“This Letter will be deliver’d you by Jonathan Eddy Esq. the Gentlemen from Nova Scotia who I mention’d to you in mine of the 27th Ulto. He seem’d desirous of waiting on the Honorable Congress in Order to lay before them the state of public Affairs, and situation of the Inhabitants of that Province; and as it might be in his power to communicate many things personally, which could not be so well done by Letter, I incouraged him in his design and have advanced him fifty dollars to defrey his Expences—The Acadian accompanies him, and as they seem to be solid, judicious Men, I beg leave to recommend them both to the Notice of Congress,1 and am most respectfully Sir Your most obedient humble Servant” “From George Washington to John Hancock, 1 April 1776,” Founders Online, National Archives, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/03-04-02-0007

“I beg leave to Transmit you the copy of a petition from the Inhabitants of Nova Scotia, brought me by Jonathan Eddy Esq. mentioned therein, who is now here with an Accadian4—From this It appears they are in a distressed situation, & from Mr Eddys account are exceedingly apprehensive that they will be reduced to the disagreable alternative of taking up Arms & Joining our Enemies, or to flee their Country, unless they can be protected against their Insults & oppressions—he says that their Committees think many salutary & valuable consequences wou’d be derived from Five or Six hundred men being sent there, as It wou’d not only quiet the minds of the people from the anxiety & uneasiness they are now filled with and enable ’em to take a part in behalf of the Colonies, but be the means of preventing the Indians (of which there are a good …

From George Washington to John Hancock Read More…

Cumberland Nova Scotia February 8th 1776 “Sir: You may Reasonably imagine that it is presumption in me to take such Liberty in writing your Excellency, still its Going from one whose principles are Actuated from A Genuine feeling of Liberty, and an Indeliable Anxiety for the happiness of his Country, Annimates an Assurance that it will meet, rather with a feeling of sympathy then Censure, more perticula⟨r a⟩s it is Addressed to you sir who is at the head of that Army who is Opposing the mandates of a Corrupt and dispotic ministry, whose Views and Intent Can be founded on no other principle, then to bring the subjects of Britain to an abject slavery, as the subjects of the most Arbitrary Eastern monarch—Sensible I am of the Importance of this proceedg, my Inability of performing any thing in this Great strugle and the Danger I Expose myself and Family …

To George Washington from a Citizen of Nova Scotia Read More…

(On 2 Nov. the congress took cognizance of a petition from the inhabitants of Passamaquoddy, Nova Scotia, who had chosen a committee of safety and asked for admission into “the association of the North Americans, for the preservation of their rights and liberties.” To determine what steps should be taken in response, the congress named a committee of five: Silas Deane, John Jay, Stephen Hopkins, John Langdon, and John Adams (JCC, 3:316). The Journals note that the committee’s report was considered on 9 Nov. but give nothing of its substance. The next day the congress acted on the report by adopting three resolutions (same, 3:343–344, 348). It is possible, of course, that the proposals here printed were only John Adams’s preliminary suggestions for a committee report; if so, they must have made their way into it, for some of the language appears in the congressional resolutions.) “That a Number of …

Committee Report on Petition from Nova Scotia Read More…

“As to the Expedition proposed against Nova Scotia by the People of Machias; I cannot but applaud their Spirit & Zeal, but after considering the Reasons offered for it several Objections occur which seem to me unanswerable. I apprehend such an Enterprize inconsistent with the general Principle upon which the united Colonies have proceeded. It is true, that Province has not acceded to Measures of the Congress and they have therefore been excluded from all commercial ⟨Intercourse with the other Colonies; But they have⟩ not commenced Hostilities against them, nor are any to be apprehended: to attack them therefore is a Step of Conquest rather than Defence, & may be attended with very dangerous Consequences. It might perhaps be easy with the Force proposed to make an Incursion into the Province; to overawe those of the Inhabitants who are inimical to our Cause and for a short Time prevent their …

From George Washington to the Massachusetts General Court Read More…

“Art. XIII. Any and every Colony from Great Britain [interlined: upon the Continent of North America] not at present engag’d in our Association, may upon Application [interlined: and joining the said Association,] be receiv’d into this Confederation, viz. [Ireland] the West India Islands, Quebec, St. Johns, Nova Scotia, Bermudas, and the East and West Floridas: and shall [interlined: thereupon] be entitled to all the Advantages of our Union, mutual Assistance and Commerce.” “Proposed Articles of Confederation, [on or before 21 July 1775],” Founders Online, National Archives, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Franklin/01-22-02-0069

“Of late, indeed, Britain has been at some Expence in planting two Colonies, Georgia and Nova Scotia, but those are not in our Confederacy; and the Expence she has been at in their Name has chiefly been in Grants of Sums unnecessarily large, by Way of Salaries to Officers sent from England, and in Jobbs to Friends, whereby Dependants might be provided for; those excessive Grants not being requisite to the Welfare and good Government of the Colonies; which good Government (as Experience in many Instances of other Colonies has taught us) may be much more frugally, and full as effectually, provided for and supported.” “On the whole of the above it appears, that the Charge of Ingratitude towards the Mother Country, brought with so much Confidence against the Colonies, is totally without Foundation; and that there is much more Reason for retorting that Charge on Britain, who not only …

Intended Vindication and Offer from Congress to Parliament, in 1775 Read More…

“Sir: It is not easy for me to determine whether it be best, to carry the Cause before the Governor and Council as a Court of Chancery or before the King and Council—because, I dont know enough of the Character and Sentiments of the Governor and Council. They may be all Episcopalians, and so much prejudiced, as to render an Application to them, fruitless. (This cause was Gannett’s claim to five hundred acres granted to him as the first settled minister for the Congregationalists gathered around Fort Cumberland. New Englanders had gone to Nova Scotia with the understanding that dissenters would be treated as equals even though the Anglican Church was the established one. Called to serve the parish in 1768 and given his land as provided by law, Gannett had expected to stay. But the arrival of a Church of England missionary, who laid claim to the land on …

From John Adams To the Reverend Caleb Gannett Read More…

“Any and every colony from Great Britain upon the continent of North America not at present engaged in our association may upon application and joining the said association be received into this Confederation, viz. Quebec, Canada, St. John’s, Nova Scotia, Bermudas, and the East and West Floridas: and shall thereupon be entitled to all the advantages and obligations of our union, mutual assistance and commerce.” “Jefferson’s Annotated Copy of Franklin’s Proposed Articles of Confederation, [June–July 1775],” Founders Online, National Archives, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/01-01-02-0109

“It is well known that America is a country full of forests, mountains, &c. That in such a country a small irregular force can give abundance of trouble to a regular one that is much greater: And that, in the last war, one of the fifteen Colonies we now have there (and one far short of being the strongest) held out five years against twenty five thousand British regular troops, joined by twenty-five thousand Colonists on their own pay, and aided by a strong fleet of men of war. (The one colony is of course Quebec; the other that is added to the familiar thirteen is presumably Nova Scotia.)” “On Civil War, 25 August 1768,” Founders Online, National Archives, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Franklin/01-15-02-0107

“As to the Board of Trade, you know who presides and governs all there (George Montagu Dunk, Earl of Halifax (1716–1771), was president of the Board of Trade, 1748–61), and if his Sentiments were no other ways to be known, the fruitless Experiment he has try’d at the Nation’s Cost, of a military Government for a Colony, sufficiently shows what he thinks would be best for us. (In 1749, Halifax had sponsored the colonization of Nova Scotia with British subjects and the establishment of a civil government there. The new colony had a distinctly military flavor, most of its early governors were army or navy officers, and it had no elective assembly until October 1758—an omission which led some settlers to leave in discontent. Yet the colony was not ruled by martial law and its settlers were promised “all the liberties, privileges and immunities enjoyed by His Majesty’s Subjects in …

From Benjamin Franklin to Isaac Norris, 19 March 1759 Read More…

““It is acknowledged, that the Earl of Sterling had made some attempts to settle the Province of Nova Scotia, according to the grant thereof in 1621, and no doubt was at great expence, but being discouraged, about the year 1630, actually sold it to the French, by which unwarrantable proceeding Latour and others possessed themselves of it, and probably facilitated the cessions of it two years after and laid the foundations of all the troubles, the England have since met with, relative to it.” “For the legality of their title the province urges, that Great Britain hath a title to the country prior and superior to any other European state; that the French hath diverse times wrested it from the possession of the English, and the English have as often recovered it from the French; that in the year 1690, in time of war the French were drove from this …

From John Adams to Boston Patriot, 8 August 1811 Read More…

“We had made two propositions for consideration and discussion. One the line of forty five degrees; the other a line through the middle of the lakes. And for the bounds between Massachusetts and Nova Scotia a line from the mouth of St. Croix to its source, and from its source to the Highlands. I was for insisting on the river St. Johns as the true river St. Croix, and for this construction there not wanting, at least plausible arguments; but both of my colleagues tho’t it would be too hazardous to contend for a river which was not named in the charter of Massachusetts against a river that was named in it and I readily acquiesced.” “From John Adams to Boston Patriot, 21 April 1811,” Founders Online, National Archives, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Adams/99-02-02-5633

“I requested him, between him and me, without saying any thing of it to the ministry, to consider whether we could ever have a real peace, with Canada or Nova Scotia in the hands of the English? and whether we ought not to insist, at least upon a stipulation, that they should keep no standing army, or regular troops, nor erect any fortifications upon the frontiers of either.” “From John Adams to Boston Patriot, 6 September 1810,” Founders Online, National Archives, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Adams/99-02-02-5559

“Upon looking over again the words of the first article, there seems to be room for dispute, which a British minister, in the present state of his country, would be capable of taking advantage of. The terms which are used are exceptionable. There are no American colonies at war with Great Britain. The power at war is the United States of America. No American colonies have any representative in Europe, unless Nova Scotia or Quebec may have an agent in London. The word colony implies a metropolis, a mother country, a superior political governor, ideas which the United States of America have long since renounced, forever.” “From John Adams to Boston Patriot, 12 July 1809,” Founders Online, National Archives, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Adams/99-02-02-5391

“…The English made their first efforts against the northern states. There they were able to do nothing but shew their ill will. They then fell upon the middle states. Here they succeeded no better than before. Now they have concerted their plans and directed their forces against the southern states. Georgia and South Carolina are at the southern extremity of the continent, and have so few white people, and are embarrassed with so many [Black people], that the English have gained more advantage, as they think. But it will appear in the end, that the principal advantage will be, stealing a multitude of [Black people], and sending them to the West India islands for sale, and plundering other effects for the private emolument of some of the officers. The militia of the southern states have not yet been practised to war, and are, I suppose, strangers to discipline. But the …

From John Adams to Boston Patriot, 12 August 1809 Read More…

To His Excellency George Washington, Esq, Generalissimo of the Army of the Twelve United Colonies of America. May it please your Excellency: The liberty we take in addressing a person of so exalted a rank will, we presume, be fully pardoned when you perceive the occasion of it. The inhabitants of Nova-Scotia, and in particular those of the County of Cumberland, have been under the greatest desire and apprehension ever since the great contest subsisting between Great Britain and the American Colonies. Our situation has been such that we have not had it in our power to do anything in conjunction with the other Colonies. The form of Government we are under, and the manner of executing its authority, has been such that we are rather to be looked upon as slaves than freemen. With anxious desires have we been waiting for the success of your righteous cause, and that …

Petition from Nova Scotia, February 8th, 1776 Read More…

“The name of an incorporated place may be changed, its boundaries enlarged or diminished, and its mode of government altered, and yet the corporation not be dissolved, but in law remain the same” “Where the functions of an old corporation are superseded, or where the corporation, by loss of all its members, or of an integral part, is dissolved as to certain purposes, it may be revived by a new charter, and the rights of the old corporation be granted over to the same, or a new set of corporators, who, in such case, take all the rights, and are subject to all the liabilities, of the old corporation, of which it is but a continuation” https://ia800208.us.archive.org/28/items/cu31924019959414/cu31924019959414.pdf