Men and their families were struggling for survival in this Downeast wilderness called Township 16 when actions by others forced upon them certain governmental responsibilities.
Jeff Brown of the Maine State Archives provided helpful guidance in the following.
The Constitution of the State of Maine organized Washington County into several districts, each to elect a member to the Legislature. The towns of Calais, Robbinston, Perry and the Plantations #3, #6, #7, #15, and #16 were in one district. Those numbers would become Charlotte, Baring, Baileyville, Cooper, and Alexander. So Township #16 (Alexander) was Plantation #16 for election purposes in 1820.
It is likely that no one from Plantation #16 voted because at that time only male landowners were eligible to vote. We have yet to find a deed for Alexander land owned by an Alexander resident during this time period.
The good folks at the Maine Law Library informed me that Thomas Vose of Robbinston was the first to represent Plantation #16 and the other municipalities mentioned above. Thomas (1765 – 1848) was born in Milton, Massachusetts and moved to #4 (Robbinston) with his wife and infant child in 1790. He was to look after Edward Robbins interest in the township he had purchased. Thomas selected the twelve pines that became the pillars for the State House in Boston. He built ships (the first was named the First Attempt), traded in fish, and became a lumber operator. He was a member of the 1819 convention for statehood, represented us in Portland, and was on the Governor’s Council.
It is interesting to note that in 2009 House District 30 consisted of Alexander, Amherst, Aurora, Beddington, Centerville, Cooper, Crawford, Deblois, Dennysville, Eastbrook, East Machias, Edmunds, Franklin, Great Pond, Jonesboro, Mariaville, Marion, Marshfield, Meddybemps, Northfield, Osborn, Pembroke, Plantation #14, Wesley, Whitneyville, plus a bunch of Unorganized Territories in Hancock and Washington Counties. Howard McFadden of Dennysville was elected as our representative.
On March 21,
1821, “Be it further enacted; that each plantation in the state,
from which any state tax or taxes now remain due and unassessed, or
from which any state or county tax shall hereafter be required as
aforesaid be and hereby is made a body politic and incorporate for
the purpose aforesaid ….” The people to choose an assessor, and if
they don’t, one will be chosen for them. So Township #16 (Alexander)
was a plantation for tax collection purposes in 1821.
HOW MEN FROM PLANTATION 16 ACTED TO CONTROL THEIR DESTINY
Was it the rapid growth of the community that caused these leaders to want to control their destiny? Did they want to locate, build and maintain schools and roads? Did they wish to be independent of the state? Did they want to lead themselves?
PETITION FOR INCORPORATION
TOWN OF ALEXANDER
To the Honorable Senate & House of Representatives of the State of Maine to be assembled at Portland on the first Wednesday of January 1825
The Petition of the Subscribers, Inhabitants of Plantation Numbered Sixteen in the County of Washington and state of Maine respectfully sheweth that they with the other inhabitants of said Plantation labour under many disadvantages and inconveniences and have for sixteen years past & to which towns are not subjected. They therefore pray that they maybe incorporated into a Town by the name of Alescandria, & invested with the rights and privileges thereto belonging in common with other towns in this state.
November 24, 1824 -
Inhabitants of No. 16 - Names of Petitioners
House of Representatives
January 12th 1825
Read and referred to the Committee on in-
Corporation of Towns. Sent up for concurrence.
John Ruggles, Speaker
Senate Jany 13, 1825
Read and concurred
Jonas Wheeler, Pres.
Note that spelling of our town on the petition. Township 16 and Township 6 had been named Alexander and Baring after the London banker who owned a large undivided interest in the Bingham million acre Penobscot Purchase. It was likely Baring Brothers’ agent John Black who suggested these names. Check SKETCHES OF SETTLERS AND PETITIONERS.
The men of the Senate and House acted favorably on our petition, as found in Chapter CCLXXXVIII MRSA.
STATE OF MAINE
In the year of our Lord, one thousand, eight hundred and twenty five
An act to incorporate the Town of Alexander:
Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of representatives, in Legislature assembled, That the Plantation number sixteen, in the eastern division, in Washington County, bounded north by number seventeen, East by number six and number seven, South by number fifteen, West by number twenty, with the inhabitants thereof, be, and they are hereby incorporated into a town by the name of Alexander. And the inhabitants of said town, are hereby vested with all the powers privileges and immunities, which the inhabitants of towns within this state do, or may by law enjoy. ---
Section 2. Be it further enacted that any Justice of the Peace, within said County, is hereby empowered to issue his warrant to some inhabitant of said town, directing him to notify the inhabitants thereof to meet at such time and place as he shall appoint, to choose such officers as other towns are empowered to choose, at their annual town meeting. ---
Section 3. Be it further enacted that said town of Alexander shall be entitled to vote in the choice of a Representative to the Legislature of this State in the same class and in the same manner as it was allowed and authorized to do previous to the passing of this act, and shall continue as part of the class aforesaid, until otherwise provided by law. ---
In the House of Representatives January 19th 1825
This bill having had three/several readings, passed to be enacted.
John Ruggles – Speaker
In Senate January 19th 1825
This Bill having two/several readings passed to be enacted.