Dec. 9, 1814: Near the end of the War of 1812, participants in a two-day meeting held at the Portland customs house conclude that they should appeal to President James Madison to save them from “treacherous” policies implemented by Massachusetts, of which the District of Maine is still a part.

The delegates are particularly incensed by the ongoing British occupation of eastern Maine.

“Three months have now transpired since the belligerent power with whom we are contending has had undisturbed possession of one third of our territory,” writes the committee that drafts the appeal.

The British occupation reinvigorates the decades-old movement to separate Maine from Massachusetts, a goal that finally is achieved in 1820.

Joseph Owen is an author, retired newspaper editor and board member of the Kennebec Historical Society. Owen’s book, “This Day in Maine,” can be ordered at To get a signed copy use promo code signedbyjoe at checkout. Joe can be contacted at:

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.