History can be painful for those who’ve lived under the cudgel of colonialism and racism, the last thing this site is meant to do is to dredge up uncomfortable memories or to poke at open wounds. This site isn’t meant to be definitive, nor can it be; history is a group effort which depends on multiple sources and diverse perspectives. An undeniable truth: Dartmouth and Nova Scotia more broadly are located on the ancestral lands of the Mi’kmaq, Mi’kma’ki. Treaties signed are, and ought to be, central to our constitutional makeup. It’s important to show respect to the people who …

Purpose More…

Key to Canada’s modern day ability to perform coup after coup masquerading as legal and constitutional behavior is the “disappearance” of Provincial constitutions, which doesn’t seem to have been accidental, and has enabled a constant and ever worsening tyranny predicated on revisionist history at every level of government. Along with the “unique qualities” of the notwithstanding clause in comparison to other Western constitutions and the “unique qualities” of provincial unicameral ram-fest legislatures are the “unique qualities” of a federalism bereft of sub-national constitutions, which would typically help provide a check on federal omnipotence, part and parcel of Federalism in free …

Provincializing Constitutions: History, Narrative, and the Disappearance of Canada’s Provincial Constitutions More…

The township of Cumberland was settled in 1762-3 or thereabouts, by settlers from Rhode Island. They came in four schooners, and a list of their names was formerly in the Archives of the Province. During the whole of the struggle between the mother country and her colonies, the Cumberland settlers, especially those from the old colonies and the north of Ireland, warmly sympathized with the revolted colonies. In 1772-3-4 and 5, a large immigration took place to both the township and county, principally from Yorkshire, and in no instance during the revolutionary struggle, and the many acts of violence committed …

Trials For Treason In 1776-7 More…

“I hope the administration will see and be convinced that it is not a little faction, but the whole body of American freeholders from Nova Scotia to Georgia that now complain and apply for redress; And who, I am sure, will resist rather than submit.” Charles Thomson, secretary of the First Continental Congress, sent the petition of Congress on November 1st, 1774, to the British King George III, with this cover letter to Benjamin Franklin one of America’s agents in London. Thomson wrote that although there was still hope for peace, the colonies were on the “very edge of the …

The Edge of the Precipice More…

“When, therefore, the delegates at Philadelphia, in the preamble to their Bill of rights, and in their letter to his Excellency General Cage, stiled their body “a full and free representation of—” “all the colonies from Nova Scotia to Georgia,” they were guilty of a piece of impudence which was never equalled since the world began, and never will be exceeded while it shall continue.” “Now was the lucky time, the critical minute. Their passions were up, their reason disturbed, their judgment distorted; with the most inconsiderate rashness they took the fatal resolution of adopting approving and recommending the conduct …

From Nova Scotia to Georgia More…

Included for its mention of Nova Scotia, as a source of delegates who assembled, along with delegates from the other colonies, in a general Congress at Philadelphia (and as one of the “said colonies”, that “assembled in another Congress at Philadelphia”). This, in addition to other mentions of Nova Scotia as one of the colonies that partook in Congress, one by James Kent, American jurist, legal scholar and Chancellor of New York, in his “Commentaries of American Law“, and another by Samuel Seabury, the first American Episcopal bishop, in “The Congress Canvassed: Or, an Examination Into the Conduct of the …

Constitution of South Carolina: March 26, 1776 More…

Letter III – What Is An American? “Some few towns excepted, we are all tillers of the earth, from Nova Scotia to West Florida. We are a people of cultivators, scattered over an immense territory, communicating with each other by means of good roads and navigable rivers, united by the silken bands of mild government, all respecting the laws, without dreading their power, because they are equitable.” “In this great American asylum, the poor of Europe have by some means met together, and in consequence of various causes; to what purpose should they ask one another what countrymen they are? …

Letters From an American Farmer More…

Though not explicitly mentioned since it hadn’t yet been claimed or founded as such, parts of Nova Scotia are included in the first charter of Virginia, the second colony of which (otherwise known as the Popham Colony) was defined as the land lying between 38°N and 45°N latitude. Hence, Thomas Jefferson’s notes on cessions of Nova Scotia from Virginia (A grant of Nova Scotia to Sir William Alexander. 1621, Sep. 10-20., A grant of the soil, barony, and domains of Nova Scotia to Sir Wm. Alexander of Minstrie. 1625, July 12) in his Notes on the State of Virginia. JAMES, …

The First Charter of Virginia (1606) More…

This charter is written as one block of text, without punctuation or break, and a lot of “olde English”. I did my best to find any natural breaks in the text, and corrected what are now misspellings in order to ease its legibility. Any mention of Nova Scotia or Acadia are in bold in order to make it easier to pick them out, not as a representation of how they are presented in the original text. GEORGE BY THE GRACE OF GOD of Great Britain France and Ireland king Defender of the Faith &c To all to whom these Presents …

Explanatory Charter of Massachusetts Bay (1725) More…

This charter is written as one block of text, without any punctuation or break, and a lot of “olde English”. I did my best to find the natural breaks in the text, as well as correcting what are now misspellings, in order to ease its legibility. Any mention of Nova Scotia or Acadia are in bold in order to make it easier to pick them out, not because that is how they are presented in the original text. WILLIAM & MARY by the grace of God King and Queen of England Scotland France and Ireland Defenders of the Faith &c …

The Charter of Massachusetts Bay (1691) More…

“East side of Bedford Basin The winding shore above the narrows has many picturesque points and coves to recommend it to the lover of natural scenery. It has also historical associations, but not, perhaps, of such prominence as that of the western side. High hills, clad with pine and spruce, rise conspicuously above the sparkling waters, affording wide views of the city and harbor of Halifax. Tuft’s Cove, which was named after Gerisham Tufts, who belonged to a family extensively known in the United States, was the first to obtain a grant of the land surrounding this cove. The impression …

Footprints Around and About Bedford Basin More…