All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Monday, October 23, 2006

Moses Greenleaf and the Maine Wilderness

Settling the Maine Wilderness: Moses Greenleaf, His Maps, and His Household of Faith, 1777-1834 is a new book by UM prof Walter M. Macdougall. Moses Greenleaf was the author of two books of great importance to the fledgling state of Maine: A Statistical View of the District of Maine, published in 1816, and Survey of Maine: In Reference to its Geographical Features and Political Economy, published with an accompanying atlas in 1829.
Macdougall, University of Maine professor emeritus, said his impetus for writing the biography stemmed from the fact that Moses Greenleaf was a Freemason and the first Master of the Piscataquis Lodge, where Macdougall is a member. Macdougall also was friends with Lillian Fredin, a Greenleaf descendant who lived at the Greenleaf homestead, visible from the Macdougalls’ house in Milo.

"It grew from there," Macdougall said. "I became enthralled with the story." He began writing and researching the book 25 years ago, time for trees to grow tall enough to obliterate his view of the Greenleaf homestead.

"It took me to an understanding of the present situation of the state of Maine and the human adventure and journey ... that we are all living on the edge of undiscovered country," he said of writing the book. [Link]
Images of Greenleaf's 1829 atlas are included in the David Rumsey Map Collection. Here are links to individual plates:


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