Maine Genealogy Archives

Map of the Lottery Townships, c. 1785

Source: Plan of 50 Townships to be sold by Lottery lying between the Rivers Penobscot & Schoodic. LC Maps of North America, 1750-1789, 832. Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division. [Digital ID: g3731g ar083200]

William D. Williamson described the 1786 lottery as follows in his History of the State of Maine (1832):

In the scheme, there were to be 2,720 tickets, of £60 each, for which soldier's notes and all other public securities of the State, would be received as payment. If the tickets all sold, the aggregate would bring in £163,200. Against these there were to be put into the wheels, 50 townships of six miles square, equal to 1,107,396 acres of land, situated between the Penobscot and the Schoodic or St. Croix; and every ticket would entitle the holder to a prize;—the lowest being half a mile square, and the highest a township. The land Committee were the managers, and the drawing was appointed to commence in the ensuing March. A considerable part of the tickets sold, and at the time of the drawing, William Bingham of Philadelphia, a man of immense wealth, took what lands the ticket-holders did not draw, and purchased in afterwards the greater part of their prize lots. [2:530f]

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