Sept. 25, 1827: A New Brunswick sheriff and 14 armed policemen arrest John Baker in Meruimticook, which Baker had designated as the capital of his self-proclaimed Republic of Madawaska.

Baker, a continuous thorn in the side of British authorities in a region where the border between Maine and the future Canadian provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick was poorly defined, had petitioned the Maine Legislature for letters of ownership of the Madawaska territory.

Today, the area is part of New Brunswick, but Baker’s legacy survives in that both the village where he lived and the nearby brook, once called Meruimticook, are named Baker Brook after him.

The Baker unrest was a precursor to the so-called “Aroostook War,” a more severe version of the border dispute that eventually was settled by the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842.

Sept. 25, 1984: Congress designates uninhabited St. Croix Island, near Eastport, as an international historic site, unique in the national park systems of both the United States and Canada. The island is where French colonists under the leadership of Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons, landed in June 1604, before the establishment of English colonies at Jamestown (1607) and Plymouth (1620), and spent a disastrous winter during which more than half of the colonists died.

The next year, François Gravé Du Port and royal cartographer Samuel de Champlain moved the colony across the Bay of Fundy to Port-Royal, in what is now the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.

From St. Croix Island, Champlain charted the Atlantic coast as far south as Cape Cod.

Joseph Owen is an author, retired newspaper editor and board member of the Kennebec Historical Society. Owen’s book, “This Day in Maine,” can be ordered at To get a signed copy use promo code signedbyjoe at checkout. Joe can be contacted at: [email protected]




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