James Bridge to Reuel Williams discussing statehood, Boston, 1819

Contributed by Maine Historical Society


The process of splitting Maine from Massachusetts was complicated. In June 1819, a committee debated what would happen to public lands owned by Massachusetts, with Bridge noting:
The great question of a division of the state, which is before a very respectable committee of the two houses, progressed very smoothly and auspiciously, till they came to the article of a division of the publick property. One day has been spent in committee upon that point without making any head way—Massachusetts proper claims half of the public lands in Maine—Maine contends that it is essential to her interests to have the whole.

For many years after statehood Massachusetts continued to own a considerable amount of land in the state of Maine.

James Bridge (b. 1765) was noted as one of the finest lawyers in the District of Maine. Bridge served as a mentor for Williams, helping him pass the bar in 1804. They formed a law partnership and kept in close contact throughout their careers.

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About This Item

  • Title: James Bridge to Reuel Williams discussing statehood, Boston, 1819
  • Creator: James Bridge
  • Creation Date: 1819-06-07
  • Subject Date: 1819-06-07
  • Locations:
    • Augusta, Kennebec County, ME
    • Boston, Suffolk County, MA
  • Media: Ink on Paper
  • Local Code: Coll. 3, Box 16/1
  • Collection: Reuel Williams papers
  • Object Type: Text

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Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

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