All posts by James Myall

James Myall

About James Myall

While I currently work for an Augusta-based non-profit, I spent four years as the Coordinator of the Franco-American Collection at the University of Southern Maine. In 2015, I co-authored "The Franco-Americans of Lewiston-Auburn," a general history of that population from 1850 to the present. I was also a consultant for the State Legislative Task Force on Franco-Americans in 2012. I live in Topsham with my wife and two young daughters.

For French Scientist-Priests, Eclipses Were Teachable Moments

In 1616, one of the most famous conflicts between science and faith occurred in Rome. The Italian scientist Galileo, who had built on the work of Dutch astronomer Nicholas Copernicus, was being challenged by the Inquisition of the Catholic Church. An inquisitorial commission found unanimously that the theory of heliocentrism was not only “foolish and […]

Confronting the Klan in 1920s Maine

The history of Maine’s brief, but intense, association with the Ku Klux Klan is becoming increasingly well-known. Along with a large portion of the country in the early 1920’s, Maine was home to a Klan chapter with a significant membership, which held significant sway over local politics. While the Klan had its beginnings with former […]

Augusta’s Public School for “French Scholars” Blighted by Truancy, Sickness, and Child Labor

In 1886, the school board of the city of Augusta noted that as more French Canadians were coming to the city, they were increasingly bringing their families with them, or starting families in their new homeland. As a result, the committee recommended that these young “French scholars” be educated in the city’s public school system. […]

Why a Young Man Should Serve

Pride. Character. Betterment. A few of the reasons Aimée McDuff of Brunswick gave his friend Philias Morin for his enlistment in the US Army in the fall of 1917.  McDuff, a Franco-American, enlisted in the Engineer Corps, but transferred to the Medical Corps where his ability to speak French was highly valued. McDuff’s letter was written from […]

“The Hour is Critical” – Franco-Americans in the Great War

Our element, like all others, maybe even more than all others – bound by tradition and character – must get involved, and cooperate. Such was the firm pronouncement of La Justice of Biddeford, Maine, on its front page for April 12, 1917, just a few days after the US Congress had declared war on Germany. The prominent column, entitled […]