from Massachusetts in 1820, Massachusetts maintained many of its land holdings in the area. The Commonwealth was experiencing significant debt due to its military involvement in prior wars, most recently the War of 1812 and was looking for ways to eliminate expenses and relieve its debts.

At the time of printing, the Massachusetts legislature was voting to ratify or reject an act that would allow for the Commonwealth to inexpensively sell tracts of land to the newly separated state. The author of the broadside wrote of the potential economic benefits for Massachusetts if it retained these lands and invested in exploring and settling them.


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