Original Inhabitants of Maine
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Scientific evidence seems to indicate that the earliest inhabitants of Maine were Paleo-Indian hunters who probably fell victim to climatic change. Later, the so-called Red Paint people occupied the area and were buried in graves lined with red ochre (found to be hematite, a blackish-red mineral, the primary ore of iron). By the time of first European explorers, the region was populated by two main native groups.
Five centuries before Columbus' voyages, it is believed by some that Leif Ericsson visited the coast of present-day Maine for the purpose of establishing a settlement. Although absolute proof is lacking, John Cabot, an Italian mariner working for Henry VII of England, appears to have explored the area in 1498. Following Cabot, other Europeans visited the shores of Maine to explore, fish, or to repair their ships and gear.
In 1604, French explorers Pierre du Guast, Sieur de Monts and Samuel de Champlain made a serious effort to establish a small settlement on Saint Croix Island (on the border on present-day Maine and New Brunswick). The settlers became sick with scurvy and vacated the colony the following year.
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