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 Aroostook War
This song, and the two that follow, relate to the so-called Aroostook War in 1839. The dispute as to the boundary between Maine and New Brunswick led to aggressive acts on both sides. Rufus Mclntire, the Maine land agent, was seized by armed New Bruns-wickers in the night of February 12, 1839, and taken to Frederic-ton jail. On the 13th, Sir John Harvey, Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick, issued a proclamation stating that the province had been invaded and calling for a draft of soldiers. This was regarded as a declaration of war, and within a week a large num­ber of Maine men had taken up arms, acting under orders from Governor Fairfield. On the 17th, McLaughlin, warden of the public lands in New Brunswick, and Captain Tibbets of the Tobique settlement, were brought as prisoners to Bangor. Ne­gotiations, however, led to the withdrawal of the Maine troops in March and April, and no blood was shed. The question was settled by the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842. See J. F. Sprague, Historical Collections of Piscataquis County, Maine (Dover, 1910), I, 216 ff.; Aroostook War. Historical Sketch and Roster of Commissioned Officers and Enlisted Men (Augusta, 1904).
These verses were found among the papers of the late Colonel Charles Jarvis of Ellsworth, Maine, who, in 1839, was appointed by Governor Fairfield to take charge of affairs on the Aroostook River after Mclntire had been kidnapped. One of the men wrote these lines while sitting by the campfire one winter night. Xhese facts are supplied by Mary A. Greely of Ellsworth, 1916*
I Ye soldiers of Maine,
Your bright weapons prepare: On your frontier's arising The clouds of grim war.

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