Tag Archives: John Fairfield

Hmm, let’s declare war on Great Britain | DownEast.com

You gotta love today’s DownEast.com trivia question.

Who was the only United States governor to declare war on a foreign power?

Answer

Maine Gov. John Fairfield declared war on Great Britain on March 18, 1840, opening the bloodless Aroostook War over Maine’s northern boundary with Canada.

Given the independent nature of Mainers, this shouldn’t surprise anyone.

I’m not sure if it was after this “war” that surveyors went down the Saint John River to establish a boundary when locals invited them to a party, got them drunk, and sent the surveyors down a wrong tributary to the north of where they were supposed to go.

Eventually, the surveyors realized what had happened and the made two surveyor’s lines in order to meet up again with their intended route. The result was that Maine ended up with a bunch more land than it was supposed to have and Canada a bit less.