For much of its first century of settlement, Dover was on the frontier of English settlement. Tenuous outposts clung to the coastline as far as Pemaquid and Monhegan Island in Maine, but after hostilities broke out in 1689, European settlement was pushed down to Wells, just beyond Dover.
During this time, Dover Friends were both the furthest north and furthest east Quakers in the New World. Did they feel isolated or vulnerable? They did get some strong visiting ministry during those years.
Only when Casco Bay, or today’s Greater Portland, was resettled around 1740 did that begin to change.
The number of Dover Friends relocating to new Maine lands by 1800 continues to astound me. After all, the traditional historical focus tends to look south, to Boston and to the west beyond.
I’m sensing that there’s a much richer story looking in the other direction, involving Dover families of all stripes.