400 Years Waldo Patent and German immigrants

Samuel Waldo, ca. 1750

Samuel Waldo, ca. 1750
Item 20783   info
Maine Historical Society

Samuel Waldo, of the Waldo Patent, actively recruited about 1,500 Germans settlers to the Broad Bay area of Maine in the 1750s. Many factors contributed to their immigration, including economic opportunities and religious tolerance. Waldo and his compatriots in colonial Massachusetts Bay encouraged German settlement in the area to act as a buffer between the English and the French along the Maine frontier.

A neighboring land claim by the Pemaquid Proprietors disrupted the German settlement in Waldoboro in the late 1700s. The Pemaquid Proprietors claimed the land west of the Medomack was theirs, not Waldo’s, and therefore settlers must re-acquire their homes from the Pemaquid Proprietors, at a price.

Some German settlers paid the Pemaquid Proprietors for their land, but many could not afford to do so, and either sold the land for a fraction of its value or simply abandoned their land all together. According to the History of Old Broad Bay and Waldoboro, “others from sheer fury burned their houses, barns, sheds, and outhouses, and, so far as they could, dragged back into the fields and meadows the stones which they had originally removed for clearing land. This was done to decrease the value of these lands to those claiming them”.

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