Perspectives on Maine's Statehood

Dr. Liam Riordan, Scarborough Bicentennial Series, Maine Bicentennial

Dr. Liam Riordan will open our Bicentennial Series with the presentation Past and Present: Perspectives on Maine Statehood. This illustrated presentation explores the long statehood process in Maine that culminated in 1820 with formal separation from Massachusetts. That struggle engaged a range of challenging public issues that are still recognizable in contemporary Maine politics and culture. The talk focuses on four themes that bridge 200 years in telling ways: the "two Maines" and sharp partisan conflict, the explosive pace of slavery vis-a-vis the Maine-Missouri Compromise, Wabanaki sovereignty, and the uncertain location of the international border to at least 1842. Due to limited seating, registration is required for this event. Call 883-4723 option 4 or email askSPL [at]

Dr. Riordan is an early American historian specializing in the broad Revolutionary era (ca. 1760-1830) and has been a faculty member at the University of Maine since 1997. He has led community discussions across Maine about the statehood process and organized a public scholarly conference to commemorate the bicentennial of the state of Maine held May 31-June 1, 2019 at the University of Maine.

This series was made possible through the financial partnership of the Scarborough Public Library and  Scarborough Historical Society, and through a grant awarded by the Maine Humanities Council. Programs will be held at the Library and are free to attend.


Sunday, March 1, 2020 - 2:00pm