Sketches of the History of the Town of Camden, Maine.
John L. Locke.
This work, first published in 1859, was originally started as a column in a local newspaper. Eventually it was decided by all parties involved that it would be most advantageous to broaden the scope of the work and put it into a more permanent book form. Sources employed include the public libraries and State Archives of Maine and Massachusetts; private collections of books, papers and documents; and, most importantly, the societal and town records of Camden. In addition, Locke derived a considerable amount of information from the older generations of Camden and surrounding areas. Using this eclectic fountain of knowledge, he was able to produce an authoritative study of the town of Camden, ME. The sketches begin with the earliest accounts of the colonial history of Maine. Locke discusses the discoveries made by well-known explorers like George Weymouth, Martin Pring and Capt. John Smith. Locke's exposition follows with a description of the formidable environs the first settlers encountered, and tells of the relationship the newcomers developed with the local Indians. During the War of Independence the streets of Camden were replete with ardent rebel supporters, and because of this they became subject to the marauding raids of the British-allied bandits and privateers. The War of 1812 paralleled the Revolution in this respect. It seems Camden, being a coastal town, was always quite susceptible to assault from the sea. These wars, however, were not the end of Camden. It lived on to become a center for paper production and established a prospering trade in salt. Affluent citizens started secret societies, like the International Order of Odd Fellows; as well as historical organizations and debate clubs. But along with its new-found wealth this thriving community also suffered great social upheaval and the threat of plague. The town was stricken with consternation, awaiting a cholera epidemic which, at the time, was sweeping the rest of nation; "obnoxious laws" were enacted that inevitably effected a rift between the rich and the poor; temperance campaigns also served to divide the town even further. The final chapters of the book go on to discuss the development of the churches and religious societies of Camden. Also, there is a concise yet colorful depiction of the town in "A View of Camden as It Is-1859." Some sections of genealogical interest include "Biographical Sketches" and "Business Register." There is also a brand-new fullname index to aid in genealogical research. This volume is sure to satisfy Maine aficionados.
1859 reprint, paper, 276 pp.