In Portland, two battling sea captains rest forever, side by side

Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street. It’s the weekend. You made it. 

What we’re talking about

This month, Troy Bennett has been telling the stories of the people buried around the city. Here’s another great one.

The American ship Enterprise and British ship Boxer fought a battle off Pemaquid Point during the War of 1812. The fight lasted less than an hour but both captains were killed. Neither one was yet 30 years old.

The victorious Enterprise towed the Boxer to Portland and both men were laid side by side, with great reverence, in the Eastern Cemetery. Two years later, American Lt. Kervin Waters, 18, who’d been suffering from lingering wounds, was buried by his captain’s side.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who was just a child when the battle took place, spoke of it in his poem “My Lost Youth.” He wrote, “I remember the sea-fight far away, How it thundered o’er the tide! And the dead captains, as they lay In their graves, o’erlooking the tranquil bay Where they in battle died. And the sound of that mournful song Goes through me with a thrill: A boy’s will is the wind’s will, And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.”

Watch his video here.

In other news

The Noyes Street fire trial wrapped up today — Jake Bleiberg has the rundown on the final day of arguments:

Justice Thomas Warren will decide whether landlord Gregory Nisbet’s alleged failure to maintain a safe building makes him criminally responsible for the deaths of six young adults killed in the accidental fire. Nisbet, who did not take the stand during the five-day trial, had opted for a bench trial rather than letting a jury decide the verdict.

Some owners aren’t happy about political signs outside their businesses — Kate McCormick reports:

Business owners up and down Route 1 in Falmouth worry that customers will assume they are associated with the signs that now run through much of the town’s business district. The signs are planted on public property, but [one business owner] says some customers may not realize that local businesses have no control over campaign materials placed just feet from their doors.

Related: WMTW reporter Kyle Jones on Twitter reports: “A Portland woman was given a court summons last night after allegedly taking down Trump signs near Falmouth Walmart.”

The former bassist of Nirvana is coming to Portland to stump for ranked-choice voting — Krist Novoselic has been a proponent of the voting process for years. He’ll be at Bayside Bowl on Oct. 17 from 8 to 10 pm. It’s the latest effort by advocates to promote passage of the referendum question. Backers have also held “beer elections” to try to explain how ranked-choice voting works.

The Big Idea

How the thawing Arctic could make money for Maine —  Bill Trotter reports on an Arctic Council meeting this week:

The idea of making money off the melting Arctic has drawn protests from critics who say Maine should be trying to prevent rather than profit from climate change. State and business officials say that while it is important to try to put the brakes on global warming, Maine should be involved in trying to make the best of changes that are inevitable — both for the 4 million people who live above the Arctic Circle and those who seek to use the shorter shipping route between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans that is opening up through the north polar seas.

Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Dan MacLeod at, or tweet @dsmacleod.

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Dan MacLeod

About Dan MacLeod

Dan MacLeod is the managing editor of the Bangor Daily News. He's an Orland native who first moved to Portland in 2002. He's been a journalist since 2008, and previously worked for the New York Post and the Brooklyn Paper.