Maine History Timeline
Selected Events in Maine History: 1700s



  • Father Sebastian Rasles, a French Jesuit is killed by Massachusetts milita at an Indian village at Norridgewock (Madison)


  • Indians and settlers reach accord in Dummer's Treaty, ending Dummer's War, a war over the English rights to Indian territory.


  • Maine's European–descended population reaches 12,000


  • Local Maine and Massachusetts soldiers defeat the French at Louisbourg. It is later returned to the French, creating resentment in Maine and Massachusetts


  • Maine Indians forced north to Canada or into eastern Maine during French and Indian (Seven Years') War


  • British deport Acadians, due to their supposed loyalty to France, to Maine, Louisiana, and other New England communities. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote about the Acadians in his 1847 epic poem Evangeline


  • Mob in Falmouth (Portland) seizes a cargo of sugar and prevents capture of runaway seamen in protest of British regulations; a precursor to the Revolutionary War
  • Subscription library founded at Falmouth Neck (Portland)


  • Machias residents capture British ship Margaretta in the first naval battle of the Revolutionary War
  • British Capt. Henry Mowatt burns Falmouth (Portland), helping spark the Revolutionary War, in retaliation for a snub during an earlier visit. Two–thirds of the town destroyed
  • Benedict Arnold (1741–1801) marches 1,000 men up the Kennebec River to seize Quebec, but his army is defeated


  • British forces occupy Castine, control eastern Maine
  • Penobscot Expedition against British at Castine fails miserably. Peleg Wadsworth (1748–1829) (grandfather of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow) is captured, but escapes


  • Massachusetts (including Maine) abolishes slavery


  • Maine's population at 56,000


  • Maine's first newspaper, The Falmouth Gazette and Weekly Advertiser, is established to promote separation from Massachusetts, reflecting a sense of abandonment during the Indian wars and pride over the successful military siege of Louisburg


  • Numerous attempts to gain support for separation from Massachusetts fail. Growth of population in the interior and of Maine's economy spur efforts, often opposed by coastal communities. Maine remains part of Massachusetts until 1820


  • Shaker settlements established at Alfred and New Gloucester
  • Maine's first college, Bowdoin College, established in Brunswick


  • Attempts to settle land claims with Passamaquoddy and Penobscot Indians are passed, but never ratified by U.S. Congress