Wednesday, May 5, 2010

2010 v. 1895

Though I focused mostly on the baby-making aspect of Greg Kesich's column on the need to grow Maine's population (see below), his riff on the need for immigration is also key:
Short of putting fertility drugs in the public water supply, Maine needs to find
a way to attract new people. One of them will be learning how to be friendlier
to "people from away." For a state that has made a whole comedy genre out of
being unhelpful to tourists, this won't be easy.
W.W. Thomas, Jr., a key player in Maine's recruitment of Swedish immigrants to Aroostook County following the Civil War (hence the County town of New Sweden), recalls sounding a similar alarm in the 1870s, when it was determined that Maine was one of only two states in the country (New Hampshire was the other) to experience a net population loss after the Civil War. Here's Thomas in an 1895 speech commemorating New Sweden's twenty-fifth birthday.

- John C.L. Morgan

Related: More Babies, Please (May 5, 2010)

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