Nova Scotia in 1862: papers relating to the two great exhibitions in London of that year

“List of Contributors: … P. McNab, Dartmouth – barley and oats.”

“On the east side of the harbor is situated the town of Dartmouth, settled in 1750. The town is well situated, and is admirably adapted to the employment of ship-building. It is connected with the city by steamboats.”

“Prior to 1719 (at which time Annapolis was the seat of government) the management of the civil affairs of the province was vested solely in the Governor; and, in his absence, in the Lieutenant-Governor or the Commander-in-Chief. In 1719, Governor Phillips, who succeeded Mr. Nicholson, received instructions from the British Ministry to choose a Council from amongst the principal English inhabitants, and, until an Assembly could be formed, to regulate himself by the instructions of the Governor of Virginia. This Council was composed of twelve members, principally officers of the garrison and the public departments. The Governor and Council, from the necessity of the circumstances, combined both the legislative and judicial authority, which, except in so far as they were restrained by the general principles of law, was absolute in all cases. In 1749 the seat of government was transferred to Halifax, where Governor Cornwallis formed a Council somewhat similar in its functions to the one at Annapolis. This method of administration continued until after the conquest of Louisburg in 1758, when Governor Lawrence, who had before the sailing of the expedition, received an order to issue writs for the election of representatives, but which was delayed because of the unsettled state of public affairs, proceeded to constitute a House of Assembly. This Assembly was composed of 16 members, eleven of whom formed a quorum for the transaction of business. The province at this time was not divided into counties. Lunenburg township was allowed to send two representatives, and the township of Halifax four. The representatives entered upon their duties with zeal and intelligence. The most important manner which they adopted were the confirming the past proceedings of the Courts of Judicature, the establishing a form of religious worship, the granting the security of full liberty of conscience, …

The civil constitution which now existed, continued without any fundamental change, until the concession by the Crown, of the modern form of administration called “Responsible Government,” which Nova Scotia received in the year 1841. The way was in some measure prepared for this latest reform, in 1838, when two Councils were created, an Executive and a Legislative; and the deliberations of the Legislative Council were for the first time made open to the public.

The present political constitution of Nova Scotia may be briefly described as follows: The highest authority is vested in the Lieutenant Governor, who is styled His Excellency (as the Queen’s Representative.) The Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia is nominally subordinate to the “Governor General of British North America.” It is, however, only a distinction of rank, as the administration of the respective colonies is in no respect connected.

The Lieutenant Governor is surrounded by an Executive Council, chosen from the Legislative Council and the House of Assembly, and appointed by the Crown, who are his sworn advisers in the exercise of his administrative and legislative duties, and who are responsible to the people for the acts of his administration. Five of the members of the Executive are, in accordance with the principles of Responsible Government, heads of public departments, viz : the Attorney General, Solicitor General, Provincial Secretary, Financial Secretary and Receiver General.

The Legislative Council, which is analogous in its legislative functions to the House of Lords, consists of twenty-one members, one of whom is President. They are appointed by the Crown, upon the recommendation of the Executive, and hold their seats for life. The House of Representatives, or more frequently called the House of Assembly, consists of fifty-five members, representing counties and townships, who are elected every four years. The elective franchise is granted to every male of twenty-one years of age, who is a natural-born or naturalized subject of the Queen of Great Britain, and who has been for one year a resident of the county or township in which he votes. In its mode of procedure the House of Assembly, ss far as possible, conforms to the usages of the lower house of the British Parliament.”

London International Exhibition. Nova Scotia In 1862: Papers Relating to the Two Great Exhibitions In London of That Year .. [Halifax, N.S.?: s.n.], 1864.