Web Text-ures Logo
Web and Book design,
Copyright, Kellscraft Studio
1999-2009


(Return to Web Text-ures)
Click Here to return to
The Trail of the Maine Pioneer
Content Page


 Return to the Previous Chapter
Kellscraft Studio Logo
(HOME)

The Story of Ancient Gorgeana

By NINA VICTORIA ADAMS TALBOT

(Mrs. Archie Lee Talbot)

THE STORY of the city of Gorgeana, the and chartered city in America, known to history, an the town of York, in the seventeenth century that succeeded it, is an important part of the history of the beginning of Colonial Maine.

It is replete with narrative and romance; but our story will contain more of overlooked history than romance, together with personal recollections of a visit to this historic place, on an important occasion, the place known at different times, in succession, as Agamenticus (as Accumenticus), Bristol, Gorgeana, and York.

The first settlement of the ancient maritime town of York, Maine, on the Atlantic coast, began soon after the landing of the Pilgrims, at Plymouth, Mass., in 1620. Fishermen were on the banks of the Agamenticus or York river as early as 1622.

Agamenticus was then, and is to this day, the name of a mountain 680 feet high, consisting of three elevations and situated in the northern part of the town of York, about five miles from the ocean. It is a noted landmark for mariners and is said to be the first height of land seen by them from the sea, on the coast northward and eastward from Portsmouth.

There is a short and deep tidal river whose mouth nature seems to have made for a safe harbor. This river was once called Agamenticus (the most ancient name being the Organug), now York river and harbor. The river itself receives but little supply from the short fresh water stream above the head of the tide, and therefore is indebted to the ocean for its existence. Its length at flood tide is seven miles, and the harbor, which is narrow and crooked at the entrance, can receive vessels of two or three hundred tons' burden.

Along the coast, four miles distant, a part of which is a beautiful beach of white sand, is the mouth of Cape Neddick river which is a stream flowing from the foot of Mount Agamenticus, and is so small as to be fordable at half tide. It is never navigable more than a mile from the ocean at high water. It is often referred to in the old York deeds of land as "Little River." On the southwest of this little river and at the upper end of Long Sands Bay, is the "Nubble," which is a small hillock.

Sir Ferdinando Georges, justly called the "Father of American Colonization," being impeded in securing the needed support and thwarted in his efforts to establish a permanent government in the region between the Piscataqua and Kennebec rivers, that he called New Somersetshire, undertook through his nephew, Captain William Gorges, and six other councilors, one of whom was Edward Godfrey of Agamenticus, to establish and maintain a government. Their first meeting of record, was March 25, 1636, and their last, July 4, 1637. Captain Gorges was soon after recalled to England. The record of these meetings is the beginning of the records of York County.

It was the fixed purpose of Sir Ferdinando Gorges to plant a Colony here even at his own expense. Martin Pring had explored and examined this place and vicinity in 1603; Captain John Smith in 1614; and Richard Vines had, in 1616, examined it under special directions of Sir Ferdinando Gorges; Thomas Dermer had visited it in 1619; Christopher Leavett had also examined it in 1623; and Gorges thus knew of the short salt water river admitting vessels to a safe harbor, with good anchorage at and about its mouth, which river situated nearly equally distant from the Agamenticus mountain and the river Piscataqua, was the natural outlet of a future metropolis.

Pleased with the description of the place he procured from the Plymouth Council, in England, a patent of 24,000 acres of land, viz: 12,000 acres granted to Lieut. Col. Walter Norton and others on the east side of the river, while a like amount on the west side was given to his grandson, Ferdinando Gorges, believing that he would thus "Be better fortified" in his rights.

Thereupon Norton and his associates hastened to take possession of their territory, taking with them their families and necessary provisions, and Gorges sent over to represent his son, his nephew, Capt. William Gorges, with craftsmen for the building of houses and erecting of saw mills. By other shipping from Bristol, Gorges sent cattle with servants by which he says "The foundation of the plantation was laid." Thus came the first permanent settlers of York. Preceding this expedition must have gone Edward Godfrey, a steadfast defender of the rights of Gorges, and whose character stands out strong and able.

These settlers from Bristol, England, called the new settlement Bristol, supplanting for a time the name Agamenticus, but they seem to have failed in permanently retaining the name Bristol. Sir Ferdinando Gorges himself did not recognize it, but a settlement was commenced on the eastern side of the river, near the ocean, and afterward no other plantation of Gorges had so continually and so fully his patronage and favor.



The Old Gaol at Alfred


* * *

It was not until April 3, 1639, that Sir Ferdinando Gorges obtained from King Charles First, a provincial charter of his territory, in which the name "Maine," that was first in the charter to Gorges and Mason, in 1622, was restored, the language being "And we do ordain and appoint that the Porcon of the Mayne Lande or County of Mayne." By this charter Gorges was made lord palatine of a princely domain, the lord palatine and his heirs and assigns being made absolute lords proprietors of the Province, subject only to the supreme dominion, faith, and allegiance to the Crown, with certain revenues payable thereto.

Sir Ferdinando Gorges much desired to visit America, but being impeded by accidents, Thomas Gorges, a nephew or "cousin" as such kinsmen were called, was sent as deputy governor. He was of the Inns-of-Court; a barrister, and a young man of ability and judicial temperament.

Up to this time there had been a laxity of law and order. In 1640 Thomas Gorges reached Bristol, and established his authority. The court records show that his court was needed. "The wiley and corrupt George Burdett," in the guise of a clergyman, was working iniquity. He was arrested, indicted and convicted of various crimes.

With the Deputy Governor were six Councilors, one of whom was Edward Godfrey, the first to build a dwelling in Agamenticus. The government of the Province was organized March 10, 1640, and the first general court for the prosecution of justice throughout his Province, was opened in Saco, June 25, 1640.

On April 10, 1641, Sir Ferdinando Gorges, the lord palatine, created the plantation of Agamenticus into a borough with the "Church chapel or oratory" as the center thereof. (There is no record that the chapel was actually built.) It embraced the territory three miles each way, from said church chapel or oratory. A borough was an English town, and this was the first town incorporated in Maine.


* * *

On March 1, 1642, Gorges issued his Charter as "Lord of the Province of Mayne" by which he incorporated a territory of twenty-one square miles, and the inhabitants thereon, into a city, which he called "Gorgeana." He ordained "that ye Circuite of ye said Incorporation * * * shall extend from ye Beginning of ye Entrance of ye River * * * & so up ye said River seven Inglish miles, and all along ye East & North East side of ye sea shore Three English miles in breadth from ye Entrance of ye said River, and up into ye Mayne Land, seven miles, Butting with ye seven miles from ye sea side."

The government consisted of a mayor, twelve aldermen, twenty-four common-councilmen and a recorder, all to be annually elected in March, by the freeholders, who under the Gorges Charter were owners of real estate. The Mayor and Aldermen were ex-officio justices and had the appointment of four sergeants whose badge was a "white rod," and whose duty it was to serve judicial notices and attend upon the court. The officers took the oath of allegiance and fidelity to the faithful performance of their duty. Under this charter elections were held and the business authorized performed Edward Godfrey was the first mayor of the city of Gorgeana and was succeeded, in 1643, by Roger Garde, who had previously served as Alderman.

Governor Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony said, referring to Roger Garde, "They made a taylor their mayor," the inference being that such could not be elected in the Bay Colony, Since in our day a tailor has been elected Vice-President and became President of the United States, this remark seems unworthy of a colonial governor or anyone.

Mayor Garde was a man of large estate and good education. When the government was organized under the Gorges Charter in 1640, he was appointed recorder of the Province of Maine, and was continued in that office until his death in 1645. He was buried with military honors.

From Governor Winthrop's journal we learn that the population of the city of Gorgeana was between 250 and 300 souls. We think Governor Winthrop would not make it any larger than it was. Plymouth Colony had no larger population ten years after its first settlement. Historian Williamson says that for "more than ten years the city of Georgeana acted in a corporate capacity, making grants of land and managing affairs in a manner most beneficial to the interests of the people." Surely the city of Gorgeana is not a legend or dream. It was in fact the first chartered city in America.


* * *

As the conflict between King Charles First and Parliament intensified, Thomas Gorges, in the summer of 1643, returned to England, and was commissioned lieutenant-colonel in the Somerset Militia. The cellar of his residence in Gorgeana is still pointed out on the bank of the river.

Sir Ferdinando Gorges himself, although more than seventy years of age, joined the Army of the Crown in the civil wars and was with Prince Rupert the last year of his famous siege of Bristol, from July, 1643, to Sept. 1645, when that city was taken by the parliamentary forces and Gorges was plundered and thrown into prison. It was probably during his imprisonment that he wrote the brief narrative of his undertakings in New England, afterward published by his grandson.

In conclusion he wrote, "I end, and leave all to Him who is the only Author of all goodness and knows best his own time to bring his will to be made manifest, and appoints his instruments for the accomplishment thereof; to whose pleasure it becomes every one of us to submit ourselves as to that mighty God and great and gracious Lord, to whom all glory doth belong." He died in 1647.


The Story of Ancient Gorgeana

The success of the revolution in England stimulated and encouraged rival interests and the enemies of Gorges, both in England and America, quickly seized upon his adversity, and the government of the Province of Maine was wrecked and almost paralyzed. The friends of Gorges did what they could court was convened at Wells in 1646, which elected Edward Godfrey governor, and several other prominent citizens were elected councilors.

Later other interests united and Edward Godfrey was chosen governor by the people in the western part of Maine in 1649. He was the first governor chosen by the people in colonial Maine, one of the original Councilors appointed by Sir Ferdinando Gorges and the only one left at the time.

In 1654, Edward Godfrey, then in England, affirmed that he had been a promoter of this colony in New England from A.D. 1609, and above 32 years, an adventurer in that design, an inhabitant of Agamenticus in 1629-30 and the first that built there. This makes the first permanent settlement of Agamenticus in 1629, but white men were living there, in the summer season Agamenticus least, as early as 1622.


* * *

An act of the general court under the Gorges Province, that has remained to this day, is the incorporation, Oct. 20, 1647, of the plantation of Piscataqua into a town by the name of Kittery, in respect to the wishes of several settlers who had emigrated from a town of that name in England. It does not seem right that the town of York should lose her rank as the first town incorporated in Maine when the same place was incorporated by a legal government in 1641, although under another name. The place now called York was the first incorporated town in Maine and we think it should be considered the first town in Maine.

The death of Sir Ferdinando Gorges and the execution of his royal friend and protector, King Charles First, stimulated the Massachusetts Bay Colony to extend her jurisdiction over the Province of Maine.

In 1652, Commissioners were appointed by the Bay Colony to negotiate with the inhabitants of the Province of Maine. The first session of the court of commissioners was held November 20, 1652, in Kittery. "Articles of Submission" were written, consisting of fourteen stipulations to which the freeholders assented and took the oath of allegiance to Massachusetts.

Among the stipulations it was agreed that Kittery should remain a town, that all inhabitants should be freemen, that the right to vote for their officers that they had always had in the Province of Maine should be continued, and to be represented by those of their own choice in the General Court; that they should be secure in their property, with all the liberties and protection as the people in the

Massachusetts Bay Colony, and that their militia should not be ordered beyond their borders without their consent. Surely this was an agreement rather than a "submission."

The commissioners' court was next held in Gorgeana. The following account is of interest: "Upon the 22 November, 1652, the Commissioners held their Court, and the inhabitants appeared, and after some tyme in debatements and many questions answered, and objections removed, the full and joint consent, acknowledged them. selves subjects to the government of the Massachusetts in New England; only Mr. Godfrey did forbear, until the voate was past by the rest, and then immediately he did by word and voate express his consent." Governor Godfrey was obliged to unite with the others. His own words are of record. "Whatever my body was enforced to do Heaven knows my soul did not consent unto."

The inhabitants of the Province of Maine were powerless to defend themselves against political enemies and the savages that were all about them, liable to attack them at any time. The promised protection of the Massachusetts Bay Colony against the Indians was the real reason that caused them to become a part of Massachusetts in 1652, but with all their fear of the Indians they did not do this until articles that would be more correctly called Articles of Agreement, were made preserving their right to vote, that they had always had the same as the freemen in the Plymouth Colony, the right of suffrage not to be restricted to church members as in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

The same rights were given to the inhabitants of Gorgeana that were given to those in Kittery, with the exception of the right to retain the name Gorgeana. The Massachusetts Bay Colony was determined to destroy, so far as they could, all record or reminder of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, the devoted friend of King Charles First.

Forty-nine men of Gorgeana took the oath of a freeman and allegiance to Massachusetts. One woman, Mary Topp, "Acknowledged herself subject &c only." No record of land owned by her appears in the old York County deeds and the reason why this one woman in Gorgeana acknowledged herself a subject only, is a question yet unsolved.

It was ordained in the writings that Agamenticus (they would not even mention the name Gorgeana) should be a town and be named "York" for the ancient town and largest county in England. As soon as those in other principal places in the Province had taken the oath of allegiance it was ordained that the whole territory beyond the Piscataqua river, under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts, should be a county to be called "Yorkshire."

A city, according to the English idea and custom in those days, was the headquarters or "see" of a bishop. It was clearly the purpose of Sir Ferdinando Gorges to make Gorgeana the seat of a bishop for New England, and had the army of King Charles First been successful the city of Gorgeana, that originally embraced all the land to the ocean and an excellent harbor, would no doubt have been the metropolis of New England. The government of Massachusetts Bay Colony understood this perfectly and it intensified their hatred of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, as England hated George Washington during his lifetime.



First Parish Meeting House; Old Court House; Old Burying Ground

There are many noble qualities in the life of Sir Ferdinando Gorges that entitle him to our respect and esteem. While he was on the wrong side in the struggle for liberty and the rights of the people in England, we can but feel that it was right and honorable for him to have been on the side of his royal friend, King Charles First, who had done so much for him.

He was devoted to the colonization of America, especially New England, and was the friend of the Pilgrims, aiding them with wise counsel, and shielding them from their enemies in England. He was also the friend of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in its early days. Invested with absolute power he gave the people of the Province of Maine more and greater privileges than were given by the Puritans to the people of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

The name and memory of Sir Ferdinando Gorges should ever be cherished and honored by the people of Maine and especially by the descendants of the freemen of his cherished city of Gorgeana.


* * *

The vicissitudes of those early days may be traced from the records o f the town. By 1660 York was growing rapidly and flourishing, as is evidenced by the land grants. Yet the title to the Province was still in litigation, but when Charles Second came to the throne, Massachusetts Bay Colony feared, at times, lest its own great charter be annulled. For thirty years York, the seat of the provisional government and the place least reconciled to the rule of Massachusetts Bay, was a storm center of the contesting claimants.

The last fitful cloud cleared away in 1684, when President Danforth, authorized by the Massachusetts Bay Colony, "ye now Lord Proprietors," confirmed to the inhabitants all rights and privileges "to them formerly granted by Sir Ferdinando Gorges." Thus it would seem that Massachusetts Bay chose to rest her title as assignee to the Gorges heirs, rather than to her interpretation of the famous line north of the Merrimac River.

For more than one hundred years the inhabitants in what is now the State of Maine lived in terror of the Indians, whom they called "the heathen." All of this time England and France were rival i claimants for possession and Maine was disputed territory. It is easy to see the reason for the action of the French in Canada, in the French and Indian Wars in Colonial Maine. The stories of the cruel torture and massacre by the Indians, led on by the Canadian French, that have been handed down through generations in New England are still vividly remembered by their descendants.

An attack, made at Cape Neddick in York, by the Indians in 1676, was attended with awful cruelty. Forty persons were slain or carried into captivity and the dwellings laid in ashes. Again the dwellings were burned in 1691, but the other settlements in York had singularly escaped. In 1692, the "Day of Doom" was upon them. A band of savages in the winter of 1692, led by Frenchmen, set out from Penobscot, being joined on the way by allies from the Kennebec, to attack and destroy the western settlements.

On the night of February 4 (O. S.) they gathered upon the wooded slopes of Mount Agamenticus, from whence they could look down upon the little village of York and see the lights in the houses in the distance. Some of these houses were fortified, and a watch kept, which probably deterred the Indians from making a night attack, for they waited until daylight.

Then, as it began to be light, they crept toward their prey, partly concealed by the snow which was now silently falling about them. The watch at this hour had doubtless ceased and they approached the doomed village unperceived. A good authority says they "consisted of nearly as many French as Indians, in all exceeding one hundred and fifty." Another account makes the number more than twice as many, all of them having taken up their march upon snow-shoes.

"A scene of most horrid carnage and capture instantly ensued; and in one half hour, more than an hundred and sixty of the inhabitants were expiring victims or trembling supplicants, at the feet of their enraged enemies. The rest had the good fortune to escape with their lives into Preble's, Haman's, Alcock's, and Norton's garrison houses, the best fortifications in town. * * * About 75 of the people were killed, yet despairing of their conquest or capitulation, the vindictive destroyers set on fire nearly all the unfortified houses on the north side of the river. * * * Apprehensive of being overtaken by avenging pursuers, they hastened their retreat into the woods, taking with them as much booty as they could carry, and as Dr. Mather says, near an hundred of that unhappy people prisoners."

Rev. Shubael Dummer, the first minister in York, was among the first to fall. He was just mounting his horse when struck down by a bullet. His wife and son were made prisoners. She soon died from the terrible fatiguing march in the wilderness of Maine.

Mr. Williamson in his History of the State of Maine, says: "The massacre in York and burning of the town were the more deeply and extensively lamented because of the antiquity and pre-eminence of the place and the excellent character of the people."

The writer recalls to mind another name, her first American, ancestor, a resident of Gorgeana, one of the forty-nine men who took the oath of a freeman and allegiance to Massachusetts, November 22, 1652, one of the selectmen of the town of York in 1674, who fell a victim in the cruel massacre February 5, 1692.

While this is sad history of our state and of many of the colonial families in Maine, whose descendants are still with us, we are not unmindful that two generations later, it was the French in Canada who saved the remnant of Arnold's army from starvation, after that terrible march through the wilderness of Maine, in the winter of 1775, and that the Penobscot Indians were true to their native land and fought side by side with the Americans against the British in the War of the Revolution.


* * *

In the Revolution the patriotism of the citizens of York is conspicuous by the quick response to the Lexington Alarm, April 19, 1775, for the town of York has the honor of having raised and sent, within twenty-four hours, the first company of soldiers out of the District of Maine to relieve their suffering countrymen.

Hon. David Sewall, of said town, stated in 1794, which was repeated by Williamson in his History of the State of Maine, that the news of the battle of Lexington was received at York at nine o'clock in the evening April 20, 1775, and although no Minute Men had been formed in that town, a company of over sixty men was enrolled, fitted out with guns, ammunition and haversacks, with provisions for several days, and actually marched the next day, the 21st, and had crossed over the Piscataqua River into New Hampshire before night. They were soon sent back because their services were not needed.

This fact, so surprising, is proved by the original pay roll of Captain Johnson Moulton's Company, now in a good state of preservation in the Archives of Massachusetts. The date of enlistment is April 21, 1775, sixty-three men all from the town of York, and were allowed four days' pay.


* * *

TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY.

As the writer thinks of the old town of York, the home of her earliest ancestors in America, for three generations, she is reminded of a very pleasant visit to this ancestral town, on the occasion of the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the town, August 5, 1902. No personal acquaintances resided there, but this historic town and the assemblage on that anniversary day had something more than a general interest to her. The events of that day are ever recalled with pleasure.

The "Old Gaol" or King's Prison, that was built in 1653, was of special interest. This old jail attracts the attention of every day, who visits the town of York and we recall how it looked that ay, both outside and inside, as it still preserves the dungeons, courtroom and sheriff's residence, now devoted to a colonial museum of valuable relics, household utensils, books, manuscripts, commissions, coats-of-arms, etc.

So far as known, the four or five garrison houses, the meeting house, which stood south of the burying ground, and the "Gaol" were all, on the north side of the river, that escaped the torch on that dreadful morning, February 5, 1692.

We visited the McIntire Garrison House, built in 1640, in that part of the town that was first settled by emigrants from Scotland' and other houses of interest, notably Coventry Hall, the former residence of Judge David Sewall, LL.D., a graduate from Harvard College, in 1755, classmate and life-long friend of President John Adams. During the administration of President Washington he built this mansion, that is now known as Coventry Hall, so named from Coventry, England, from whence came the ancestors of Judge Sewall. It was in this stately home that Judge Sewall entertained President Munroe on his "progress eastward." We read the worthy record inscribed on the memorial stone in honor of Lieutenant Abraham Preble, whose father, Abraham Preble, Sr., was, in 1674, a selectman of the town of York, on the board with Philip Adams, the ancestor of the writer.

Among the old places of interest we visited the old burying ground, read the inscriptions on the stones that mark the old graves and stood beside what is called "The Witches Grave" with a heavy stone slab resting its entire length between the head-stone and foot-stone. There is no record of a witch in the old town in the days of witches, and a queer story is told about this grave.

It is said that about a century ago a woman died and was buried there, and as the hogs in those days "well yoked and ringed" were allowed to run at large, her husband, who was about to remove from town, considerately placed the heavy stone upon it to prevent it from being disturbed. However this may be, the residents of the town of York will not admit that there was ever a witch in town, or even a man in town who thought he could hold such in her grave by placing on it a great stone slab.

We recall the parade of a detachment of United States marines, with the Marine Band of the Kittery Navy Yard; the military company for the occasion, permitted to bear arms by his Excellency, Honorable John F. Hill, Governor of Maine, who was in command of the company, costumed and representing Captain Johnson Motton's Company of Volunteers in 1775; the floral parade of the children of the public schools; the tableaux on floats; 1614, Captain John Smith, unfolding his "Great Map of New England" before Prince Charles, who named this locality Boston, and Mt. Agamentiens "Snowden Hill ;" 1631-2, Col. Walter Norton and the Colonists from Bristol, England, sent by Gorges to take possession "by which the foundation of this plantation was laid;" 1642, Edward Godfrey Mayor of Gorgeana, Roger Garde, Recorder, "Sargents of ye White Rod" and Aldermen; 1652, Massachusetts Bay Colony assumes control. Right Worshipful Sir Richard Bellingham and Sheriff Norton, Edward Godfrey refuses to submit, resolving to exercise jurisdiction "until it shall please Parliament otherwise to order;" 1692, Sack and Massacre by the French and Indians Killing of Rev. Shubael Dummer, first pastor of the Parish, at his house near Roaring Rock; 1745-47, Sir William Pepperrill presenting to Col. Jeremiah Moulton a silver tankard, a gift from King George II. for valiant conduct at Louisburg; 1761, Major Samuel Sewall builds "The Great Bridge" over York River, the first pile draw bridge in America; 1774, Daniel Moulton, Town Clerk, in town meeting, reading the resolutions protesting against taxation without representation, and pledging support, especially to brethren of the "Town of Boston;" 1775, Volunteers, Men of the Alarm List, under Capt. Johnson Moulton, responding to the call from Lexington, April 21st, 1775, first troops to leave Maine in the struggle for independence; 1816, President Munroe received by Judge David Sewall, escorted by officers of First Regiment of the District of Maine Militia.

All these historic events, from the earliest Colonial days, were reproduced in a most excellent and interesting manner.

In the afternoon there gathered, near the old Court-House, on the village green, in the clear, bracing air of a perfect August day, an assemblage numbering into the thousands. It represented not only all that is best in an old, thrifty New England town, but also many hundreds of summer residents and non-residents from every section of the Union.

Upon the platform, erected in the shade of the old building, were seated distinguished historians, authors, educators, and statesmen.

Hon. John C. Stewart welcomed all in a very happy manner.

The oration was by Hon. James Phinney Baxter, President of the Maine Historical Society, and of the New England Historic Genealogical Society; an address by Hon. Frank D. Marshall and short addresses by distinguished guests, Major General Joshua L. Chamberlain, Rev. William J. Tucker, D.D., President of Dartmouth College, Francis Lynde Stetson, Esq., New York City; Thomas Nelson Page, Litt.D., Washington, D. C., William Dean Howells, Litt.D., Boston, Hon. Thomas B. Reed, Samuel L. Clemens, Litt.D. (Mark Twain), and others.

Here were spoken the last public words of Thomas B. Reed, who had quietly come from New York to meet his friends in the old First District of Maine. He spoke only too briefly a characteristic, humorous excuse for what he termed an intrusion. He made a humorous allusion to his friend, the great humorist, which was later to arouse and turn the wit of Mr. Clemens upon Mr. Reed, and closed with words of soberness upon the nobility and responsibility of good citizenship. Mr. Clemens had a cottage in York, as also several of the other speakers, and was a summer resident. He was in fine spirits that day (not fermented) and the wit of Mr. Reed and Mr. Clemens was a pleasant feature, enlivening the occasion.

At the close of the public exercises of this eventful day, a reception was given to the members of the Maine Historical Society, who were making this celebration a "Field Day," also to the distinguished speakers and other guests and visitors, at the old "Judge Sewall Mansion," a social gathering which all enjoyed.

Thus we end our story of the historic city of Gorgeana, and the old town of York, Maine, with the story of that delightful 250th anniversary day in 1902 scenes and events that will long be remembered.


NOTE: The author of this story is a lineal descendant in the eighth generation from Philip Adams, one of the forty-nine men of the city of Gorgeana who took the oath of a freeman and allegiance to Massachusetts, November 22, 1652; a selectman of the town of York in 1674, who fell a victim in the great massacre by the Indians in 1692.

Mrs. Talbot in her historical article brings out facts of interest that we think have never before been published. Among these that Agamenticus, incorporated into a town or borough, April so, 1641. was the first town incorporated in Maine and that the statements signed by the freeholders of Kittery and Gorgeana in 1652, were improperly called, "Articles of Submission as they were simply Articles of Agreement, mutually entered into by and between the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the inhabitants of those towns in the Province of Maine. The commissioners by fair promises induced them voluntarily to subscribe to these articles, and it was unjust to cast any reflections upon them by using language that implies subjection or submission to any compulsion, for it was their own free act, by agreement, that protected their inalienable rights. ED.


Book Chapter Logo Click the book image to turn to the next Chapter.