December 29, 2011

Mount Desert Island’s Historical Land Grants




     The year: 1603. November 8, the date.

     The event: the first European land grant patent in Maine.

     The characters: King Henry IV of France and Pierre du Guast, Sieur e Monts


     The land grant given to du Guast by King Henry IV included trading and seigniorial rights over a vast territory, extending from Newfoundland along the Atlantic coast far to the southward: the territory of La Cadie.

     Three years later King James I of England granted the Virginia Company a patent to de Monts which included much of the same territory.

     The two rival claims inevitably ended up in a century and a half of intermittent warfare.*


      A French attempt at colonization, beginning in March 1613, took place at Fernald’s Point (near the mouth of Somes Sound). That July an English captain, Argall, attacked the settlers, burned their buildings to the ground, stole their charter, set most of the survivors adrift at sea, and carried the leaders back to Virginia for ransom. The colony of Saint Sauveur was short lived.

     The Sagadahoc territory (land between the Kennebec and St. Croix rivers) was next portioned off by allotment to members of the King’s Council for New England.

      On November 19, 1622, Sir Robert Mansell purchased, outright, the (more…)


March 31, 2009

Madame Rosalie de la Val: A Character Sketch



A Character Sketch

Since March is Women’s History Month, and March 8 was International (Working) Women’s Day, I developed a character sketch on Madame Rosalie Bacler, a French émigré who came to the United States during the French Revolution, and who was a “working” woman, a “noble” who planned a French refugee colony in the Massachusetts Territory of Maine. Whenever I “introduce” this historical female to people, they become fascinated. Madame is the main character in the historical romance novel that I am attempting to write.

     Madame Rosalie Bacler de la Val, a French émigré who came to the United States to escape the atrocities of the French revolution, was an independent land speculator/settler in what is known today as Hancock County, Maine. In the 1790s, this region it was the Maine Territory of the State of Massachusetts, part of the Penobscot Land Tract purchased from the State of Massachusetts by land speculators Henry Knox and William Duer.
     Only about ten percent of the post-American Revolution land speculators worked independently, outside a company. None, as far as I have encountered, were women—much less (more…)

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