DARTMOUTH, Halifax County: This city is located on the east side of Halifax Harbour. A [Mi’kmaq] name was Boonamoogwaddy, “Tomcod ground.” The English name may have been given in honor of William Legge, Earl of Dartmouth, Colonial Secretary 1772-75, but it was probably named for the Devonshire port of Dartmouth. In August, 1750, the Alderney arrived in Halifax (Chebucto) Harbour with 353 settlers on board. On August 23 the Council resolved to settle them across the Harbour from Halifax. Before the end of 1750, a blockhouse and small military post had been built. In 1751 the settlers suffered from an [Indigenous] attack. After the American Revolution an oil factory was set up and operated by a Nantucket Whaling Company about 1785 to 1792. They built a meeting-house about 1787, and their little village near the factory became known as Quaker Town because most of the people were Quakers. Later most …

Place Names and Places of Nova Scotia (in Dartmouth Township) Read More…

“The spirited Conduct and Debates of the Halifax House of Representatives in opposing Measures of His Majesty’s Council we offer to our Readers, as we are persuaded that the Spirit of Liberty wherever breathed, is agreeable to the Citizens of these States. On the thirteenth of May, 1790, the above quotation appeared in a Boston newspaper. There followed an extract from the Journal of the Nova Scotia Assembly for the twenty-seventh of March of the same year. It was the representative branch of the sixth Nova Scotia Assembly that was credited with this “Spirit of Liberty”. This House, the first Nova Scotian legislature in which the United Empire Loyalists were represented, had been elected in 1785 and was now in its fifth session. The previous four had witnessed a gradually increasing hostility between House and Council, which reached a climax in 1790. The debates that called forth the Boston editor’s …

Nova Scotian “Sparks of Liberty” Read More…

“The monopoly of the General Mining Association was a source of great irritation to the people of Nova Scotia, and the events leading to what was then known as “the breaking of the Duke of York’s lease” form one of the most interesting chapters of the development of responsible government in Nova Scotia. After a fight extending over many years, the General Mining Association, in 1857, surrendered its claim to all the mines and minerals of the Province, and was given an exclusive right to all the coal seams in certain specified areas situated in the Sydney, Pictou, and Cumberland fields: coinciding more or less exactly with the areas owned by the Acadia Coal Company at the Albion Mines; the areas operated by the Dominion Coal Company at Springhill Mines; and the areas operated in the Sydney coalfield by the Dominion Coal Company and the Nova Scotia Steel & Coal …

The coal-fields and coal industry of eastern Canada: a general survey and description Read More…

“Prisons played a role in the system almost from the founding of Halifax. According to contemporary accounts the first British settlers in the town included numerous ‘vagabonds’ and assorted criminals. These were the remnants of the three thousand discharged soldiers and sailors, ‘the King’s bad bargains,’ introduced to the colony by Governor Cornwallis in 1749. An influx of former indentured servants from Newfoundland and Virginia, whom some officials viewed as wastrels, helped swell the towns population to about five thousand in 1755. (Executive council minutes, 22 Dec. 1752, PANS RG1, vol. 186,276, and 27 June 1754, vol. 187, 77-9; W.S. MacNutt “The Atlantic Provinces: The Emergence of Colonail Society” [Toronto: McClelland and Stewart 1965] 53-4; T.H. Raddall “Halifax: Warden of the North” rev. ed. [Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1971]) Such economic and social dislocation contributed to the crime and poverty noted by observers, as did wartime conditions and the transient …

From Bridewell to Federal Penitentiary: Prisons and Punishment in Nova Scotia before 1880 Read More…

Chapter X. Section 162: Tenure in Burgage. Tenure in burgage is, where in an ancient borough the king is lord, and they who have tenements within the borough hold of the king their tenements at a certain rent by the year. And such tenure is but tenure in socage. Section 164. And it is to wit, that 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; as Westminster had of late a bishop, and therefore it yet remains a city. The burgh of Cambridge, an ancient city, as it appears by a judicial accord (which is to be preferred before all others) where mos civitatis Cantabrigiae is found by the oath of …

A Readable Edition of Coke Upon Littleton Read More…

This contains the most charitable and interesting sections of the book. Many of these vintage titles I’ve found contain so much that is superfluous or offensive that I try to be selective, not to paint a pretty picture, but to find anything that approached a realization of the gravity of the situation. I don’t think these excerpts represent the totality of the opinion at the time, or the prevalent opinion, so don’t take them as broadly representative. An interesting connection I noticed was what I think is a reference to Cain and Abel, below (“And when they shall have passed away, and their very name is forgotten by our children, will not the voice of our brother’s blood cry unto God from the ground? And in the Day of Judgment when all past actions will be brought to light, and the despised [Indigenous person] will stand on a level with …

A short statement of facts relating to the history, manners, customs, language, and literature of the [Mi’kmaq] tribe Read More…

“With the outbreak of the American Revolution, colonial leaders asserted their claims to the lands beyond the Alleghenies. Congress in its treaty plan of September, 1776, anticipated the acquisition of Canada, Nova Scotia, Florida, and all other British possessions on the North American continent.” “Congress’s special committee to consider foreign affairs issued its initial report on February 23, 1779. This report delineated a northern line running from Nova Scotia to Lake Nipissing, then west to the Missisippi.” “Clearly the critical decision for peace would be made in London because Britain alone could offer the essential concessions. The battle of Yorktown in October, 1781, convinced the ministry of Lord North that it could no longer continue the war in America. Still Lord North, backed by the king, refused to yield to American rebels. North resigned in March, 1782… Lord Rockingham and the earl of Shelburne, both moderates in their views towards …

The Illinois Country and the Treaty of Paris of 1783 Read More…

“The constitution of Nova Scotia is a representative provincial government. The Lieutenant-Governor, who is subordinate to the Governor-General of British North America, is commander within the province; and the supreme civil as well as military authority under him, is a council of twelve members, of whom the bishop and chief justice are members ex officio, and the rest appointed by the Crown. The legislative assembly consists of a body of forty-one members, elected by 40s. freeholders. It is elected, like the British House of Commons, for seven years, but may be prorogued or dissolved by the Lieutenant-Governor. It meets every year, and all money bills must originate in this assembly; other bills require the consent of the Governor and council before they become law. For the purposes of election, Nova Scotia is divided into ten counties. The counties have two members each, and the other representatives are returned by the …

Statistics Relative to Nova Scotia in 1851 Read More…

“Catalogue: Acts of the Parliament (sic) of Virginia, 1660 to 1748, Annals of Congress from 1789 to 1797, Assembly Journals of New York 1850 to 1855, Assembly Documents of New York 1850 to 1855, Senate Journals of New York 1850 to 1855, Senate documents of New York 1850 to 1855, Chalmer’s Introduction to the History of the Revolt of the American Colonies, Colonial History of New York, DeTocqueville’s Democracy in America, Dixon’s Life of William Penn, Documentary History of New York, Documents relating to the colonial History of New York-vol. 1-9 (except vol. 2), Journals of Provincial Congress of New York, 1775-1776–1777, Laws of New York from 1691 to 1773, Laws of New York from 1850-1855″ Acts of the Legislature of Virginia Resolution of the Convention of Virginia, authorising their delegates in Congress to declare American independence. Constitution of the United States. Declaration of independence. Articles of confederation. Declaration of …

Catalogue of books in the Nova Scotia Legislative Council Library Read More…

“It has so often happened to me in our own island, without traveling into those parts of Wales, Scotland, or Ireland, where they talk a perfectly distinct language, to encounter provincial dialects which it is difficult to comprehend, that I wonder at finding the people here so very English. If the metropolis of New England be a type of a large part of the United States, the industry of Sam Slick, and other writers, in collecting together so many diverting Americanisms and so much original slang, is truly great, or their inventive powers still greater.” “I never traveled in any country where my scientific pursuits seemed to be better understood, or were more zealously forwarded, than in Nova Scotia, although I went there almost without letters of introduction. At Truro, having occasion to go over a great deal of ground in different directions, on two successive days, I had employed …

Travels in North America, in the years 1841-2: with geological observations on the United States, Canada, and Nova Scotia Read More…

“The compiler of the following work has been more than forty years laboring as a Missionary among the [Mi’kmaq]. He considered it a matter of prime importance to make himself acquainted with their language, and early set himself to the task, with what few helps he could command; and his success has surprized himself as well as many others. As many as forty thousand of their words has been collected and arranged in alphabetical order… The compiler of this volume soon discovered, what many are now willing to admit, that the [Indigenous] are a very remarkable people, with most remarkable languages, traditions, customs, and habits, and that every thing connected with them is calculated to awaken the deepest interest, for the christian, the philologist, the ethnologist, and all others who take an interest in exploring the works of nature and of art, and who are interested in the welfare of …

Dictionary of the language of the [Mi’kmaq] who reside in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Cape Breton and Newfoundland Read More…

The achievement of Responsible government in the Maritimes created possibilities for significant change in their legal cultures. Whether those possibilities were actualised is a matter of some debate, closely linked to a major theme in Maritime historiography: the meaning of responsible government. An older literature, echoing much contemporary opinion, celebrated the triumph of the reformers as an unqualified good. Careers would open to talents, government would be rendered more accountable, and the humble yeoman would be able to participate actively in a more democratic form of government. In recent decades historians have taken a more jaundiced view of the achievements of responsible government. They have stressed continuity rather than change, suggesting that older elites retained most of their economic and political power. At worst, all that the transition to responsible government involved was replacement of a system based on imperial patronage to one based on partisan allegiance. (or the older …

The Maritime Provinces, 1850-1939: Lawyers and Legal Institutions Read More…

The term “proprietor” was used in two distinct senses in the American colonies. In order fully to understand the nature and the scope of the present study, therefore, it is necessary at the outset to distinguish these two usages. “The more familiar usage of the word “proprietor” is with reference to the proprietary provinces. The “Lords Proprietary” or “Lords Proprietors,” whether single persons or groups of grantees, were created and constituted by the crown on the model of the Palatinate of Durham. They held both territorial and governmental powers and like “the feudal seigneurs of the middle ages, became, or aimed to become, the lords of great colonial territories to which they were to stand as to any fief or estate of land.” The institution, in this sense, was essentially feudal and monarchial in its character. The more noted examples of such Lords Proprietary or Proprietors are William Penn of …

The town proprietors of the New England Colonies: a study of their development, organization, activities and controversies, 1620-1770 Read More…

“In the United States there should be much interest in the Diocese of Nova Scotia, for that Diocese owes its existence to the Tories of the Revolution, who went in thousands from New York and Massachusetts to the “Acadian Province by the Sea,” and its first bishop was, at the outbreak of the war, the honored rector of the leading Church in the older Colonies.” “If it had not been for the fierce legislation of the Whigs in the various colonies against the adherents of the crown, the history of this part of the country, both secular and religious, would be vastly different from what it is.” “The attention of New York loyalists seems to have been early directed towards the almost uninhabited province of New Brunswick.” Eaton, Arthur Wentworth Hamilton, 1849-1937. The Church of England In Nova Scotia And the Tory Clergy of the Revolution. 2d ed. New York: …

The Church of England in Nova Scotia and the Tory clergy of the revolution Read More…

“The following list of [Mi’kmaq] names of places, rivers, etc., in Nova Scotia and neighborhood was compiled, at my request, by Miss Elizabeth Frame, of Shubenacadie, for the library of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and was duly presented at the meeting on June 9, 1892. She was aided in her labors by a [Mi’kmaq], as well as by the published works of Mr. Gesner and Dr. Rand. It is now printed at the expense of a gentleman of Cambridge, who is interested in [Indigenous] philology. Samuel A. Green” “The Micmac left no sculptured gods, No temples made of stone; In misty caves, in storm-tossed clouds, Minitou dwelt alone. But names remain on hill and plain, Of this once powerful race, And in those liquid Micmac words, Their presence yet we trace. Where Aspatogon lifts her brow, Unblushing, to the sea; Where crashing ice-cases dash and break, On lonely Scatarie; Where …

A list of [Mi’kmaq] names of places, rivers, etc., in Nova Scotia Read More…

“In the autumn of 1852, the compiler with a few friends made an excursion to the Schoodie Lakes to enjoy a few weeks in hunting and fishing in that region. Here a part of the Passamaquoddy tribe has for centuries made its home, and it was while recording by fire-light in a tent the recollections and traditionary legends of this people and their fathers, that he first heard of their services in the revolution, and of the name and exploits of John Allan. And here too he saw the documents which have been preserved with great care and fidelity by the tribe.” “Friends Brothers & Countrymen, In the Spring of the year we received with Joy and Gladness, a very kind letter from our friend and brother His Ex’y George Washington. What he said therein gave us great satisfaction and Determined we were to continue in that friendship, with the …

Military operations in eastern Maine and Nova Scotia during the revolution, chiefly compiled from the journals and letters of Colonel John Allan Read More…

“Rhode Islanders emigrating to Nova Scotia? How is that? .. Ah Yes! They must have been a group of Tories… No! The colony of which I speak left the parent stock when all were alike loyal to the sovereign of Great Britain ,- indeed at just the juncture when it was the proudest boast of every New Englander that he was a British subject. Jan. 11, 1759, Governor Lawrence sent forth from the Council Chamber at Halifax, a second proclamation: “The significance of this document in one respect must have struck the attention of all who are Rhode Islanders in spirit; refer to its lofty sentiments with regard to liberty of conscience.” Huling, Ray Greene, 1847-1915. The Rhode Island Emigration to Nova Scotia. [Providence, R.I.?: s.n., 1889. https://hdl.handle.net/2027/aeu.ark:/13960/t3nv9vv03

“In the year 1799 the Bishop of Nova Scotia reported to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts that the Province was being troubled by “an enthusiastic and dangerous spirit” among the sect called “Newlights”, whose religion seemed to be a “strange jumble of New England Independency and Behmenism.” Through the teaching of these “ignorant mechanics and common laborers”, the people were being excited to a “pious frenzy,” and a rage for dipping” prevailed over all the western counties. It was further believed by the Bishop and the Anglican clergy that these sectaries were engaged in a plan for “a total Revolution in Religion and Civil Government.” “…as Bishop Inglis recognized, the movement was a continuation of the great revival or religion which occurred in New England between 1740 and 1744, it may be properly called “The Great Awakening in Nova Scotia.” “Although laws (such as …

The Great Awakening in Nova Scotia, 1776-1809 Read More…

“From the beginning of the strife in the American colonies, New York, which unlike Massachusetts (and like Nova Scotia) was a royal or crown colony, naturally showed marked loyalist sympathies. It has often been sweepingly asserted that all the leading families of New York were Tories, but that this was far from being the case is shown by the fact that some of the most active supporters of the revolutionary cause, like John Jay and Gouveneur Morris, bore names as proud as any in the province; and that although the DeLanceys, DePeysters, Philippses and Johnsons, and the greater part of the local aristocracy who acknowledged the leadership of these families, were enthusiastic supporters of the crown, the Schuylers and Livingstons, at least, were known as equally enthusiastic in the Whig cause.” “So far as religion ruled, the Episcopalians naturally were almost entirely Tory in feeling, and the same was true …

The New York Loyalists in Nova Scotia Read More…

“Constitutional scholarship in Canada since Confederation has been characterized by two primary narratives. The dualist narrative, which characterized constitutional scholarship between the late-nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries, focused on the parallel developments of provincial and federal constitutions. The monist narrative, which has become the dominant model of interpretation since the mid-twentieth century, focuses on the federal constitution as a singular foundation of constitutionalism in Canada. As a result of the shift from dualism to monism, provincial constitutions have become largely ignored in Canada and subsumed by the “mega-constitutional” politics of the federal constitution. This paper examines provincial constitutions to highlight the significant reorientation of constitutional scholarship in Canada over the past 150 years, which has become primarily focused on post-Confederation constitutional history and written constitutionalism.” “The diminishment of provincial constitutions in Canada is less a reflection of their secondary significance than the changing narratives of the constitution in Canada, which over …

Provincializing Constitutions: History, Narrative, and the Disappearance of Canada’s Provincial Constitutions Read 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 in and about Fort Lawrence and Fort Cumberland, is it known that a single Yorkshire settler ever swerved in his loyalty. In the November of 1776 the original settlers of the township, at the instance of parties from Machias, and led by Jonathan Eddy, William Howe, Samuel Rogers, and John …

Trials For Treason In 1776-7 Read More…

“The colonies now belonging to the Crown of Great Britain, exclusive of those under the government of the East India Company, (to which this work does not profess to extend,) are as follows: In the West Indies and South America: Antigua, including Barbuda Barbadoes British Guiana Dominica Grenada Jamaica Montserrat Navis St. Christopher’s, including Anguilla St. Lucia St. Vincent Tobago Trinidad Virgin Islands In North America, continental and insular: Bahama Islands The Bermuda, or Somer’s Islands Canada, Lower Canada, Upper Prince Edward’s Island New Brunswick Newfoundland, with part of Labrador Nova Scotia, including Cape Breton Africa: Cape of Good Hope Sierra Leone, with the settlements on the Gold Coast In the Indian Seas: Ceylon Mauritius, with the Seychelles In the South Seas: New South Wales, with Norfolk Island Van Dieman’s Land Western Australia (In this enumeration of the colonies nothing has been said of Honduras, which has been decided expressly …

A summary of colonial law Read More…

“In the Royal Charter granted in 1621 to Sir William Alexander lies the origin of Nova Scotia as a Province and of the name it bears. It is with the conditions leading up to this grant and consequent upon it, as well as with the Charter itself, that the present article is concerned.” “The grant was to Sir William, his heirs, and assigns, or “to any other that will join with him in the whole or in any part thereof,” to be held of the crown as part of Scotland. The royal warrant was signed by the King at Windsor on the tenth of September, 1621, and was registered on the 29th of that month. The land thus conveyed was of large extent, though of course much smaller than the original grant to New England, of which it formed but a surrendered part.” “The rights and privileges conferred on Sir …

Nova Scotia’s Charter Read More…

Since this is posted to the internet, and it has been indexed by Google, it is a little late to prevent circulation as requested at the beginning of the document. Definitely worth a read if you’d like to gain a greater understanding about this oft-neglected part of early Nova Scotian history. Reid, John G. “The Lost Colony of New Scotland and its Successors, to 1670” Saint Mary’s University Conference, March 26-27, 2004, http://www.mceas.org/Reid.pdf