“This paper, read in part before the Nova Scotia Historical Society on March 18, 1898, is an attempt to supply a missing chapter in Canadian history — a sombre and unattractive chapter, it may be, but necessary nevertheless to the completeness of our records. If instances given seem too numerous, it must be remembered that the scepticism of many of the best informed Provincials as to the presence at any time of Negro slaves on the soil of Canada has challenged the production, on the part of the author, of more repeated facts than he would otherwise have deemed necessary. …

“The Slave in Canada” More…

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“WHITE HUNTERS TRESPASSED on the Dartmouth farm of Mr. Fuller, a “coloured man”, in March 1818. Fuller demanded that they vacate his property immediately, but the hunters claimed that they were on common land which belonged to no single individual or family. Fuller and the hunters traded insults, then blows. Mrs. Fuller and her children responded to the fighting with a volley of rocks which struck the hunters, prompting them to draw their guns and to order the family to retreat. Mrs. Fuller, though, defiantly informed the trespassers that the land was “our own, we are not now in the …

“We Can Do As We Like Here”: An Analysis of Self Assertion and Agency Among Black Refugees in Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1813-1821 More…

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(m.) Adml. Graves to Mr. Stephens (Boston, 19 Aug.).—Proceedings of the vessels of the squadron detailed. I enclose a copy of an affidavit sent me by Gov. Legge, which I do purposely to assure you that only what relates to H.M.’s schooner “Diligent” and the Philadelphian sloop is true. It is even suspected that the Philadelphian was intended for Machias, and not for Halifax, and that the story of her being taken away, like so many other false reports, is calculated to serve a particular purpose. Other details; also the reasons given by the rebels for an expedition to Nova …

George III: September 1775 More…

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Order of Committee of Privy Council. Referring back to the Council of Trade and Plantations reports of 21st March and 14th May upon Col. Dunbar’s proposal for settling Nova Scotia etc. Their Lordships observing that the first report was made upon a supposition that Irish and Palatine families were all immediately to settle at or near Annapolis and Canco, and the latter that they would settle only between the rivers Kennebeck and St. Croix, and their Lordships being of opinion that it would prove of great service to H.M. and the strengthening his Government in Nova Scotia if settlements were …

America and West Indies Colonial Papers: October 1729, 21-31 More…

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Minute of Articles proposed by Capt. Breedon on the part of Col. Thos. Temple, Lieut. Gen. of Nova Scotia, to Lord Fienes and others, the Company of Adventures, for settling a trade in those parts; the course first designed by the adventurers not being thought convenient. The Company to advance a stock of 10,000l. Col. Temple to be allowed 500l. per annum, with other privileges, which, with those to be enjoyed by the Company, are detailed. It is desired by the Company that a treaty may be forthwith concluded with the French Ambassador, for settlement of all pretences to Nova …

America and West Indies Colonial Papers: January 1659 More…

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Mr. Popple to Lt. Governor Armstrong. Acknow ledges letters of 27th July and 24th Dec. 1726. Continues: — My Lords Commissioners having at present under their consideration the immediate settlement of the Province of Nova Scotia, you may expect shortly to hear from them upon this subject. [C.O. 218, 2. p. 56.] Ar. Gambell to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Some reasons and proposuals for settleing the main coast of Nova Scotia, with all imaginable speed etc. Urges importance of the Fishery, and the immediate building of forts at the three most commodious harbours,—Port Rossway, Cape Sambra and Owles …

America and West Indies Colonial Papers: June 1727 More…

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Statement of the case of Thomas Temple and William Crowne, and how they became proprietors of Nova Scotia. In 1656, when the Lord de La Tour was compounding with Cromwell to get his country of Nova Scotia again, but not being able to pay what Cromwell required, he requested Temple and Crowne to undertake it for him, and so by the advice of Sir Orlando Bridgeman, La Tour by deed conveyed all his right and title in Nova Scotia, with all his profits and privileges, to said Temple and Crowne and their heirs and assigns for ever, the consideration to …

America and West Indies Colonial Papers: June 1661 More…

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Council of Trade and Plantations to Committee of Privy Council. Representation upon petition of Mrs. Campbell. Continue : We have discoursed hereupon with Coll. Philips, H.M. Governour of Nova Scotia, and likewise with Mrs. Campbell the petitioner, who hath laid before us several papers and affidavits relating to her title to the aforesaid lands and quit rents in Nova Scotia, from whence it appears, That in 1631 the Most Christian King Lewis XIII gave the Government of Nova Scotia or Accadie to Monsieur Charles de St. Estienne, Sieur de la Tour, grandfather to the petitioner, who had Letters Patents granted …

America and West Indies Colonial Papers: October 1733, 16-31 More…

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Col. Thos. Temple to [Lord Fienes and Company]. Has received their letter and cargo by Capt. Middleton. Acknowledges their goodness in taking him and his affairs into their protection. The produce of the cargo, with a suitable profit, shall be sent to London as soon as trade will permit. Capt. Middleton has explored the country in a barque belonging to Col. Temple, with good pilots, but is now dangerously sick. Is emboldened to express his thoughts and knowledge of “this business.” Nova Scotia very considerable to England, from the staple commodities it may produce; the chief, fishing. Furs, all sorts …

America and West Indies Colonial Papers: December 1658 More…

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“Disaster is frequently the parent of legislation. In surveying the long history of Nova Scotia, we find this saying particularly true.” “The first recorded instance of illness in Nova Scotia is the account of Champlain of an outbreak of scurvy at Port Royal in 1606. His group of settlers had spent the winter of 1605 at St. Croix Island, where, of a group of seventy-nine, forty-four died of scurvy. In Port Royal in the following year twelve of forty-five died.” “Of all the epidemics, that of smallpox carried with it the greatest destruction and terror. In 1694 an epidemic was …

The Development of Public Health in Nova Scotia More…

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“Writing in the posthumously published final version of his historical chronicle of early Halifax town, lawyer-archivist Thomas Beamish Akins condemned the infamous 1820 state trial, R. v. Wilkie, in these memorable words: An anonymous pamphlet was published from the press of A.H. [Anthony Henry] Holland, charging the magistrates of the town with malpractices, which caused much excitement. It was discovered to have been written by Mr. William Wilkie, of Halifax. He was indicted for libel, tried at the Easter term of the Supreme Court [17 April 1820] and sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labor in the House of …

Sedition in Nova Scotia: R. v. Wilkie (1820) and the Incontestable Illegality of Seditious Libel before R. v. Howe (1835) More…

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“Nova Scotia had found [in Joseph Howe] not only its John Wilkes but also its Charles James Fox.” — W.S. MacNutt, 1965 “In a seminal article published in 1974, Kenneth McNaught described Howe as one of Canada’s “two most significant cases involving political freedom of the press” — the other being Dixon for seditious libel arising from the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919. McNaught failed to mention an important early New Brunswick case (Hooper, 1830), where the proprietor-editor of the British Colonist (Saint John) was prosecuted for seditious libel after publishing, under the author’s suggestive Puritan nom-de-plume (“Hampden”), a letter …

Sedition In Nova Scotia: R. v. Howe and the “Contested Legality” of Seditious Libel More…

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The Acadian Recorder lamented: “‘We don’t know each other. We have no trade with each other. We have no facilities or resources or incentives to mingle with each other. We are shut off from each other by a wilderness, geographically, commercially, politically and socially. We always cross the United States to shake hands.’” Joseph Howe, as usual, put it more pungently: “‘Take a Nova Scotian to Ottawa, away above tidewater, freeze him up for five months, where he cannot view the Atlantic, smell salt water, or see the sail of a ship, and the man will pine and die.’” “Unlike …

Unity/Diversity: The Canadian Experience More…

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“…to strengthen the Federal Parliament is to start Canada on the way to a dictatorship;” (Too late). “It has not been the purpose of this article to criticize the Privy Council for the part they have played in this, but merely to emphasize the fact that, to a large extent, the constitution is not so much a historical document as a series of legal decisions, many of them delivered with what would appear to be a certain bias.” Clark, E.R. “The Privy Council and the Constitution” Dalhousie Review, Volume 19, Number 1, 1939 https://dalspace.library.dal.ca/bitstream/handle/10222/62371/dalrev_vol19_iss1_pp65_75.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

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“As the Civil War began, most Nova Scotians favoured the northern cause. While little was known of Abraham Lincoln, it was generally felt that the Republican party was pledged to a crusade against the dreaded institution of slavery. This all Nova Scotians could support. As the war progressed, however, many Nova Scotians began to have second thoughts about the struggle. To begin with, it had become apparent that the Republican party was very reluctant to abolish the institution of slavery in its entirety” “While Wade had been saved, the Haligonians had to face the consequences of their action. The Northern …

Second Chesapeake Affair: 1863-1864 More…

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