“Isaac Deschamps and James Brenton, puisne judges of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court [NSSC], had, charged the colonial Assembly in April 1790, committed “divers illegal, partial, and corrupt acts” such as to justify “Impeachment” for “High Crimes and Misdemeanours.”‘ These words come from the preamble to a list of seven “articles of impeachment” passed by the Nova Scotia Assembly on 5-7 April 1790. The seven articles, distilled from thirteen draft articles which had been introduced on 10 March, listed ten cases in which the judges were alleged to have acted incompetently or partially, or both, and also included accusations that they had lied to the Lieutenant-Governor’s Council of Twelve when it had conducted an inquiry into some of the allegations two and a half years earlier. The “trial” of the judges on these articles of impeachment took place before the Committee of the Privy Council for Trade and Plantations in …

The Impeachment of the Judges of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, 1787-1793: Colonial Judges, Loyalist Lawyers, and the Colonial Assembly Read More…

Bye-Laws of St. Johns lodge, 21, Auburn, North Carolina, 1772 Letter from Rev J.W. Weeks, Chaplain, Dartmouth, 1794 Freemasons. “Catalogue of ancient masonic documents in possession of Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia, A.F. and A.M.Report of Special Committee on Arrangement of Masonic Documents, classed as Grand Lodge and Subordinate Lodges.” [Halifax, N.S.? : s.n.], 1890 https://hdl.handle.net/2027/aeu.ark:/13960/t9475cw5f

Is Dartmouth different? In the 19th century it certainly was. From the Reports of the London Vaccine Institution, we have a contribution from July 28th, 1823 about Dartmouthian and Quaker Seth Coleman and how he tended to the people of Preston (and Dartmouth at large) who had smallpox. In 1814, when the “medical gentleman of the town of Halifax were not to be induced to cross the harbour”, Seth Coleman stepped in and saved the lives of at least 423 people, including 285 Black refugees and 59 Mi’kmaq. Coleman regretted the racial prejudice expressed by most colonists and Nova Scotian officials, declaring “My feelings have been often hurt at the expressions of people who are ignorant of (the refugees’) situations.” An experience corroborated in ‘The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832’ by Alan Taylor and ‘The Blacks in Canada: A History’ By Robin William Winks.

“A fear of being accused of being thoughtful” Dartmouth: From the first City in Canada to have a philosopher laureate, to a debt district care of a municipal coup, in under five years. “Progress”. The kind of progress that has become expected when surrounded by mendacious monarchical scumbags, regardless of party, who pledge allegiance to a minimal accountability framework for a maximum potential for corruption.

At a meeting of the Members of the House of Assembly, in the Assembly Room, in the Provincial Building at Halifax, on the 7th day of November, 1867, the following Declaration was unanimously agreed to, and ordered to be published:— We, the representatives of Nova Scotia, having assembled for the purpose of constructing an Administration, and having effected that object, cannot separate without making known to our constituents our unanimous and unalterable determination to use every lawful and constitutional means to extricate this Province from the operation of the British North America Act, the passage of which, in the Imperial Legislature, was obtained by falsehood, fraud, and deception. We shall take the earliest opportunity of informing the Queen and her Parliament that the people of Nova Scotia were systematically and perseveringly prevented from expressing their will on the subject of Confederation until after the Imperial statute was enacted, and we …

Reports of meetings held in the province of Nova Scotia, to consider a repeal of the “British North America Act, 1867” Read More…

The 45th bill to become an act in the Legislature of Nova Scotia, in the 2nd session of the 1759 (second) sitting.“An act for permitting persons of the profession of the people called Quaker, to make an affirmation instead of an oath” This could be said to be Dartmouth’s first bill, since that is where the Quakers were destined, and where they settled. This is a bill of religious liberty, since Quakers refused to swear an oath because they believed “all who possessed the spirit of Christ would speak the truth on all occasions, in love for Him, and in obedience to His command”.

Today is just another random date in American history with a Dartmouth connection. July 19th, 1848: In Seneca Falls, N.Y., a woman’s rights convention–the first ever held in the United States–convenes with almost 200 women in attendance. The convention was organized by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, two abolitionists.The Dartmouth connection? Lucretia Mott (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Coffin-1474), is the daughter of Anna (Folger) Coffin (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Folger-166), who is the daughter of William Folger (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Folger-167), who is the brother of Dartmouth Quaker Timothy Folger! (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Folger-296). Good Nantucket stock might explain why Dartmouth was the first jurisdiction in Nova Scotia to explicitly include women in the franchise in 1886 – (https://ia802706.us.archive.org/…/statutesnovasco01scotgoog… – page 252) after Nova Scotia had explicitly removed women from the vote in 1851 (http://0-nsleg-edeposit.gov.ns.ca.legcat.gov.ns.ca/…/1851.p… – page 17). It took Nova Scotia 32 more years to extend the franchise to women in 1918, two more years for women and men who owned no property to …

Lucretia Mott Read More…

Did you know that the beginning of the right to vote for women in Nova Scotia started in the Town of Dartmouth in 1886? If you rely on the Province of Nova Scotia to inform you, you will find not one mention of Dartmouth’s trailblazing status (https://nslegislature.ca/about/history/women-in-nova-scotia-politics), perhaps because their copy of the Statutes of 1886 omits page 253, which just happens to be the page that details who is eligible to vote in Dartmouth’s elections. Hmm. http://0-nsleg-edeposit.gov.ns.ca.legcat.gov.ns.ca/deposit/Statutes/1886.pdf Luckily Google via the Gutenberg Project has digitized a copy held by Stanford Law Library. “All ratepayers of the town whether male or female” Check it out here, on Page 252 (275)(https://ia902706.us.archive.org/6/items/statutesnovasco01scotgoog/statutesnovasco01scotgoog.pdf) On April 26th 1918 the franchise was further extended to female property owners Province wide via the Nova Scotia Franchise Act (1918, c. 2, p. 2). In 1920 further changes were made with the “Act to Amend Chapter 2, Acts …

Universal Sufferage in Canada, and the Dartmouth Connection Read More…

The following excerpts are from “Survival of an African Nova Scotian Community: Up the Avenue, Revisited” by Adrienne Lucas Sehatzadeh, 1998. An incredible resource of the Black history of Dartmouth that is certainly worth your time to read. “The part of Crichton Avenue above Lyngby Avenue is the area where the Black settlement started. Crichton Avenue winds its way north/south from the downtown area, along the western shore of Sullivan’s Pond and Lake Banook.” “Crichton Avenue has been a major roadway in Dartmouth for over 100 years and intersects Ochterloney Street in the downtown area, about one kilometre from Halifax Harbour. The Avenue portion of Crichton Avenue extended across the circumferential highway to The Extension, where the Black community ended.” “Crichton Avenue Extension was expropriated in the late 1960s because of the expansion of the circumferential highway. The circumferential highway (not shown on the sketch) runs east less than one-half …

The Avenue Read More…

“…About the year 1797, John Skerry began running a public ferry, and continued so employed until after the advent of the steam-boat company. He was familiarly known as “Skipper” Skerry, and a few of the oldest inhabitants still remember the man and speak of him in words of praise. The Dartmouth terminus of his ferry was directly at the foot of Ochterloney Street, and the Halifax landing was at the Market Slip. He occupied the building, which stood, on the south-east corner of Ochterloney and Water (Alderney Drive) Streets, and there kept a small bar. The second lot from the north-west corner of Quarrel (Queen) and Water (Alderney Drive) Streets, likewise belonged to him, together with the water-lot immediately in the rear. His ferrymen, previous to leaving the landing, cried “Over! Over!”, and then blew a conch as a signal of departure. The boats were large. They were either sailed …

Ferryman John Skerry Read More…

Remember that time Dartmouthians got so fed up with the substandard ferry service, they charted their own course, and organized a committee to start their own ferry service? A service that became so popular that the Haligonian run service was eventually abandoned in favor of the people’s service? This group even organized a ferry boat buying expedition to New York, in order to purchase a boat “formerly on the Pennsylvania Annex running from Brooklyn to Jersey City”. From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: “The struggle between the citizens and the Steamboat Company lasted about three months. In April 1890, legislation was obtained to organize the Dartmouth Ferry Commission. This body took over the liabilities of the Citizens’ Ferry Committee. Delegates were next sent to the United States to negotiate for the purchase of a secondhand ferryboat named the “Annex”. Meantime the small steamer “Arcadia” kept running in …

The Annex Read More…

“Photograph shows the congregation of Dartmouth Lake Church (now Victoria Road United Baptist Church).The church, also known in its early days as the African meeting house, was founded in 1844. Until 1906 the church was located at the corner of what is now Crichton Ave. and Micmac Blvd.” Plaque from inside Victoria Road Baptist Church: “IN LOVING MEMORY OF EARLY BLACK FATHERS WHO SETTLED AT DARTMOUTH LAKE ROAD 1814, (NOW CRICHTON AVENUE) AND WHOSE ABANDONED GRAVES WERE EXHUMED AUGUST 1976, AND MOVED TO CHRIST CHURCH CEMETERY. REMEMBERED INCLUDE: MARTHA TYNES, GEORGE TYNES, ELIZABETH TYNES, JAMES RILEY AND ISSAC SMITH. DEDICATED DECEMBER 7, 1977”

Sinclair Williams … A Local Hero from empowerfulproject on Vimeo. “Youth and seniors from the East Preston community have been working with a Halifax based video company, Pink Dog Productions to produce a video honoring one of East Preston’s local cultural heroes Mr. Sinclair Williams who was the first African Nova Scotian police officer for the Dartmouth Area.”

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: In January 1832, there appeared in the “Nova Scotian” seven stanzas of poetry written by “Albyn” at Ellenvale on the occasion of the death of John D. Hawthorn. The latter was a prominent merchant of this community, and a Justice of the Peace. He had been a promoter of the Aboiteau, across the Lawrencetown River near the present railway trestle, which resulted in the reclamation of a wide area of dykeland for hay. The weather that season continued cold. Ice formed in the Coves and extended all over the harbor by mid-February, when the mercury sank to 12 below. Hundreds amused themselves skating across. Sailing ships could not enter the port owing to heavy drift ice, which for a time clogged the entrance. As for the unemployed Canal workers, this was the winter of their discontent. Contractor Daniel Hoard had made …

1832 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: In 1920 we had the coldest winter for years. There were 21 days of good sleighing, and 11 days of sub-zero weather in January with the mercury down to 17 below near the month-end. In February the harbor froze over for the first time since 1898. The ferries kept a lane open, and the tug “Ragus” bucked her way daily from the Sugar Refinery to the Imperial Oil wharf at Halifax. On a Sunday afternoon, a number of us skated from Mill Cove to McNab’s Island, without experiencing any difficulty except in hopping over the ice-pans in the channel of the “Ragus” off Woodside. Robert Lynch, who had been eight years in the Town Council, opposed Dr. Simpson in the Mayoralty election and got 525 votes to the Doctor’s 617. A motor-driven ladder truck was purchased and the first Town Engineer …

1920 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: Throughout the winter of 1914-1915, Dartmouth pupils continued on half-time classes until the new Greenvale and Hawthorne Schools were finally opened towards the end of April. Old Hawthorne School, however, still had to be utilized to take care of the overcrowding. Legislation was obtained in 1915 empowering the Park Commission to sell building lots on the Common from the wooden Exhibition Rink to Lyle Street. The name of Quarrell Street was changed to Queen Street, and the Town tax rate was fixed at $1.67. A Town Planning Board was formed. It comprised Mayor Williams, Councilors Lynch and Russell; R. Leo Graham and Dr. W. H. Hattie. Collections for a machine gun were successful carried out by the Axe and Ladder Company under the leadership Harry Young. Recruiting speeches were made by military and other officials at every opportunity such as theatre …

1915 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: The Dominion decennial census of 1911 gave Dartmouth’s population at 5,058. In February of that year, two-roomed Victoria School was opened at the southeast corner of Wyse Road and Common Road. The new ferry-steamer “Halifax” was launched in Scotland. Daniel Brennan commenced the first automobile-bus service around Dartmouth and also ran trips to Cow Bay Beach. In a short time, he abandoned the venture. Many Dartmouthians saw their first airship flights at the Provincial Exhibition. Sir Wilfrid Laurier campaigned in Halifax for the Dominion elections. The big issue was reciprocity with the United States, and the result was a victory for the Conservative party, led by Robert L. Borden, the representative for Halifax County in the House of Commons. More permanent sidewalks were laid in Dartmouth that year The dates of construction are still indicated by brass figures embedded at our …

1911 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: By 1909 efforts were still being made to start construction work on the Nova Scotia Eastern Railway. Rumors that the Provincial Government were considering an advance of one million dollars to promoters of the railroad, aroused strong protests from County Councilors that winter. They passed a resolution pointing out to the Government that such a financial outlay would benefit only a certain section of Halifax County, whereas if the same amount were applied to the macadamizing and widening of trunk roads, ‘the money would be expended to much better advantage. Speaking for the resolution, Councillor W. A. Temple of Waverley said that macadamized roads would be the forerunner of better means of communication. In the very near future, automobiles would be manufactured at a lower cost than at present, and could then serve the needs of farmers equally as well as …

1909 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: A major change in educational arrangements was made by an Act of the Legislature in, 1908 when all districts outside the boundaries of Dartmouth were separated from the Town, as far as school accommodation was concerned. Ever since incorporation in 1873, Dartmouth had provided for the education of pupils living in the vicinity of Tufts’ Cove, of Cole Harbor Road and of Woodside. Residents of these places then paid school taxes to the Town, and general taxes to the County. The new Act authorized the organization of the Woodside-Tufts’ Cove School Section, having its own Board of Trustees. The County subsequently purchased from the Town of Dartmouth the two school buildings in these areas. The price paid was $7,435. Down at the ferry, some sweeping changes were made in commutation tickets. For instance, the family ticket of $3 per month was …

1908 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: In the winter of 1906 Ropework employees marched in a body to attend the funeral of Hon. William J. Stairs at Halifax. Mr. Stairs was the founder of their establishment, and the man whose spirit of enterprise and purpose was largely responsible for developing the northend of Dartmouth. Prior to the coming of Ropework families after 1868, there were vast areas of woods and pasture in that section of town paying only a few dollars taxes. Mr. Stairs also lived on our side of the harbor for several summers. At a cost of £600 in 1854 he bought “Fernwood Cottage” at South Woodside from John P. Mott who had been his schoolmate at Horton Academy. It is said that H. Y. Mott had Henry Watt build “Fernwood” for his son before the latter’s wedding in 1848. Besides his Ropeworks investments, Mr. …

1906 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: In February 1902 the last of the old-style “Town meetings” was held. The question discussed that night was the purchase of Daniel Donovan’s pasture-land which drained into Lake Lamont. On a show of hands, the proposal was rejected by a vote of 42 to 27. Within the next few weeks, legislation was obtained providing that in future all such matters must be decided by a plebiscite. In 1902 a frightful epidemic of smallpox struck at Dartmouth. The dreadful disease raged from February until the end of June. It began in Halifax. Twenty-three cases broke out in various parts of the Town, and one death resulted. Watchmen in sentry-boxes maintained a 24-hour vigil outside each yellow-flagged house. Dr. Joseph Doyle of Halifax, whose services were engaged, devoted full time to the task. He had his own quarters, and kept himself isolated from …

1902 Read More…