Based on research in American, British, and Canadian archives, Joshua Smith has cast an entirely new light on Maine’s role in the War of 1812 in his latest book, Making Maine: Statehood and the War of 1812. In particular, Smith has identified Castine’s occupation by British military forces in September 1814 as the single most important event that propelled Maine to statehood in 1820. Under British military rule, Castine became the focus of traitors, smugglers, and spies. Painting a sordid picture of collaboration by local officials, Smith exposes the tensions ripping apart the early republic during the War of 1812.
Joshua M. Smith grew up on Cape Cod and coastal Maine. He holds degrees from the University of St. Andrews, Maine Maritime Academy, East Carolina University, and the University of Maine. He is author of Borderland Smuggling: Patriots, Loyalists, and Illicit Trade in the Northeast, 1783-1820, which won the John Lyman Award in American Maritime History in 2007, and edited Voyages: Documents in American Maritime History, 1492-Present, a two-volume sourcebook in maritime history created in conjunction with the National Maritime Historical Society. He has also written a monograph with a Canadian perspective entitled Battle for the Bay: The Naval War of 1812, published by the Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society. Smith lives with his family on Long Island, where he is a professor of Humanities at the United States Merchant Marine Academy, as well as Director of the American Merchant Marine Museum, both in Kings Point, New York.