The earliest permanent European settlers in Maine came from western England. They were soon followed by the Scots-Irish and by a number of Quakers, or Friends, from the other New England colonies. In the 1740s Germans settled in Waldboro, and soon afterward many Irish Roman Catholics moved to York, Lincoln, and Cumberland counties. The French, who controlled much of Maine’s territory until 1759, were not active colonists. However, a number of families of French Huguenots settled along the coast.
Large-scale emigration westward in the mid-19th century aroused fears for the state’s future. As a result, in 1870, William W. Thomas, the state commissioner of immigration, brought over a group of Swedish immigrants who established the colony of New Sweden in northern Aroostook County. Although the French Canadians, who constitute the largest group with non-British ancestry, have lived in Maine since early colonial days, the greatest number of them came to Maine beginning late in the 19th century to work in industry. There still remain large numbers of people of French American descent in the Lewiston-Auburn, Biddeford-Saco, and Augusta-Waterville areas. They were eventually joined in the industrial centers by Finns, Russians, Poles, Italians, and others from southern and eastern Europe. "Maine" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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