Maine, an old French province (capital, Le Mans), with Normandy on the N., Brittany on the W., and Anjou on the S., corresponding to the modern deps. of Sarthe and Mayenne.


Maine, the north-easternmost state of the American Union, is bounded by the Canadian provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick, the Atlantic Ocean (Gulf of Maine), and New Hampshire. Area, 33,040 sq. m. (somewhat larger than Ireland), of which one-tenth is water, there being many large and fine lakes (Moosehead, Chesun-cook, Schoodic, Grand, Sebago, etc.) and important rivers (Penobscot, Kennebec, Androscoggin, Saco, St Croix, Aroostook, and Walloostook or St John). Measured in a direct line the coast extends some 270 miles, but counting sinuosities and the island-shores about 2500 miles. The rocky coast-line, broken by the force of the waves and trenched in bygone ages by glaciers, forms almost a hundred harbours. Towards the south-west the shore is sandy, with salt-marshes. In the north-central regions and the west the surface is mountainous. The highest mountain is Katahdin (5385 feet). The soil is mostly stony and hard, as in New England generally, but some sections are very fertile - e.g. the Aroostook region in the north-east. The northern portion of the state is densely wooded and very sparsely peopled. Granite and lime are largely produced; traces of coal are found; and there are local beds of valuable graphite. Silver, copper, felspar, flagstone, excellent slate (in vast quantities),lead ores, talc, manganese, etc, are all wrought more or less. Mineral waters are shipped in large quantities. The cool climate and the opportunities for fishing and shooting make this state a favourite summer-resort. The winter climate is severe for the latitude. The leading crops are hay, potatoes, apples (of excellent quality), and the ordinary grains and small fruits. The sweet varieties of maize (sugar-corn) are extensively cultivated. The rainfall is copious. The rivers afford an enormous water-power. Timber, building-stone, ice, cattle, wool, and farm products are shipped. Maine has considerable shipbuilding (more than any other state), and the coasting trade is carried on largely. The fishing interests are extensive. The principal manufactures are cotton and woollen goods, leather, boots and shoes, flour, paper, and foundry products, lumbering, shipbuilding, the canning of fruit and lobsters, etc. The chief towns are Portland, Lewiston, Bangor, Biddeford, Auburn, Augusta (the state capital), Bath, Rockland, etc. The Maine Liquor Law, one of the earliest of the stringent Liquor Laws of the United States, was enacted in 1851. The population is mainly of the English Puritan stock of New England. Pop. (1820) 298,335; (1860) 628,279; (1880) 648,936 ; (1900) 694,466, including many French-speaking Canadian immigrants, and a few Indians. Early Dutch, English, and French attempts at settlement were failures; the Puritan settlements of 1624 and 1630 proved permanent. Western Maine was long part of Massachusetts state (till 1820); and eastern Maine until 1691 formed a part of Acadia or Nova Scotia. Maine became a state in 1820. See G. J. Varney, Brief History of Maine (Portland, 1889).