AUGUSTA, Maine — Why is Augusta Maine’s funding city? It"s not among the larger cities or towns. In fact, lot of the state may recognize Augusta mostly for the state capital and the civic Center, wherein it holds concerts and also basketball tournaments.
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But the story of just how it was liked for the capitol is one that tells a lot about how the young state developed.
Maine officially ended up being a state on march 15, 1820, the statehood plot passed by Congress and also signed by president James Monroe. But after Washington had actually acted and also statehood was a fact, Maine required a state capital.
At first, it was in Portland, in a reasonably small structure near the current site of Portland City Hall.
“The largest city at the time would it is in the first capital,” said historian Herb Adams that Portland, “but they additionally knew it couldn’t remain the capital."
Adams and Maine State chronicler Earle Shettleworth claimed those outsides of Portland assumed the brand-new government essential a more main location.
Shettleworth additionally said some human being worried Portland can be attacked by sea, because that had happened in the past, and could conveniently have occurred a couple of years previously when british ships to be just exterior the harbor throughout the battle of 1812.
“And we had actually just gotten over the battle of 1812 and it was believed ‘not a good idea to have actually your capital so vulnerable"," stated the historian.
So in 1822, the Legislature orders a committee to find for new locations for the capital.They obtained requests from Augusta, Hallowell, Wiscasset, Belfast, and Portland, claimed Earle Shettleworth, concentrating on a ar centrally situated for the population at the time.
“The finest offer to be Augusta, which claimed we will offer you Weston’s Hill, wherein the statehouse is now, and also we will provide you the beautiful land native Weston Hill down to the river for a state park,” Shettleworth said.
He stated Augusta was also willing to aid pay because that the building. Despite those seeming benefits, it take it five an ext years because that the Legislature to agree on the deal. They ultimately did, the brand-new State home was built and in 1832 the capital moved indigenous Portland.
“Portland was not happy to have the big apple taken away from them,” stated Adams. "Portland made numerous efforts to acquire it back."
“Literally every legislative conference from climate to 1907 there to be a bill to return the funding to Portland.”
Finally, after ~ 80 years of those arguments, Maine voter passed an amendment come the constitution to explain Augusta the irreversible capital.
Two hundred years after statehood began, Maine is bigger, the State home larger. Augusta no longer really in the center. Yet still the center of the decisions that will shape Maine’s future.
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