All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Muscongus Island Declares Its Independence

Muscongus Island (now called Louds Island and part of Bristol) had a period of independence in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
It belonged to no town and was ignored or overlooked by the authorities of the State. No tax was paid to the State and no returns, nor reports of any sort were sent to the Capital. The responsibility of maintaining a form of government on the island depended on its people alone. [L. Whitney Elkins, The story of Maine: coastal Maine (1924), p. 252]
Footnotes to History offers this more vivid account:
In 1860, the island was inadvertantly left off the state’s official maps, and the residents were therefore not allowed to vote. In retaliation, Muscongus Island declared its independence. Like many respectable residents of rural America, they enforced this by firing their rifles at any tax collectors sighted on the island. The Muscongans decided not to press the point after the Civil War began, although the declaration of independence was not formally withdrawn until 1934.

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