Eastport, Maine

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Eastport is a small city (consisting entirely of islands) in Washington County, Maine, United States. The population was 1,640 at the 2000 census. The principal island is Moose Island, which is connected to the mainland by causeway. Eastport is the easternmost city in the continental United States (although nearby Lubec is the easternmost municipality).

Contents

History

The native Passamaquoddy Tribe has called this area home for at least 10,000 years. Some archeologists estimate the inhabitation at 20,000 years.[1] However, the first known European contact was the St. Croix colony founded by the French explorer Samuel de Champlain in 1604. Near present day Calais, the Saint Croix Island Acadia settlement predates the first successful English settlement at Jamestown, Virginia by three years. On June 25, 1604, Champlain and his men spent a long and severe winter on St. Croix Island with no fresh water and diminished supplies. Two-fifths of the men died of Scurvy and the colony moved across the bay to Port Royal in present day Nova Scotia.[2]

Fishermen and traders visited the area in the 17th century. Moose Island was first settled in 1772 by James Cochrane of Newburyport, Massachusetts, who would be joined by other fishermen from Newburyport and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. On February 24, 1798, Eastport was incorporated as a town from Plantation Number 8 PS by the Massachusetts General Court, and named for being the easternmost port in the United States. Lubec, on the mainland, was set off and incorporated as a town on June 21, 1811. [3]

From 1807 to 1809, the town was a center of extensive 2-way smuggling during the Embargo Act imposed by President Thomas Jefferson. In 1809, Fort Sullivan was erected atop a village hill, but it was captured by a British fleet under command of Sir Thomas Hardy on July 11, 1814 during the War of 1812. England claimed that Moose Island was on the British side of the international border which had been determined in 1783. Nevertheless, the town was returned to United States' control in 1818. The boundary between the U. S. and Canada in the area remained disputed until settled by the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842. Eastport would be incorporated as a city on March 18, 1893.[4]

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