District of Maine
By: Nancy Z. Clark

Dec 1 , 2002

Post Riders

Passamaquoddy to Penobscot. The post rider was John Fullerton, contract for $290 per year; he was succeeded by John Grindle.
Penobscot to Warren. Post rider was Samuel Russell for $300 per year.
Warren to Wiscasset may have been carried by private post riders as no contracts this early.
Wiscasset to Portland route mail was carried by Caleb Graffam for $64 per year.
Portland to Portsmouth mail was carried twice a week by Josiah Paine for $450 per year. Samuel Gragg who carried the mail for $272 per year succeeded him.

* Letter postmarked Boston Sep. 25, 18ll, F.F. for PM Augusta by Nathan Weston, newly appointed Judge for 2nd Circuit, serving Lincoln, Kennebeck and Somerset counties. He writes to Ebenezer T. Warren, Hallowell, presumably in reference to the upcoming election for Governor:
“Dear Sir, The nominations for our part of the country are this day made. Every thing will succeed according to the wishes of our friends. I beg that this intelligence may be communicated only to our most confidential friends and that with an injunction of perfect secrecy for the present. I shall leave town on my return tomorrow morning.
With haste yours, Nathan Weston, Jr.”

Governor Caleb Strong, a Federalist, was reelected to his 8th term.
In 1813, the War Department, to embarrass Governor Strong for his opposition to what he called ‘Mr. Madison’s War,’ ordered all the troops guarding U.S. garrisons in Maine to the Great Lakers. The contents of a survivor’s letter of the move are telling,

*Letter written to MC Timothy Carter, by Levi Shaw of East Bethel. Sent free to a Member of Congress:
“Honored Sir: I have taken the Liberty to Rite a few lines to you concerning the discharge of My Brother Charles from the army. I Rote to you before But did not Rite his given name. My Brother’s Name is Charles Shaw, his age 19. He inlisted (sic) in June or July 1812 for Five years in W. Hampden In Capt. Buttler’s (sic), Comppany (sic) of Light dragoons (sic) & Marched to Concord Newhampshire & from thence to Birlington (sic) & platsburg (sic) 7 Swanton.
The next Letter he Rites from Choezoey (Casanovia?) August the 20th 1814. That is the Last I Receved (sic) from him till I reced one dated Fort Mifflin November the 6 1816. He Rites that he had been Marched into the Western States to stop the Depredations of the Indians & now is at Fort Mifflin Where he is to Receive his discharged, the 6 day of July next. He inlisted for five years & was to have one hundred & sixty acres of Land in the Michigan Territory as a Bounty Capt. Rouch Commands the Company (‘Corp of Artillery.’ written in another hand in red ink) that he is in how…

In red ink, processing verbiage: Land Warrant No. 10,141 issued 28 July 1817-to Chars. Shaw-a private of Capt. Roach’s Comp of the Corps of Art’y ‘Notification’ sent to Himself care of Capt. Roach Phila. He was discharged at Fort Mifflin 16 Jany 1817.

After the soldiers left, only those too infirm to have been moved guarded the coasts. Up in Aroostook County, there was some activity.

*Datelined Stewartstown, (probably near Stewart’s Hill and Steward’s Brook in Aroostook County) Febr. 25th 1813.
“Honored Parents: With pleasure do I set down to inform you of my good health and spirits and I hope this will find you the same. What a pleasure it is to enjoy the art of using the pen to inform each other of our health and affairs in life though ever so far distant apart. As I have said before we enjoy our selves very well indeed. The company is in very good health. Lieut. White and Ensign Neal with 15 men when on a scouting party after a load of goods. After traveling a few lines they separated (sic). Ensign took 8 men Lieut. 7, they pushed on into Canada some distance into the province. Lieut. White heard the goods (guards), wen (sic) a few miles ahead he hired a horse and pushed on as fast as possible. He told his men to come on after him as fast as they could. He expected to overtake them in the woods it being 12 miles through but he did not even take the guards till they got through. Being animated with hope that he would take them he came up with them at this side. Ensign Popes, a british (sic) officer, he stoped (sic) the goods two and half hours alone waiting for his men to come up. When about 30 men gathered round with pitch forks swords and clubs 4 British officers came. Then they still kept gathering. He found his guard did not come. He surrendered himself a prisoner of war. They consulted together. What they Should do with him. Some were for Sending him to Quebec. Finaly (sic) they thought it would be bad policy to keep him. They keep him 2 or 3 hours and then let him go. The men he had with him were very tired and go along very slow. He wrote the Ensign Neal to return. They gathered so fast he thought imprudent for him or his men to come an he mentioned the next morning the goods he promised were stoped (sic) in Easton 8 or 10 miles ahead and they sent out word that if the goods were pass over him they would do the thing that was wright (sic) about them. We were satisfied they were men over the line. We believe it is through fear that they conduct in this way. We think Lieut. White shew (sic) his courage in pursuing 20 miles in the bowels of Canada and you may think it impolicy but if you understood every circumstance you would think otherwise…”

Somewhat south, down the coast in Wiscasset, things remained calm.
* Military orders Wiscasset, Sept. 14, 1814 (orders from Wiscasset to troops under Brigadier General Gould with approval of past performance and orders).
But the report from Kennebunk, still further down toward Boston, was frightening:
* From Kennebunk, docketed Sunday noon 25 Sept. 1814 to E. T. Warren, Hallowell with a 10 cent rate:
“Dear Sir- Just arrived here in fine spirits for us after a dull forenoon’s ride-our health improves-weather looks dubious, but we shall ride when it rains-shall go but way of Portsmouth as Genl Chandler is there, having left Portland on Thursday last for the purpose of taking command at the former place-Some alarm in those aboard towns particularly Boston, Portsmouth and Portland as they enemy, in great strength is seen lying off & on in the bay, alternately menacing the two former places–& has avowed his intention to destroy them.”
(And the Separatists took out public notice of the situation and steps to take to resolve it.)
“Have as yet met with no difficulty about eastern bills-Saw the Editor of the Portland Gazette last night-en engaged to insert the notice I handed him-it will come out tomorrow-he said he would speak to the Editor of the Argus on the subject-Tilton tells me that the Cumberland Bank refuse their old bills, & the Portland evade all, by saying their funds are removed into the country-their Bills, however pass-My Bridle, which I want Jewell to new mount hangs up in my Barn, I forgot to send it to the office-wish you would not forget it. Yours etc., A Mann ½ past one”, it breaks away.