York Sunbury Historical Society Program: The Aroostook War of 1839

The Aroostook War of 1839 by Gary Campbell

A little-known episode in North America’s history, the Aroostook War of 1839 was an undeclared war with no actual fighting.  It had its roots in the 1793 Treaty of Paris, which ended the American Revolutionary War but left the border of Maine (then part of Massachusetts) and British North America unsettled.  Efforts to locate the border based on the treaty failed.  The area between the competing British and American claims became known as the Disputed Territory.  Fearing a negotiated border would negatively affect its claim for the disputed territory, Maine occupied the Aroostook River valley in early 1839.  British regulars, New Brunswick militia, and Maine militia were then deployed in the dead of winter, as the kindling was laid for a third major Anglo-American conflagration.  Eventually, cooler heads prevailed, although they did not deter a number of skirmishes between the Maine Land Agent posses and a loosely organized group of New Brunswick lumbermen.  A complex story of friction, greed, land grabs, and the Ashburton-Webster Treaty of 1842 eventually settled rivalry, this border dispute that nearly resulted in war.  If you want to learn more about this fascinating period in New Brunswick history, join us at Government House, Thursday January 16 @ 7:30 PM when author Gary Campbell will tell us more about this story.

A reception will follow the presentation.  Non-members are cordially invited.

About frederictonregionmuseum

The Fredericton Region Museum was founded in 1934 by the York-Sunbury Historical Society. The Society was formed in 1932 and now has members from all over North America, however, most are from Central New Brunswick. In 1969 the Museum found permanent headquarters in the Officer's Quarters (571 Queen Street) in the heart of downtown Fredericton. The Society and Museum remain a nonprofit enterprise with a small paid staff and numerous volunteers. They work tirelessly to create informative exhibits, organize programs and events as well as publish a local history periodical The Officers' Quarters. The Fredericton Region Museum is the home of the famous Coleman Frog. He is the 42lb wonder that lived in the Killarney Lake just north of Fredericton about 100 years ago. The Fredericton Region Museum is a gateway into the exciting history and diverse heritage of central New Brunswick. Because central New Brunswick is where the provincial capital is located, and because it served as a meeting place for Aboriginals, Loyalists, Acadian, and other European settlers, the Fredericton Region Museum is an excellent place to start. With over 4000 square feet of exhibit space and a collection of over 30,000 artefacts the museum is a fun and exciting way to look into our past.
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