Portland, Me. City, seaport, and seat of justice of Cumberland co. 65 miles S. W. from Augusta, the capital of the state, 105 miles N. N. E. from Boston, and 290 miles S. E. from Montreal, by railroad. Population in 1790, 2240; 1800, 3704; 1810, 7169; 1820, 8521; 1830,12,601; 1840, 15,218; 1850, 20,879.
Portland is very pleasantly situated, on a peninsula at the W. extremity of Casco Bay, between Casco River on the S., and Back Cove, which makes up from the harbor, on the N. The length of this peninsula, from E. to W., is 3 miles, and its average width about three fourths of a mile, containing about 2200 acres of land. The ground on which the city is built rises, towards both its eastern and western extremities, into considerable elevations, which gives a beautiful appearance to the general, outline of the place, as it is approached from the sea. The city is regularly laid out, especially the more modern portions of it, and several of the streets are among the handsomest in any of our cities. It is built mostly with brick; and the dwellings, always neat, are, many of them, spacious and elegant. Beautiful elms and other shade trees adorn several of the more retired avenues. The main street extends through the whole city, E. and W., upon the ridge of the peninsula, reaching from hill to hill. One of the latest and most important improvements within the city is the opening of a new street along the heads of the wharves and docks, in such a manner as to form a connection between the termini of the principal railroad routes, and to give them a direct access to the shipping in the harbor, or to the large warehouses where the vessels are laden and unladen.
John Hayward, Gazetteer of the United States of America.... (Philadelphia: James L. Gihon, 1854), 531-532.