Pauline Shay with picnic basket, Portland, 1923

Contributed by Maine Historical Society/MaineToday Media


Pauline Shay, a member of the Penobscot Nation, was featured in an October 7, 1923 article because of her advocacy work to remove religious curriculum from the schools on Indian Island.

Pauline and her mother, Margaret, were expert basketmakers and earned a living in Portland through their basketry, where they were putting Violet Shay through school.

The article detailed Shay's education in Connecticut, at Hebron Academy, and in Massachusetts. Reflecting the racism of the times, the reporter noted, "Miss Pauline is a young woman of decidedly prepossessing appearance and makes a favorable impression upon all who meet her, as she did upon the Governor and the members of his council. No one would suspect from her appearance that she is of Indian blood for her skin is white and her features are of Celtic cast. Her education must have been a thorough one for her grammar is faultless and in manner she is impressively quiet and refined."

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About This Item

  • Title: Pauline Shay with picnic basket, Portland, 1923
  • Creator: Portland Press Herald
  • Creation Date: 1923
  • Subject Date: 1923
  • Locations:
    • Old Town, Penobscot County, ME
    • Portland, Cumberland County, ME
  • Media: Glass Negative
  • Dimensions: 10.8 cm x 8.3 cm
  • Local Code: Coll. 1949, 2005.061.6949
  • Collection: Portland Press Herald glass negative collection
  • Object Type: Image

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For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society/MaineToday Media
489 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. No Permission is required to use the low-resolution watermarked image for educational use, or as allowed by the applicable copyright. For all other uses, permission is required.

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