The Constance Hopkins Colony of Mayflower Descendants In the State of Maine.
Constance Hopkins Colony, organized on January 30, 1981, includes
members and friends from Aroostook County and other neighboring
counties. The Colony has 25 members and meets twice a year. The annual
meeting held in the fall, usually in southern Aroostook County. The
spring meeting is held in northern Aroostook.
Colony Meeting September 21, 2013
Annual Meeting Report Summary
The annual Meeting of the Constance Hopkins Colony of Mayflower Descendents in the State of Maine was held Saturday, October 20, 2012 at the Mars Hill United Methodist Church
Under Old Business, the sharing of stories among members about our ancestors continued when Ann Cushman shared information about her ancestors, the Billington family. She reported that both saints and strangers were aboard the Mayflower and the Billingtons were among the strangers. There were four in the family, John, his wife Eleanor, a son John and a son Francis. John’s profession remains unknown. Before debarking the boat trouble began when the boys had started a fire on board. Among other stories Ann told of John being sentenced to having his neck and heels tied together for contemptuous activity, which was the first offense committed in the new colony. Another time Francis climbed a tree and reported seeing a sea, when in fact it was only a small pond that he had spied. John the younger wandered off at one point, a distance of 20 miles! Natives sent word that they held the lad and the colony sent a shallop with ten men to retrieve the lad from the natives. In 1624 John had railed against the colony leadership and wrote home to England with comments. In 1630 John was convicted of willful murder of a newcomer, then he was executed by hanging. Eleanor at one point was in trouble for speaking not nice of someone and had to sit in the stocks and was whipped. John the younger died without leaving family. Francis married and his line continues.
After dinner Ann introduced Dena Winslow who presented a program about the “Bloodless” Aroostook War, a unique war in that it lasted all of two months and 21 days. The State of Maine was in opposition with England, the only war had between a state and a country. Dena brought many interesting photographs of people and places from the time period. Tensions between the peoples were shared, such as one John Baker who lived in Madawaska and was arrested by a New Brunswick magistrate for flying a U. S. flag on land in dispute. He was taken to Fredericton, later released, and flew the flag again when he returned home. Joseph Arnold had brought a cow from New Brunswick without paying for it. A magistrate came to get the cow, was beat up by Arnold’s neighbor, then returned later and took the cow.
Tensions over timber rights, agricultural land and water rights were the primary reasons for the war. Soldiers who came, most from southern Maine, often had little to no rations and provisions to sustain themselves while in Aroostook County. They were supposed to have been issued ¾ pound bacon, 1 ¼ pound beef, 18 ounces flour, 1 ½ pounds cornmeal, 4 pounds candles, 8 quarts of beans, 12 pounds sugar, etc. The soldiers also had to deal with cannon balls that did not fit the cannon to be used. Needless to say, there were lots of deserters. Good things came of the war in that the soldiers built roads making access to the County easier. Many soldiers returned after the war for free land. Some forts or sites where forts stood can be seen today.
Suggestion for the next meeting was made for June 1, 2013. Debbie Mames agreed to locate a meeting place and arrange a meal
Deborah Barnes, Secretary