All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Thanksgiving—The Maine Connection

Why should Massachusetts get all the glory? Maine boasts many links to the Thanksgiving story:
  • The Plymouth Company in England funded Sir George Popham's short-lived colony in what is now Phippsburg in 1607.
  • The first Thanksgiving celebrated in New England occurred in Maine, on August 9, 1607. Popham's company "landed on this island, the which we call St. George's island, . . . and there we heard a sermon delivered unto us by our preacher, giving God thanks for our happy meeting and safe arrival into the country, and so returned aboard again."
  • An Abenaki sagamore from Maine named Samoset was the first native to make contact with the Pilgrims, on March 16, 1621. He would soon after introduce them to Tisquantum (Squanto). Tisquantum is said to have been captured by the English at Pemaquid in 1605.
  • Members of the colony at New Plymouth were granted a tract of land along the Kennebec River in 1629. The Plymouth Claim included all the land lying within fifteen miles of the river on each side. The extent of the grant was later established as stretching (roughly speaking) from Swan Island and Skowhegan. The present city of Augusta was once a Pilgrim trading post known as "Cushnoc."
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