Dartmouth, the City of Lakes, welcomes you.

1760s

By 1761, the Mi’kmaq raids were at an end. After peace was made with the French in 1763, no more casualties seem to have occurred.

The year 1765 must have brought considerable excitement to Dartmouth, for it was in the month of May that hangings occurred. A search through the Supreme Court files, however, shows that six men were sent to the gallows that spring. Mr. Mullane omitted the name of John Evans. All six gave their occupation as sailors, perhaps merchant seamen.

Driscoll and Lawlor, convicted of murdering a man and a woman at Halifax on April 25, were sentenced to hang on May 20. The charge against Donnelly, Taylor, Smith and Evans was, “that on April 26, 1765, between 11 and 12 in the night, they did by force of arms feloniously break and enter the dwelling-house of Adam Prester at Dartmouth, and steal 20 pounds in gold and silver money and one silver buckle and some linen to the value of 10 shillings”.

Chief Justice Belcher presided. The four accused were convicted and sentenced to hang on May 28. Each man in turn begged the Court to be allowed the benefit of clergy, but was refused.

Adam Prester’s house was on the outskirts of the town-plot. Deed books show that in 1765 he owned lots 1 and 16 in Block “E”. There is no other record of executions in Dartmouth, so far as known, either before or since the above-mentioned.

At least, nothing of that nature befell a party of 30 under the command of Captain William Owen, private secretary to Governor Campbell, who went over the well-known water route from here to the Bay of Fundy in September of 1767. His diary of the trip is most interesting. At Mill Creek, he “impressed a Dutchman with two horses and two trucks to transport their gig and small boats over the portage to the nether Dartmouth Lake”. (This was probably one of the Germans). His descriptions of Lake Banook, and of the islands in Lake MicMac are very accurate. Portobello is also noted.

The number of animals and-of people in Dartmouth about this time is recorded in the census returns for 1766, which give the town a total population of 39. This includes 30 adults, 8 children and 1 negro man. There are 14 horses, 6 cows and 4 pigs.