AUGUSTA — The Kennebec Historical Society’s March presentation, “Making Maine: Statehood and the War of 1812” by author Joshua M. Smith, is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 16, at the Augusta City Center, 16 Cony St.

Josh Smith Submitted photo

Smith writes in his book, “Today Americans obsess about disorder in the nation. Politics have become bitterly partisan, and the news media blatantly takes sides, urban elites and their rural counterparts vie for moral ascendency. There are widespread concerns about riots, coups, and what role the states and federal government have in maintaining order or quelling dissent. Some alarmists even predict the end of American democracy,” according to a news release from Scott Wood, society executive director.

“My message is: fear not,” Smith adds. “The republic has witnessed all these travails before and has not only survived but generally thrived. My evidence lies in a detailed analysis of Maine’s search for a new identity separate from Massachusetts from roughly 1805-20, and more especially how the travails of the War of 1812 led to statehood in 1820.”

“Making Maine: Statehood and the War of 1812” by Joshua M. Smith. Submitted photo

Smith grew up on Cape Cod and coastal Maine. He is author of “Borderland Smuggling: Patriots, Loyalists,” and “Illicit Trade in the Northeast, 1783-1820, ”which won the John Lyman Award in American Maritime History in 2007, and edited “Voyages: Documents in American Maritime History, 1492-Present,” a two-volume sourcebook in maritime history created in conjunction with the National Maritime Historical Society.

The Long Island resident has also written a monograph with a Canadian perspective, “Battle for the Bay: The Naval War of 1812,” published by the Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society.

Smith is a professor of humanities at the United States Merchant Marine Academy, as well as director of the American Merchant Marine Museum, both in Kings Point, New York.


The March presentation is free to the public; donations are accepted.

Those who have any questions about the program can call Wood at 207-622-7718.



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