George Augustus Wheeler.

History of Castine, Penobscot, and Brooksville, Maine; including the ancient settlement of Pentagöet; online

. (page 1 of 34)
Online LibraryGeorge Augustus WheelerHistory of Castine, Penobscot, and Brooksville, Maine; including the ancient settlement of Pentagöet; → online text (page 1 of 34)
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C A S TI l^E,

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" One of those old Towns — zvith a History." — Holmes.





as to excellence, are due solely to the character of the original negatives, and
not at all to the heliotj^pe process. The wood-cut of the Normal School
House was kindly loaned by tlie State authorities. The wood-cuts of the
Forts were made by an amateur engraver of this town, and are his first
attempts. I am, with regret, obliged to omit the valuable and well-executed
Plan of the Cemetery, prepared by Mr. Alfred Adams, of this town. The
scale upon which it was necessarily drawn is so large that when reduced to
the proper size for a book, the references are illegible. I am in hopes, how-
ever, that the citizens of the town will have it furnished to them in a more
suitable form for reference, than it would have had in this volume.

To the friends who have assisted me in the prosecution of this work, I take
the present opportunity of acknowledging my indebtedness. I have received
favors from too many individuals, to specify them all by name ; but it affords
me great pleasure to acknowledge my special indebtedness to Mr. Alexander
W. Longfellow, of the U. S. Coast Survey, for the many facilities he has fur-
nished me in this undertaking; to Honorable Joseph Williamson, of Uelfast,
for his almost unexampled generosity in furnishing me with many valuable
documents and references, relating to the period of the French occupation of
this territory — the fruit of many years of labor on his part, and intended for
his own use ; to Mr, G. H. Snelling, and Honorable J. Wingate Thornton, of
Boston ; and Mr. Hosea B. Wardwell, of Penobscot, for many old documents
preserved in their families; and to Messrs. Joseph L. Stevens, M. D., Samuel
Adams, Honorable Charles J. Abbott, George H. and William H. Witherle,
Samuel T. Noyes, Charles J. Whiting, Reverend Alfred E. Ives, and Philip
J. Hooke, of this town, for their suggestions and aid.

It is also proper that I should, in this connection, acknowledge to the pub-
lic the great obligations that I have been under to my brother, — the late
William A. Wheeler, of the Boston Public Library. It is in no slight. degree
due to his kindly interest that I have been led to persevere in my somewhat
laborious employment, and his assistance and advice have been at all times
freely extended to me— as they were, indeed, to all who sought them. Had
he lived, this volume would have recieived, in' its revision as it went through
the press, the benefit of his experience and conscientious care. The task had
but just been commenced when his earthly career was terminated.

In preparing this History, I have had somewhat in view the benefit such a
work would be to the rising generation of this town. I trust the perusal of
its pages may tend to increase the already well known aflection of its children
for the place of their nativity, or adoption. Although not myself "to the
manor born," my interest in the town in which I have taken up my abode,
can hardly be surpassed.

To the citizens of Castine, therefore, without whose liberality this book
might never have been published, to whom I am indebted for many acts of
kindness, and around whose beautiful town cluster so many ancient and inter-
esting associations, I offer this volume as a token of gratitude and respect.

Casting, Maine, January 20, 1875.

G. A. W.


Acadie — Murdock's.
Acadie — Whipple's.
Account of Capture of Castine —

Account of Centennial Celebration at

Bangor, Maine.
Ancient Dominions of Maine — Sewall.
Annals of Warren — Eaton.
America; or Description of New

World— Ogilby.
Belknap's Biography.
British Plutarch .
Boston Journal, November, 1850.
Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of

the American Revolution— Sabine.
Castine Newspapers, Files of
Champlain's Voyages.
Courts and Lawyers of Maine— Willis.
Collections of Maine Historical Society.
Collections of Mass. Historical Society.
Da Costa's Mount Desert.
Drake's Book of the Indians.
Drake's Dictionarv of American Biog.
Dwight's Travels."
Early Settlement of Acadia by the

Dutch— De Peyster.
Farmer's Almanac, 1795 — Robert B.

Field Book of the Revolutlon-Lossing.
Field Book of the War of lS12-Lossing.
Geological Survey of Maine— Jackson.
History — Botta's.
Historv of Camden — Eaton.
History of Hancock Lodge, F. & A. M.

History of Maine — Sullivan.
History of Maine — Williamson.
History of Mass. — Hutchinson.
History of the Navy — Pr>t(!rson.
History of Newbury — Coffin.

History of New England — Coolidge

and Mansfield.
History (Geographical) of Nova Scotia.

London, 1749.
History of Plymouth Colonv-Bradford.
History of Portland— Willis.
History of Thomaston, So. Thomaston,

and Rockland — Eaton.
History of Virginia — Smith.
Historical Magazine.
Incidents in the Life of Samuel A.

Journal of the Revolutionary War —

Journal of the Siege of Penobscot —

La Hontan's Voyages.
Life and Writings of Washington —

Appendix 3 — Sparks.
Maine Register, 1874.
Memorials of English and French

Commissaries, concerning the Lim-
its of Nova Scotia or Acadia.
New France — Charlevoix.
Niles's Weekly Register, 1814-15.
Pennsylvania .T()urii;il. 1775.
Providence Patriot. lsl5.
Remarks upon a Copper Plate — Read

before the Am. Antiq. Soc. by

Charles Folsom, Esq,
Reports of Adjutant Genei'al of Maine,

1861, 18G0.
StatisticalViews of Maine— Greenleaf.
State Papers — Hutchinson.
The Dutch at North Pole and in Maine,

De Peyster.
The Neutral French.
Wintlirop's Journal.
Wisdom and Policy of the French —

London, 1704.


[In State Department at Boston.]

Governor Pownal's Speech.

Letter to Governor Hancock, 1784, bv

Mr. Cobb.
Letter to the Executive, 1811, by

Judge Parker.

Documents collected in France, by B,

IVrlcy I'oorc.
Massachusetts T^ctter Book,
Massachusetts Records, Vols. 1 to 17.
Penobscot Hxpedil'n. Vol. in regard to


[7?i possession of Joseph Williamson, Esq.}

William Hutchins's Narrative of the

Siege of Penobscot, tfcc.
Lawrence's Orderly Book.
Perham's Letter from Colonel Brewer.
Account of Burton's escape from Fort


New Ireland — original paper.
Topographical Sketch of Castine—
Wm. Ballard.


Church Records of First Parish.
Church Records of First Trinitarian

Custom House Records.
District School Records.
Redhead's Journal of the Siege of


History of Methodism in Castine.
Peters' Field Notes of Survey

Records of Castine Light Infantry.
Reports of School Committees.
Town Records.
Sundry Letters and Memoranda.


















Early Explorations and Settlements.

Occupation by the French.

BAftON Castin and Family.

French Occupation from 1671 to 1759.

AVAR OF Revolution— American Expedition.

"War of Hevolution— American Defeat.



























Topography, Natural History, Climatology, &c.

Municipal History of Penobscot.

Municipal History of Castine.

General and Social History of Castine.

Ecclesiastical History.

Educational History ok Castine.

Military History— Since Incorporation of Penobscot.

Commercial History of Castine.

Ancient Buildings, Forts, Batteries, &c.

Biographical Sketches.

Municipal History of Brooksville.

Present and Future of the three Toavns.



Section I. Documents Rklatingto thk Ante-Rkvolutionary Pkriod,

Sec, II. Documents Rklatixg to the Rkvolutionary Pkriod.

Sec. III. Documents Relating to the Municipal Period.

Sue. IV. Appendix;.



View of Castine from High Head Frontispiece-
Map of the old Forts and Batteries Page 42.

Map of Castine, Brooksville, and Penobscot " 54.

Castine Village from Kormal School House *. " 84.

Eastern Normal School House " 148.

SupposedPlan of Fort Pentagoet " 187.

Plan of Fort George •* 188.

Outline of Battery Griffith " 191.

Landing Place of the Americans, 1779 " 192.

Facsimile of the "Castine Coins" " 194.

Facsimile of the "Copper Plate" " 196.

Portrait of William Hutchings '• 203.

Portraitof Hon. William Abbott " 212.

Portrait of Deacon Samuel Adams..*.. " 232.


l*age 14, Hue 15, from bottom, for 'Agoucy' read 'Agoncy.'
Page 19, line 1, from bottom, (also on Pages 37, 40, and 43) for 'Hutchins'
«read 'Hutchings.'

Page 35, line 10, from top, for 'Ones' read 'One's.'

Page 43, line 3, from bottom, for 'awaited the signal to retreat' read 're-
mained until a retreat was ordei-ed.'
Page 55, line 17, from bottom, for 'Alemogin' read 'Algemogin.'
Page 60, line 8, from bottom, for 'were' read 'was.'
Page 74, line 15, from top, for 'town' read 'village.'
Page 92, line 14, from top, for 'Jothan' read 'Jotham.'
Page '^9, line 7, from bottom, for 'Sopher's' read 'Soper's.'
Page 103, line 2, from top, for 'phthisis pulmonalis (consumption)' read
'Phthisis Pulmonalis (Consumption).'

Page 103, line 4, for 'Stephens' read 'Stevens.' (Also on Page 143, line 5,
from bottom.)
Page 107, several lines, and page 108, line 1, for 'doctor' read 'Doctor.'
Page 107, line 21, from bottom, for 'appoited' read 'appointed.'
Page 108, line 17, from bottom, for 'and Doctor' read 'and of Doctor.'
Page 144, line 15, from top, for 'at' read 'a.'
Page 152, line 10, from top, for 'County' read 'Country.'
Page 166, line 7, from bottom, for 'Samuel' read 'Seth.'
Page 196, line 9, from top, for 'Damre' read 'Domime.'
Page 202, line 16, from top, for 'November 30, 1831,' read 'August 5, 1833.'
Page 204, line 6, from bottom, for 'union,' read 'Union.'
Page 306, line 18, from bottom, for 'constiution' read 'constitution.'
Page 369, lines 1, 2, and 3, from top. Under " Co.," for " C " read B."
Page 373, line 11, from bottom, under " Regt.," for " 11th" read " 18th."

Note.— The Portrait of Doctor Joseph L. Stevens has been heliotyped,
and it was expected up to the present moment that it would appear in this
book. It is fuUv as good as the other illustrations, but on account of their
dissatisfaction with it— or for some other reason— the parties who oft'ered to
furnish it, now decline to do so. The author still hopes for its insertion— in
which case it will be found on Page 222.


' One's heart felt sorrow that it had ever been destroyed."




Situation and Tereitoeial Limits. — Aboriginal In-
habitants. — Advent of Europeans. — Early Ex-
plorations. — Meaning of the Names applied to
Localities. — Settlement by Plymouth Colony. —
Pillaged by the French. — Attack by Aulney.

Ancient Pentagoet, situated upon the eastern side of
Penobscot bay and river, may be said to have embraced
the territory now comprised in the three towns of Penob-
scot, Brooksyille and Castine. It comjDosed a part of the
ancient land of the Etchemins, and was occupied, before
the advent of Europeans, by the numerous and powerful
tribe of Tarratines, — as the Penobscot Indians were then

The Tarratines are described as of elegant stature and
of agreeable form. They are said to have been as tall as
the Europeans, and much better proportioned. After the
arrival of the Europeans, they, like all other Indian tribes,
adopted the vices more than they did the virtues of the
white men. They have generally, however, been repre-
sented as chaste, constant in marriage, and as much more
peaceable than the other tribes. It has been said of them,
" that no other eastern tribe had treated the English with
so much forbearance and honor," and this too, thouo'h their
sympathies and predilections must doubtless have been for
the French. On more than one occasion during the period
of the Indian troubles in New England, they expressed
themselves earnestly for peace, and in at least one war
against them, our own people must have been the first
aggressors. Owing to the labors and teachings of Fatlicr
Lauvergat — who was a missionary to them about the year
1721 — and of other priests, they were converted to the


Catholic faith. They became ultimately the wards of the
State, and were limited, territorially, to the islands at Old-
town and in the river above, about the year 1796. Note-
worthy among their chieftains Avas Madocl^awando, both
on account of his disposition and personal character, and
on account of the influence he exerted over other sachems,,
and more especially for having been the father-in-law of the-
Baron de St. Castin. All historians agree, that, though
brave, he was peaceably inclined, and that the prisoners
under his keeping were remarkably well treated. He
assisted Pontneuf at the capture of Casco Fort, in May,
1690. He was also in the attack upon Wells, in 1692. In
1694, he went with Villieu to the attack at Oyster river,
Piscataqua, accompanied by two hundred and fifty Indians.
They killed or captured nearly one hundred prisoners, and
burned tAventy houses. In 1786, an attempt was made to
prove, by a deed to Avhich his signature was appended, that
he was not a sachem of the Penobscots. The weight of
evidence is, however, the other way. He died in 1697, and
was succeeded by Wenamouet, or Wenaggonet. Orono,
who is represented as being a man of very exemplary char-
acter, and who is reputed to have been a son of the
Baron de St. Castin, was also at one time a sachem of the
tribe. The town of Orono, in Penobscot County, com-
memorates his name.

The eastern section of Maine, was one of the first por-
tions of the continent visited by the early explorers.
Penobscot bay and river will be found quite particularly,
though very curiously, delineated upon all the early charts.
It went by the various names of Agoucy, Norumbegue,
Rio Grande (the Great River), Rio Hermoso (the Beauti-
ful River), Rio de las Gamas (Deer River), Rio de Gomez
(River of Gomez), and Rio Santa Maria. Its appellation
of Penobscot Avas given on account of its rocky shores —
penops^ in the Indian dialect signifying rocky, and aulc^
place. [Williamson 1, p. 512.] The meaning of the term
PentagiJet, called by the Dutch Pountegouycet [De Peyster,
Dutch in Maine, p. 73], applied originally to the peninsula
of Majabagaduce by the French, is not knoAvn AAdth abso-
lute certainty. Dr. J. H. Trumbull, however, is inclined to
the opinion that it means " the entrance of the river." He
has no doubt of its being an Indian name handed doAvn
through the French. The arm of the sea which runs up
into the town of Penobscot, between Brooksville and


Castine, and whicli dividfid ancient Pentagoet into two
nearly equal parts, and which now goes by the name of
Bagaduce river, was in former times called by the name of
Matcheljiguatus. Although undoul^tedly an Indian name,
it is somewhat singular that no reference can be found to
it earlier tlian the year 1644, [Winthrop's Journal, Vol. 1,
p. 220, note], and that no such name is to be found in any
of the English or French documents relating to the Castin
family, or to Pentagoet. This name has suffered very
singular corruption, unless, as is possible though not very
probable, two separate and distinct Indian appellations
have been confounded. In 1760, it was called Baggadoose ;
during the Revolution, Maja-bagaduce and Maja-bigaduce.
[Me. Hist. Col., Vol. VI, Art. Castine Coins.] Williamson
says in his History of Maine, [Vol. 1, p. 71,] that it was
named for a French officer by the name of Major Bigayduce.
He says subsequently, however, that it is derived from
Marche-l^agaduce, an Indian word meaning "No good
cove." Eaton says, also, that it means " A bad harbor."
[Annals of Warren, p. 20, note.] A tradition exists,
amongst some of the Penobscot Indians, that the upsetting
of a canoe full of Indians, at some remote period, caused
great sorrow and distress, and hence the word is thought
by some to signify " a place of sorrow." Jacob McGaw,
Esq., of Bangor, has stated that it was said by some of the
old Indians, to mean " a river having large coves or bays."
A Penobscot Indian told Mr. Alexander W. Longfellow,
in the summer of 1872, that it was called by them, Ka-bag-
a-duce, the meaning of wdaich is, " your daughter is floated
out by the tide." Mr. Longfellow also informs us that he
has somewhere seen a reference to an Indian of the Kenne-
bec tribe who was called Bagadusett. Doctor J. H.
Trumbull, of Connecticut, — reputed to be the ablest living
student of the Indian dialects — says, in a letter to the au-
thor: — "That the original name was something like Matsi-
abagawadoos-et, (Matsi-anbaga » atirs-ek, as Rale would
have written it) and that it means ' at the bad shelter place,'
i. e. where there is no safe harbor, I have scarcely a doubt."
Of the various meanings given to this name, the latter is
probably the correct one. Yet few who have ever sailed
up and down the river, even in canoes, would dream of
speaking of it as a river having no good coves, though it
was doubtless a bad place for the landing of canoes upon
this peninsula, especially in an easterly wind.


Champlain is commonly supposed to have been the first
European to have landed (about 1604) upon these shores.
If, however, any confidence Avhatever can be placed in the
account of Thevet — who is not considered to be a very
trustworthy authority — there must have been a French
fishing or trading station, prior to the year 1556, in this
vicinity, if not within the limits of what was called Pentag-
oet. [Me. Hist. Col. (Doc. Hist.),Vol. 1, pp. 416 to 419.]

1605. The river and bay were again explored, in the
year 1605, by James Rozier, the companion of Weymouth,
in honor of whom the cape at the southwestern extremity
of the town of Brooksville, received its name. [Me. Hist.
Col., Vol. V, p. 384, note.] The Indian name of this cape
was Mose-ka-chick, signifying a moose's rump. There is
an interesting legend connected with this name. The tale
is, that as an Indian was pursuing a moose over the pen-
insula upon which Castine is situated, it came to the
shore, and jumping in, swam across to th^ other side. The
dogs of the Indian were unable to follow the game, but
the Indian himself pursued it in a canoe, and succeeded in
killing it upon the 023posite shore. Upon his return he
scattered the entrails of the animal in the water, where
they may be seen — -in the shape of certain rocks strung
along at intervals — even to this day. [Mr. A. W. Long-
fellow, U. S. Coast Survey.]

1613. In the year 1613, "a new project was formed in
France, to get possession of Pentagoet, a river which lies
thirty leagues S. W. from St. Croix: with this view a col-
ony duly furnished with missionaries was transported
thither." This colony is, however, believed to have settled
at Mount Desert. [Geog. Hist, of Nova Scotia, London,
1749, p. 53.] This year Captain Argall, of Virginia, was
cast ashore here while on a fishing cruise. He did not re-
main any length of time. The first French fort was prob-
ably erected here about this time. [Ogilby, America, p. 137.]

1614. In the year 1614, Captain John Smith explored
this coast, and refers to the French traders being in this
vicinity. [Smith's Journal pp. 213-215.]

1626. The first permanent settlement of much conse-
quence, however, was made here in the year 1626, by Isaac
Allerton, under direction of the Plymouth Colony of Mas-
sachusetts, who established here a trading house for the
purpose of bartering for furs with the Indians. This trad-
ing house, like all others of that period, was built for de-


fense, and was probably surrounded by a stockade. The
Plymouth Colony retained undisturbed possession of it
until the year 1632, when it was pillaged by the French.

1632. Early in June of this year, a French vessel, pilot-
ed by a wily and treacherous Scotchman, and commanded
by a Frenchman from Nova Scotia, named Rosillon, visited
the place. The captain pretended he had put into the
harbor in distress, and requested permission to repair his
vessel and refresh his crew. The crew, finding that the
commander of the station was, with most of his men, on
a trip to the westward after goods, first examined the arms
of the fort to see if they were loaded, and then, seizing
their swords and muskets, compelled the surrender of the
few remaining keepers of the trading house. They forced
them, moreover, to deliver up their goods and help put them
on board the vessel. After taking property to the amount
of X500, they, upon leaving, said : — " Tell your Master to
remember the Isle of Re," alluding to the brilliant suc-
cesses of the French at the Isle of Re, in France, in 1627.
[De Peyster, Dutch in Maine, p. 50 — also, Williamson's
Hist, of Me., Vol. 1, p. 249.]

1635. In the year 1635, Charles de Menou d'Aulney
de Charnissy, who was a subordinate officer under General
Razillai, the Governor of Acadia, attacked the trading
house and drove off its occupants. The Plymouth Colony
soon attempted to regain possession, and Captain Girling,
of the Hope^ a ship hired at Ipswich, Massachusetts, ac-
companied by Miles Standish, attacked the place, but did
not force a surrender, although it was only occupied by
eighteen men. Had Captain Girling listened to the advice of
Standish, and not commenced his attack until he got close
in, he might have succeeded. He actually, however, used
up all his powder before he got sufficiently near to do any
harm. [Bradford's Hist, of Plymouth Col., p. 333.] From
this time until the year 1654, the French held undisputed
possession of the place.




Earthquake. — La Tour's Attack upon Aulney's
Men at Mill. — Attack upon Farm-House. — Wan-
nerton Killed. — Aulney's Death. — La Tour's
Marriage to Aulney's Widow. — La Tour's Com-
iviand of the fort. — capture by the english. —
Cromwell's Patent to La Tour. — Pentagoet Sur-
rendered TO THE French.

1635o General Razillai, commander of Acadia, gave the
subordinate command of all the country to the eastward of
the river St. Croix, to Charles St. Estienne de La Tour,
and of all the country to the westward of that river —
as far as the French claimed — to Monsieur Charles de
Menou d'Aulney. Pentagoet, therefore, came under the
control of Aulney.* After the death of Razillai, which
occurred this same year, Aulney and La Tour quarrelled
in regard to the supreme command in Acadia, which each
claimed. This quarrel lasted many years, and during its
continuance, a bitter contest was waged, with varying suc-
cess, between these two leaders and their respective adhe-
rents. ' La Tour applied for assistance to the government
of Massachusetts. The rulers of that commonwealth gave
their consent to his hiring ships and men to carry on his
contest. He accordingly hired four vessels, and with eighty
men attacked Aulney at St. Croix, who fled to Penobscot.
1638. With the exception of the " Great Earthquake,"
which happened June 1, 1638, — and the motion of which
was felt for twenty days, — nothing of any importance oc-
curred here until 1643.

1643. In this year La Tour attempted the capture of
the place. Although the commander-in-chief of the ves-
sels hired at Boston could not be persuaded to make any
assault upon Aulney, j^et thirty of the New England men
went voluntarily with La Tour's men and drove some of
Aulney's force from a mill where they had fortified them-
selves. Three of Aulney's men were Idlled in this conflict,
*Commonly, though less correctly, -vvrittcu D'Auluey.


and three of La Tour's men were wounded. [Mass. Hist.
Soc. Coll., Vol. 5, 2d Sec, p. 483.] They set the mill on
fire, and burned some standing corn. They received a fire
from Aulney, however, as they went on board their vessels.
[Winthrop's Journal, p. 307.]

Online LibraryGeorge Augustus WheelerHistory of Castine, Penobscot, and Brooksville, Maine; including the ancient settlement of Pentagöet; → online text (page 1 of 34)