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Keywords: Economics Trade Merchant shipping

Historical Items

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Item 20176

St. Leon merchant ship, Castine, 1835

Contributed by: Maine Historical Society Date: 1835 Location: Castine Media: Photographic print

Item 100301

Letter from J.W. Jones to Robert Tate, West Indies, 1803

Contributed by: Tate House Museum Date: 1803-03-09 Location: Portland Media: Ink on paper

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Item 102023

Thomas Robison from Thomas Hodges regarding illegal slave trade, Les Cayes, April 6, 1791

Contributed by: Maine Historical Society Date: 1791 Location: Portland; Les Cayes Media: Ink on paper

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The Life and Legacy of the George Tate Family

Captain George Tate, mast agent for the King of England from 1751 to the Revolutionary War, and his descendants helped shape the development of Portland (first known as Falmouth) through activities such as commerce, shipping, and real estate.


Big Timber: the Mast Trade

Britain was especially interested in occupying Maine during the Colonial era to take advantage of the timber resources. The tall, straight, old growth white pines were perfect for ships' masts to help supply the growing Royal Navy.


Port of Portland's Custom House and Collectors of Customs

The collector of Portland was the key to federal patronage in Maine, though other ports and towns had collectors. Through the 19th century, the revenue was the major source of Federal Government income. As in Colonial times, the person appointed to head the custom House in Casco Bay was almost always a leading community figure, or a well-connected political personage.

Site Pages

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Bath's Historic Downtown - Merchants' Row

Merchants are usually operators of stores. Merchants' Row is located at 108, 114, and 116 Front Street, the home of many retail stores, built at a…

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Historic Hallowell - Shipping

Examples of products would be food, ingredients, and medicine. They shipped potash which is found in chimneys, and it was made into gun powder.

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Maine's Road to Statehood - The Coasting Law of 1789

… 1755 The Coasting Law of 1789 required that merchant ships port and register at each non-adjacent state as a way to raise port revenue.