History of Maine (3)

FRENCH AND INDIAN WARS. The question of Maine's ownership was a matter of continuing dispute between England and France throughout the first half of the 18th century.

The period was also marked by a series of Indian raids on white settlements, forays which had the active support of the French interested in seeing the English settlers driven from the land.

One of the significant military developments of the French and Indian Wars was the capture of the French fort at Louisburg, Nova Scotia, in 1745 by a contingent of forces led by William Pepperell of Kittery. The 1763 Treaty of Paris ended all French claims to the territory.

After the Indian threat lessened in the mid-1700s, the population of Maine began to grow, encouraged by an open offer by Massachusetts of 100-acre lots free to anyone who would settle the northern province.

The population doubled from 12,000 to 24,000 between 1743 and 1763. By the end of the century, the number of Maine settlers had grown to more than 150,000.