Maine | “An Act relating to the Separation of the District of Maine from Massachusetts Proper...”
Commonwealth of Massachusetts. By his Excellency John Brooks, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. A Proclamation. Whereas by an Act of the Legislature of this Commonwealth, passed on the nineteenth day of June last, entitled “An Act relating to the Separation of the District of Maine from Massachusetts Proper, and forming the same into a Separate and Independent State,” ... . [Boston: 1819]
Broadside (360 x 238 mm). Woodcut vignette of the Massachusetts seal at top, text in numerous fonts, remnants of wax seal, docketed on verso "Proclamation for Separation" and addressed "To the Selectmen of Fayette"; old folds, foxing, loss primarily to left margin, costing a few letters. Framed and glazed front and back; not examined out of frame.
“Is it expedient, that the District of Maine shall become a Separate and Independent State, upon the terms and conditions provided in the Act aforesaid?”
In 1807, grievances over land settlements prompted Maine's residents, as well as their supporters in Massachusetts proper, for an 1807 vote in the Massachusetts Assembly on permitting Maine to secede. This vote ultimately failed. The desire to secede, however, did not wane. During the War of 1812, pro-British merchants in Massachusetts opposed the war, and also refused to defend Maine from British invaders, thus bolstering Maine's desire to form its own state. In 1819, Massachusetts agreed to permit secession, as declared in the present proclamation.
Formal admission of Maine as the 23rd state occurred on 15 March 1820. This was a part of the Missouri Compromise, a piece of federal legislation that thwarted northern attempts to prevent the expansion of slavery. As a result of the Compromise, Missouri was admitted as a slave state, and Maine as a free state, in exchange for legislation that prohibited slavery in the remaining Louisiana Purchase lands north of the 36°30′ parallel.
Condition as described in catalogue entry.
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