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.