is a town in Penobscot County, Maine, United States. The population was 6,327 at the 2000 census. Hampden is part of the Bangor Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The town was originally called Wheelersborough after its original settler, Benjamin Wheeler. It was incorporated on February 24, 1794, and named after the English patriot John Hampden.
During the War of 1812, on September 3, 1814, about 400 local militia under the command of Brigadier General John Blake of nearby Brewer, attempted to hold off a superior force of British regulars at Hampden. The American line, however, collapsed before a charge and was quickly routed. The Americans suffered 1 casualty with 11 wounded, and the British lost 2 (one an officer). A civilian spectator was also killed. The British fleet, which under command of Sir John Coape Sherbrooke (then Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia) had recently captured Castine, looted Hampden and nearby Bangor. They were trying to capture the USS
, a frigate with 750 men which had fled up the Penobscot River and anchored at Hampden. The crew of the
, under Captain Charles Morris, burned the ship to prevent its capture and subsequently escaped overland.
General Blake and two other officers, Lieutnant Colonel Andrew Grant of Hampden and Major Joshua Chamberlain of Brewer (grandfather of Civil War general Joshua L. Chamberlain), were court-martialed in Bangor in 1816 for their part in the defeat. Blake and Chamberlain were both exonerated, but Grant was cashiered.