THERE is no satisfactory record or evidence of discovery
and settlement of Machias or vicinity prior to L605. De
Montz, the French Explorer, left the first tangible proof of
tli" discovery of Machias River. There is scarcely room for
doubt that some of DeMontz sailor adventurers and associates
visited this section as early as 1605-'06, and left written
record of having made a Trading Post, on what has for
many years been known as Clark's Point in the town of
Machiasport. Home one of the company, it' not DeMontz
himself, made an outline map of the coast west from and including
Quoddy Head. Cross Island and a "peninsular" in
later years known as (Mark's Point.
1605-1620 - Part of French Acadia
a dozen men left there for a short time.
From evidence by letters sent home by DeMontz to Henry
IV there can be but limited doubt, that between the years 1606
and 1620 the entire coast of Mayne so far west as Penobscot
or Majorbijaduce (Castine), was explored and, so far as any
title could be given, became French possessions under the
name of Acadia.
It was about this time, that a few French families were
located at or near the head of South West Harbor, Mt Dasart
being the first known Europeans and until 1760, for nearly a
century disputes were involved and intermitent and alternating
possession by French and English contending forces
when as Williamson in his History of Maine says:—"The
FIRST SKTTLF.MENT.cessation of active hostilities between the two Governments,
at the close of
1612 French Trading Fort of Castine South Of Machias area
1631 Bristol Maine Trading Post Established northernmost New England Settlement.
1620-1760 Fluid New England - French Canada boundary:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castine,_Maine#French_Colony a very good article on the fluid northern border
It seems probable that in 1644 the French made an unsuccessful
attempt to make a settlement on Machias river.
At the time or a few years later there were prehaps a half
dozen French families here.
1688 French Machias laid waste by Captain Church
In 1688 a census or an "account" was taken of the inhabitants
scattered on the main shore and islands between
Schoodic River and Castine inclusive by Governor Andros.
There were reported as living at Machias ' 'Martel : John
Breeton, wife and child of Jersey ; Lattre, wife and three
children. The same year there were "accounted for" only
forty-five Europeans between Schoodic and Penobscot, nine
of these at Machias.According to Colonial history all
these persons were captured by the celebrated Captain
Church in one of his "expeditions to the eastward"
against French and Indians and carried off, their settlements
and homes laid waste.
The border wars of New England: commonly called King William's and Queen Anne's War
1703 - 1710 Queen Annes War
In 1703, New England settlements from Wells in the District of Maine to Falmouth (present-day Portland, Maine) were ravaged by 500 Indians and a few Canadians led by Alexandre Leneuf de La Vallière de Beaubassin, with more than 160 settlers killed or taken prisoner. In February 1704, Jean-Baptiste Hertel de Rouville led 250 Abenaki and Caughnawaga Indians and 50 French Canadians in a Raid on Deerfield in the Province of Massachusetts Bay, and destroyed the settlement, killing and capturing many colonists. The captives were taken on a grueling journey to the Caughnawaga settlement, where most of the children who survived were adopted by the Mohawk people. Some adults were later redeemed or released in negotiated prisoner exchanges. Unable to reach these settlements, New England colonists retaliated by launching an expedition against Acadia. Led by the famous Indian fighter Benjamin Church, the expedition raided Grand Pre, Beaubassin, and other settlements. Although French accounts include a claim that Church also made an attempt on Acadia's capital, Port Royal, Church's own account of the expedition describes a war council in which the expedition decides against making an attack.
Raiding activity continued against northern Massachusetts settlements in 1705, against which the English colonists were unable to mount either effective offense or defense. The raids happened too quickly for defense forces to organize, and attempts at reprisal would almost invariably find Indian camps and settlements empty. There was a lull in the raiding when the French and English leaders negotiated, with only limited success, the exchange of prisoners. Raids by Indians, sometimes with French participation, persisted until the end of the war.
In May 1707, Massachusetts Governor Joseph Dudley organized an expedition to take Port Royal. Led by Joseph March, 1,600 men failed to take the fort; a followup expedition in August was also repulsed. In response, the French developed an ambitious plan to raid most of the New Hampshiresettlements on the Piscataqua River. However, much of the Indian support needed never materialized, and the Massachusetts town of Haverhill was raided instead. In 1709, Philippe de Rigaud Vaudreuil, governor of New France, reported that two thirds of the fields north of Boston were unattended due to French and Indian raids. French-Indian war parties were returning without prisoners because the New England colonists stayed in their forts and would not come out.
In September 1710, 3,600 British and colonial forces led by Francis Nicholson finally captured Port Royal after a siege of one week. This ended official French control of the peninsular portion of Acadia (present-day mainland Nova Scotia), although resistance continued until the end of the war.
The 1713 Treaty of Utrecht: Cession Of Acadia and Newfoundland from France to Britain
Peace in New England 1713-1744
In 1712, Britain and France declared an armistice, and a final peace agreement was signed the following year. Under terms of the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, Britain gained Acadia (which they renamed Nova Scotia), sovereignty over Newfoundland, the Hudson Bay region, and the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. France recognized British suzerainty over the Iroquois, and agreed that commerce with Native Americans further inland would be open to all nations. It retained all of the islands in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, including Cape Breton Island, and retained fishing rights in the area, including rights to dry fish on the northern shore of Newfoundland.
King George's War 1744-1748 in North America
News of war declarations reached the French fortress at Louisbourg first, on May 3, 1744, and the forces there wasted little time in beginning hostilities. Concerned about their overland supply lines to Quebec, they first raided the British fishing port of Canso on May 23, and then organized an attack on Annapolis Royal, then the capital of Nova Scotia. However, French forces were delayed in departing Louisbourg, and their Mi'kmaq and Maliseet allies decided to attack on their own in early July. Annapolis had received news of the war declaration, and was somewhat prepared when the Indians began besieging Fort Anne. Lacking heavy weapons, the Indians withdrew after a few days. Then, in mid-August, a larger French force arrived before Fort Anne, but was also unable to mount an effective attack or siege against the garrison, which had received supplies and reinforcements from Massachusetts.
In 1745, British colonial forces in the Siege of Louisbourg captured the strategic French Fortress Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island. On November 28, 1745, the French with their Indians allies raided and destroyed the village of Saratoga, New York, killing and capturing more than one hundred of its inhabitants. All of the English settlements north of Albany were accordingly abandoned. In July 1746 an Iroquois and intercolonial force assembled in northern New York for a retaliatory attack against Canada; however, the British regulars never arrived and the attack was called off. The colonial troops camped at Albany for the winter, but the following year again failed to launch their expedition. In 1748, Indian allies of the French attacked Schenectady, New York.
The war took a heavy toll on the northern colonies. The losses of Massachusetts men alone in 1745-46 have been estimated as 8% of that colony's adult male population.
1760: End of no mans land status during conflict between indians french and english
as well as the strong disposition at the
time manifested by the Eastern Indian tribes, to agree to and
maintain a Treaty of perpetual Peace and Amity, which to
this day has never been disturbed, were events of vital importance
in the settlement of the eastern part of the Province
of Maine, and gave a new and favorable impulse to every
species of enterprise and improvement, which so essentially
concern a rising community."
One writer states that the entire while population of the
Province of Maine did not exceed 17,000 at this period, and
no permanent settlement had been made eastward of and
including Castine. owing to the wars between the New England
Colonists and the numerous Indian tribes aided and
assisted by the French. The desolation arising from the
contending factions spread disaster and distress over the
coast line for more than a century, and with the
1761-1762 Drought and Fire in Scarboro and York:
May 1763 When the Pioneers of Machias from Scarboro domiciled on Machias soil, and until the Declaration of Independence in 1776, they had supposed they were under
the French flag, and the doubt was not wholly removed until
the surrender of Cornwallis, at the close of the Revolution
An association of "Sixteen persons" was accordingly
formed during the winter of 1763, for the purpose of building
a double saw mill at Machias, to be owned in as many
shares—and it was decided to commence operations the
Smiths' Centennial records the names of the Associates
in this undertaking, to commence the first English settlement
at Machias as follows
Samuel Scott ) Brothers. Sylvanus Scott, \
George Libby, [ Brothers.
David Libby, J
Solomon Stone, ) Brothers>
The above thirteen were all residents of Scarborough and
all lived at a District in the town known as Black Point.
The remaining three were
Thomas Buck of Plymouth, Captain of a coaster.
Jonathan Carlton, of Sheepscot.
William Jones of Portsmouth, N.H .
1. Settled by Scarboro men, who migrated due to a severe drought in Scaraboro, Cumberland Maine.
2. Additionally some connecticut people, such as the Ackleys.
3. Some settlers came from N.H.
4. Settlers came from Cornwallis Nova Scotia.
Machias during Revolution:
1775 The Margaretta
The late Charles Gates, of Machiasport, who died an
octogenarian many years ago, once said to the author, :—"I
have heard my mother say that when a girl, 1785 '90, I
counted over one hundred birch canoes drawn up on the
beach and shore opposite Machiasport, while the Indians
were in Camp Fires, phullabaloos and dances, in the forest
growth and wood-lands on the East side and towards Holmes'
not divided until twenty-two years later in 1826 when East
Machias and Machiasport were incorporated as separate
municipalities, from Machias.
The talk was continued and the debate in the stores was
animated over Division, not with much hope of success
until East River and the Lower District (Machiasport)
united their forces. It is noticeable, that ever after the
separation, the two new Corporations were quite invariably
Democratic in political expression, while Machias was
steadfastly Whig or Republican.
http://www.usmm.org/revolution.html Proof of the importance of privateers in the revolution:
Privateers and Mariners in the Revolutionary War
The 13 Colonies, having declared their Independence, had only 31 ships comprising the Continental Navy. To add to this, they issuedLetters of Marque to privately owned, armed merchant ships and Commissions for privateers, which were outfitted as warships to prey on enemy merchant ships. Merchant seamen who manned these ships contributed to the very birth and founding of our Republic.
Comparison of Navy vs. Privateers in Revolutionary War
The Patriots of Maine Fight at Sea
News of the April 1775 battles at Concord and Lexington reached Machias, Maine just as citizens were anxiously awaiting long-needed supplies from Boston. When the Unity and Polly carrying these supplies arrived, they were accompanied by the British armed schooner Margaretta, under the command ofLieutenant Moore. The escort's job was to see that in exchange for supplies, lumber was taken back to Boston to build barracks for British soldiers.
The British demanded all citizens sign a petition promising to protect British property at all times in exchange for the right to buy supplies. Since many citizens were opposed to aiding the British war effort, they were angered by this.
They decided to strip the two sloops of the supplies and at the same time to capture Captain Ichabod Jones, Lieutenant Moore and his officers after they attended church services. The British fled on the Margaretta as patriots lined the shore demanding she "Surrender to America!" The reply they heard was, "Fire and be damned!"
Forty men, armed with guns, swords, axes, and pitchforks, headed by Jeremiah O'Brien, on the sloop Unity and twenty men under the command of Benjamin Foster on a small schooner pursued the Margaretta. During the chase they put up planks and other objects to defend themselves against the Margaretta's cannon.
On June 12, 1775, near Round Island on Machias Bay the patriots crashed into the Margaretta and engaged in hand to hand combat. The British crew was disheartened when their captain was mortally wounded and lost the one hour long battle. 25 of the combatants were killed or wounded. The victors claimed "four double fortifyed three pounders and fourteen swivels" and some smaller guns.
This was considered the first sea engagement of the Revolution and the start of the merchant marine's war role.
As captain of the privateer Machias Liberty, Jeremiah O'Brien later captured two armed British schooners and delivered his prisoners to George Washington. On the General's recommendation, the government of Massachusetts appointed O'Brien to command his two prizes.