An Illustrated Timeline of Alexander, Maine 



When do we start the story that leads to the early settlement of Township # 16 BPPED or what we now call Alexander? The Vikings of a
 thousand years ago and the fishermen who followed them did not stay, but did tell those at home in Europe of this New World. Columbus
(1492) to our south, then Cabot (1497) and Cartier (1534) to the north flanked Geovanni Verrazzano (1524), Estevan Gomez (1525),
Bartholemew Gosnold (1602) and Martin Pring (1603) who sailed along the coast of Maine. They were but a few of the explorers who came
looking for a short cut to China, but carried details home of this continent and its potential for settlement.

Maybe we should start with 1604 and 1607 for these two dates mark events that greatly influenced the time that Alexander was settled. In 1604, Sieur de DeMonts and his navigator/journalist Samuel de Champlain selected what we call St. Croix Island in Calais, Maine for a settlement. It failed, half of the men died, and the living were gone by the next year. These men were French.

In 1607 George Popham and a group of Englishmen settled on a point just west of the Kennebec River. That attempt also was a failure. Its greatest accomplishment apparently was that the men constructed a pinnace named the Virginia that some sailed back to England the next summer.

As a result of these two attempted settlements, the English claimed the land north to the St.Croix River and the French claimed the land south to the Kennebec River. The land between, claimed by these two powerful European rivals became a virtual war zone until 1763. A few English settled close to the coast in the southern part and a few French along the northern coast. Alexander is within that war zone and not on the coast.

Here is a time line of some events while we were in the war zone

1598 The Marquis de la Roche lands 40 convicts and 10 armed guards on Sable Island. The convicts were treated as slaves and earned income for the Marquis by getting oil and ivory from the walrus. The slaves revolted, killed the guards; the eleven that survived were eventually returned to France.

1603 Sieur de Monts obtains charter to all the land lying between 40th-46th degree north latitude

1604 Sieur de Monts attempts to settle on St. Croix Island (now located in Calais)

1605 Port Royal (Nova Scotia), the first permanent French settlement in North America, founded by de Monts and those who survived the winter on St. Croix Island.

1621 James I of England grants Acadia to Sir William Alexander who renames it New Scotland (Nova Scotia included New Brunswick and Maine to the Kennebec River)

1627 Company of One Hundred Associates is founded to establish a French Empire in North America

1631 Charles de la Tour builds Fort La Tour (a.k.a. Fort Saint Marie) at the mouth of the Saint John River (now part of St. John, New Brunswick)

1632 British lose control of Acadia due to the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye

1632 Isaac de Razilly sails from France with 300 people hoping to establish a permanent French settlement in Acadia

1636 French crown grants Gulf of Maine and Bay of Fundy to d'Aulnay; La Tour gets Nova Scotia peninsula

1652 Massachusetts General Court licenses traders going from Massachusetts to Acadia

1660 English Navigation Act prohibits foreigners from trading with English colonies

1663 Louis XIV assumes personal control of New France

1667 France, England and the Netherlands sign the Breda Treaty in July and with this England gives Acadia to France

1675 King Philip’s War - Abenaki Indians attacked English settlers in New England – ended 1678

1686 King James II & Louis XIV sign neutrality pact handing forts of St. John's & Port Royal back to the French

1688 King William’s War – the French and Indians against the English settlers

1690 Sir William Phips captures almost all of the French possessions in Acadia

1697 Treaty of Ryswick restores the status quo between France & England; Acadia is returned to the French

1703 Queen Anne’s War lasted ten years, again French and Indians against the English

1707 Port Royal is attacked twice by the English from Massachusetts

1710 The English take Port Royal and name it Annapolis Royal

1713 Treaty of Utrecht cedes French Acadia, Newfoundland, Hudson Bay and the "country of the Iroquois" to England

1719 Construction of Louisbourg Fortress by the French begins on Ile Royale (Cape Breton Island)

1721 Eight hundred Acadians take oath of allegiance to the French

1722 Lovewell’s War all along the coast including Passamaquoddy Bay. The three French & Indian Wars pitted Catholics against Protestants.

1724 Father Sabastian Rale killed by the English at Norridgewolk (now Madison, Maine). The Indians moved to St Francis, Quebec.

1744 France declares war on England (March 15)

1745 Louisbourg surrenders to English after six-week siege (June 17)

1748 Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle returns Ile Royale (Cape Breton) and Ile Saint-Jean (Prince Edward Island) to French

1749 Halifax is founded by British to counter French presence at Louisbourg

1754 French and Indian War begins in North America; becomes Seven Years' War when fighting spreads to Europe (1756)

1755 Expulsion of the Acadians begins. Many eventually relocated to New Orleans. This was a defining event for that city, with their historic French-Quarter.

1758 Louisbourg captured again by the British (July 27)

1759 British troops under Wolfe defeat French forces under Montcalm at Quebec; both generals are killed; Quebec falls

1759 Proclamation issued by Governor of Nova Scotia invites New Englanders to settle there

1760 Louisbourg Fortress demolished by the British

1763 Treaty of Paris gives Canada (New France and Acadia) to England

In the Treaty of Paris of 1763 France granted the English the lands north to the St. Croix River and almost immediately a few settlers came mostly from southern Maine to settle the coast north of the Penobscot River. Machias (1763) was one such settlement, Eastport (1771) and Calais (1779) followed.

Another result of that treaty was that England needed a way to pay off the war debt. Like most governments, Parliament turned to taxes, and since some of the battles were in America, it turned to the Colonies for tax money. Remember the economic arrangement between mother and children, England and the Colonies. All raw materials from the Colonies were shipped to England; all manufactured goods imported into the Colonies were from England. England profited from both parts of this arrangement.

Here is a time line of some events leading to the Revolutionary War

“Taxation without representation”

1764 English Parliament placed a tax on sugar imported into the Colonies

1765 The Stamp Act was enacted by Parliament; the Sons of Liberty was formed in the Colonies to protest that tax.

1765 American delegation drew up the Declaration of Rights and Liberties

1766 Parliament passed the Declaratory Act which gave them the right to tax the Colonies.

1767 Taxes were placed on imported tea, glass, paper which lead to protests in Boston

1767 The New York Assembly was dissolved for resisting quartering troops in private homes,

1768 Massachusetts Assembly dissolved for not collecting taxes for the English

1769 Virginia Assembly dissolved for protesting trials in England of Colonials

1770 Boston Massacre

1770 – 1775 Survey of New England done by British surveyors. They mapped the coast, the harbors and channels to benefit trade. This survey aided the British Navy during the American War of Independence and later in the War of 1812. The Surveyor General, Samuel Holland proposed the Province of New Ireland in 1771 between New England and New Scotland [Nova Scotia, now New Brunswick]. Charles Blaskowitz surveyed from the St. Croix River to the Union River. James Grant surveyed Mount Desert Island and around Majabigwaduce [Castine]. James Hurd surveyed the coast from the Penobscot River to the St. John River. Thomas Wright and George Sproule worked on this survey and then returned in 1796 to work for the British to find the true St. Croix River, the agreed boundary between the United States and British North America; Wright was the astronomer in 1796. Sproule had been named Surveyor General of the new province of New Brunswick where he mapped the counties and townships. From Surveyors of Empire by Stephen J. Hornsby. Good read!

1772 Boston Assemble demands Rights of Citizenship and threatens secession

1772 Samuel Adams forms a Committee of Correspondence

1773 A Virginia Committee of Correspondence formed

1773 The Boston Tea Party

1774 English close the Port of Boston

1774 Virginia calls for a Continental Congress; voted to import no goods from England.

1774 Alexander Baring born in England

1777 The Atlantic Neptune, an atlas of coastal maps on northeast North America, published in London.

Alexander had no population at the time of the Revolutionary War, nor did we ever have a veteran of that conflict settle within our bounds. Here are a few events that happened in what today is Maine, mostly sad from the American point of view.

1775 – The shooting war started at Lexington, Massachusetts.

1775 - The first navel battle of the American Revolutionary War was fought at Machias and was won by the Americans.

1775 – British Captain Henry Mowatt bombarded and burned Falmouth [now Portland].

1775 – Benedict Arnold sailed up the Kennebec River and marched north in a futile attempt to capture Quebec City

1779 – The naval battle at Penobscot Bay near Castine was for the Americans the most disastrous of the War.

1783 - The end of that war was documented by another Treaty of Paris. As a result, the new United States gained control of the land north to the St. Croix River, the same boundary that England had gained in 1763.