The name of the state of Maine is of uncertain origin. The name first appears in 1622, in a charter of the Council of New England granting land to Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason. Mason named the portion of the territory granted to him New Hampshire. The portion granted to Gorges, which is the modern state of Maine, had various names at different times, with Maine being the only one used consistently throughout the period leading up to 1665, when the crown made the name official. In 1677 the colony of Massachusetts purchased Gorges’s territory and kept the name intact.

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