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Port of Portland's Custom House and Collectors of Customs

A plan of the city and harbour of Louisburg, 1758

A plan of the city and harbour of Louisburg, 1758

Item 102821 info
Maine Historical Society

Captain Moses Pearson was born at Newbury, Massachusetts on March 26, 1697, and began his career as joiner (cabinet-maker). A go-getter of the first rank, he arrived at Falmouth as the town was being re-settled in 1728.

Though still plying his trade, he soon signed his correspondence as “Gentleman” rather than craftsman. Historian Charles E. Clark in The Eastern Frontier (1970) wrote “Let this introduction to Moses Pearson, therefore, serve as an introduction to Old Falmouth, because the biography of one is in a large sense the history of the other.” All sources agree that Pearson was the first Royal Naval Officer (earlier title for Collector) in about 1730 serving some 19 years. He was subsequently elected town clerk, selectman, representative in the General Court (legislature), County Sheriff and captain of a militia company that fought at Louisbourg in 1745.

Pearson was a leading proprietor of Pearsontown (now Standish) and his family became part of a small gentry including the Westbrook, Waldo, Longfellow, Jones and Tyng families. He also owned one of the port’s largest wharves. Moses Pearson died June 8, 1778 and is buried at Portland’s Eastern Cemetery.


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