Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015
Contact: Kristen Schulze Muszynski
Work: 626-8404/ Cell: 441-7638

Secretary Dunlap to hand-deliver Mattawamkeag?s Civil War-era ledger

AUGUSTA ? Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap will be in Mattawamkeag on Friday to personally deliver the town?s Civil War-era ledger book, which was recently recovered by the Maine State Archives.

The ledger tracks the state aid given to servicemen and their families in the Town of Mattawamkeag, at the end of the Civil War and five years thereafter (1864-68).

In early December, Maine State Archives Services staff member Anthony Douin spotted the ledger on eBay, where it was being sold by a Missouri woman. The state invoked its replevin law, which codifies the State?s interest in repatriating government documents, and the ledger was returned.

Secretary Dunlap was instrumental in seeing the replevin law passed during his time as a state legislator, when he sponsored enacted legislation to proscribe illegal sale of rare and important public documents.

?Public records like this constitute the evidence of who we are,? said Secretary Dunlap.

Mattawamkeag Board of Selectmen Chairman John Whitehouse and Town Clerk Jodi Furge will take receipt of the ledger at 1 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 20 at the town hall. The public is welcome to join them in seeing this historic ledger returned to its place of origin.
?Replevin is a vital tool for governments to ensure that archival documents ? papers of permanent value ? are returned to the people. We maintain that government documents are not for sale. People can obtain copies, but the originals are never for sale,? said State Archivist David Cheever.

The Maine State Archives has scanned the ledger and will keep an electronic copy, which the public can view.