200th Anniversary Celebration of Maine to be Told at First Parish Next Week


The Historic First Parish Church, 425 Congress Street, Portland.

One of the more historic celebrations of Maine’s 200th anniversary will be told at the First Parish on Monday, October 21, at 7:00 pm.

That is when the story of the quest to draft the Maine State Constitution will be told – 200 years to the day of the event – on the very site it was drafted – which is now known as First Parish Portland, Maine Unitarian Universalist Church, 425 Congress Street, Portland.

The event will include an illustrated presentation of the backstory and movers and shakers behind Maine’s break from Massachusetts in 1819, presented by historial Herb Adams.  Following his presentation, attorney Marshall Tinkle, author Anne Gass, Dr. Donald Soctomak of the Passamaquoddy Tribe and attorney Mary Bonauto will present a panel discussion about rights and citizenship.

Some 274 delegates to the October 1819 convention gathered at what is now First Parish and argued about slavery, religious freedom, voting rights for African Americans, women, and the nature of mankind.  The final document included input from Thomas Jefferson and James  Madison and granted Mainers more rights than in the US  Bill of Rights.

“It was a bold first step toward statehood – and ran straight into the barbed wire of slavery and the ‘Missouri Compromise’ in Congress in 1820,” said Herb Adams.