Keywords: Economics Trade Merchant shipping
Contributed by: Maine Historical Society Date: 1791 Location: Portland; Les Cayes Media: Ink on paper
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.
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.
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.