From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin:

In March of 1837 the harbor was encumbered with ice, and the rural roads were completely blocked with snow. For a time this cut off Halifax and Dartmouth from their source of provisions. The dwindling supplies in the shops were sold at excessively high prices.

Allan McDonald was manufacturing flour at Russell’s Lake, and some of it had been sold in New York. Reports from that city stated that the flour had passed inspection and had been graded as “superfine”.