Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




This dissertation examines Anglo-Indian relations in seventeenth-century Maine. Previous studies have stressed the failure of the English to understand or get along with the Indians of Maine, without fully examining the background of both sides. This dissertation aims to correct misperceptions of and generalizations about the nature of both native and English societies in early Maine. By using the ethnohistorical perspective, it explores the nature of Anglo-Abenaki interactions and why this relationship broke down.;The focus of Anglo-Indian interaction in early Maine was the fur trade and the land trade. During the seventeenth century, both sides became increasingly dependent upon trade, despite occasional outbreaks of violence. In the 1660s and 1670s, an influx of English settlers and traders increased competition for furs and land, and heightened tensions between cultures. The English growth was particularly rapid in the Sagadahoc region (the area from the Kennebec River to Pemaquid), the center of the fur trade and land trade.;The heightened tensions between the English and the Indians was one of several factors which led to the outbreak of King Philip's War in Maine. While past scholars have correctly identified the bias of English law against the Indians as a cause of war, this prejudice was only one of many factors which led to fighting. While the residents of Maine contributed to the failure of inter-cultural relations, many outside influences contributed to the outbreak of war in 1675. In particular, events and decisions made in Massachusetts greatly influenced affairs in Maine.;King Philip's War marks a crucial turning point in Maine history. The fierce war dragged on from 1675 to 1678, killing and displacing a large percentage of the English and native population of the region. Efforts to rebuild the extensive war damages proved short-lived for the suspicions and hatreds created by King Philip's War led to the outbreak of King William's War in 1688. With the outbreak of King William's War, alliance lines are set and the input of local residents loses importance as for the next sixty years Maine would serve as a theater where English, French, and American players acted out their imperial designs.



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