Welcome to the City of Dartmouth. I’ve been told that history doesn’t repeat but it rhymes, and it’s apparent when one digs into Nova Scotia’s past. So much of what’s happening today hearkens back to the convulsions of the past, cycles of great awakenings and still greater despair. This is a history blog, and a vessel for what I’ve found over the years that’s Dartmouth related. It’s an attempt to catalog it all, to put it all into one place. It’s incomplete, and very much a perpetual work in progress. I’ve done my best to link to sources for what I’ve posted here. Some of the photos and maps I’ve downloaded over the years without knowing I’d eventually be cataloguing them. If there is no source listed, I’m …

You are now entering the City of: Read More…

Having spent much time in Nova Scotia, I am often asked—Why does that province wish to sever connection with the Dominion, and what means her cry of “Repeal and Reciprocity”? And some of my friends are not a little shocked that, at a time when the question of Imperial Federation is so much discussed, our nearest kinsfolk on the American continent should be agitating for what at the first glance looks like separation, though it is far from being so intended. Imperial Federation is indeed a grand scheme, or will be when it attains the dignity of a scheme. At present it seems little better than a vague, but decidedly alluring, dream. And it is likely so to remain unless, among other safeguards, each unit which makes up …

Nova Scotia’s cry for home rule Read More…

It is my purpose, in the following pages, to expose the fallacies of a Pamphlet on Confederation, “by a Nova Scotian,” which has been widely circulated, and, though shallow in the extreme, is calculated to mislead the unwary. It bears strong evidence, of being the work of one of the unauthorized individuals, who pretend to have visited London, clothed with authority, to overturn all our political institutions. Although the author complains, in reference to imputations cast on their spotless reputations, that “no one ventures under his signature in open day to prefer a charge, &c,” he has not mustered courage to put his own name to this tissue of mere sophistries. When the delegates returned to the Province they did not meet with a very flattering reception. They …

Confederation examined in the light of reason and common sense Read More…

A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom, 18 June 1779 Well aware that the opinions and belief of men depend not on their own will, but follow involuntarily the evidence proposed to their minds; that Almighty God hath created the mind free, and manifested his supreme will that free it shall remain by making it altogether insusceptible of restraint; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments, or burdens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do, but to extend it by its …

Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom Read More…

A Declaration of Rights (June 12th, 1776) Made by the Representatives of the good People of Virginia, assembled in full and free Convention, which rights to pertain to them and their posterity as the basis and foundation of government. I. That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety. II. That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people; that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amendable to them. III. That government is, …

Virginia Declaration of Rights Read More…

An incredibly detailed map with a lot of text, again showing Chibouctou on the Dartmouth side, along with some crops. Perhaps this is the “1/2 acre of improved land” that de Gargas noted in his 1687-1688 census of Acadie (including Chibouctou). “Carte de la coste de l’Acadie” La Borde, Jean-Benjamin de. 17?? https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b53089980h

A recognizable Halifax peninsula on this map, McNabs, George’s Lawlors and Devil’s island all properly represented, as well as a portage to Windsor. “Carte de l’Accadie”, Chabert, Joseph-Bernard de. 1746. https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b53089771s

This map shows the Shubenacadie River as the Chibouctou River, a few other features are discernible, including McNabs Island and George’s Island. A rough idea of the different features represented, as they are known today. “Carte de l’Acadie” 1708. https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b530900430

One of the only maps I’ve seen that shows what is a political division, “Dartmouth Parish”, I believe this is a reference to it being a bishopric. From Coke Upon Littleton: “…the ancient towns called boroughs are the most ancient towns in England; and from these towns come the burgesses of parliament, when the king has summoned his parliament. Every borough incorporate that had a bishop within time of memory, is a city, albeit the bishopric be dissolved…It is not necessary that a city be a county of itself; as Cambridge, Ely, Westminster &c. are cities, but are no counties of themselves, but are part of the counties where they are” Some interesting features are included, including the Ferryhouse located at the bottom of Old Ferry Road, the …

Dartmouth Parish (The Harbour of Halifax) Read More…

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