REVOLUTIONARY WAR. Resistance to the oppressive colonial
tax policies of the British Parliament began early in Maine.
In 1765 a mob seized a quantity of tax stamps at Falmouth (now Portland), and attacks on customs agents in the province became common.
A year after the famous Boston Tea Party of 1773, Maine staged its own version of that incident when a group of men burned a shipment of tea stored at York.
When open warfare finally erupted at Lexington and Concord, hundreds of Maine men actively joined the struggle for independence. The province saw plenty of action during the Revolution.
In 1775, British warships under the command of the notorious Capt. Henry Mowatt shelled and burned Falmouth, an act intended to punish residents for their opposition to the Crown, but which only served to stiffen Maine's ardor for independence.
The first naval battle of the Revolution occurred in June 1775 when a group of Maine patriots captured the armed British cutter "Margaretta" off Machias.
Later that year many Maine men accompanied Col. Benedict Arnold on his long march through the north woods in a valiant but fruitless effort to capture Quebec.
An ill-planned expedition by the American naval fleet to regain the British-held fortification at Castine in 1779 led to the most disastrous naval encounter of the war.
The Revolution cost Maine dearly. About 1,000 men lost their lives in the war, the district's sea trade was all but destroyed, the principal city had been leveled by British bombardment, and Maine's overall share of the war debt amounted to more than would later be imposed upon it by the Civil War.