Granted to Ferdinando Gorges and John Mason


Ownership disputes developed over Maine during the 1600's. In 1622, the Council for New England, an agency of the English government, gave Ferdinando Gorges and John Mason a large tract of land in present-day Maine and New Hampshire. The land was divided between the two men in 1629, and Gorges received the Maine section. Gorges established Maine's first government in 1636. In 1641, he made the community of Gorgeana (now York) a city. It was the first chartered English city in what is now the United States.

After Gorges died in 1647, the people of Kittery, Wells, and York united under a new government. Between 1652 and 1658, they and the people of Casco Bay, Kennebunk, Saco, and Scarborough agreed to make Maine a part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1660, the heirs of Gorges disputed Massachusetts' ownership of Maine, and claimed Maine for themselves. In 1664, an English board of commissioners ordered Maine restored to the Gorges family. Massachusetts finally gained clear title to Maine in 1677, when it bought the area from the Gorges family.

SOURCE: IBM 1999 WORLD BOOK [excerpt]
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