Presentation of HP1177 – Request for Veterans Status for the Protectors and Defenders of the Northeastern Boundary Dispute aka The Aroostook War

On Thursday, July 7, 2011 there will be a short ceremony hosted by The 1839 Foundation of Northern Maine and The Passadumkeag Historical Society where we will be presented with a copy of HP1177, requesting Veterans Status from the President and US Congress for the Protectors and Defenders of the Northeastern Boundary Dispute commonly called The Aroostook War.

Cal Innes, the President of the Passadumkeag Historical Society will announce our collaboration. The 1839 Foundation of Northern Maine will have copies of the Sequence of Events and rosters of Capt Porter’s company out of Burlington & Capt George Towle’s Rifle Company from the 6th Regiment, many of whom were from the Passadumkeag area to identify some of the men we wish to recognize and honor.

Here is one family’s story: My ancestors John and Mary Knowlen who had the homestead directly across from the site of the first posse encampment at T 10 R 5 and who’s timber rebuilt Fort Fairfield in April of 1839 that I began my quest. John and Mary not only lost their homestead when the state was delinquent in paying for that timber but GAR post 149 in Masardis was called The Knowlen Post because they lost two sons and a third returned crippled from battle wounds during the Civil War. And through it all they didn’t whine, complain or blame, they preservered and raised their remaining children and grandchildren to be teachers, civic leaders, active & productive members of society. What you may not recall is the reason they were living in T 10 R 5: John; a young husband and father found himself the head of a large household of siblings while living in Passadumkeag, during the summer of 1828 after his father was murdered and the furs he had been acquiring through his trapping expertise were stolen. Before the estate could be settled, his next two brothers tragically drowned in July 1834 while engaged in driving timber down the Passadumkeag River. The loss of his brothers’ assistance forced him to take his wife, two young sons, 12 year old brother, 9 year old sister and head north to start all over again. The family connection to Passadumkeag is a bittersweet one, yet resulted in our connection to Aroostook County that has remained for almost 180 years.

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