Feb. 25, 1791: The Massachusetts General Court approves a petition for the incorporation of the town of Bangor, which, like the rest of Maine, is part of Massachusetts.

The new town has about 170 residents. The Rev. Seth Noble traveled to Boston to incorporate the town as Sunbury but either changed his mind or misspoke, and it becomes Bangor.

“We labor under many disadvantages for want of being incorporated with town privileges … ” Bangor clerk Andrew Webster wrote in the petition in an effort to justify the request. “We have no Justice of the Peace for thirty miles on this side of the (Penobscot) River – no Grand Jury, and some people not of the best morals.”

Whatever the locals’ morals are, they do not seem to inhibit the community’s growth. By the mid-19th century, it is Maine’s second-largest municipality. It drops to No. 3, after Portland and Lewiston, in the 1870 census and retains that status to the present.

Feb. 25, 1815: The Massachusetts Senate rejects, 17-10, a resolve submitted by Sen. Albion Parris, a Democratic-Republican representing the District of Maine’s Oxford and Somerset counties, calling for a districtwide convention on the issue of separating from Massachusetts.

The vote comes just days after Massachusetts learns of the signing of the treaty that ended the War of 1812, meaning that the British military no longer was threatening Maine’s coast.

Joseph Owen is a retired copy desk chief of the Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal and board member of the Kennebec Historical Society. He can be contacted at: [email protected]


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