Word came to Halifax that England and the United States had declared war. This aroused great activity around the Dockyard and Halifax wharves where privateers were continually being fitted out for expeditions that were sometimes disastrous, but often very profitable. As owners shared prize money with crew members, no doubt many Dartmouth young men often ventured on these voyages.
Preston and Woodlawn sections then began to add American officers to the number of prisoners already quartered there. Most of them were friendly and spent money freely, and thus became quite popular with the villagers.
In 1812, there died William Birch Brinley, the man who built Mount Edward. He was a nephew of Sir John Wentworth, and named the estate in honor of the Duke of Kent. His wife was Joanna, daughter of John Allen whose nearby tanyard spread over the location of the farm now owned by John Cross.
Their daughter Frances Brinley married William Lawson, a son of the first President of the Bank of Nova Scotia; and this family occupied Mount Edward, along with the mother, for many summers afterwards. The farm-land continued to be cultivated until about 40 years ago when the original house disappeared. But the foundation stones of the old dwelling and of the outbuildings are still visible. The view from that elevation is ideal.