Map of the State of Maine, 1820
Item 104603 info
Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education
With Maine gaining statehood in 1820, Moses Greenleaf reissued his 1815 map with the new title, "Map of the State of Maine."
William King, president of the convention that drew up a Constitution and proposed statehood for Maine, signed a proclamation announcing that Congress admitted Maine to the Union on March 3, 1820, and that the Constitution, previously adopted by the residents, was in effect as of March 15, 1820.
The proclamation was dated March 16.
Prentiss Mellen (1764-1840) of Portland was a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, representing the district of Maine from 1818-20 when he wrote to William King of Bath, a major supporter of Maine statehood, to announce that the Senate has passed the amended statehood bill and the president had signed it.
King (1768-1852) became the state's first governor and Mellen became the first chief justice of Maine state supreme court in 1820.
William Moody to William King regarding issues surrounding new statehood, Saco, 1820
Item 102207 info
Maine Historical Society
William Moody (1768-1822) was a resident of Saco who served as a state senator of Massachusetts from 1804-1812 and represented Saco at the Maine Constitutional Convention. He later served as one of Maine’s first state senators.
He wrote to William King (1768-1852) Maine’s first governor, outlining some of the problems the new state of Maine faced. He had to ask King to clarify whether state taxes should be paid to Massachusetts or held by the banks until Maine established a treasury. He also expressed concern over the many conflicts surrounding elections to the new legislature, but congratulated King on winning the election for governor.
Henry Sewall of Augusta wrote to his son, William, about the organization of the state, newly separated from Massachusetts. He describes the courts, sheriffs, and other officials, and discusses the militia. He also reports on family news.
Mark L. Hill to William King, Washington, D.C., February 4, 1820
Item 102204 info
Maine Historical Society
Mark Langdon Hill (1772-1842) served as a Massachusetts State Representative from 1819-1821, and from 1821-1823 served in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was a strong supporter of the separation of Maine from Massachusetts. The letter is authored to William King (1768-1852) a supporter of separation, a Massachusetts senator and later Maine’s first governor.
In this letter, Hill described the situation in Congress regarding the issue of Maine separating from Massachusetts. At this point, the question of Maine’s statehood had been left open for nearly two months and tied to Missouri’s statehood. Ultimately, it was determined that Maine could enter the Union as a free state only if Missouri could enter as a slave state, an arrangement known as the Missouri Compromise.
Many Mainers were vehemently against their statehood enabling the spread of slavery. Here, Hill is beginning to waiver in favor of the Missouri Compromise and provides justifications for its inevitability to King. Hill also sees the building conflict of North vs. South as the issue of slavery and abolition become more controversial.
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