Earlier this month my Press Herald colleagues asked me to record a video bit for the “this day in Maine” Bicentennial of Statehood feature on a story I reported on closely before I joined the paper in 2012: the Malaga Island tragedy.
It’s an awful story — a shameful official act by Maine’s government exceeded only by its past treatment of the Passamaquoddy and other tribes — featuring racism, social darwinism, and plain old corruption. I first learned of the 1911-12 saga while researching my history of Maine, The Lobster Coast: Rebels, Rusticators and the Struggle for a Forgotten Frontier, and followed with a story in Down East about Maine’s bungled attempt to apologize (no longer online). I also wrote about it for the Press Herald shortly after joining the staff.
Hope you appreciate the brief video. For more on Malaga, start with my former Salt Institute colleague Rob Rosenthal’s excellent and important audio documentary, Malaga Island: A Story Best Left Untold.