NOTE: These Resolves were superceded as far as a State Seal is concerned on February 4, 1880.
On June 9th, 1820, the 1st Maine Legislature adopted the following resolutions:
A Shield, argent, charged with a Pine Tree, a Moose-Deer, at the foot of it, recumbent. Supporters; on dexter side, an Husbandman, resting on a scythe; on sinister side, a Seaman, resting on an anchor. In the foreground, representing sea & land, & under the Shield, the name of the State, in large Roman capitals, to wit
The whole surmounted by a Crest, the North Star.
The Motto, in small Roman capitals, in a label interposed between the Shield & Crest, viz.
The Moose-Deer, (Cervus alces.) is a native of the forests of Maine. When full grown, it is scarcely inferior to a horse in size. It has a neck, short & thick, a large head, horns dilating almost immediately from the base into a broad, palmated form, a thick, heavy upper-lip, hanging very much over the lower, very high shoulders & long legs. The colour is a dark, greyish brown, much paler on the legs & under part of the body. The hair is course & strong & is much longer on the top of the shoulders & ridge of the neck, than on other parts. The eyes & ears are large, the hoofs broad & the tail extremely short. The greatest height of the Moose-Deer is about seventeen hands & the weight of such an animal about twelve hundred & twenty pounds. In deep snows they collect in numbers in pine forests.
The Mast Pine (Americana, quinis ex uno folliculo setis) leaves five together, Cones cylindrical, imbricated, smooth, longer than the leaves, Crest of the anthers of two minute, awl-shaped bristles. It is as well the staple of the commerce of Maine, as the pride of her forests. It is an evergreen of towering height & enormous size. It is the largest & most useful of American Pines & the best timber for masts.
The territory, embraced by the limits of the State, bears the name, MAINE.
As in the Arms of the United States, a cluster of stars represents the States, composing the nation, the North Star may be considered particularly applicable to the most northern member of the Confederacy, or as indicating the local situation of the most northern State in the Union.
DIRIGO. I direct, or I guide.
As the Polar Star has been considered the mariner's guide & directer [sic] in conducting the ship over the pathless ocean to the desired haven & as the centre of magnetic attraction; as it has been figuratively used to denote the point to which all affections turn & as it here is intended to represent the State, it may be consideredthe citizens' guide & the object, to which the patriots' best exertions should be directed.
The Pine Tree.
The stately Pine, with its strait body, erect head & ever-green foliage & whose beauty is exceeded only by its usefulness; while it represents the State, will excite the constant prayer of its citizens, semper viridis.
a native animal of the State, which retires before the approching steps of human inhabitancy, in his recumbent posture & undisturbed situation, denotes the extent of unsettled lands, which future years may see the abodes of successive generations of men, whose spirit of independence shall be untamed, as this emblem & whose liberty shall be unstricted as the range of the Moose Deer.
An Husbandman with a scythe represents Agriculture generally & more particularly that of a grazing country; while a Seaman, resting on an anchor represents Commerce & Fisheries; and both indicate, that the State is supported by these primary vocations of its inhabitants.--
report, a Device for the Seal of the State, a sketch of which, with a description & explanation of the same in which, are herewith submitted. They also report the following Resolutions:
1st Resolved, that the Secretary of State be directed to procure a suitable Seal, conforming to the sketch aforesaid & that he cause the Device aforesaid to be engraven thereon & that said Seal, when so completed, be deposited in the Office of the Secretary of State & that the same shall become & be the Seal of this State.
2d Resolved, that the Secretary of State cause the sketch, description & explanation aforesaid, to be fairly copied on parchment & deposited in the Office of theSecretary of the State.
The Portland Gazette and Maine Advertiser on Monday, June 12, 1820 reported "We understand that the emblems for the seal of the State were proposed by Benjamin Vaughan, Esq. of Hallowell, that the sketch was executed by a young lady in this town, and that the Motto, description, explanation, &c are from the pen of Col. Isaac G. Reed, a member of the House of Representatives from Waldoborough."
The original Seal was cut by Robert Eastman of the town of Brunswick.
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