Portland (crs)

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Native Americans originally called the Portland peninsula Machigonne.  The first European settler was Capt. Christopher Levett, an English naval captain granted 6,000 acres (2,400 ha) by King Charles I of England in 1623 to found a settlement in Casco Bay.  A member of the Council for New England and agent for Ferdinando Gorges, Levett built a stone house where he left a company of ten men, then returned to England and wrote a book about his voyage to drum up support for the settlement.  The settlement failed, and the fate of Levett's colonists is unknown.  The explorer sailed from England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony to meet John Winthrop in 1630, but never returned to Maine.  Fort Levett in the harbor is named for him.  The peninsula was first permanently settled in 1633 as a fishing and trading village named Casco.  When the Massachusetts Bay Colony took over Casco Bay in 1658, the town's name changed again to Falmouth.  In 1676, the village was destroyed by the Wampanoag during King Philip's War.  It was rebuilt.  During King William's War, a raiding party of French and Native allies attacked and largely destroyed it again in Battle of Fort Loyal (1690).  On October 18, 1775, Falmouth was burned in the Revolution by the Royal Navy under command of Captain Henry Mowat.  Following the war, a section of Falmouth called The Neck developed as a commercial port and began to grow rapidly as a shipping center.  In 1786, the citizens of Falmouth formed a separate town in Falmouth Neck and named it Portland, after the isle off the coast of Dorset, England.  Portland's economy was greatly stressed by the Embargo Act of 1807 (prohibition of trade with the British), which ended in 1809, and the War of 1812, which ended in 1815.  In 1820, Maine became a state with Portland as its capital.  In 1832, the capital was moved to Augusta.

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Identifier: 550, Last Accessed: 2018-03-22 00:45:08


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