History of Penobscot County, Maine

It is hoped that this book is redeemed from the sweeping reproach of Walpole: "Read me anything but history, for history must be false;" or the scope of Napoleon's question; "What is history, but a fiction agreed upon?" It will need, however, the abounding charity of De Quincey's eloquent phrase: "Two strong angels stand by the side of history, as heraldic supporters — the angel of research on the left hand, that must read millions of dusty parchments and of pages blotted with lies; the angel of meditation on the right hand, that must cleanse these lying records with fire, even as of old the draperies of asbestos were cleansed, and must quicken them into regenerated life. Willingly I acknowledge that no man will ever avoid in- numerable errors of detail; with so vast a compass of ground to traverse, this is impossible." That this book is superior, in the points of accuracy and fullness, to all others of its class, the compilers do not claim; but it is hoped that in these particulars the History is equal to the best of them. It is recommended that every reader, before entering upon the perusal of its pages, use the table of errata, at the end of the work, in the careful correction of its pages with pen or pencil. Many errors of typography, and some of statement, will thus disappear.

It will be observed, also, that important parts of the History supplement each other. Judge Godfrey, for example, has fortunately enlarged the scope of his Annals far beyond the limits of Bangor; and if the separate sketches of Brewer, Orrington, Hampden, and many other towns, seem insufficient, additional matter of abounding interest will be found in the Bangor division of the book. Further histories of Dexter, Bradley, Passadumkeag, etc., received late in the course of printing, are also comprised in the Appendix.

It was inevitable, however, that parts of the book would scarcely prove equal to the expectation of some of its readers. An immense tract was to be traversed, in both time and geographical area; a large General History was to be made up, in justice to the most important county of Eastern Maine. Separate sketches were to be made of the history of one city, fifty-five towns, and seven organized plantations — a number of these settled by civilization more than a century ago; and it soon be- came certain, in the preparation of this work, that, within the limits necessarily prescribed for it (large as it is, comprising more than a million of words), it would be simply impossible to make the history of all localities equally full and satisfactory. It only remained for the compilers and their aids to do the best that was practicable, with the materials at hand, and leave the generosity and good sense of their readers to accept the result as such.

Acknowledgments to books and persons are so amply and frequently made in the course of the chapters that it is deemed unnecessary to repeat them here. The grateful thanks of the compilers are due to them, and to all others who may have contributed to the literary as well as pecuniary success of this important venture.

For the biographical feature of this book the compilers have, with few exceptions, no responsibility.


Table of Contents.

I. — Description of the county 9
II. — The Penobscot Indians 29
HI.— The Discoverers 46
IV. — Geographical Designations 51
V. — Colonization and Settlement 65
VI. — The Missionaries 70
VII. — County Organization — Civil List 73
VIII. — Land Titles — Growth 77
IX. — Military Record of Penobscot County 86
X. — Agricultural and other Societies 164
XI — The Maine State College 170
XII. — Ecclesiastical History 176
XIII — The Bangor Theological Seminary 177
XIV. — The Press in Penobscot County 185
XV. — Roads, Railroads and Telegraphs 191
XVI. — The Bench and Bar of Penobscot 195
XVII. — Bibliography of Penobscot County 228



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The organized towns of Penobscot county are Alton, Argyle, Bangor, Bradford, Bradley, Brewer, Burlington, Carmel, Carroll, Charleston, Chester, Clifton, Corinna, Corinth, Dexter, Dixmont, Eddington, Edinburg, Enfield, Etna, Exeter, Garland, Glenburn, Greenbush, Greenfield, Hampden, Hermon, Hoklen, Howland, Hudson, Kenduskeag, Kingman, Lagrange, Lee, Levant, Lincoln, Lowell, Mattamiscontis, Mattawamkeag, Maxfield, Medway, Milford, Mount Chase, Newport, Newburgh, Oldtown, Orono, Orrington, Passadumkeag, Patten, Plymouth, Prentiss, Springfield, Stetson, Veazie, and Winn— fifty-six in all. The organized plantations are Drew, Lakeville, Stacyville, Webster, Woodville, No. i (North Bingham, Penobscot Purchase), and No. 2, Grand Falls Plantation-eight in number. Unorganized plantations are Pattagumpus, \Whitney Ridge, West Indian, township A, range 7; No. 3; Nos. 2 and 3, range 3; No. 2, range 4; No. 2, range 6; No. 2, range 9 ; No. 3, range i — eleven. The population of the county, according to the census of 1880, was seventy thousand four hundred and seventy-eight.