Article on Malaga Island off the coast of Phippsburg, the site of a state-sponso


Jan Grieco


Portland Monthly






Article on Malaga Island off the coast of Phippsburg, the site of a state-sponsored eviction of the island's mixed-race community in 1911. The Malagaites were likely descendents of Benjamin Darling, a slave from the West Indies who had been granted his freedom and who appears to have removed to Malaga Island in 1847. In the early 1900s, in dire straits, Malagaites sought aid from the town of Phippsburg and a legal battle ensued, eventually leaving the residents as wards of the state. In 1911, under the direction of Governor Frederick Plaisted, fifty-six Malagaites were served eviction notices. Portrayed as incompetent, lazy, and mentally ill, many residents were simply dropped in mainland communities where the stigma of Malaga Island followed them. Seven members of the Marks family were committed to Pineland, then known as the Maine School for the Feeble-Minded. Nathan Hamilton, a professor of anthropology at the University of Southern Maine, notes that the hate crimes and the island's unusual story merit listing on the National Register of Historic Places.


African Americans, Malaga Island Casco Bay

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