Songs & Ballads Of The Maine Lumberjacks

A Collection Of Traditional & Folk Songs of the area with Lyrics & Commentaries -online book

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The Squatters of Maine
From the Independent Chronicle (Boston), May 19, 1806, where it is marked "For the Chronicle." Printed also as a broadside soon after (Isaiah Thomas's collection, made in 1813,1, 18, American Antiquarian Society).
The occasion for this lively political song was the Massachu­setts election of 1806, when the District of Maine was still a part of that state. In Massachusetts proper ("old Massachusetts") the Federalists were in the majority, but Maine was Democratic or Republican (then synonymous terms). The vote was un­comfortably close for the Federalists, and the returns from Maine, which came in slowly, suggested a Democratic victory. It was thought that, if there proved to be no choice by the people, the Democrats (reinforced by the members from Maine) would carry the day in the General Court. On April 30 the Columbian Centinel (Federalist) indulged editorially in a petulant outburst: "The question now is, shall the squatters of Maine impose a Governor on Massachusetts?'1 Next day the Boston Independent Chronicle (Democratic) quoted this sentence, remarking "This is the gentlemanly language of the Centinel of Yesterday. It evinces the true spirit of federalism," etc. In the same number the Chronicle rings the changes, with elaborate irony, on the word squatters. The song, it will be observed, was composed by some Democrat in the same ironical vein. It purports to be an exhortation to the Federalists to defend "old Massachusetts" against the wicked Maine squatters in the legislature. For his­torical details see Stanwood's paper on The Massachusetts Elec­tion of J806 (Massachusetts Historical Society Proceedings, 2d Series, XX, 12-19).
A New Song
I Approach ye Feds, in phalanx brave, With mien and visage ireful; Our own and Britain's cause to save — Prepare for battle direful.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III