Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves
Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Department
Introduction and Summary Information
Collection Title: European and North American Railway Company Records.
Dates of the Collection: 1868-1919 (inclusive); 1878-1882 (bulk).
Collection Number: MS 776.
Box Numbers: 1 (formerly new accession 2000-1116e).
Size and Arrangement: The collection consists of one record carton of material (1.0 cubic feet).
Conservation Note: The collection has been re-housed in acid-free folders and boxes.
Preferred Citation: European and North American Railway Company Records, Special Collections, Raymond H. Fogler Library, University of Maine.
Restrictions on Access and Use: This collection is kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice is required for retrieval.
The collection contains records of the European and North American Railway Company, organized in Bangor, Maine, with track from Bangor to Vanceboro, Maine.
The European and North American Railway Company was chartered by the Maine legislature in 1850 to construct a railroad to an ice free harbor in New Brunswick or Nova Scotia in order to shorten ocean voyages between North America and Europe. The company was incorporated in 1853 with John A. Poor as president. Building plans languished for years but were revived in 1864 when funding was secured. The company received credit of $1,000,000 from the city of Bangor to build the line and was also granted rights to timber and land owned by the state of Maine on the Penobscot and St. John Rivers.
In 1864 the European and North American also acquired the rights, roadbed, right of way and all other property of the Penobscot Railroad Company. This railroad had been chartered in 1847 to build a railroad from Bangor to Milford but work had ceased by about 1858. The European and North American continued this work, and the line opened in 1871 in Maine. In 1872 the Maine and New Brunswick divisions were consolidated under one management with a mortgage created to cover all of the property. Financial difficulties led to a default on this mortgage in 1875, with dissolution of the legal association between the Maine and New Brunswick companies in 1876. In that year, the trustees of the Maine division took over its operation, with Hannibal Hamlin and William B. Hayford operating it for several years. In 1880, bondholders organized a new company with the same name, receiving stock in exchange for bonds and coupons in the amount of $2,000,000. In 1882 the line was leased to the Maine Central Railroad for 999 years; the Maine Central acquired it in 1955.
Scope and Content Note
The records consist primarily of correspondence and legal documents of the company, 1878-1882. The correspondence is mainly between Charles Stetson, a Bangor attorney and one of the directors of the company, and William L. Putnam, a Portland attorney prominent as counsel for various railroads. It concerns difficulties encountered in the finances of the company and concentrates on several suits against it, especially those brought by John Greenough, Foster Edwards and Lysander Stone, and Marcus P. Norton. Correspondence with the Boston law firm of Warren & Brandeis involving these cases is also found in the collection.
Also present in the collection are summaries of land holdings and copies of deeds for the company’s wood and property which were deeded to major landowners such as Ebenezer S. Coe, David Pingree, William H. McCrillis, and Thomas Egery. A small group of documents concerning the financial state of the company, 1882-1883, ends the collection.
1-4 Documents, correspondence,etc. from Greenough case, Jan., 1878-1882, undated
5 Documents from Simon G. Jerrard case, 1879
6 Documents, 1880
7-9 Correspondence, Jan., 1881-June, 1884
9a-11b Documents, correspondence, etc. from Norton case (Warren & Brandeis), 1884-1888
11c Newspaper clippings re Marcus Norton, 1884-1885
12 Documents, correspondence, etc. concerning railroad bonds, 1889
13-14 Correspondence, etc. with Maine Central Railroad, 1890-1919
15 Listing of land transfers, 1868-1882
16 Summary of properties, 1882
17 Abstract of records, Somerset County Registry of Deeds, Dec. 13, 1883
18 Notice: Auction sale of timber lands, May 1, 1882
19-20 Copies of deeds, 1879-Jan., 1884
21 Copies of deeds, June, 1893
22 Memos about bonds, 1882-1883
23 Statements of earnings and expenses, 1880-1882
24 Inventory of property, Oct. 1, 1882
25 Account of supplies received, Dec. 12, 1882
26 Bills and accounts, 1872, 1882, undated
Finding Aids for selected manuscript collections in the Special Collections Department at Fogler Library are accessible online in URSUS, in a browsable Guide to Manuscript Collections. Please contact Special Collections at firstname.lastname@example.org or (207) 581-1686 for further information.