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Online Exhibits

Your results include these online exhibits. You also can view all of the site's exhibits, view a timeline of selected events in Maine History, and learn how to create your own exhibit. See featured exhibits or create your own exhibit


Exhibit

The Sanitary Commission: Meeting Needs of Soldiers, Families

The Sanitary Commission, formed soon after the Civil War began in the spring of 1861, dealt with the health, relief needs, and morale of soldiers and their families. The Maine Agency helped families and soldiers with everything from furloughs to getting new socks.

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Hunting Season

Maine's ample woods historically provided numerous game animals and birds for hunters seeking food, fur, or hides. The promotion of hunting as tourism and concerns about conservation toward the end of the nineteenth century changed the nature of hunting in Maine.

Exhibit

Looking Out: Maine's Fire Towers

Maine, the most heavily forested state in the nation, had the first continuously operational fire lookout tower, beginning a system of fire prevention that lasted much of the twentieth century.

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Land Claims, Economic Opportunities?

The landmark 1980 Maine Indian Land Claims Settlement Act provided $81.6 million to Maine Indians for economic development, land purchase and other purposes. The money and increased land holdings, however, have not solved economic and employment issues for Maine Indians.

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Protests

Throughout the history of the state, residents have protested, on paper or in the streets, to increase rights for various groups, to effect social change, to prevent social change, or to let their feelings be known about important issues.

Exhibit

Clean Water: Muskie and the Environment

Maine Senator Edmund S. Muskie earned the nickname "Mr. Clean" for his environment efforts during his tenure in Congress from 1959 to 1980. He helped created a political coalition that passed important clean air and clean water legislation, drawing on his roots in Maine.

Exhibit

Shepard Cary: Lumberman, Legislator, Leader and Legend

Shepard Cary (1805-1866) was one of the leading -- and wealthiest -- residents of early Aroostook County. He was a lumberman, merchant, mill operator, and legislator.

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Walter Wyman and River Power

Walter Wyman's vision to capture the power of Maine's rivers to produce electricity led to the formation of Central Maine Power Co. and to a struggle within the state over what should happen to the power produced by the state's natural resources.

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Hannibal Hamlin of Paris Hill

2009 marked the bicentennials of the births of Abraham Lincoln and his first vice president, Hannibal Hamlin of Maine. To observe the anniversary, Paris Hill, where Hamlin was born and raised, honored the native statesman and recalled both his early life in the community and the mark he made on Maine and the nation.

Exhibit

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.

Exhibit

Prohibition in Maine in the 1920s

Federal Prohibition took hold of America in 1920 with the passing of the Volstead Act that banned the sale and consumption of all alcohol in the US. However, Maine had the Temperance movement long before anyone was prohibited from taking part in one of America's most popular past times. Starting in 1851, the struggles between the "drys" and the "wets" of Maine lasted for 82 years, a period of time that was everything but dry and rife with nothing but illegal activity.

Exhibit

State of Mind: Becoming Maine

The history of the region now known as Maine did not begin at statehood in 1820. What was Maine before it was a state? How did Maine separate from Massachusetts? How has the Maine we experience today been shaped by thousands of years of history?

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Slavery's Defenders and Foes

Mainers, like residents of other states, had differing views about slavery and abolition in the early to mid decades of the 19th century. Religion and economic factors were among the considerations in determining people's leanings.

Exhibit

War Through the Eyes of a Young Sailor

Eager to deal with the "Sesech" [Secessionists], young deepwater sailor John Monroe Dillingham of Freeport enlisted in the U.S. Navy as soon as he returned from a long voyage in 1862. His letters and those of his family offer first-hand insight into how one individual viewed the war.

Exhibit

Debates Over Suffrage

While numerous Mainers worked for and against woman suffrage in the state in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, some also worked on the national level, seeking a federal amendment to allow women the right to vote

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George F. Shepley: Lawyer, Soldier, Administrator

George F. Shepley of Portland had achieved renown as a lawyer and as U.S. Attorney for Maine when, at age 42 he formed the 12th Maine Infantry and went off to war. Shepley became military governor of Louisiana early in 1862 and remained in the military for the duration of the war.

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Reuben Ruby: Hackman, Activist

Reuben Ruby of Portland operated a hack in the city, using his work to earn a living and to help carry out his activist interests, especially abolition and the Underground Railroad.

Exhibit

Unlocking the Declaration's Secrets

Fewer than 30 copies of the first printing of the Declaration of Independence are known to exist. John Dunlap hurriedly printed copies for distribution to assemblies, conventions, committees and military officers. Authenticating authenticity of the document requires examination of numerous details of the broadside.

Exhibit

Home: The Longfellow House & the Emergence of Portland

The Wadsworth-Longfellow house is the oldest building on the Portland peninsula, the first historic site in Maine, a National Historic Landmark, home to three generations of Wadsworth and Longfellow family members -- including the boyhood home of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The history of the house and its inhabitants provide a unique view of the growth and changes of Portland -- as well as of the immediate surroundings of the home.

Exhibit

Presidents and Campaigns

Several Mainers have run for president or vice president, a number of presidents, past presidents, and future presidents have had ties to the state or visited here, and, during campaign season, many presidential candidates and their family members have brought their campaigns to Maine.

Exhibit

Margaret Chase Smith: A Historic Candidacy

When she announced her candidacy for President in January 1964, three-term Republican Senator Margaret Chase Smith became the first woman to seek the nomination of one of the two major political parties.

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Maine Politicians, National Leaders

From the early days of Maine statehood to the present, countless Maine politicians have made names for themselves on the national stage.

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The Washburns of Livermore

Members of the Washburn family of Livermore participated in the Civil War in a variety of ways -- from Caroline at the homefront, to Samuel at sea, Elihu, as a Congressman from Illinois, and Israel governor of Maine. The family had considerable influence politically on several fronts.

Exhibit

Student Exhibit: Can You Help Our Free Skowhegan Public Library?

The Skowhegan Free Public Library was built in 1889 with money donated by Abner Coburn and the town of Skowhegan. Mr. Coburn left $30,000 in his will towards the building of the library. In 2005, for the library to fully keep up with their programs need to make some renovations. These changes would allow for more use of technology, more room for children's programs, and provide handicap accessibility.