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…

If you don’t have Wood’s “Creation of the American Republic” in your library, I highly recommend you pick up a copy. It has been invaluable to me for putting into context so much of what was happening throughout the British colonies at the time of the revolution – many of the forces at work being identical in Nova Scotia, though perhaps in different proportions of Whig to Tory, dissident to loyalist. This passage on the Power of appointment still holds true today, perhaps more so than ever before, with so many of the political positions in Canada existing as the appointments of a completely irresponsible executive, the Prime Minister. A Prime Minister who appoints “all the ministers and parliamentary secretaries, the deputy ministers, senators, the head of state …

The Power of Appointment Read More…

More time is spent describing Dartmouth here than in many other similar books of its kind, yet another instance of 1756 being given as the date of Dartmouth’s “destruction” at the hands of the Mi’kmaq. The timing of the “attack”, 1756, in regards to the delay of the institution of representative government at Halifax until 1758; the requirement of a population of 25 qualified electors in 1757 in order to qualify for a representative in the legislature, which become 50 qualified electors by 1758; all these points, when put together, have always struck me as curious. Earlier events, such as the arrival and settlement of various “wastrels” as well as the “King’s bad bargains” has led me to question whether it was the Mi’kmaq who were involved in …

A Plan of National Colonization Read More…

Since few of these old newspapers are properly scanned with OCR, being multiple columns of faded text, I’ve done my best to transcribe what seemed to be the most interesting parts of this edition. It contains a number of references to the Stamp Act as well as news from the other colonies, one being a letter from Benjamin Franklin’s son William. The Nova Scotia Gazette: Containing the freshest Intelligence, foreign and domestic. From Thursday, November 21, to Thursday November 28, 1765. Price six pence single. Thoughts on Various subjects: Party is the madness of many for the gain of a few. To endeavor to work upon the vulgar with fine sense, is like attempting to hew blocks with a razor. A man should never be ashamed to own …

Nova Scotia Gazette, Nov 21 1765. 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, …

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

You’ll have to excuse the antiquated language, but a beautiful sentiment nonetheless that was worth sharing, “to guard and cherish our social rights.” I love finding examples of agency and the spirit of community that this exemplifies. “We, the Colored Men of Nova Scotia, have unanimously agreed to form ourselves into an Association to guard and cherish our social rights, and advance our Financial as well as our Political interests” Anglo-African Mutual Improvement and Aid Association of Nova Scotia. Constitution And By-laws of the Anglo-African Mutual Improvement And Aid Association of Nova Scotia. [Halifax, N.S.?: s.n., 18. https://hdl.handle.net/2027/aeu.ark:/13960/t7dr4207r

“It has been argued that we are so small a territory, that we should endeavor to unite with some larger country, in order to enlarge our scope for action… Turn to the American States, and contrast the size of Nova Scotia with some States there, and from which we have heard no talk of forming any union with any other State, in order to increase their importance in the Union. There are the States of New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, &c- all very much smaller in area than Nova Scotia, and yet from these we hear of no Union being formed among them, in order that the citizens may have more area or room for development. Nova Scotia contains 20,436 square miles; New …

Speech on the union of the colonies, Debates, 1865 Read More…

“The work I am now undertaking has never been done before. This sweeping assertion may astonish the reader; but there is this very good reason for making it: the archives of the most important part of this history have been either carried off, or destroyed, or simply lost. Which of these alternatives is the most likely will appear later on. An American writer, Philip H. Smith, treating of the same subject, gave his book this title: “ Acadia— A Lost Chapter in American History.” Though he had not the documents needed for a complete reconstruction, yet, with his sound judgment and great impartiality, by making good use of what he had in hand, he has managed to hit upon a line of development that affords a glimpse of …

Acadia; missing links of a lost chapter in American history Read More…

“The pages of this work are … compiled to show the origin of every barony, from its first commencement by writ of summons to parliament, to the time it became (as presumed) extinct, or terminated in an heir general in dormancy; or in coheirs general in abeyance between them; accompanied with such remarks as appear explanatory of their course of descent.” “Heralds and critics, that abusive throng; May as they please, speak of me right or wrong; Their praise will never give me any pride, Their spite, I heed not, and their snarls deride.” “In the Appendix to the second volume is an account of the first settlement of the Scots in Nova Scotia, the occupation of the country by them, and the institution of the Order of …

Baronia anglica concentrata, or, A concentrated account of all the baronies commonly called baronies in fee Read More…

“On the east side of the harbor opposite the city is situated the town of Dartmouth; between which places a semi-hourly communication is kept up by steam-boats.” Spedon, Andrew Learmont. Rambles Among the Blue-noses: Or, Reminiscences of a Tour Through New Brunswick And Nova Scotia During the Summer of 1862. Montreal: Lovell, 1863. https://hdl.handle.net/2027/umn.31951002286200x

“The baronetage, which forms a distinct estate of nobility in the British empire, intermediate between the peerage and knighthood, was erected by his majesty king James I by Charter under the great seal, on the 22nd of May, 1611” roun, R. (Richard), Sir, 1801-1858. Case of the Honourable the Baronets of Scotland And Nova Scotia: Shewing Their Rights And Privileges, Dignatorial And Territorial. Edinburgh: W. Blackwood, 1836. https://hdl.handle.net/2027/aeu.ark:/13960/t2d80df70

“Then one should visit Dartmouth, across the harbor from Halifax, so picturesquely dropped among its dark hills. Ferry-boats run every quarter hour between the places. The town has some 6,000 inhabitants, a sugar refinery, a marine railway, a rope-walk, a skate factory, and – by no means least imposing feature – the great grim pile of Mount Hope Lunatic Asylum. Back of Dartmouth, to the north, lies the beautiful chain of the Dartmouth Lakes, a famous resort of skaters, when the ice has set firmly. From these lakes runs the old Shubenacadie Canal, connecting those waters with those of Minas Basin and Fundy by way of the Shubenacadie River.” Presbrey, Frank, 1855-1936. Acadia And Thereabouts … [New York: Seaman-Presbrey, 1896. https://hdl.handle.net/2027/yale.39002034879321

“Across the harbor from Halifax is Dartmouth, where there are numerous rope-works and dry-docks – a purely commercial and practical district; and two miles out of Dartmouth, at Woodside, the Acadia Sugar Refining Plant has extensive works. Pretty names, these two towns possess, but perhaps they don’t live up to them. Just as Cow Bay, a stretch of shore where people sought pleasure in bathing and boating, certainly did not live down to its name. I was told an American made the remark that it was an outrage for such a beautiful place to bear so ugly a cognomen; and a prize was forthwith offered for a substitute. Now it is called Silver Sands. Can you see the psychology of the change? Far more people go there now, …

Ambling through Acadia Read More…

“I learned… that there was a class of persons in Nova Scotia called the Blue Noses (so called from a kind of potato which thrives well here.) Whether this nick-name is an appropriate one or not, I did not become sufficiently acquainted with their habits to determine. This much however is true, that they are not in the habit of setting a very high value either on their own time or that of others.” “In spite of the large extent of barren and rocky land in the south, and what is a more serious evil, those seven or eight months of frost and snow, which crowd the labors of the agriculturalist into so brief a season, the resources of the province are very great.” “In this province the …

Sketches on a tour through the northern and eastern states, the Canadas & Nova Scotia Read More…

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