Constitutional History of England (Vol II)


IT has been the destiny of the Anglo-Saxon race to spread through every quarter of the globe their courage and endurance, their vigorous industry and love of freedom. Wherever they have founded colonies they have borne with them the laws and institutions of England, as their birthright, so far as they were applicable to an infant settlement. In territories acquired by conquest or cession, the existing laws and customs of the people were respected, until they were qualified to share the franchises of Englishmen. Some of these, held only as garrisons, others peopled with races hostile to our rule or unfitted for freedom, were necessarily governed upon different principles. But in quitting the soil of England to settle new colonies, Englishmen never renounced her freedom. Such being the noble principle of English colonization, circumstances favored the early development. of colonial liberties. The Puritans, who founded the New England colonies, having fled from the oppression of Charles I., carried with them a stern love of civil liberty, and established republican institutions. The persecuted Catholics who settled Maryland, and the proscribed Quakers who took refuge in Pennsylvania, were little less democratic. Other colonies founded in America and the West Indies, in the seventeenth century, merely for the purposes of trade and cultivation, adopted institutions, less democratic indeed, but founded on principles of freedom and self-government. Whether established as proprietary colonies, or under charters held direct from the Crown, the colonists were equally free.

The English constitution was generally the type of these colonial governments. The governor was the viceroy of the Crown ; the legislative council, or upper chamber, appointed by the governor, assumed the place of the House of Lords ; and the representative assembly chosen by the people was the express image of the House of Commons. This miniature Parliament, complete in all its parts, made laws for the internal government of the colony. The governor assembled, prorogued, and dissolved it; and signified his assent or absent to every act agreed to by the chambers; the upper house mimicked the dignity of the House of Peers ; and the lower house insisted on the privileges of the Commons, especially that of originating all taxes and grants of money for the public service. The elections were also conducted after the fashion of the mother country. Other laws and institutions were imitated not less faithfully. Jamaica, for example, maintained a court of King’s bench, a court of common pleas, a court of exchequer, a court of chancery, a court of admiralty, and a court of probate. It had grand and petty juries, justices of the peace, courts of quarter sessions, vestries, a coroner, and constables.

Every colony was a little state, complete in its legislature, its judicature, and its executive administration. But, at the same time, it acknowledged the sovereignty of the mother country, the prerogatives of the Crown, and the legislative supremacy of Parliament. The assent of the king, or his representative, was required to give validity to acts of the colonial legislature; his veto annulled them; while the Imperial Parliament was able to provided for their own defence against the Indians and the enemies of England. During the seven years’ war, the American colonies maintained a force of 25,000 men, at a cost of several millions. In the words of Franklin, ” they were governed, at the expense to Great Britain, of only a little pen, ink, and paper: they were led by a thread.”

But little as the mother country concerned herself in the political government of her colonies, she evinced a jealous vigilance in regard to their commerce. Commercial monopoly, indeed, was the first principle in the colonial policy of England, as well as of the other maritime states of Europe. She suffered no other country but herself to supply their wants; she appropriated many of their exports ; and, for the sake of her own manufacturers, insisted that their produce should be sent to her in a raw, or unmanufactured state. By the Navigation Acts, their produce could only be exported to England in English ships. This policy was avowedly maintained for the benefit of the mother country, for the encouragement of her commerce, her shipping, and manufactures, to which the interests of the colonies were sacrificed. But, in compensation for this monopoly, she gave a preference to the produce of her own colonies, by protective and prohibitory duties upon foreign commodities. In claiming a monopoly of their markets, she, at the same time, gave them a reciprocal monopoly of her own. In some cases she encouraged the production of their staples by bounties. A commercial policy so artificial as this, the creature of laws striving against nature, marked the dependence of the colonies, crippled their industry, fomented discontents, and even provoked war with foreign states. But it was a policy common to every European government, until enlightened by economical science bind the colony by its acts, and to supersede all local legislation. Every colonial judicature was also subject to an appeal to the king in council, at Westminster. The dependence of the colonies, however, was little felt in their internal government. They were secured from interference by the remoteness of the mother country, and the ignorance, in difference, and preoccupation of her rulers. In matter of imperial concern, England imposed her own policy ; but otherwise left them free. Asking no aid of her, they es caped her domination. All their expenditure, civil and military, was defrayed by taxes raised by themselves. The and commercial advantages were, for upwards of a century, nearly the sole benefit which England recognized in the possession of her colonies.

In all ages, taxes and tribute had been characteristic of a dependency. The subject provinces of Asiatic monarchies, in ancient and modern times, had been despoiled by the rapacity of satraps and pashas, and the greed of the central government. The Greek colonies, which resembled those of England more than any other dependencies of antiquity, were forced to send contributions to the treasury of the parent state. Carthage exacted tribute from her subject towns and territories. The Roman provinces ” paid tribute unto Cesar.” In modern times, Spain received tribute from her European dependencies, and a revenue from the gold and silver mines of her American colonies. It was also the policy of France, Holland, and Portugal to derive a revenue from their settlements.

But England, satisfied with the colonial trade, by which her subjects at home were enriched, imposed upon them alone all the burdens of the state. Her costly wars, the interest of her increasing debt, her naval and military establishments, adequate for the defence of a widespread empire, were all maintained by the dominant country herself. James II. would have levied taxes upon the colonies of Massachusetts; but was assured by Sir William Jones that he could no more “levy money without their consent in an assembly, than they could discharge themselves from their allegiance.” Fifty years later, the shrewd instinct of Sir Robert Walpole revolted against a similar attempt. But at length, in an evil hour, it was resolved by George III. and his minister Mr. Grenville, that the American colonies should be required to contribute to the general revenues of the government. This new principle was apparently recommended by many considerations of justice and expediency. Much of the national debt had been incurred in defence of the colonies, and in wars for the common cause of the whole empire. Other states had been accustomed to enrich them selves by the taxation of their dependencies ; and why was England alone to abstain from so natural a source of revenue? If the colonies were to be exempt from the common burdens of the empire, why should England care to defend them in war, or incur charges for them in time of peace? The benefits of the connection were reciprocal; why, then, should the burdens be all on one side? Nor, assuming the equity of imperial taxation, did it seem beyond the competence of Parliament to establish it. The omnipotence of Parliament was a favorite theory of lawyers; and for a century and a half, the force of British statutes had been acknowledged without question, in every matter concerning the government of the colonies.

No charters exempted colonists from the sovereignty of the parent state, in matters of taxation ; nor were there wanting precedents, in which they had submitted to imperial imposts without remonstrance. In carrying out a restrictive commercial policy, Parliament had passed numerous act providing for the levy of colonial import and export duties. Such duties, from their very nature, were unproductive, imposing restraints upon trade, and offering encouragements to smuggling. They were designed for commercial regulation rather than revenue ; but were collected by the king’s officers, and payable into the Exchequer. The state had further levied postage duties within the colonies.

But these considerations were outweighed by reasons on the other side. Granting that the war expenditure of the mother country had been increased by reason of her colonies, who was responsible for European wars and costly armaments? Not the colonies, which had no voice in the government, but their English rulers, who held in their hands the destinies of the empire. And if the English treasury had suffered, in defence of the colonies; the colonists had taxed themselves heavily for protection against the foes of the mother country, with whom they had no quarrel. But, apart from the equity of the claim, was it properly within the jurisdiction of Parliament to enforce it? The colonists might be induced to grant a contribution, but could Parliament constitutionally impose a tax, without their consent? True, that this imperial legislature could make laws for the government of the colonies; but taxation formed a marked exception to general legislation. According to the principles, traditions, and usage of the constitution, taxes were granted by the people, through their representatives. This privilege had been recognized for centuries, in the parent state; and the colonists had cherished it with traditional veneration, in the country of their adoption. They had taxed themselves, for local objects, through their own representatives; they had responded to requisitions from the Crown for money; but never, until now, had it been sought to tax them directly for imperial purposes, by the authority of Parliament.

A statesman imbued with the free spirit of our constitution could not have failed to recognize these overriding principles. He would. have seen, that if it were fit that the colonies should contribute to the imperial treasury, it was for the Crown to demand their contributions through the governors; and for the colonial legislatures to grant them. But neither the king nor his minister were alive to these principles. The one was too conscious of kingly power, to measure nicely the rights of his subjects; and the other was blinded by a pedantic reverence for the authority of Parliament.

In 1764, an act was passed, with little discussion, imposing customs’ duties upon several articles imported into The stamp the American colonies, the produce of these duties being reserved for the defence of the colonies them selves. At the same time, the Commons passed a resolution, that “it may be proper to charge certain stamp duties” in America, as the foundation of future legislation. The colonists, accustomed to perpetual interference with their trade, did not dispute the right of the mother country to tax their imports; but they resolved to evade the impost, as far as possible, by the encouragement of native manufactures. The threatened stamp act, however, they immediately denounced as an invasion of the rights of Englishmen, who could not be taxed otherwise than by their representatives. But, deaf to their remonstrances, Mr. Grenville, in the next session, persisted in his stamp bill. It attracted little notice in this country; the people could bear with complacency the taxation of others; and never was there a Parliament more indifferent to constitutional principles and popular rights. The colonists, however, and their agents in this country, remonstrated against the proposal.

Their opinion had been invited by ministers; and, that it might be expressed, a year’s delay had been agreed upon. Yet when they petitioned against the bill, the Commons re fused to entertain their petitions, under a rule, by no means binding on their discretion, which excluded petitions against a tax proposed for the service of the year. An arbitrary temper and narrow pedantry prevailed over justice and sound policy. Unrepresented communities were to be taxed, — even without a hearing. The bill was passed with little opposition ; but the colonists combined to resist its execution. Mr. Pitt had been ill in bed when the stamp act was passed ; but no sooner were the discontents in America brought into discussion than he condemned taxation with out representation, and counselled the immediate repeal of the obnoxious act. ” “When in this House,” he said, ” we give and grant, we grant what is our own. But in an American tax, what do we do? We, Your Majesty’s Commons for Great Britain, give and grant to Your Majesty, what? Our own property? No; we give and grant to Your Majesty, the property of Your Majesty’s Commons of America.” At the same time, he proposed to save the honor of England by an ad declaratory of the general legislative authority of Parliament over the colonies. Lord Rockingham, who had succeeded Mr. Grenville, alarmed by the unanimity and violence of the colonists, readily caught Repeal of the at Mr. Pitt’s suggestion. The stamp act was repealed, notwithstanding the obstinate resistance of the king, and his friends, and of Mr. Grenville and the supporters of the late ministry. Mr. Pitt had desired expressly to except from the declatory Act the right of taxation without the consent of the colonists; but the Crown lawyers and Lord Mansfield denied the distinction between legislation and the imposition of taxes which that great constitutional statesman had forcibly pointed out ; and the bill was introduced without that exception. In the House of Lords, Lord Camden, the only great constitutional lawyer of his age, supported with remarkable power the views of Mr. Pitt; but the bill was passed in its original shape, and maintained the unqualified right of England to make laws for the colonies. In the same session some of the import duties imposed in 1764 were also repealed, and others modified. The colonists were appeased by these concessions; and little regarded the abstract terms of the declaratory act. They were, indeed, encouraged in a spirit of in dependence by their triumph over the English Parliament; but their loyalty was as yet unshaken.

The error of Mr. Grenville had scarcely been repaired, when an act of political fatuity caused an irreparable breach between the mother country and her colonies. Lord Chatham, by his timely intervention, had saved England her colonies ; and now his ill-omened administration was destined to lose them. His witty and accomplished, but volatile and incapable Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Charles Townshend, having lost half a million of his ways and means by an adverse vote of the Commons on the land tax, ventured, with incredible levity, to repeat the disastrous experiment of colonial taxation. The Americans, to strengthen their own case against the stamp act, had drawn a distinction between internal and external taxation, a distinction plausible and ingenious, in the hands of so dexterous a master of political fence as Dr. Franklin,1 but substantially without foundation. Both kinds of taxes were equally paid by the colonists themselves; and if it was their birthright to be taxed by none but representatives of their own, this doctrine clearly comprehended customs, no less than excise. But, misled by the supposed distinction which the Americans themselves had raised, Mr. Townshend proposed a variety of small colonial customs duties, — on glass, on paper, on painters’ color, and lastly, on tea. The estimated produce of these paltry taxes amounted to no more than 40,000l. Lord Chatham would have scornfully put aside a scheme, at once so contemptible and impolitic, and so plainly in violation of the principles for which he had himself recently contended; but he lay stricken and helpless, while his rash lieutenant was rushing headlong into danger. Lord Camden would have arrested the measure in the Cabinet; but standing alone, in a dis organized ministry, he accepted under protest a scheme, which none of his colleagues approved. However rash the financier, however weak the compliance of ministers, Parliament fully shared the fatal responsibility of this measure. It was passed with approbation, and nearly in silence. Mr. Townshend did not survive to see the mischief he had done; but his colleagues had soon to deplore their error. The colonists resisted the import duties, as they had resisted the stamp act; and, a second time, ministers were forced to recede from their false position. But their retreat was effected awkwardly, and with a bad grace. They yielded to the colonists, so far as to give up the general scheme of import duties; but persisted in continuing the duties upon tea.

This miserable remnant of the import duties was not calculated to afford a revenue exceeding 12,000l; and its actual proceeds were reduced to 300l. by smuggling and the determination of the colonists not to consume an article to which the obnoxious impost was attached. The insignificance of the tax, while it left ministers without justification for continuing such a cause of irritation, went far to secure the acquiescence of the colonists. But their discontents, met without temper or moderation, were suddenly inflamed by a new measure, which only indirectly concerned them. To assist the half bankrupt East India Company in the sale of their teas, a drawback was given them, of the whole English duty on shipments to the American plantations. By this concession to the East India Company, the colonists, exempted from the English duty, in fact received their teas at a lower rate than when there was no colonial tax. The Company were also empowered to ship their teas direct from their own warehouses. A sudden stimulus was thus given to the export of the very article, which alone caused irritation and dissension. The colonists saw, or affected to see, in this measure, an artful contrivance for encouraging the consumption of taxed tea, and facilitating the further extension of colonial taxation. It was met by a daring outrage The first tea-ships which reached Boston were boarded by men disguised as Mohawk Indians, and their cargoes cast into the sea. This being the crowning act of a series of provocations and insults, by which the colonists, and especially the people of Boston, had testified their resentment against the stamp act, the import duties, and other recent measures, the government at home regarded it with just indignation. Every one agreed that the rioters deserved punishment ; and that reparation was due to the East India Company. But the punishment inflicted by Parliament, at the instance of Lord North, was such as to provoke revolt. Instead of demanding compensation, and attaching penalties to its refusal, the flourishing port of Boston was summarily closed: no ship could lade or unlade at its quays ; the trade and industry of its inhabitants was placed under an interdict. The ruin of the city was decreed; no penitence could avert its doom; but when the punishment had been suffered, and the atonement made; when Boston, humbled and contrite, had kissed the rod; and when reparation had been made to the East India Company, the king in council might, as an act of grace, remove the fatal ban.1 It was a deed of vengeance, fitter for the rude arbitrament of an eastern prince, than for the temperate equity of a free state.

Nor was this the only act of repression. The republican constitution of Massachusetts, cherished by the descendants of the Pilgrim fathers was superseded. The council, hitherto elective, was to be nominated by the Crown; and the appointment of judges, magistrates, and sheriffs, was transferred from the council to the governor. And so much was the administration of justice suspected, that, by another act, accused persons might be sent for trial to any other colony, or even to England. Troops were also despatched to overawe the turbulent people of Massachusetts.

The colonists, however, far from being intimidated by the rigors of the mother country, associated to resist them. Nor was Massachusetts left alone in its troubles. A congress of delegates from twelve of the colonies was assembled at Philadelphia, by whom the recent measures were condemned, as a violation of the rights of Englishmen. It was further agreed to suspend all imports from, and exports to, Great Britain and her dependencies, unless the grievances of the colonies were redressed. Other threatening measures were adopted, which proved too plainly that the stubborn spirit of the colonists was not to Le overcome. In the words of Lord Chatham, “the spirit which now resisted taxation in America, was the same spirit which formerly opposed loans, benevolences, and ship money in England.”

In vain Lord Chatham, reappearing after his long prostration, proffered a measure of conciliation, repealing the obnoxious acts, and explicitly renouncing imperial taxation, but requiring from the colonies the grant of a revenue to a king a measure might even yet have save the colonies; but it was contemptuously rejected by the Lords, on the first reading.

Lord North himself soon afterwards framed a conciliatory proposition, promising that, if the colonists should make provision for their own defence and for the civil government, no imperial tax should be levied. His resolution was agree to; but, in the present temper of the colonists, its conditions were impracticable. Mr. Burke also proposed other resolutions, similar to the scheme of Lord Chatham, which were rejected by a large majority.

The Americans were already ripe for rebellion, when an unhappy collision occurred at Lexington between the royal troops and the colonial militia. Blood was shed; and the people flew to arms. The war of independence was commenced. Its sad history and issue are but too well known. In vain Congress addressed a petition to the king, for redress and conciliation. It received no answer. In vain Lord Chatham devoted the last energies of his wasting life to effect a reconciliation, without renouncing the sovereignty of England. In vain the British 1778. Parliament, humbling itself before its rebellious subjects, repealed the American tea duty, and renounced its claims to imperial taxation. In vain were Parliamentary commissioners empowered to suspend the acts of which the colonists complained, to concede every demand but that of independence, and almost to sue for peace. It was too late to stay the civil war. Disasters and defeat befell the British arms, on American soil ; and, at length, the independence of the colonies was recognized.’

Such were the disastrous consequences of a misunderstanding of the rights and pretensions of colonial communities, who had carried with them the laws and franchises of Englishmen. And here closes the first period in the constitutional history of the colonies.

We must now turn to another class of dependencies, not originally settled by English subjects, but acquired from other states by conquest or cession. To these a different rule of public law was held to apply. They were dominions of the crown; and governed, according to the laws prevailing at the time of their acquisition, by the king in council. They were distinguished from other settlements as crown colonies. Some of them, however, like Jamaica and Nova Scotia, had received the free institutions of England, and were practically self governed, like other English colonies.

[In reference to Nova Scotia: Edwards, ii. 419; Haliburton’s Nova Scotia, ii. 319]

Canada, the most important of this class, was conquered from the French, in 1759, by General “Wolfe, and ceded to England, in 1763, by the treaty of Paris. In 1774, the administration of its affairs was intrusted to a council appointed by the crown; but, in 1791, it was divided into two provinces, to each of which representative institutions were granted. It was no easy problem to provide for the government of such a colony. It comprised a large and ignorant population of French colonists, having sympathies with the country whence they sprung, accustomed to absolute government and feudal institutions, and under the influence of a Catholic priesthood. It further comprised an active race of British settlers, speaking another language, professing a different religion, and craving the liberties of their own free land. The division of the provinces was also a separation of races ; and freedom was granted to both alike. The immediate objects of this measure were to secure the attachment of Canada, and to exempt the British colonists from the French laws; but it marked the continued adhesion of Parliament to the principles of self-government. In discussing its policy, Mr. Fox laid down a principle, which was destined, after half a century, to become the rule of colonial administration. ” I am convinced,” said he, “that the only means of retaining distant colonies with advantage, is to enable them to govern themselves.” In 1785, representative institutions were given to New Brunswick, and, so late as 1832, to Newfoundland; and thus, eventually, all the British American colonies were as free, in their forms of government, as the colonies which had gained their independence. But the mother country, in granting the:;e constitutions, exercised, in a marked form, the powers of a dominant state. She provided for the sale of waste lands, for the maintenance of the church establishment, and for other matters of internal polity.

England was soon compensated for the loss of her colonies in America, by vast possessions in another hemisphere. But the circumstances under which Australia was settled were unfavorable to free institutions. Transportation to the American plantations, commenced in the reign of Charles II., had long been an established punishment for criminals. The revolt of these colonies led to the establishment of penal settlements in Australia. New South Wales was founded in 1788, and Van Diemen’s Land in 1825. Penal settlements were necessarily without a constitution, being little more than state prisons. These fair countries, instead of being the homes of free Englishmen, were peopled by criminals sentenced to long’ terms of punishment and servitude. Such an origin was not promising to the moral or political destinies of Australia; but the attractions which it offered to free emigrants gave early tokens of its future greatness. South Australia and New Zealand, whence convicts were excluded, were afterwards fount.led, in the same region, without free constitutions. The early political condition of the Australian colonies forms, indeed, a striking contrast to that of the older settlements, to which Englishmen had taken their birthrights. But free emigration developed their resources, and quickly reduced the criminal population to a subordinate element in the society; and, in 1828, local legislatures were granted to New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land.

While these colonies were without an adequate population, transportation was esteemed by the settlers, as the means of affording a steady supply of labor; but as free emigration advanced , the services of convicts became less essential to colonial prosperity; and the moral taint of the criminal class was felt more sensibly. In 1838, Sir William Molesworth’s committee exposed the enormities of transportation as part of a scheme of colonization; and in 1840 the sending of convicts to New South wales was discontinued. In Van Diemen’s Land, after various at tempts to improve the system of convict labor and discipline, transportation was finally abolished in 1854. Meanwhile, an attempt to send convicts to the Cape of Good Hope in 1848, had been resisted by the colonists, and abandoned. In the following year, a new penal settlement was founded in Western Australia.

The discontinuance of transportation to the free colonies of Australia, and a prodigious increase of emigration and productive industry, were preparing them for a further development of freedom at no distant a period.

From the period of the American war the home government, awakened to the importance of colonial administration, displayed greater activity, and a more ostensible disposition to interfere m the affairs of the colonies. Until the commencement of the difficulties with America, there had not even been a separate department for the government of the colonies; but the board of trade exercised a supervision, little more than nominal, over colonial affairs. In 1768, however, a third secretary of state was appointed, to whose care the colonies were intrusted. In 1782, the office was discontinued by Lord Rockingham, after the loss of the American provinces ; but was revived in 1794, and became an active and important department of the state. Its influence was felt throughout the British colonies. However popular the form of their institutions, they were steadily governed by British ministers in Downing Street.

In crown colonies, acquired by conquest or cession, Colonies the dominion of the crown was absolute ; and the authority of the colonial-office was exercised directly, by instructions to the governors. In free colonies it was exercised, for the most part, indirectly, through the influence of the governors and their councils. Self-government was there the theory; but in practice, the governors, aided by dominant interests in the several colonies, contrived to govern according to the policy dictated from Downing Street. Just as at home, the crown, the nobles, and an ascendant party were supreme in the national councils, so in the colonies, the governors and their official aristocracy were generally able to command the adhesion of the local legislatures.

A more direct interference, however, was often exercised. Ministers had no hesitation in disallowing any colonial acts of which they disapproved, even when they concerned the internal affairs of the colony only. They dealt freely with the public lands, as the property of the crown, often making grants obnoxious to the colonists ; and peremptorily insisting upon the conditions under which they should be sold and settled. Their interference was also frequent regarding church establishments and endowments, official salaries and the colonial civil lists. Misunderstandings and disputes were constant; but the policy and will of the home government usually prevailed.

Another incident of colonial administration was that of Patronage. patronage. The colonies offered a wide field of employment for the friends, connections, and political partisans of the home government. The offices in England available for securing parliamentary support, fell short of the demand, and appointments were accordingly multiplied abroad. Of these, many of the most lucrative were executed by deputy. The favored friends of ministers, who were gratified by the emoluments of office, were little disposed to suffer banishment in a distant dependency. Infants in the cradle were endowed with colonial appointments, to be executed through life by convenient deputies. Extravagant fees or salaries were granted in Downing Street, and spent in England ; but paid out of colonial revenues. Other offices again, to which residence was attached, were too frequently given to men wholly unfit for employment at home, but who were supposed to be equal to colonial service, where indolence, incapacity, or doubtful character might escape exposure. Such men as these, however, were more mischievous in a colony, than at home. The higher officers were associated with the governor in the administration of affairs ; the subordinate officers were subject to less control and discipline. In both, negligence and unfitness were injurious to the colonies. As colonial societies expanded, these appointments from home further excited the jealousy of colonists, many of whom were better qualified for office, than the strangers who came amongst them to enjoy power, wealth, and distinction, which were denied to themselves. This jealousy and the natural ambition of the colonists, were among the principal causes which led to demands for more complete self-government. As this feeling was increasing in colonial society, the home government were occupied with arrangements for insuring the permanent maintenance of the civil establishments out of the colonial revenues. To continue to fill all the offices with Englishmen, and at the same time to call upon the jealous colonists to pay them, was not to Le at tempted. And accordingly the home government surrendered to the governors all appointments under 200l a year; and to the greater number of other offices, appointed colonists recommended by the governors. A colonial grievance was thus redressed, and increased influence given to the colonists; while one of the advantages of the connection was renounced by the parent state.

While England was entering upon a new period of extended liberties, after the Reform Act, circumstances materially affected her relations with the colonies; and this may be termed the third and last period of colonial history. First, the abolition of slavery, in 1833, loosened the ties by which the sugar colonies had been bound to the mother country. This was followed by the gradual adoption of a new commercial policy, which overthrew the long-established protections and monopolies of colonial trade. The main purpose for which both parties had cherished the connection was lost. Colonists found their produce exposed to the competition of the world; and, in the sugar colonies, with restricted labor. The home consumer independent of colonial supplies, was free to choose his own market, wherever commodities were best and cheap est. The sugars of Jamaica competed with the slave-grown sugars of Cuba; the woods of Canada with the timber of Norway and the Baltic.

These new conditions of colonial policy seriously affected the political relations of the mother country with her dependencies. Her interference in their internal affairs having generally been connected with commercial regulations, she had now less interest in continuing it; and they, having submitted to it for the sake of benefits with which it was associated, were less disposed to tolerate its exercise. Meanwhile the growing population, wealth, and intelligence of many of the colonies, closer communications with England, and the example of English liberties, were developing the political aspirations of colonial societies, and their capacity for self-government.

Early in this period of transition, England twice had occasion to assert her paramount authority ; but learned at the same time to estimate the force of local opinion, and to seek in the further development of free institutions the problem of colonial government. Jamaica, discontented after the abolition of slavery, neglected to make adequate provision for her prisons, which that measure had rendered necessary. In 1838, the Imperial Parliament interposed, and promptly supplied this defect in colonial legislation. The local assembly, resenting this act of authority, was contumacious, stopped the supplies, and refused to exercise the proper functions of a legislature. Again Parliament asserted its supremacy. The sullen legislature was commanded to resume its duties ; and submitted in time to save the ancient constitution of Jamaica from suspension.

At the same period, the perilous state of Canada called forth all the authority of England. In 1837 and 1838, the discontents of Lower Canada exploded in insurrection. The constitution of that province was immediately suspended by the British Parliament ; and a provisional government established, with large legislative and executive powers. This necessary act of authority was followed by the reunion of the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada into a single colony, under a governor-general.

But while these strong measures were resorted to, the British Government carefully defined the principles upon which parliamentary legislation was justified. “Parliamentary legislation,” wrote Lord Glenelg, the colonial minister,” on any subject of exclusively internal concern to any British colony possessing a representative assembly is, as a general rule, unconstitutional. It is a right of which the exercise is reserved for extreme cases, in which necessity at once creates and justifies the exception.” Never before had the rights of colonial self government been so plainly acknowledged.

But another principle was about to be established in Canada, which still further enlarged the powers of colonial assemblies, and diminished the influence of the mother country. This principle is known as the doctrine of responsible government. Hitherto the advisers of the governor in this, as in every other colony, were the principal officers appointed by the crown, and generally holding permanent offices. whatever the fluctuations of opinion in the legislature or in the colony, whatever the unpopularity of the measures or persons of the executive officers, they continued to direct the councils of the colony. For many years, they had contrived, by concessions, by management and influence, to avoid frequent collisions with the assemblies ; but as the principles of representative government were developed, irresponsible rulers were necessarily brought into conflict with the popular assembly. The advisers of the governor pursued one policy, the assembly another. Measures prepared by the executive were rejected by the assembly; measures passed by the assembly were refused by the council, or vetoed by the governor. And whenever such collisions arose, the constitutional means were wanting, for restoring confidence between the contending powers. Frequent dissolutions exasperated the popular party, and generally resulted in their ultimate triumph. The hostility between the assembly and permanent and unpopular officers became chronic. They were constantly at issue ; and representative institutions, in collision with irresponsible power, were threatening anarchy. These difficulties were not confined to Canada, but were common to all the North American colonies; and proved the incompatibility of two antagonistic principles of government.

After the reunion of the Canadian provinces, a remedy was sought for disagreements between the executive and the legislature in that principle of of responsible government ministerial responsibility, which had long been accepted as the basis of constitutional government in England. At first, ministers at home were apprehensive lest the application of that principle to a dependency should lead to a virtual renunciation of control by the mother country. Nor had Canada yet sufficiently recovered from the passions of the recent rebellion, to favor the experiment But arrangements were immediately made for altering the tenure of the principal colonial offices; and in 1847, responsible government was fully established under Lord Elgin. From that time, the governor-generals elected his advisers from that party which was able to command a majority in the legislative assembly, and accepted the policy recommended by them. The same principle was and other adopted, about the same time, in Nova Scotia ; colonies. and has since become the rule of administration in other free colonies.

[Concerning Nova Scotia: Despatch of Earl Grey to Sir John Harvey, Nov. 3d, 1846; Parl. Paper, 1848, No. 621, p. 80]

By the adoption of this principle, a colonial constitution has become the very image and reflection of parliamentary government in England. The governor, like the sovereign whom he represents, holds himself aloof from and superior to parties ; and governs through constitutional advisers, who have acquired an ascendency in the legislature. He leaves contending parties to fight out their own battles; and by admitting the stronger party to his councils, brings the executive authority into harmony with popular sentiments. And as the recognition of this doctrine, in England, has practically transferred the supreme authority of the state from the crown to Parliament and the people, so in the colonies has it wrested from the governor and from the parent state the direction of colonial affairs. And again, as the crown has gained in ease and popularity what it has lost in power, – so has the mother country, in accepting to the full the principles of local self-government, established the closest relations of amity and confidence between her self and her colonies.

There are circumstances, however, in which the parallel is not maintained. The Crown and Parliament have a common interest in the welfare of their country; but England and her colonies may have conflicting interests, or an irreconcilable policy. The crown has, indeed, reserved its veto upon the acts of the colonial legislatures ; but its practical exercise has been found scarcely more compatible with responsible government in the colonies than in England. Hence colonies have been able to adopt principles of legislation inconsistent with the policy and interests of the mother country. For example, after England had accepted free trade as the basis of her commercial policy, Canada adhered to protection, and established a tariff injurious to English commerce. Such laws could not have been disallowed by the home government without a revival of the conflicts and discontents of a former period ; and in deference to the principles of self-government, they were reluctantly confirmed.

But popular principles, in colonial government, have not rested here. While enlarged powers have been intrusted to the local legislatures, those institutions again have been reconstituted upon a more democratic basis. The constitution granted to Canada in 1840, on the reunion of the provinces, was popular, but not democratic. It was composed of a legislative council, nominated by the crown, and of a representative assembly, to which freeholders or roturiers to the amount of 500l. were eligible as members. The franchise comprised 40s. free holders, 5l. house-owners, and 10l. occupiers; but has since been placed upon a more popular basis by provincial acts.

Democracy has made more rapid progress in the Australian colonies. In 1842, a new constitution had been granted to New South Wales, which, departing from the accustomed model of colonial constitutions, provided for the legislation of the colony by a single chamber.

The constitution of an upper chamber in a colonial society, without an aristocracy, and with few per-sons of high attainments and adequate leisure, has ever been a difficult problem. Nominated by the governor and consisting mainly of his executive officers, it has failed to exercise a material influence over public opinion; and has been readily overborne by the more popular assembly. The experiment was, therefore, tried of bringing into a single chamber the aristocratic and democratic elements of colonial government. It was hoped that eminent men would have more weight in the deliberations of the popular assembly, than sitting apart and exercising an impotent veto. The experiment has found favor with experienced statesmen; yet it can scarcely be doubted that it is a con cession to democracy. Timely delays in legislation, a cautious review of public measures, resistance to the tyranny of a majority, and the violence of a faction, the means of judicious compromise, are wanting in such a constitution. The majority of a single chamber is absolute.

In 1850, it became expedient to divide the vast territories of New South Wales into two, and the southern portion was erected into the new colony of Victoria. This opportunity was taken of revising the constitutions of these colonies, and of South Australia and Van Diemen’s Land. The New South Wales model was adhered to by Parliament; and a single chamber was constituted in each of these colonies, of which one third were nominated by the crown, and two thirds elected under a franchise, restricted to persons holding freehold property worth 100l, and 10l. householders or leaseholders. A fixed charge was also imposed upon the colonial revenues for the civil and judicial establishments and for religious worship. At the same time, powers were conceded to the governor and legislative council of each colony, with the assent of the queen in council, to alter every part of the constitution so granted. There could be little doubt that the tendency of such societies would be favorable to democracy; and in a few years the limited franchise was changed, in nearly all of these colonies, for universal suffrage and vote by ballot. It was open to the queen in council to disallow these laws, or for Parliament itself to interpose and suspend them ; but, in deference to the principle of self-government, these critical changes were allowed to come into operation.

In 1852, a representative constitution was introduced, after some delay, into New Zealand, and, about the same period, into the Cape of Good Hope.

To conclude this rapid summary of colonial liberties, it must be added that the colonies have further enjoyed municipal institutions, a free press, and religious freedom and equality. No liberty or franchise prized by Englishmen at home, has been withheld from their fellow-countrymen in distant lands.

Thus, by rapid strides, have the most considerable dependencies of the British crown advanced, through successive stages of political liberty, until an ancient monarchy has become the parent of democratic republics in all parts of the globe. The constitution of the United States is scarcely so democratic as that of Canada, or the Australian colonies. The president’s fixed tenure of office and large executive powers, the independent position and authority of the senate, and the control of the supreme court, are checks upon the democracy of congress. But in these colonies the nominees of a majority of the democratic assembly, for the time being, are absolute masters of the colonial government. In Canada, the legislative council can offer no effectual resistance ; and in Australia even that check, how ever inadequate, is wanting. A single chamber dictates its conditions to the governor, and indirectly to the parent state. This transition from a state of control and pupilage to that of unrestrained freedom, seems to have been too precipitate. Society, — particularly in Australia, — had scarcely had time to prepare itself for the successful trial of so free a representation. The settlers of a new country were suddenly intrusted with uncontrolled power, before education, property, traditions, and usage had given stability to public opinion. Nor were they trained to freedom, like· their English brethren, by many ennobling struggles and the patient exercise of public virtues. But such a transition, more or less rapid, was the inevitable consequence of responsible government, coupled with the power given to colonial assemblies, of reforming their own constitutions. The principle of self government, once recognized, has been carried out without reserve or hesitation. Hitherto there have been many failures and discouragements in the experiment of colonial democracy; yet the political future of these thriving communities affords far more ground for hope than for despondency.

England ventured to tax her colonies, and lost them ; she endeavored to rule them from Downing Street, and provoked disaffection and revolt. At last, she gave freedom, and found national sympathy and contentment. But, in the mean time, her colonial dependencies have grown into affiliated states. The tie which binds them to her, is one of sentiment, rather than authority. Commercial privileges, on either side, have been abandoned ; transportation, — for which some of the colonies were founded, — has been given up ; patronage has been surrendered, the disposal of public lands waived by the Crown, and political dominion virtually renounced. In short, their dependence has become little more than nominal, except for purposes of military defence.

We have seen how, in the earlier history of the colonies, they strove to defend themselves. But during the prolonged hostilities of the French revolutionary war, assaults upon our colonies naturally formed part of the tactics of the enemy, which were met, on our part, by costly naval and military armaments. And after the peace, England continued to garrison her colonies with large military forces, — wholly paid by herself, — and to construct fortifications, requiring still larger garrisons. Wars were undertaken against the natives, as in the Cape of Good Hope and New Zealand, — of which England bore all the cost, and the colonies gained all the profit. English soldiers have further performed the services of colonial police. Instead of taxing her colonies, England has suffered herself to be taxed heavily on their account. The annual military expenditure, on account of the colonies, ultimately reached £3,225,081, of which £1,715,246 was incurred for free colonies, and £1,509,835 for military garrisons and dependencies, maintained chiefly for imperial purposes. Many of the colonies have already contributed towards the maintenance of British troops, and have further raised considerable bodies of militia and volunteers ; but Parliament has recently pronounced it to be just that the colonies which enjoy self-government, should undertake the responsibility and cost of their own military defence. To carry this policy into effect must be the work of time. But whenever it may be effected, the last material bond of connection with the colonies will have been severed; and colonial states, acknowledging the honorary sovereignty of England, and fully armed for self-defence, — as well against herself as others, — will have grown out of the dependencies of the British Empire. They will still look to her, in time of war, for at least naval protection; and, in peace, they will continue to imitate her laws and institutions, and to glory in the proud distinction of British citizenship. On her part, England may well be prouder of the vigorous freedom of her prosperous sons, than of a hundred provinces subject to the iron rule of British pro-consuls. And, should the sole remaining ties of kindred, affection, and honor be severed, she will reflect, with just exultation, that her dominion ceased, not in oppression and bloodshed, but in the expansive energies of freedom, and the hereditary capacity of her manly offspring for the privileges of self-government.

Other parts of the British empire have — from the conditions of their occupation, the relations of the state to the native population, and other circumstances — been unable to participate in the free institutions of the more favored colonies; but they have largely that spirit of enlightened liberality, which, during the last twenty years, has distinguished the administration of colonial affairs.

Of all the dependencies of the British crown, India is the most considerable in territory, in population, in revenue, and in military resources. It is itself a great empire. Originally acquired and governed by a trading company, England was responsible for its administration no further than was implied in the charters and Acts of Parliament, by which British subjects were invested with sovereignty over The East distant regions. Trade was the first, dominion India company. the secondary object of the company. Early in the reign of George III. their territories had become so ex· tended, that Lord Chatham conceived the scheme of claiming them as dominions of the crown. This great scheme, however, dwindled, in the hands of his colleagues, into an agreement with the company to pay £400,000 a year, as the price of their privileges. This tribute was not long enjoyed, for the company, impoverished by perpetual war, and mal-administration, fell into financial difficulties ; and in 1773, were released from this ouligation. And in this year, Parliament, for the first time, undertook to regulate the constitution of the government of India. The court of directors, consisting of twenty-four members, elected by the proprietors of India stock, and virtually independent of the government, became the home authority, by whom the governor-general was appointed, and to whom alone he was responsible. An Asiatic empire was still intrusted to a company, having an extensive civil and military organization, making wars and conquests, negotiating treaties, and exercising uncontrolled dominion. A trading company had grown into a corporate emperor. The genius of Clive and Warren Hastings had acquired the empire of the Great Mogul.

But power exercised by irresponsible and despotic rulers was naturally abused; and in 1773, and again in 1780, the directors were placed under the partial control of a secretary of state. Soon afterwards some of the most glaring excesses of Indian misrule were forced upon the notice of Parliament. English statesmen became sensible that the anomalies of a government, so constituted, could no longer be endured. It was not fit that England should suffer her subjects to practise the iniquities of Asiatic rule, without effective responsibility and control. On Mr. Fox and the coalition ministry first devolved the task of providing against the continued oppression and misrule, which recent inquiries had exposed. They grappled boldly with the evils which demanded a remedy. Satisfied that the government of an empire could not be confided with safety or honor to a commercial company, they proposed at once to transfer it to an other body. But to whom could such a power be in trusted? Not to the crown, whose influence they had already denounced as exorbitant; not to any department of the executive government, which could become accessory to Parliamentary corruption. The company had been, in great measure, independent of the crown and of the ministers of the day; and the power which bad been abused, they now proposed to vest in an independent board. This important body was to consist of seven commissioners, appointed in the first instance, by Parliament, for a term of four years, and ultimately by the crown. The leading concerns of the company were to be managed by eight assistants, appointed first by Parliament, and afterwards by the proprietors of East India stock. It was a bold and hazardous measure, on which Mr. Fox and his colleagues staked their power. Conceived in a spirit of wisdom and humanity, it recognized the duty of the state to redress the wrongs and secure the future welfare of a distant empire; yet was it open to objections which a fierce party contest discolored with exaggeration. The main objections urged against the bill were these : that it violated the chartered rights of the company, that it increased the influence of the crown, and that it invested the coalition party, then having a Parliamentary majority, with a power superior to the crown itself. As regards the first objection, it was vain to contend that Parliament might not lawfully dispossess the company of their dominion over millions of men, which they had disgraced by fraud, rapine, oppression, cruelty, and bloodshed. They had clearly forfeited the political powers intrusted to them for the public good. A solemn trust, having been flagrantly violated, might justly be revoked. But had they forfeited their commercial privileges? They were in difficulties and debt; their affairs were in the utmost confusion ; the grossest mismanagement was but too certainly proved. But such evils in a commercial company, however urgently needing correction, scarcely justified the forfeiture of established rights. The two latter objection were plainly contradictory. The measure could not increase the influence of the crown, and at the same time exalt a party above it. The former was, in truth, wholly untenable, and was relinquished ; while the king, the opposition, the friends of the company, and the country, made common cause in maintaining the latter. And assuredly the weakest point was chosen for attack. The bill nominated the com missioners, exclusively from the ministerial party; and in trusted them with all the power and patronage of India, for a term of four years. At a time when corrupt influence was so potent in the councils of the state, it cannot be doubted that the Commissioners would have been able to promoted the political interests of their own party. To add to their weight, they were entitled to sit in Parliament. Already the Parliamentary influence of the Company had aroused jealousy; and its concentration in a powerful and organized party naturally excited alarm. However exaggerated by party violence, it was unquestionably a well-founded objection, which ought to have been met and counteracted. It is true that vacancies were to be filled up by the crown, and that the appointment of the commissioners was during good behavior; but, practically, they would have enjoyed an in dependent authority for four years. It was right to wrest power from a body which should never have been permitted to exercise it, and by whom it had been flagrantly abused; but it was wrong to constitute the new government an instrument of party, uncontrolled by the crown, and beyond the immediate reach of that Parliamentary responsibility which our free constitution recognizes as necessary for the proper exercise of authority. The error was fatal to the measure itself, and to the party by whom it was committed.

Mr. Fox’s scheme having been overthrown, Mr. Pitt proceeded to frame a measure, in which he dexterously evaded all the difficulties under which his rival had fallen. He left the Company in possession of their large powers; but subjected them to a board of control representing the crown. The Company was now accountable to ministers, in their rule; and ministers, if they suffered wrong to be done, were responsible to Parliament. At the same time, however, power and responsibility were divided; and distracted councils, an infirm executive, and a cumbrous and perplexed administration, were scarcely to be avoided in a double government. The administration of Indian affairs came frequently under the review of Parliament; but this system of double or divided government was continued, on each successive renewal of the privileges of the Company. In 1833, the first great change was effected in the position of the Company. Up to this time, they had enjoyed the exclusive trade with China, and other commercial privileges. This monopoly was now discontinued, and they ceased to be a trading company ; but their dominion over India was con firmed for a further period of twenty years. The right of Parliament, however, to legislate for India was then reserved. It was the last periodical renewal of the powers of the Company. In 1853, significant changes were made; India Bill, their powers being merely continued until Parliament should otherwise provide, and their territories being held in trust for the crown. The Court of Directors was reconstituted, being henceforth composed of twelve elected members and six nominees of the crown. At the same time, the council of the Governor-General in India was enlarged, and invested with a more legislative character. The government of India being thus drawn into closer connection with ministers, they met objections to the increase of patron age, which had been fatal to Mr. Fox’s.scheme, by opening the civil and medical services to competition. This measure prepared the way for a more complete identity between the executive administration of England and India. It had a short and painful trial. The mutiny of the native army in 1857, disclosed the perils and responsibilities of England, and the necessity of establishing a single and supreme authority.

The double government of Mr. Pitt was at length condemned ; the powers and territories of the Company were transferred to the Queen ; and the administration was entrusted to a secretary of State, and Council. But this great change could not be accomplished without a compromise ; and of the fifteen members of the council, seven were elected by the Board of Directors, and eight appointed by the crown. And again, with a view to restrict the state patronage, cadet ships in the engineers and artillery were thrown open to competition.

The transfer of India to the crown was followed by a vigorous administration of its vast dominions. Its army was amalgamated with that of England; the constitution of the council of India was placed upon a wider basis; 1 the courts of judicature were remodelled; the service enlarged; and the exhausted revenues of the country regenerated. To an empire of subjugated states and Asiatic races, self-government was plainly impossible. But it has already profited by European civilization and statesmanship; and while necessarily denied freedom, its ruler; are guided by the principles upon which free states are governed ; and its interests are protected by a free English Parliament, a vigilant press, and an enlightened and humane people.

Beyond these narrow isles, England has won, indeed, a Freedom of vast and glorious empire. In the history of the world, no other state has known how to govern territories so extended and remote, and races of men so diverse; giving to her own kindred colonies the widest liberty and ruling, with enlightened equity, dependencies unqualified for freedom. To the Roman, Virgil proudly sang,

“Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento: Hae tibi erunt artes.”

To the Englishman may it not be said with even juster pride, “having won freedom for thyself, and used it wisely, thou hast given it to thy children, who have peopled the earth; and thou hast exercised dominion with justice and humanity!”

May, Thomas Erskine. The constitutional history of England since the accession of George Third, -1860. New York, W.J. Widdleton, -77, 1876. Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

“American history: comprising historical sketches of the [indigenous] tribes”

“The [Mi’kmaq], first called by the French Souriqu’ois, held possession of Nova Scotia and the adjacent isles, and were early known as the active allies of the French.

Marquis de la Roche
In 1598, the Marquis de la Roche, a French nobleman, received from the King of France a commission for founding a French colony in America. Having equipped several vessels, he sailed with a considerable number of settlers, most of whom, however, he was obliged to draw from the prisons of Paris. On Sable island, a barren spot near the coast of Nova Scotia, forty men were left to form a settlement.

La Roche dying soon after his return, the colonists Fate were neglected; and when, after seven years, a vessel was sent to inquire after them, only twelve of them were living. The dungeons from which they had been liberated were preferable to the hardships which they had suffered. The emaciated exiles were carried back to France, where they were kindly received by the king, who pardoned their crimes, and made them a liberal donation.

De Monts
In 1603, the king of France granted to De Monts, a gentleman of distinction, the sovereignty of the country from the 40th to the 46th degree of north latitude; that is, from one degree south of New York city, to one north of Montreal. Sailing with two vessels, in the spring of 1604, he arrived at Nova Scotia in May, and spent the summer in trafficking with the natives, and examining the coasts preparatory to a settlement.

Selecting an island near the mouth of the river St. Croix, on the coast of New Brunswick, he there erected a fort and passed a rigorous winter, his men suffering much from the want of suitable provisions. ‘In the following spring, 1605, De Monts removed to a place on the Bay of Fundy; and here was formed the first permanent French settlement in America. The settlement was named Port Royal, and the whole country, embracing the present New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and the adjacent islands, was called Acadia.

North and South Virginia
In 1606 James the 1st, of England, claiming all that portion of North America which lies between the 34th and the 45th degrees of north latitude, embracing the country from Cape Fear to Halifax, divided this territory into two nearly equal districts; the one, called North Virginia, extending from the 41st to the 45th degree; and the other, called South Virginia, from the 34th to the 38th.

The former he granted to a company of “Knights, gentlemen, and merchants,” of the west of England, called the Plymouth Company; and the latter to a company of “noblemen, gentlemen, and merchants,” mostly resident in London, and called the London Company. The intermediate district, from the 38th to the 41st degree, was open to both companies; but neither was to form a settlement within one hundred miles of the other.

…Early in the following year, 1690, Schenectady was burned; the settlement at Salmon Falls, on the Piscataqua, was destroyed; and a successful attack was made on the fort and settlement at Casco Bay. In anticipation of the inroads of the French, Massachusetts had hastily fitted out an expedition, under Sir William Phipps, against Nova Scotia, which resulted in the easy conquest of Port Royal.

Early in 1692 Sir William Phipps returned with a new charter, which vested the appointment of governor in the king, and united Plymouth, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nova Scotia, in one royal government. Plymouth lost her separate government contrary to her wishes; while New Hampshire, which had recently placed herself under the protection of Massachusetts, was now forcibly severed from her.

In 1707 Massachusetts attempted the reduction of Port Royal; and a fleet conveying one thousand soldiers was sent against the place; but the assailants were twice obliged to raise the siege with considerable loss. Not disheartened by the repulse, Massachusetts spent two years more in preparation, and aided by a fleet from England, in 1710 again demanded the surrender of Port Royal. The garrison, weak and dispirited, capitulated after a brief resistance; the name of the place was changed to Annapolis, in honor of Queen Anne; and Acadia, or Nova Scotia, was permanently annexed to the British crown.

The most important event of (King George’s War) in America, was the siege and capture of Louisburg. This place, situated on the island of Cape Breton, had been fortified by France at great expense, and was regarded by her as the key to her American possessions, William Shirley the governor of Massachusetts, perceiving the importance of the place, and the danger to which its possession by the French subjected the British province of Nova Scotia, laid before the legislature of the colony a plan for its capture. Although Strong objections wore urged, the govenor’s proposals were assented to; Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire, furnished their quotas of men; New York sent a supply of artillery, and Pennsylvania of provisions. Commodore Warren, then in the West Indies with an English fleet, was invited to co-operate in the enterprise, but he declined doing so without orders from England. This unexpected intelligence was kept a secret, and in April, 1745, the New England forces alone, under William Pepperell, commander-in-chief, and Roger Wolcott, second in command, sailed for Louisburg.

At Causcau they were unexpectedly met by the fleet of Commodore Warren, who had recently received orders to repair to Boston, and concert measures with Governor Shirley for his majesty’s service in North America. On the 11th of May the combined forces, numbering more than 4000 land troops, came in sight of Louisburg, and effected a landing at Gabarus Bay, which was the first intimation the French had of their danger. On the day after the landing a detachment of four hundred men marched by the city and approached the royal battery, setting fire to the houses and stores on the way. The French, imagining that the whole army was coming upon them, spiked the guns and abandoned the battery, which was immediately seized by the New England troops. Its guns were then turned upon the town, and against the island battery at the entrance of the harbor.

As it was necessary to transport the guns over a morass, where oxen and horses could not be used, they were placed on sledges constructed for the purpose, and the men with ropes, sinking to their knees in the mud, drew them safely over. Trenches were then thrown up within two hundred yards of the city,—a battery was erected on the opposite side of the harbor, at the Light House Point and the fleet of Warren captured a French gunship, with five hundred and sixty men, and a great quantity of military stores designed for the supply of the garrison. A combined attack by sea and land was planned for the 29th of June, but, on the day previous, the city, fort, and batteries, and the whole island, were surrendered. This was the most important acquisition which England made during the war, and, for its recovery, and the desolation of the English colonies, a powerful naval armament under the Duke d’Anville was sent out by France in the following year. But storms, shipwrecks, and disease, enfeebled the fleet, and blasted the hopes of the enemy.

In 1748 the war was terminated by the treaty of Aix la Chapelle. The result proved that neither party had gained any thing by the contest; for all acquisitions made by either were mutually restored. But the causes of a future and more important war still remained in the disputes about boundaries, which were left unsettled; and the “French and Indian War” soon followed, which was the last struggle of the French for dominion in America.

Expeditions of Monckton, Braddock, Shirley, and Sir William Johnson.
Early in 1755, General Braddock arrived from Ireland, with two regiments of British troops, and with the authority of commander-in-chief of the British and colonial forces. At a convention of the colonial governors, assembled at his request in Virginia, three expeditions were resolved upon; one against the French at Fort du Quesne, to be led by General Braddock himself; a second against Niagara, and a third against Crown Point, a French post on the western shore of Lake Champlain.

While preparations were making for these expeditions, an enterprise, that had been previously determined undertaken. upon, was prosecuted with success in another quarter. About the last of May, Colonel Monckton sailed from Boston, with three thousand troops, against the French settlements at the head of the Bay of Fundy, which were considered as encroachments upon the English province of Nova Scotia. Landing at Fort Lawrence, on the eastern shore of Chignecto, a branch of the Bay of Fundy, a French block-house was carried by assault, and Fort Beausejour surrendered, after an investment of four days. The name of the fort was then changed to Cumberland. Fort Gaspereau, on Bay Verte, or Green Bay, was next taken; and the forts on the New Brunswick coast were abandoned. In accordance with the views of the governor of Nova Scotia, the plantations of the French settlers were laid waste; and several thousands of the hapless fugitives, ardently attached to their mother country, and refusing to take the oath of allegiance to Great Britain, were driven on board the British shipping, at the point of the bayonet, and dispersed, in poverty, through the English colonies.

Nova Scotia, according to its present limits, forms a large peninsula, separated from the continent by the Bay of Fundy, and its branch Chignecto, and connected with it by a narrow isthmus between the latter bay and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The peninsula is about 385 miles in length from northeast to southwest, and contains an area of nearly sixteen thousand square miles. The surface of the country is broken, and the Atlantic coast is generally barren, but some portions of the interior are fertile.

The settlement of Port Royal, (now Annapolis) by De Monts, in 1605, and also the conquest of the country by Argall, in 1614, have already been mentioned. France made no complaint of Argall’s aggression, beyond demanding the restoration of the prisoners, nor did Britain take any immediate measures for retaining her conquests. But in 1621 Sir William Alexander, afterwards Earl of Stirling, obtained from the king, James I, a grant of Nova Scotia and the adjacent islands, and in 1625 the patent was renewed by Charles I., and extended so as to embrace all Canada, and the northern portions of the United States. In 1623 a vessel was despatched with settlers, but they found the whole country in the possession of the French, and were obliged to return to England without effecting a settlement.

In 1628, during a war with France, Sir David Kirk, who had been sent out by Alexander, succeeded in reducing Nova Scotia, and in the following year he completed the conquest of Canada, but the whole country was restored by treaty in 1632.

The French court now divided Nova Scotia among three individuals, La Tour, Denys, and Razillai, and appointed Razillai commander-in-chief of the country. The latter was succeeded by Charnise, between whom and La Tour a deadly feud arose, and violent hostilities were for some time carried on between the rivals. At length, Charnise dying, the controversy was for a time settled by La Tour’s marrying the widow of his deadly enemy, but soon after La Borgne appeared, a creditor of Charnise, and with an armed force endeavored to crush at once Denys and La Tour. But after having subdued several important places, and while preparing to attack St. John, a more formidable competitor presented himself.

Cromwell, having assumed the reins of power in England, declared war against France, and, in 1654, despatched an expedition against Nova Scotia, which soon succeeded in reducing the rival parties, and the whole country submitted to his authority. La Tour, accommodating himself to circumstances, and making his submission to the English, obtained, in conjunction with Sir Thomas Temple, a grant of the greater part of the country. Sir Thomas bought up the share of La Tour, spent nearly 30,000 dollars in fortifications, and greatly improved the commerce of the country; but all his prospects were blasted by the treaty of Breda in 1667, by which Nova Scotia was again ceded to France

The French now resumed possession of the colony, which as yet contained only a few unpromising settlements, the whole population in 1680 not exceeding nine hundred individuals. The fisheries, the only productive branch of business, were carried on by the English. There were but few forts, and these so weak that two of them were taken and plundered by a small piratical vessel. In this situation, after the breaking out of the war with France in 1689, Acadia appeared an easy conquest. The achievement was assigned to Massachusetts, In May, 1690, Sir William Phipps, with 700 men, appeared before Port Royal, which soon surrendered; but he merely dismantled the fortress, and then left the country a prey to pirates. A French commander arriving in November of the following year, the country was reconquered, simply by pulling down the English and hoisting the French flag.

Soon after, the Bostonians, aroused by the depredations of the French and [indigenous] on the frontiers, sent a body of 500 men, who soon regained the whole country, with the exception of one fort on the river St. John. Acadia now remained in possession of the English until the treaty of Ryswick in 1697, when it was again restored to France.

It was again resolved to reduce Nova Scotia, and the achievement was again left to Massachusetts, with the assurance that what should be gained by arms would not again be sacrificed by treaty.

The peace of 1697 was speedily succeeded by a declaration of war against France and Spain in 1702. It was again resolved to reduce Nova Scotia, and the achievement was again left to Massachusetts, with the assurance that what should be gained by arms would not again be sacrificed by treaty. The first expedition, despatched in 1704, met with little resistance, but did little more than ravage the country. In 1707 a force of 1000 soldiers was sent against Port-Royal, but the French commandant conducted the defence of the place with so much ability, that the assailants were obliged to retire with considerable loss. In 1710 a much larger force, under the command of General Nicholson, appeared before Port Royal, but the French commandant, having but a feeble garrison, and declining to attempt a resistance, obtained an honorable capitulation. Port Royal was now named Annapolis. From this period Nova Scotia has been permanently annexed to the British crown.

The [Mi’kmaq] of Nova Scotia, who were warmly attached to the French, were greatly astonished on being informed that they had become the subjects of Great Britain. Determined, however, on preserving their independence, they carried on a long and vigorous war against the English. In 1720 they plundered a large establishment at Canseau, carrying off fish and merchandise to the amount of 10,000 dollars; and in 1723 they captured at the same place, seventeen sail of vessels, with numerous prisoners, nine of whom they deliberately and cruelly put to death.

As the [Mi’kmaq] still continued hostile, the British inhabitants of Nova Scotia were obliged to solicit aid from Massachusetts, and in 1728 that province sent a body of troops against the principal village of the Norridgewocks, on the Kennebec. ‘The enemy were surprised, and defeated with great slaughter, and among the slain was Father Ralle, their missionary, a man of considerable literary attainments, who had resided among the [Mi’kmaq] forty years. By this severe stroke the [Mi’kmaq] were overawed, and for many years did not again disturb the tranquility of the English settlements.

In 1744 war broke out anew between England and France. The French governor of Cape Breton immediately attempted the reduction of Nova Scotia, took Canseau, and twice laid siege to Annapolis, but without effect. The English, on the other hand, succeeded in capturing Louisburg, the Gibraltar of America, but when peace was concluded, by the treaty of Aix la Chapelle, in 1748, the island of Cape Breton was restored to France.

After the treaty, Great Britain began to pay more attention to Nova Scotia, which had hitherto been settled relation almost exclusively by the French, who, upon every rupture between the two countries, were accused of violating their neutrality. In order to introduce a greater proportion of English settlers, it was now proposed to colonize there a large number of the soldiers who had been discharged in consequence of the disbanding of the army, and in the latter part of June, 1749, a company of nearly 4000 adventurers of this class was added to the population of the colony.

To every private was given fifty acres of land, with ten additional acres for each member of his family. A higher allowance was granted to officers, till it amounted to six hundred acres for every person above the degree of captain, with proportionable allowances for the number and increase of every family. The settlers were to be conveyed free of expense, to be furnished with arms and ammunition, and with materials and utensils for clearing their lands and erecting habitations, and to be maintained twelve months after their arrival, at the expense of the government.

The emigrants having been landed at Chebucto harbor, under the charge of the Honorable Edward Cornwallis, whom the king had appointed their governor, they immediately commenced the building of a town, on a regular plan, to which the name of Halifax was given, in honor of the nobleman who had the greatest share in funding the colony. The place selected for the settlement possessed a cold, sterile and rocky soil, yet it was preferred to Annapolis, as it was considered more favorable for trade and fishery, and it likewise possessed one of the finest harbors in America. “Of so great importance to England was the colony deemed, that Parliament” continued to make annual grants for it, which, in 1755, had amounted to the enormous sum of nearly two millions of dollars.

But although the English settlers were thus firmly established, they soon found themselves unpleasantly situated. The limits of Nova Scotia had never been defined, by the treaties between France and England, with sufficient clearness to prevent disputes about boundaries, and each party was now striving to obtain possession of a territory claimed by the other. The government of France contended that the British dominion, according to the treaty which ceded Nova Scotia, extended only over the present peninsula of the same name; while, according to the English, it extended over all that large tract of country formerly known as Acadia, including the present province of New Brunswick. Admitting the English claim, France would be deprived of a portion of territory of great value to her, materially affecting her control over the River and Gulf of St. Lawrence, and greatly endangering the security of her Canadian possessions.

When, therefore, the English government showed a disposition effectually to colonize the country, the French settlers began to be alarmed; and though they did not think proper to make an open avowal of their jealousy, they employed their emissaries in exciting the [Mi’kmaq] to hostilities in the hope of effectually preventing the English from extending their plantations, and, perhaps, of inducing them to abandon their settlements entirely. The [Mi’kmaq] even made attacks upon Halifax, and the colonists could not move into the adjoining woods, singly or in small parties, without danger of being shot and scalped, or taken prisoners.

In support of the French claims, the governor of Canada sent detachments, which, aided by strong bodies of [Mi’kmaq] and a few French Acadians, erected the fort of Beau Sejour on the neck of the peninsula of Nova Scotia, and another on the river St. John, on pretence that these places were within the government of Canada. Encouraged by these demonstrations, the French inhabitants around the bay of Chignecto rose in open rebellion against the English government, and in the spring of 1750 the governor of Nova Scotia sent Major Lawrence with a few men to reduce them to obedience. At his approach, the French abandoned their dwellings, and placed themselves under the protection of the commandant of Fort Beau Sejour, when Lawrence, finding the enemy too strong for him, was obliged to retire without accomplishing his object.

Soon after, Major Lawrence was again detached with 1000 men, but after driving in the outposts of the enemy, he was a second time obliged to retire. To keep the French in check, however, the English built a fort on the neck of the peninsula, which, in honor of its founder, .was called Fort Lawrence.Still the depredations of the [Mi’kmaq] continued, the French erected additional forts in the disputed territory, and vessels of war, with troops and military stores, were sent to Canada and Cape Breton, until the forces in both these places became a source of great alarm to the English.

At length, in 1755, Admiral Boscawen commenced the war, which had long been anticipated by both parties, by capturing on the coast of Newfoundland two French vessels, having on board eight companies of soldiers and about 35,000 dollars in specie. Hostilities having thus begun, a force was immediately fitted out from New England, under Lieutenant Colonels Monckton and Winslow, to dislodge the enemy from their newly erected forts. The troops embarked at Boston on the 20th of May, and arrived at Annapolis on the 25th, whence they sailed on the 1st of June, in a fleet of forty-one vessels to Chignecto, and anchored about five miles from Fort Lawrence.

On their arrival at the river Massaguash, they found themselves opposed by a large number of regular forces, rebel Acadians, and [Mi’kmaq], 450 of whom occupied a block-house, while the remainder were posted within a strong outwork of timber. The latter were attacked by the English provincials with such spirit that they soon fled, when the garrison deserted the block-house, and left the passage of the river free. Thence Colonel Monckton advanced against Fort Beau Sejour, which he invested on the 12th of June, and after four days bombardment compelled it to surrender.

Having garrisoned the place, and changed its name to that of Cumberland, he next attacked and reduced another French fort near the mouth of the river Gaspereau, at the head of Bay Verte or Green Bay, where he found a large quantity of provisions and stores, which had been collected for the use of the [Mi’kmaq] and Acadians. A squadron sent against the post on the St. John, found it abandoned and destroyed. The success of the expedition secured the tranquility of all French Acadia, then claimed by the English under the name of Nova Scotia.

The peculiar situation of the Acadians, however, was a subject of great embarrassment to the local government of the province. In Europe, the war had begun unfavorably to the English, while General Braddock, sent with a large force to invade Canada, had been defeated with the loss of nearly his whole army. Powerful reenforcements had been sent by the French to Louisburg and other posts in America, and serious apprehensions were entertained that the enemy would next invade Nova Scotia, where they would find a friendly population, both European and [Mi’kmaq].

The French Acadians at that period amounted to Seventeen or eighteen thousand. They had cultivated a considerable extent of land, possessed about 60,000 head of cattle, had neat and comfortable dwellings, and lived in a state of plenty, but of great simplicity. They were a peaceful, industrious, and amiable race, governed mostly by their pastors, who exercised a parental authority over them; they cherished a deep attachment to their native country, they had resisted every invitation to bear arms against it, and had invariably refused to take the oath of allegiance to Great Britain. Although the great body of these people remained tranquilly occupied in the cultivation of their lands, yet a few individuals had joined the [Mi’kmaq], and about 300 were taken in the forts, in open rebellion against the government of the country.

Under these circumstances, Governor Lawrence and his council, aided by Admirals Boscawen and Mostyn, assembled to consider what disposal of the Acadians the security of the country required. Their decision resulted in the determination to tear the whole of this people from their homes, and disperse them through the different British colonies, where they would be unable to unite in any offensive measures, and where they might in time be-come naturalized to the government. Their lands, houses, and cattle, were, without any alleged crime, declared to be forfeited; and they were allowed to carry with them only their money and household furniture, both of extremely small amount.

Treachery was necessary to render this tyrannical scheme effective. The inhabitants of each district were commanded to meet at a certain place and day on urgent business, the nature of which was carefully concealed from them; and when they were all assembled, the dreadful mandate was pronounced,—and only small parties of-them were allowed to return for a short time to make the necessary preparations. They appear to have listened to their doom with unexpected resignation, making only mournful and solemn appeals, which were wholly disregarded. When, however, the moment of embarkation arrived, the young men, who were placed in front, absolutely refused to move and it required files of soldiers, with fixed bayonets, to secure obedience.

No arrangements had been made for their location elsewhere, nor was any compensation offered for the property of which they were deprived. They were merely thrown on the coast at different points, and compelled to trust to the charity of the inhabitants, who did not allow any of them to be absolutely starved. Still, through hardships, distress, and change of climate, a great proportion of them perished. So eager was their desire to return, that those sent to Georgia had set out, and actually reached New York, when they were arrested.

They addressed a pathetic representation to the English government, in which, quoting the most solemn treaties and declarations, they proved that their treatment had been as faithless as it was cruel. No attention, however, was paid to this document, and so guarded a silence government was preserved by the government of Nova Scotia, upon the subject of the removal of the Acadians, that the records of the province make no allusion whatever to the event.

Notwithstanding the barbarous diligence with which this mandate was executed, it is supposed that the banished number actually removed from the province did not exceed 7000. The rest fled into the depths of the forests, or to the nearest French settlements, enduring incredible hardships. To guard against the return of the hapless fugitives, the government reduced to ashes their habitations and property, laying waste even their own lands, with a fury exceeding that of the most savage enemy.

In one district, 236 houses were at once in a blaze. The Acadians, from the heart of the woods, beheld all they their homes possessed consigned to destruction; yet they made no movement till the devastators wantonly set their chapel on fire. They then rushed forward in desperation, killed about thirty of the incendaries, and then hastened back to their hiding-places.

But few events of importance occurred in Nova Scotia during the remainder of the French and Indian War, at the close of which, France was compelled to the transfer to her victorious rival, all her possessions on the American continent. Relieved from any farther apprehensions from the few French remaining in the country, the provincial government of the province made all the efforts of which it was Capable to extend the progress of cultivation and settlement, though all that could be done was insufficient to fill Up the dreadful blank that had already been made.

After the peace, the case of the Acadians naturally came Under the view of the government. No advantage had been derived from their barbarous treatment, and there remained no longer a pretext for continuing the persecution. They were, therefore, allowed to return, and to receive lands on taking the customary oaths, but no compensation was offered them for the property of which had been plundered. Nevertheless, a few did return, although, in 1772, out of a French population of seventeen or eighteen thousand which once composed the colony, there were only about two thousand remaining.

In 1758, during the administration of Governor Lawrence, a legislative assembly was given to the people of Nova Scotia. In 1761 an important [indigenous] treaty was concluded when the natives agreed finally to bury the hatchet, and to accept George III, instead of the king formerly owned by them, as their great father and friend. The province remained loyal to the crown during the war of the American Revolution, at the close of which, its population was greatly augmented by the arrival of a large number of loyalist refugees from the United States. Many of the new settlers directed their course to the region beyond peninsula, which, thereby acquiring a great increase of importance, was, in 1784, erected into a distinct government, under the title of New Brunswick. At the same time, the island of Cape Breton, which had been united with Nova Scotia since the capture of Louisburg in 1748, was erected into a separate government, in which it remained until 1820, when it was re-annexed to Nova Scotia.

The most interesting portions of the history of Nova Scotia, it will be observed, are found previous to the peace of 1763, which put a final termination to the colonial wars between France and England. Since that period the tranquillity of the province has been seldom interrupted, and, under a succession of popular governors, the country has continued steadily to advance in wealth and prosperity.

In 1729 the colony (of Newfoundland) was withdrawn from its nominal dependence on Nova Scotia, from which period until 1827 the government of the island was administered by naval commanders appointed to cruise on the fishing station, but who returned to England during the winter. Since 1827 the government has been administered by resident governors; and in 1832, at the earnest solicitation of the inhabitants, a representative assembly was granted them.”

Willson, Marcius. “American history: comprising historical sketches of the Indian tribes”. Cincinnati, W. H. Moore & co.; 1847.

“The history of Kings County, Nova Scotia, heart of the Acadian land”

Governor Cornwallis initiated courts of justice based on English common law in 1749, leading to the establishment of County Courts and a General Court. This book asserts that in January 1757 (as do others, owing to the fact there was a revision between the initial attempt in 1757 and the finalized representative arrangements in 1758), Nova Scotia took its first steps in transitioning from being ruled solely by the Governor and Council to establishing a Representative Assembly. It was originally comprised of twelve members for the province and additional representatives for various townships, including Dartmouth. Members and voters were required to be Protestant, above twenty-one years old, and possess a freehold estate in their district. The first Assembly was convened in October 1758 (this time without a representative for Dartmouth), followed by adjustments to representation in subsequent years.

Over time, the judicial system evolved, with the introduction of Circuit Courts and changes in court jurisdictions. The New England town meeting model influenced local governance, coexisting with courts to address various civic matters, including poor relief. Dartmouth held town meetings for several decades after its incorporation as a town. The narrative also explores the growth of Baptist communities, the role of the clergy, and the social and political dynamics during the American War. Additionally, it mentions the formation of Light Infantry companies and the challenges faced by Governor Legge in maintaining loyalty during the conflict.

Following this overview, the subsequent text comprises brief biographies of prominent figures and families who are connected to Dartmouth in some capacity.

“Until January, 1757, the Governor and Council ruled alone in Nova Scotia, at that time, after long debate, it was decided that a Representative Assembly should be created, and that there should be elected for the province at large, until counties should be formed, twelve members, besides four for the township of Halifax, two for the township of Lunenburg and one each for the townships of Dartmouth, Lawrencetown (both in Halifax County), Annapolis Royal, and Cumberland. The bounds of these townships were described, and it was resolved that when twenty-five qualified electors should be settled at Piziquid, Minas, Cobequid, or any other district that might in the future be erected into a township, any one of these places should be entitled to send one representative to the Assembly and should likewise have the right to vote in the election of representatives for the province at large.

Members and voters must not be “Popish recusants”, nor be under the age of twenty-one years, and each must have a freehold estate in the district he represented or voted for. The first Assembly met in Halifax on Monday, October 2, 1758, when nineteen members—six “esquires”, and thirteen “gentlemen”, were sworn in. At a meeting of the Council in August, 1759, soon after the dissolution of the second session of the first Assembly, the Council fixed the representation of the township of Halifax at four members, and of Lunenburg, Annapolis, Horton, and Cumberland, at two each. For the newly formed counties of Halifax, Lunenburg, Annapolis, King’s, and Cumberland, there were to be two each.”

County Government, Public Officials:

“When Governor Cornwallis came to Nova Scotia in 1749, one of his earliest acts was the erection and commissioning of courts of justice for the carrying out of the principles of English common law. In pursuance of his orders from the crown he at once erected three courts, a Court of General Sessions, a County Court, having jurisdiction over the whole province, and a General Court or Court of Assize and General Jail Delivery, in which the Governor and Council for the time being, sat at judges. In 1752, the County Court was abolished, and a Court of Common Pleas similar to the Superior Courts of Common Pleas of New England erected in its place. In 1754, Jonathan Belcher, Esq., was appointed the first Chief Justice of the province, and the General Court was supplanted by a Supreme Court, in which the Chief Justice was the sole judge.

In 1829 Judge Haliburton wrote: “There is no separate Court of Common Pleas for the Province, but there are courts in each county, bearing the same appellation and resembling it in many of its powers. These courts when first constituted had power to issue both mesne and final process to any part of the Province, and had a concurrent jurisdiction with the Supreme Court in all civil causes. They were held in the several counties by Magistrates, or such other persons as were best qualified to fill the situation of judges, but there was no salary attached to the office, and fees, similar in their nature, but smaller in amount than those received by the Judges of the Supreme Court, were the only remuneration given them for their trouble. As the King’s bench was rising in reputation, from the ability and learning of its Judges, these courts fell into disuse, and few causes of difficulty or importance were tried in them. It was even found necessary to limit their jurisdiction, and they were restrained from issuing mesne process out of the county in which they sat.

The exigencies of the country requiring them to be put into a more efficient state, a law was passed in 1824 for dividing the Province into three districts or circuits and the Governor was empowered to appoint a professional man to each circuit, as first Justice of the several courts of Common Pleas within the District, and also as President of the courts of sessions. In 1774 an act of the Legislature was passed, first establishing the circuits of the Supreme Court. At Halifax the terms were fourteen days, liberty, however, being allowed for longer terms if the number of cases to be tried demanded an extension of time. No less than eighteen or twenty acts of the legislature relative to the times of holding the courts in the province, were passed between 1760 and 1840. In 1824 an act was passed changing the constitution of the courts of Common Pleas, and dividing the province into three Judicial Districts: the Eastern District, to comprise the county of Sydney, the districts of Pictou and Colchester, and the county of Cumberland; the Middle District, the counties of Hants, King’s, Lunenburg, and Queens; the Western District, the counties of Annapolis and Shelburne. In 1841, by an act of the legislature, the Inferior Courts of Common Pleas were abolished and the administration of law was generally improved.

With the advent of the New England planters to the county, came the introduction of New England’s time honoured institution, the Town Meeting.

[An institution on the radar of those in Dartmouth long before being enacted in law in Dartmouth township, a practice which continued for the first few decades of its existence as an incorporated Town. Martin indicates the last of the “old style” (New England) Town meetings in Dartmouth was held in 1902].

“The New England town meeting was and still is”, says Charles Francis Adams, “the political expressions of the town”, and many writers have spoken of the influence the institution has had in developing and conserving that spirit of independence and sense of liberty which have been characteristic of the New England colonies and colonies sprung from New England. In all the New England settlements in Nova Scotia, the Town Meeting was from the first, in conjunction with the Court of Sessions, the source of local government. The Court of Sessions was composed of the magistrates or justices of the peace, the chairman of which was the Gustos Botulorum, and its secretary, the Clerk of the Peace. By this court, the constables, assessors, surveyors of highways, school commissioners, pound keepers, fence viewers, and trustees of school lands, were appointed. In the Town Meeting the rate-payers met to discuss freely all local affairs, not the least important matter under its jurisdiction being always the relief and support of the poor and the appointment of overseers and a clerk of overseers for carrying out the provisions for the needy the Town Meeting made. For many years it was customary for certain rate-payers to “bid off” one or more poor men, women, or children, for stipulated sums to be paid weekly by the town. In these cases, where it was possible, the rate-payers made the poor whom they bid off, useful in their homes [“parties in need of domestic servants will now have no difficulty in supplying themselves.”]; for such service, and for the sum they received, giving the unfortunates, board, lodging, and clothes. Many persons also, who became town charges were “farmed out” to men who made their living wholly or in part by boarding them. See also “The Great Awakening in Nova Scotia, 1776-1809”, Armstrong, Maurice Whitman] .

Up to 1790, and how much later we do not know, the Town Meetings of Cornwallis were held in the Meeting-House, but after that they were held in some other convenient place. In 1839 an act was passed to enable the inhabitants of Cornwallis to provide a public Town House for the holding of elections in that township. For this building the township was to be assessed in a sum not to exceed two hundred pounds. In 1879 the three townships of the county were united in a central government, and the Town Meeting and Court of Sessions became things of the past. In place of the three townships now arose the Municipality of King’s County, the sole governing body of which is the Municipal Council. Under this new system the county is divided into fourteen wards, twelve of which elect one councillor each, and two, two councillors, for a term of two years. The Council as a whole then elects a Warden, who corresponds to the Custos Rotulorum, of the old Court of Sessions, and whatever other officers it was the duty of the Court of Sessions to elect. Under the Municipality’s control thus came all the interests that formerly pertained to both the Town Meeting and the Court of Sessions. The change of the county to a Municipality was affected at a meeting held at the court house on Tuesday, January 13, 1879, pursuant to a notice by the then Sheriff, John Marshall Caldwell.”

“Before 1888 the only towns in the Province incorporated, besides Halifax, were Dartmouth, Pictou, Windsor, New Glasgow, Sydney, North Sydney, and Kentville.”

“Barristers and Attorneys in King’s County: … James Ratchford De Wolf (long Medical Superintendent of the Insane Hospital at Dartmouth, N. S.)”

“The next rector of Aylesford was the Rev. Richard Avery, son of John and Elizabeth (Simmons) Avery, who was bom at Southampton, England, and educated there, at Warminster, and at Oxford, his brothers, the Rev. John S. Avery, M. A., and the Rev. William Avery, B. A., being chiefly his tutors. Passing the Clerical Board of the S. P. G. in London, Mr. Avery was sent out as a Deacon to Nova Scotia, and by Bishop John Inglis was given the curacy of Lunenburg. In the spring of 1842 he was called as assistant to St. Paul’s Church, Halifax, and Christ Church, Dartmouth”

“In 1827, the Rev. George Struthers, also of the Established Church of Scotland, who afterwards (the Rev. John Martin of Halifax officiating), January 28, 1830, married Mr. Forsyth’s eldest daughter, Mary, and the Rev. Morrison were sent from Scotland by the Lay Association as missionaries to Nova Scotia. At once Mr. Struthers came to Horton, Mr. Morrison going to Dartmouth, which place he afterwards left for Bermuda.”

“The Baptist body in Nova Scotia had its birth in a general religious Revival, and its growth may largely be traced through later similar revivals. Of these revivals King’s County has had always its share, and out of them have come undoubtedly a great deal of deep, continuing religious life.

In 1809 the members of the Cornwallis Baptist Church numbered sixty-five, in 1810 fifty-six, in 1811 sixty-three, in 1812 seventy-three, in 1813 sixty-five, in 1814 sixty-eight, and in 1820 a hundred and twenty-four.

Mr. Manning’s pastorate of the Church lasted until his death, which occurred, as we have said, on the 12th of January, 1851. In 1847, on account of his failing health, the Rev. Abram Spurr Hunt, a young graduate of Acadia College of 1844 (and master of arts of 1851), was chosen to assist him. “When Mr. Manning died Mr. Hunt succeeded to the pastorate, and in this office remained until November, 1867, when he resigned and removed to Dartmouth, the well known suburb of Halifax.”

“On the breaking out of the American War in 1775, Light Infantry companies were ordered by the Governor to be formed in the various townships of King’s and other counties. The number of the King’s County contingent was to be fifty men at Cornwallis, fifty at Horton, and fifty at Windsor, Newport, and Falmouth, together. Fearing sympathy on the part of the Nova Scotians who had come from New England with their rebellious kinsmen in the New England colonies, Governor Legge further ordered that all grown men in the several townships should take an oath of allegiance to the British Crown. … Among the men sent from England to govern the province of Nova Scotia during nearly a century and a quarter, not one ever showed such ill-temper as Governor Legge, the incumbent of the governorship at the outbreak of the war. His charges of disloyalty towards England included, not only the inhabitants of the province who had recently come from New England, but the staunchest members of the Council at Halifax as well. As early as January, 1776, he writes disparaging letters concerning the New England settlers to the British Secretary of State. A law has been passed, he says, to raise fresh militia troops, and he has been endeavouring to arm the people, but he has just been informed from Annapolis and King’s counties that the people in general refuse to be enrolled. Though Governor Campbell ‘s report to Lord Hillsborough in 1770 had stated that he did not discover in the people of Nova Scotia any of that “licentious principle” with which the neighbouring colonies were infected, it is a well known fact that in Cumberland, in 1776, the greatest disaffection towards England did prevail. That it would have been perfectly natural if the people of the midland counties of Nova Scotia had sympathized with New England in her protest against the abuse of power on the part of the British Government from which she had long suffered must be freely admitted, that among the inhabitants of Annapolis, King’s, and Hants such sympathy was outwardly shown, remains yet to be proved.

It is a well known fact that the King’s Orange Rangers, a Loyalist corps raised in Orange County, New York, through the efforts of Lieut.-Col. John Bayard in 1776 and ’77, in October, 1778, were sent to reinforce the King’s troops in Nova Scotia, and that until the disbandment of the corps in 1783 they were employed chiefly in garrison duty in Halifax. The statement of the writer of the manuscript in question is that in King’s County symptoms of rebellion strongly showed themselves, one of these being that certain King’s County people were even preparing to raise a liberty pole. This seditious spirit in King’s being reported to the government at Halifax by Major Samuel Starr, a detachment of the Orange Rangers stationed at Eastern Battery, Halifax, was ordered to Cornwallis, under command of Major Samuel Vetch Bayard.”


“JAMES Fillis AVERY, M. D. Dr. James Fillis Avery, son of Cap.t. Samuel and Mary (Fillis) Avery, was born in Horton, May 22, 1794, and for three years studied medicine with Dr. Almon in Halifax. He then went to Edinburgh, where he graduated in 1821. After graduation he spent six months in the Hospital of the Royal Guard at Paris, under the superintendence of the noted Baron Larrey, the first Napoleon’s principal medical adviser. Dr. Avery practised medicine in Halifax and also founded there, in George Street, the noted drug firm, which for many years he personally conducted. From this firm, in time, sprang the firms of Messrs. Brown Brothers, and Brown and “Webb. In later life he retired from business, and for some time travelled in Europe. He was an early governor of Dalhousie College, was an elder in St. Matthew’s Presbyterian Church, on Pleasant Street, and was interested in many philanthropic institutions. Among the business enterprises that he took substantial interest in was the Shubenacadie Canal, from Dartmouth to the Bay of Fundy. The first (and probably only) vessel that ever went through that canal, it is said, was called for him. The Avery. For many years, until his death. Dr. Avery’s residence was on South Street, adjoining that of Mr. George Herbert Starr, who had married his niece, Rebecca (Allison) Sawers. Dr. Avery died unmarried, universally respected, Nov. 28, 1887, and was buried near his parents at Grand Pre.

ALFRED CHIPMAN COGSWELL, D. D. S. Alfred Chipman Cogswell, son of Winckworth Allen and Caroline Eliza (Barnaby) Cogswell, was born in Upper Dyke village, Cornwallis, July 17, 1834. He married, Oct. 8, 1858, Sarah A., dau. of Col. Oliver and Sarah A. Parker, born in Bangor, Me., Oct. 10,1830, and had two sons. His residence for many years was in Halifax and in Dartmouth. Dr. Cogswell studied for two years at Acadia College, and then on account of ill health abandoned his college course. His studies in dentistry were later pursued in Portland, Me., and his first practice was in Wakefield, Mass. In 1859 he removed to Halifax, N. S., where he formed a partnership with Dr. Lawrence B. Van Buskirk. Some years later he graduated as D. D. S. at the College of Dentistry in Philadelphia. For many years Dr. Cogswell was a successful and skillful practitioner in Halifax, where he was also an elder in St. Matthew’s Presbyterian Church. The younger of his sons, Arthur W., in 1884 received the degree of M. D., and was appointed Surgeon of the Halifax Provincial and City Hospital.

HON. THOMAS ANDREW STRANGE DeWOLF, M. E. G. Hon. Thomas Andrew Strange DeWolf, M. P. P., M. E. C, fourth son of Judge Elisha and Margaret (Ratchford) DeWolf, born April 19, 1795, married December 30, 1817, or March 26, 1818, his first cousin, Nancy, daughter of Col. James and Mary (Crane) Ratchford, born June 1, 1798. Mr. DeWolf represented the County of Kings from 1837 until 1848. He was made a member of H. M.(first) Executive Council, February 10, 1838, and was subsequently Collector of Customs. When a qualification bill authorizing the election of non-resident members was introduced in the legislature as a government measure, he resigned from the Executive Council. He died at “Wolfville, September 21, 1878 ; his widow died at Dartmouth, March 10, 1883. Hon. T. A. S. DeWolf had fourteen children, the most important of whom was James Ratchford DeWolf, M. D., L. R. C. S. E. and L. M., of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh.

THE REV. ABEAM SPURR HUNT, M. A. Eev. Abram Spurr Hunt, though not a native of King’s County, was for many years, as Rev. Edward Manning’s immediate successor, pastor of the Cornwallis First Baptist Church. He was born at Clements, Annapolis county, April 7, 1814, grad. at Acadia in 1844 (its second class), and on the 10th of Nov. of that year, was ordained over the newly formed Baptist Church at Dartmouth, N. S. In 1844 also, he married Catharine Johnstone, eldest surviving daughter of Lewis Johnston, M. D., and niece of Hon. Judge James William Johnstone, and in 1846, removed to Wolfville, where for a winter he studied theology under the Rev. Dr. Crawley. In 1847 he became assistant pastor to Rev. Edward Manning at Cornwallis, and in 1851, at Mr. Manning’s death, succeeded to the pastorate. Until 1867 he continued pastor of the Cornwallis Church, his ministry being in every sense a successful one. His field of labour, however, was so wide and his duties so arduous that at last he was obliged to seek an easier parish. When he determined to remove from Cornwallis, the Dartmouth Church recalled him, and to that Church he continued to minister till his death, which occurred, October 23, 1877. In 1870 he was also made Superintendent of Education for the Province, and the duties of this office he also discharged until his death. Mr. Hunt’s children were: Eliza Theresa, married as his 2nd wife, to the Hon. Judge Alfred William Savary, of Annapolis, so well known as a jurist and historian (see among other writings, the Calnek-Savary “History of Annapolis,” and the “Savary Family”); Lewis Gibson, M. D., D. C. L., of London, England ; James Johnstone, D. C. L., Barrister of Halifax; Aubrey Spurr; Ella Maud, m. to the Rev. Arthur Crawley Chute, D. D., Professor in Acadia University ; Rev. Ralph M., a clergyman, who died young, deeply lamented. Mrs. Abram Spurr Hunt, a woman of high breeding and exalted Christian character, survived her husband between seventeen and eighteen years. She died in Dartmouth, Halifax, May 29, 1895.

MAJOR GEORGE ELEANA MORTON Major George Eleana Morton was one of King’s County’s most excellent and enterprising sons. He was a son of Hon. John and Anne (Cogswell) Morton, was born at Upper Dyke village, Cornwallis, March 25, 1811, and was one of the pupils of the Rev. William Forsyth. Going to Halifax at about eighteen years of age he entered a drug store on Granville Street, which business he afterward purchased. In 1852 he erected the stone building at the corner of Granville and George Streets, long known as “Morton’s Comer,” where for many years he conducted a wholesale and retail drug business, at that time the largest in the province. He was the first business man in Halifax to send out a commercial traveller. About 1870 he closed his drug business and opened a book and periodical store, and a lending library of current literature. He retired from business in 1888, and died as the result of an accident, Mar. 12, 1892, and was buried in Dartmouth. Mr. Morton was a man of great intelligence, and of distinctly literary tastes, and his contributions to the press, both in prose and verse, were numerous. In 1852 he published, in conjunction with Miss Mary J. Katzmann, The Provincial, a monthly magazine. Later he published a satirical magazine called Banter. In 1875 he wrote and published the first “Guide to Halifax,” and in 1883, a “Guide to Cape Breton.” His newspaper articles appeared chiefly in the Guardian, the British Colonist, and other newspapers. He was unusually well read in English literature, and his writings contain many quotations from classical authors. He was an accomplished letter writer, and for many years kept up an interesting correspondence with friends abroad, especially with his cousin. Dr. Charles Cogswell. He was one of the original members of the N. S. Historical Society, and was always actively interested in the work of that Society. In religion he was a Presbyterian, his membership being in St. Matthew’s Church. In politics a Conservative, he was for many years a personal friend of Messrs. Johnstone, Tupper, Parker, Holmes, Marshall, and other Conservative leaders. He was an ardent supporter of confederation, and had great faith in the future of the Dominion. Nov. 23, 1859, he was appointed 1st Lieut, in the 2nd Queen’s Halifax Regt. ; Sept. 23, 1862, he was appointed Captain. On the reorganization of the militia by the Dominion Government he was retired with the rank of Major. He was one of the promoters of the N. S. Telegraph Company, was original shareholder of the N. S. Sugar Refinery, and shortly after the discovery of gold in 1860, became interested in gold-mining. He held mining claims at Waverly, Montagu, Elmsdale, and Lawrencetown. George Elkana Morton married in Halifax, in March, 1849, Martha Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Christian Conrad Casper and Martha (Prescott) Katzmann, bom Apr. 2, 1823, died Apr. 6, 1899. He had children: Annie, born Dec. 13, 1850, died Mar. 29, 1855; Charles Cogswell, born Aug. 14, 1852, married Apr. 27, 1905, Winifred, daughter of Leonard and Lucy Leadley, of Dartmouth, N.S., and now resides in Kentville. For the Katzmann Family, see the Prescott Family Sketch.”

“Of the Bishop families of Horton many members have occupied positions of trust and many have attained prominence in the communities where they lived. Such have been … Watson Bishop, of Dartmouth, N. S., Superintendent of Water Works for that town”

“THE KEMPTON FAMILY The Rev. Samuel Bradford Kempton, D. D., now of Dartmouth, N. S., but for many years the honoured third pastor of the Cornwallis First Baptist Church, in succession to the Rev. Abram Spurr Hunt, is the son of Stephen and Olivia Harlowe (Locke) Kempton, and was b. at Milton, Queen’s county, Nov. 2, 1834. He received his early education at Milton Academy, and in 1857 entered Horton Academy. In 1862 he graduated, B. A., at Acadia University. He then spent a year at Acadia under the instruction of Rev. John Mockett Cramp, D. D., in post-graduate work. In 1833 he was ordained pastor of Third Horton Baptist Church, and in 1867 became pastor of the First Cornwallis Baptist Church. In that position he remained until 1893, when he removed to Dartmouth, as pastor of the Dartmouth Baptist Church. Dr. Kempton received his M. A., from Acadia University in 1872, and the honorary degree of D. D. in 1894. Prom 1878 to 1907 he was one of the governors of Acadia, and in 1882 was appointed a member of the Senate of the University. His ministry at Cornwallis was laborious and faithful, he had six preaching stations and was obliged to travel many miles every week. He married in Horton, Oct. 1, 1867, Eliza Allison, dau. of Abraham and Nancy Rebecca (Allison) Seaman, and had two children : Rev. Austin Tremaise, b. Feb. 6, 1870, m. June 7,1893, Charlotte H. Freeman; William Bradford, b. May 29, 1885, d. July 17, 1893. Of these sons, Rev. Austin Tremaise Kempton graduated at Acadia University in 1891, and received his M. A. in course in 1894. He was ordained to the Baptist ministry at Milton, Queen’s county, N. S., in 1891, later studied at Newton Theological Seminary, and has since held pastorates in Sharon, Boston, Pitchburg and Lunenburg, Mass. He has also been a successful lecturer, his lectures on the “Acadian Country” having done much to make the charms of King’s County known throughout New England.

Of one, at least, of the Orpin grantees, and the family from which he sprang, a writer in the Halifax Herald of January 25, 1899, gave the following interesting account: Among the enterprising pioneers who first came to this part of the country to make of the wilderness a fruitful field, was Joseph Moore Orpin and his wife, Anna Johnson Orpin. Mr. Orpin ‘s father, Edward Orpin, was one of the founders of the city of Halifax. He first took up land on the Dartmouth side of the harbor, and employed men to subdue and clear it of a forest of trees and a heavy crop of stone.

One day while he was on his way with a lad, sixteen years old, named Etherton, carrying dinner to the men working on his land, he was surprised and captured by the [Mi’kmaq]. They compelled silence and began their march with their captives in the direction of Shubenacadie. They had not gone far when one of the [Mi’kmaq] gave the boy a heavy blow, felling him to the ground. Instantly his crown was scalped and he was left for dead. After travelling some distance, Mr. Orpin found that one of his shoes was unbuckled. He stopped and pointed it out to the [Mi’kmaq] walking behind him. As he stooped down to buckle it the [Mi’kmaq] stepped ahead of him. Orpin saw his chance, caught up a hemlock knot, and as quick as lightning gave the [indigenous man] a blow which brought him to the ground. He had confidence in his own fleetness of foot. Instantly he was flying for liberty.

As soon as the [Mi’kmaq] in advance discovered the trick, and recovered from their surprise, they gave him chase. But Orpin was too fleet for them. He escaped and reached home in safety. Strange to relate the boy returned to the city soaked from head to foot in his own blood. The doctors of the city did what they could to heal his scalp wound. They succeeded only in part. Directed by them a silversmith made a silver plate, which the young fellow wore over his unhealed wound. After a time he returned to England.

In the same year Mr. Orpin had still another adventure with the [indigenous] neighbors of the young colony. On this occasion, too, he was on his way to the place where his men were at work, carrying them their dinners. Again he was seized by the skulking [Mi’kmaq] , and hurried away toward Shubenacadie. After reaching one of the lakes, the [Mi’kmaq] stopped to take a meal. For a special treat, Mr. Orpin was carrying a bottle of rum to his men with their dinners. At the lake the [Mi’kmaq] drank the whole of it, and it made them helplessly drunk. This was good fortune for the captive. He reached Halifax again with the scalp safe on his head. This last experience made him more cautious for a long time. The stony ground in Dartmouth, and his trouble with the [Mi’kmaq], induced him to give up his Dartmouth lot and commence anew on the Halifax side of the harbor. Some years later, he went to the North West Arm. He never returned. Diligent and thorough search was made for him; but he could not be found. The belief at the time was the [Mi’kmaq] caught him again and took secret revenge on him in torturing him to death at their leisure.”

“…the Katzmann family of Halifax county demands notice. Lieut. Christian Conrad Casper Katzmann, b. in Eimbeck, Hanover, Prussia, Aug. 18, 1780, came to Annapolis Royal, N. S., as ensign (he is also called adjutant, 3rd Battalion) of H. M. 60th Regt. He m. (1) in Annapolis Royal (by Rev. John Millidge), June 11, 1818, Eliza Georgina Fraser (who had a sister, Mrs. Robinson, and a brother, James Fraser, Jr., Postmaster at Augusta, Georgia), who d. shortly before April 5, 1819. He m. (2), April 6, 1822, by Bishop Inglis, Martha, dau. of John and Catharine (Cleverley) Prescott, of Maroon Hall, Preston, Halifax county, and retiring from the army, bought Maroon Hall. His children by his 2nd marriage were Martha Elizabeth, b. April 2,1823, m. to George Eleana Morton ; Mary Jane (the authoress), b. Jan. 15, 1828, m. to William Lawson, of Halifax; Anna Prescott, b. Sept. 25, 1832, d. unm.. May 31, 1876. Lieut. Katzmann and his family are buried in Dartmouth, N.S. Mr. and Mrs. John Prescott are probably buried at Preston.”

“THE PYKE FAMILY The Pyke family in King’s County is descended from John Pyke, who came to Halifax with Governor Cornwallis in 1749, it is said as his private secretary, and was killed by Indians in Dartmouth, in August of the next year. His wife was Anne Scroope, b. in 1716, her grandfather or his brother, it is believed, being a baronet in Lincolnshire. Precisely how long before he came to Halifax John Pyke married, it is impossible to say, but his son (and only child, so far as is known), John George, was born in England in 1743. After her first husband’s death, Anne (Scroope) Pyke was married to Richard Wenman, another of the company that came with the Cornwallis fleet, and to her second husband she bore three daughters: Susanna, married to Hon. Benjamin Green, Treasurer of the Province; a daughter m. to Captain Howe, of the Army; another daughter m. to Captain Pringle of the army. Mrs. Anne Wenman died May 21, 1792 ; her husband, Richard Wenman, was buried Sept. 30, 1781.”

Eaton, Arthur Wentworth Hamilton. The history of Kings County, Nova Scotia, heart of the Acadian land. Salem, Mass., The Salem press company, 1910. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

Non Progressive Town

DARTMOUTH, N. S., may be safely put down as a non-progressive town, for after getting legislation to provide water and sewerage at small cost, a majority of the ratepayers at a recent meeting refused to go forward with the scheme, so the project is “hung up” for a year. It is asserted that a large majority of the citizens are in favor of the scheme, but a snap vote was secured against the improvements suggested.

The Monetary Times, Apr 19, 1889.,+nova+scotia&article_id=2336,4342744&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiqx_6ahISGAxUnPxAIHXFnBAg4bhDoAXoECA0QAg#v=onepage&q=dartmouth%2C%20nova%20scotia&f=false

Wharf Disaster

There was a most horrible catastrophe
in Dartmouth, Friday night, by which at least five persons were drowned and many others badly hurt. The people of Dartmouth had a tussle with the old ferry company some time ago, and, of course, came out victorious and started to run at ferry of their own, for which they purchased, in Brooklyn, New York, the Metropolitan ferry steamer, “Annex, No. 2.” She is rather a good-looking, double-decked boat, somewhat larger than the boats they have been running, but with nothing out! of the way about her. She had been on her way from New York for two weeks.

When she was seen coming up the harbor Friday evening the whole town of Dartmouth flocked down to the wharf to witness her arrival, extend a hearty welcome and inspect the new boat they had looked forward to with such pleasant anticipations. In their eagerness to get a good view and be the first on board, about sixty or seventy persons broke open the gates : the entrance to the wharf and forced their way out on a bridge or gangway at the head of the wharf, and which was suspend- ed by very slight chains. Notwithstanding the warnings of several gentlemen, who saw the danger they were in and shouted themselves hoarse to the people to keep back, and go back, those on the gangway refused to move. In fact, before they could very well do so the chains gave way, the narrow float fell about fifteen feet and the people on it were plunged head foremost into over twenty feet of water.

The horror of the situation may be imagined by bearing in mind the fact of seventy men, women and children struggling in an area of water twenty feet square, penned in by the piles of the wharf on the south of them, in front the side of the steamer, and behind them the piles of the dock. For an instant the greatest confusion prevailed, and then life-preservers were thrown from the boat and a dozen brave men jumped into the water and commenced the work of rescue, which must have been a gallant one indeed, when but five of the seventy in the water perished. The search for bodies was continued until midnight, when the last of the five victims was recovered. The fatality has cast a deep gloom over the town of Dartmouth which it will take a long time to efface.

United Canada, Jul 19, 1890.,+nova+scotia&article_id=2227,4430680&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwitsP-4_IOGAxVkPxAIHSlyCd44UBDoAXoECAUQAg#v=onepage&q=dartmouth%2C%20nova%20scotia&f=false

Canal Lands

At Private Sale and Public Auction.
HE Canal Lands in the Town of Dartmouth
Twill be sold in Building Lots to suit every one.
The Canal Grist Mills, Town of Dartmouth, with never failing water power fronting on the harbor of Halifax, about 4 acres of Land, can be bad with the Mills, and being the most valuable Mill property in the Province of Nova Scotia.
The Canal Lands in the County of Hants, 3,30 acres well timbered.
The Canal Lands in the County of Halifax 4000 acres, Gold fields and Timber.
The handsome residence called Woodbourne, fronting on the harbor of Halifax, 3 acres of highly improved Land with water lot. The house is new, large, and for beauty of situation cannot be surpassed.
Parties who desire to purchase any of the above Property will please apply to Lewis P. Fairbanks, of Woodbourne, Dartmouth; and if not sold by private contract it will be sold at Auction on SATURDAY, the 8th day of July next, at half-past 1 o’clock, in order to pay off the sum of $25,000 which is secured by mortgage on the Canal Lands.
N. B.-The Dartmouth Terminus of the Intercolonial Railway is marked off on the
Woodbourne Dartmonth, Proprietor of the Canal.

The British Colonist, Jul 8, 1871.,+nova+scotia&article_id=3198,148230&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwitsP-4_IOGAxVkPxAIHSlyCd44UBDoAXoECAkQAg#v=onepage&q=dartmouth%2C%20nova%20scotia&f=false

Marine Dock Rebuild

The marine dock at St. Pierre, Miq., which was recently destroyed by fire, will likely he rebuilt, James Crandall, of Dartmouth, N. S., was the constructor of the one burned and he has gone down and will probably arrange for an early start on a similar structure.

The Maritime Merchant and Commercial Review, Feb 3, 1898.,+nova+scotia&article_id=5405,4189131&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwijtfjM8oOGAxXiEhAIHeDCCIw4PBDoAXoECAkQAg#v=onepage&q=dartmouth%2C%20nova%20scotia&f=false

Confederation examined in the light of reason and common sense

“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 had no ovation; and no illuminations, bonfires, and other demonstrations of felicitous welcome hailed their return. They were not escorted to their homes with torches and banners, and through triumphal arches; no cannon thundered forth a noisy welcome. They were received in solemn, sullen, and ominous silence. No happy smiles greeted them; but they entered the Province as into the house of mourning.

Conscious that they had forfeited the confidence of their fellow subjects, they found it necessary to solicit approbation, and have put forth this pamphlet; but not one of them dared to put his name to the tricky and deceitful electioneering manifesto.

It is well known that they had no part in the preparation of the scheme of Confederation which was manufactured in Canada; for D’Arcy McGee, at a public dinner at Kingston, with imprudent candor, probably under the inspiration of champagne and claret, boasted that it was the work of John A. McDonald, the Canadian Attorney General. ‘The whole plot was contrived in Canada, the Nova Scotia Delegates are rot entitled to the unenviable merit of the least participation in its composition, and it is but charity to suppose that they bad not even sense enough to understand it

It would therefore scarcely do for one of the political adventurers to present himself to the people, in person, and ask them “one and all to hail it as they would a deliverer, and to close with it as a boon of priceless value, and to feel that a debt of gratitude is due to the men whose untiring efforts at length secured it, and handed  over to their country an enduring proof of their ability, and pledge Of their patriotism.”

As the author of this attempt to procure approval under false pretenses comes begging for favor anonymously, I will, for the sake of convenience, call him Lazarus, the most characteristic name I can think of. He opens with a rodomontading homily on union. The old hackneyed truism “union is strength” is the text. Every social and political beatitude is made to flow from union. There would be no civilization without union, and we have any amount of philosophical twaddle on this indispensable principle in human affairs. Well, we are ready to admit that men could not get along very well without union; for, indeed, and it is a wonder his sagacity had not detected the curious fact, we should have had no human family at all if it had not been for the union of Adam and Eve. But I can scarcely admit that all social and political unions are conducive to peace and happiness. When a tender, confiding girl gives her affections to a man, and they marry; is this social union necessarily productive of happiness? What if he should turn out a very brute in his conduct, and treat her with every species of cruelty and inhumanity? Has this social union produced the peace and happiness she anticipated?

In like manner, if a small Colony of a few hundred thousand people enters into a political marriage with one or two larger Colonies, having millions of people, does it necessarily follow that this union must produce peace and happiness? What if the larger Colonies should combine to rob the small one of her independence, should tyrannize over her, and trample on her rights and liberties: how much has the suffering Colony gained by this union?

Union may be good, or it may be evil, profitable or unprofitable. The elements of union may be beneficent or malevolent. There may be a union of angels, and there may be a union of devils. To which of these classes shall we refer that ill-fated or auspicious union, as it may hereafter prove, between the leaders of our Government and the leaders of the Opposition, which has excited the admiration of the Province ? Was this union angelical or diabolical ? Was it like the noble friendship of Brutus and Cassius, inspired by an undying love of country, or was it like the selfish, crafty and ambitious conspiracy of Anthony, Lepidus, and Augustus, against the life of Rome?

There is nothing like union! Men, he says, unite to make railroads, telegraphs, and steam navigation. So we would remind him, they sometimes unite to rob, to defraud, and to betray. Nations also, like individuals, may unite for good, or they may unite for evil. They may unite to defend, or they may unite to destroy, the liberty of their neighbors. England, Russia, Prussia, and Austria united, to preserve the liberty of the European nations from the ambitious grasp of Napoleon. Russia, Austria, and Prussia united to rob the Poles, and divide their country among themselves; and if we allow them, Ontario and Quebec will unite to rob and oppress Nova Scotia.


I will not follow the example of Lazarus, and deal in mere declamation, but will establish the following propositions, by arguments logical, conclusive, and irrefragable.

That the Colonies were sufficiently united, and that, if a closer political connection was desirable, Confederation is the worst system by which they can be combined.

That the Constitution provided for the Colonies by the British North American Act, would, if adopted, rob Nova Scotia of every particle of independence, and reduce her to the degraded position of a dependency of Canada.

That the British North American Act is unconstitutional and void, and until it is ratified by a Provincial Statute, in no manner binds Nova Scotia.

That the Province, under Confederation, would, in a financial point of view, be reduced to ruin. That the Canadas would dispose of our fisheries to obtain commercial advantages to themselves from the United States.

That the Canadas, if Confederation be accepted by Nova Scotia, will sell our Railroads to pay off our public debt, and will keep our money into the bargain.

That Confederation is a Canadian Scheme, carefully prepared for the subjugation of Nova Scotia, and adopted by our Delegates from motives of personal interest.

That the delegates had not a shadow of authority from the Legislature, to procure an English Statute, for the Confederation of Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and that what little authority they had, they most grossly abused.

That the people have it in their power to reject Confederation in a constitutional manner, and that whether it is accepted or rejected, depends on their own conduct, at the next general election.”

Wilkins, Martin I., “Confederation examined in the light of reason and common sense, and the British N.A. Act shewn to be unconstitutional”. Halifax, N.S. : Z.S. Hall, 1867.

Nova Brittiana, or, British North America, Its Extent and Future

Acadian History.
The early history of Nova Scotia, from its discovery to its eventual final cession to the British at the treaty of Versailles, is a chequered and eventful one; but our time will not permit our tracing in detail the stirring history of Acadia. The early history of those discoveries which led to the settlement of British America may however be glanced at. To arrive at a tolerably correct outline of the result of those eventful discoveries, it will be well to consider, that, since Southern Oregon and Upper California have been absorbed into the United States, the continent of North America may be divided into four great sections, viz.:
The Russian Territory on the North-west,
The British Dominions on the North,
The United States in the centre,
And on the South, Mexico and Central America uniting with South America. “The most remarkable features of both North and South America are the rivers and the mountains, the former for their size and number, and the latter for their size and position, running in an unbroken chain from the northern to the southern extremity, having on the east side an immense breadth of country open to the rivers, four of which, the St. Lawrence, the Mississippi, the Amazon, and La Plata, are amongst the largest in the world, and but a narrow strip to the west, wider in the northern than the southern continent.”

Such is the vast continent developed by the flood-tide of discovery, which, at the end of the 15th century, bore Columbus to the New World. In 1492, Columbus discovered, in the month of October, one of the Bahama Island; and afterwards the Continent. The success of the Spanish, stimulated the enterprise of the British, and in May, 1497, in the reign of Henry VII., John Cabot and his son Sebastian sailed from Bristol in the hope of finding a western passage to India. While pursuing a westerly course, in the hope of reaching the China seas, they saw land on the 24th of June. This they called Prima Vista, and it is believed to have been a part of Nova Scotia or Newfoundland. As Galvanus says that this land was in latitude 45°, it is extremely probable that the expedition, in coasting, had entered the Gulf of St. Lawrence. During this part of their voyage they discovered an Island which they called St. John, now Prince Edward’s Island. They then steered south to Florida. England therefore claimed America by discovery and possession. The French next visited the continent. In 1518 and 1525, parties coasted along the shores from Newfoundland to Florida. In 1534, Jacques Cartier landed at Bay Chaleurs, and took possession in the name of the King of France. In 1579, an attempt was made by the British, under a charter from Queen Elizabeth, to colonize the Western World. The French followed them in 1598, under De La Boche; but the early attempts were very calamitous, and the hold obtained upon the country was slight. In 1621, James I. granted all the country now Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and Newfoundland, to Sir William Alexander, afterwards Earl of Stirling; and in 1628, Charles I. added another grant, including Canada and the chief part of the United States. An order of Baronets was created, each of whom were to receive 16,000 acres of land, and who were to take seizin on the Castle Hill of Edinburgh—Nova Scotia being included in the county of that name. In 1629, Britain took possession of Cape Breton, and held all this part of America; but attaching little importance to it, Charles I., by the treaty of St. Germains, in 1632, resigned to Louis XIII his right to New France. The progress of settlement went on. Cromwell reconquered Nova Scotia, for the third time, in 1654; but in 1667 Charles II. relinquished Acadia to France. Time went on, and, in 1710, New England conquered Nova Scotia, at an expense of £23,000,by an expedition which sailed from Boston. The treaty of Utrecht finally, in 1713, ensued, and all Acadia or Nova Scotia was ceded to Great Britain, and it has since so remained. New Brunswick was then included within its limits. In the war of 1745, Cape Breton was conquered by the Provincial troops. It was restored to France in 1749; but it again, in 1758, became the property of Britain. In 1759, the settlement proper of Nova Scotia may be said to have commenced. The subjugation of Prince Edward’s Island took place in 1761. I pass by, as more familiar to my hearers, the early history, colonization, and settlement of Canada; merely remarking, that by the treaty of Versailles, at Paris in 1763, France resigned all her claims in North America to Britain.

Such, then, is a compressed outline of the leading events in the earlier European history of this portion of British North America; and it is now time to glance at the position of Nova Scotia and the other Provinces, which were once so undervalued, that on Champlain’s return to France he found the minds of people divided with regard even to Canada, some thinking it not worth possessing.

The Province of Nova Scotia now includes Cape Breton, from which it is severed by the Straits of Canso. Nova Scotia proper, says Andrews, is a long peninsula nearly wedge-shaped, connected at its eastern and broadest extremity with the continent of America by an isthmus only 15 miles wide. This narrow slip of land separates the waters of the Bay of Fundy from those of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The peninsula, 2S0 miles in length, fronts the Atlantic ocean.

The Island of Cape Breton is a singularly formed network of streams and lakes, and it is separated into two parts, with the exception of an isthmus but 767 yards wide, by the Bras d’Or Lake, an arm of the sea. The most remarkable feature in the peninsula of Nova Scotia is the numerous indentations along its coasts. Avast and uninterrupted body of water, impelled by the trade-wind from the coast of Africa to the American continent, forms a current along the coast till it strikes the Nova Scotian shore with great force, and rolls its tremendous tides, of 60 or 70 feet in height, up the Bay of Fundy, which bounds Nova Scotia on the north-west. The harbours of Nova Scotia on its Atlantic coast are unparalleled in the world Between Halifax and Cape Canso there are 12 ports capable of receiving ships of the line, and 14 others of sufficient depth for merchant men. The peninsula of Nova Scotia is supposed to contain 9,534,196 acres, and, including Cape Breton, 12,000,000. The country is undulating, and abounds with lakes. The scenery is picturesque. Nova Scotia is possessed, it is believed, of valuable mineral wealth, including large fields of coal. The development of these riches has however been checked by the fact, that in the year 1826 a charter was granted to the Duke of York, for the term of 60 years, of the mines and minerals of the Province. The lease was assigned to an English Company, which now holds it. The Province has recently come to an arrangement with this company, by which they are confined within certain limits. Still, in 1849,208,000 chaldrons were shipped to the States. The other minerals which are turned to economic uses, are iron, manganese, gypsum, &c.
The western and milder section of Nova Scotia is distinguished for its productiveness in fruits. “Wheat grows well in the eastern and in the central parts of Nova Scotia. In 1851, 297,157 bushels were raised, of which 186,497 were grown in Sydney, Pictou, Colchester, and Cumberland, a fact which shows the superiority of that section of the Province for the growth of wheat, —a peculiarity which extends along the whole north-eastern shore of New Brunswick to the boundary of Canada. Oats, hay, peas, beans, potatoes, turnips, &c. are raised in large quantities, and butter and cheese are made freely. The character of Nova Scotia for farm stock is good. My hearers may be surprised to learn that Nova Scotia exceeds 14 wheat-growing States and Territories of the Union in the growth of wheat and barley; and all the States and Territories in oats, buckwheat, potatoes, hay, butter. The trade of Nova Scotia is large. In 1850 its imports were 5 millions of dollars, and its exports 3 millions. In its general and fishing trade it employs a large marine, which must prove a fruitful nursery for seamen. In 1851 there were 3228 vessels entered inwards, 3265 outwards. In 1851 Nova Scotia had a fishing fleet of 812 vessels, manned by 3681 men, and the number of boats engaged was 5161. The total value of its fisheries for 1851 exceeded a million of dollars. The population of the Province was at last census, in that year, 276,117souls. There were in 1851, 1096 schools and 31,354 scholars. Nova Scotia has reclaimed by dykes 40,012 acres of land. Cape Breton too has a large trade, produces large quantities of fish, and there is mined besides a considerable amount of coal.

I now turn to New Brunswick, which abuts Canada. In 1784 it was erected into a Province distinct from Nova Scotia. Its length is 190 miles, its breadth 150. It lies nearly in the form of a rectangle, and is bounded on the south-east by the Bay of Fundy and Nova Scotia, on the west by Maine, on the northwest by Canada and the Bay of Chaleurs, on the east by Northumberland Straits and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It contains 32,000 square miles or 22,000,000 of acres, and a population of210,000 inhabitants. It has a sea-coast of 400miles, with many harbours. Its staple trades are shipbuilding, the fisheries, and the timber trade. Its great agricultural capabilities are only now beginning to be known. The Commissioners appointed by the Imperial Government to survey the line for the proposed railway from Halifax to Quebec, thus speak of New Brunswick in their report, and their testimony is a weighty one :

“Of the climate, soil, and capabilities of New Brunswick it is impossible to speak too highly. There is not a country in the world so beautifully wooded and watered. An inspection of the map will show that there is scarcely a section of it without its streams, from the running brook up to the navigable river. Two thirds of its boundary are washed by the sea ; the remainder is embraced by the large rivers the St. John and the Restigouche. The beauty and richness of scenery of this latter river and its branches, are rarely surpassed by anything on this continent. ” The lakes of New Brunswick are numerous and most beautiful; its surface is undulating, hill and dale varying up to mountain and valley. It is everywhere, except a few peaks of the highest mountains, covered with dense forests of the finest growth. “The country can everywhere be penetrated by its streams. In some parts of the interior, a canoe, by a portage of three or four miles only, can float away either to the Bay of Chaleurs or the Gulf of St. Lawrence, or down to St. John and the Bay of Fundy. Its agricultural capabilities and climate are described by Bouehette, Martin, and other authors. The country is by them, and most deservedly so, highly praised. For any great plan of emigration, or colonization, there is not another British colony which presents such a favorable field as New Brunswick. On the surface is an abundant stock of the finest timber, which in the markets of England realizes large sums annually, and affords an unlimited supply to the settler. If the forests should ever become exhausted, there are the coal-fields beneath. The rivers, lakes, and sea-coast abound with fish.”

Such is the sister Province of New Brunswick; and though I am assured, on undoubted personal authority, that a large extent of her very best agricultural territory reaching onwards to Canada is still a primeval forest, still her position in regard to her trade relations is no insignificant one, as will appear from the following statements. The total imports of New Brunswick in 1851 were $4,852,440, and the exports $3,780,105. There were 3058 ships entered inwards, and 2981 outwards. The fisheries of New Brunswick are valuable, and those in the Bay of Fundy in 1850 realized $263,500. The timber floated down the St. John is very large; the quantity was estimated in 1852 at $1,945,000. There is room in New Brunswick for a large population. In 1855 there were only 6,000,000 acres of land granted, and of these but 700,000 were under cultivation. 11,000,000 acres of land continued ungranted. As to agricultural capabilities, New Brunswick—strange as the tale may seem exceeds in wheat 14 wheat-growing States of the Union, and in barley 24 out of 30; in oats, buckwheat, and potatoes, 30 States and Territories; and in butter and hay, all the States. In the growth of potatoes, hay, and oats, Munro asserts that no State in the Union can compete with New Brunswick, whether as regards weight, quality, or quantity. The average produce per Imperial acre of wheat is 19 bushels, of barley 28, oats 34, and of potatoes 226, and turnips 456; outstripping New York, Ohio, and Canada West in these. The value of the agricultural products of New Brunswick, exclusive of farm-stock, was estimated in 1854 at £2,000,000. There were in 1851,798 schools, attended by 18,892 children, and in 1853, 24,127. Professor Johnston estimated that the agricultural resources alone of New Brunswick would enable it to sustain a population of 5 millions. The climate is similar to our own. The coal-field of New Brunswick is very extensive: its area has been estimated by Gesner at 10,000 square miles. The earlier history of New Brunswick is embraced in that of Nova Scotia, and need not here be particularly referred to. “With regard to the position of the Acadian Provinces, and their relations towards the other portions of British America, and the community of interest which is arising, I avail myself of the judicious statements of Principal Dawson of McGill College, Montreal, in a lecture delivered before the Natural History Society of Montreal, on the Acadian Provinces:

“Their progress in population and wealth is slow, in comparison with that of Western America, though equal to the average of that of the American Union, and more rapid than that of the older States. Their agriculture is rapidly improving, manufacturing and mining enterprises are extending themselves, and railways are being built to connect them with the more inland parts of the continent. Like Great Britain, they possess important minerals in which the neighbouring parts of the continent are deficient, and enjoy the utmost facilities for commercial pursuits. Ultimately, therefore, they must have with the United States, Canada, and the fur countries, the same commercial relations that Britain maintains with western, central, and northern Europe. Above all, they form the great natural oceanic termination of the great valley of the St. Lawrence; and although its commerce has hitherto, by the skill and industry of its neighbours, been drawn across the natural barrier which Providence has placed between it and the sea-ports of the United States, it must ultimately take its natural channel; and then not only will the cities on the St. Lawrence be united by the strongest common interests, but they will be bound to Acadia by ties more close than any merely political union. The great thoroughfares to the rich lands and noble scenery of the West, and thence to the sea-breezes and salt-water of the Atlantic, and to the great seats of industry and art in the old world, will pass along the St. Lawrence, and through the Lower Provinces. The surplus agricultural produce of Canada will find its nearest consumers among the miners, shipwrights, mariners, and fishermen of Acadia; and they will send back the treasures of their mines and of their sea. This ultimate fusion of all the populations extending along this great river, valley, and estuary, and the establishment throughout its course of one of the principal streams of American commerce, seems in the nature of things inevitable; and there is already a large field for the profitable employment of laborers and capital in accelerating this desirable result.”

Rupert’s land
And then above us again is that vast expanse, claimed by the Hudson’s Bay adventurers, which will yet, and it may be soon, be inhabited by a large population, comprising as it does, 3,060,000 square miles. This great country cannot much longer remain unoccupied; and if we do not proceed to settle it, the Americans will appropriate it, as they did Oregon, and the Mormons are said to be threatening New Caledonia. Without entering into the question of the alleged vices in the charter by which that powerful company holds its possessions, and the mode of adjudicating thereon, there are certain practical measures which should be at once adopted. A means of communication by road and water, for summer and winter use? should be opened between Lake Superior and the Red River Settlement, and that forthwith; and that Settlement should, as of right belonging to it, be placed under the jurisdiction of Canada, with power to this Province to colonize the territory. This power should at once be given, and will doubtless be conceded on the application of Canada. This obtained, and a settlement of 7,000 souls added to our population as a centre of operations, steps can be taken for obtaining more accurate information as to the nature of the immense tract of territory, of which a large part once belonged to the 100 partners of Old France, and, though believed to be the property of Canada, is now held by the Hudson’s Bay Company. The great valley of the Saskatchewan should form the subject of immediate attention. Enough is known to satisfy us, that, though in the northerly portions of that territory commonly known as the Hudson’s Bay Territory a Siberian climate prevails, yet there is a vast region well adapted for becoming the residence of a large population. Once the Bed River Settlement is opened to our commerce, a wide field extends before our enterprise; and those who recollect or have otherwise become familiar with the struggles, 40 years ago, of even the settlers in Western Canada, and the painful, toilsome warfare with which they conquered that rising portion of the Province from the wilderness, will regard the task of colonization as a comparatively light one. The press has for some time been teeming with articles on the subject of this Territory, and has done good service thereby, and, though there is not opportunity here to enter upon

The knell of arbitrary rule has been rung. The day has gone by for the perpetuation of monopolies. The Baronets of Nova Scotia would fare but ill in our times, unless moral worth accompanied their rank. Provinces are not so lightly shared and parcelled as they once were. As for our own Province, self-government has been conceded to us, and the largest measure of political liberty is enjoyed by our people. We are left to carve out our own destiny ; and I shrewdly suspect that few among us will regard with much admiration that ancient and venerable parchment, which, under the sign-manual of Charles II., by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, recites that he, ” being desirous to promote all endeavours tending to the public good of our people, have of our especial grace, certain knowledge, and mere motion given, granted, ratified, and confirmed unto our entirely beloved cousin Prince Rupert, the Duke of Albemarle, et al., by the name of the Governor and Company of Adventurers of England, trading into Hudson’s Bay, the sole trade and commerce of all those seas, streights, bays, rivers, lakes, creeks, and sounds, in whatsoever latitude they shall lie, within the entrance of the streights commonly called Hudson’s Streights; together with all the lands and territories upon the countries, coasts, and confines of the seas, bays, lakes, rivers, creeks, and sounds aforesaid, that are not already actually possessed by the subjects of any other Christian Prince or State, with the fishing of all sorts of fish, whales, sturgeons, and all other royal fishes in the seas, bays, islets, and rivers within the premises, and the fish therein taken, together with the royalty of the sea upon the coasts within the limits aforesaid, and all mines royal, as well discovered as not discovered, of gold, silver, gems, and precious stones, to be found or discovered within the territories aforesaid.’ And what think you is the price which this charter provides shall be paid for this munificent, this princely gift, —of, as the Hudson’s Bay Company view it, half a continent, —for this comprehensive donation of everything, but the sky, which overhangs Prince Rupert’s Land.

Ah, here it is, and very onerous and burdensome this same company of adventurers must have found their vassalage to be: “yielding and paying,” saith this grave title-deed, with which the onward rush of settlement is attempted to be stayed, somewhat, it must be confessed, after the fashion of the celebrated Mrs. Partington, when mop in hand she valiantly endeavoured to sweep out the incursion of the angry Atlantic, — “yielding and paying to us, our heirs and successors, for the same, two elks and two black beavers” —not yearly, mark you, but magnanimously— “whensoever and as often as we, our heirs and successors, shall happen to enter into the said countries, territories, and region hereby granted”; and then, by all sorts of right lawyerly phrases, not only “the whole, entire, and only trade and traffic and use and privilege of trading is granted, but also the whole trade to and with all the natives and people inhabiting, or which shall inhabit, within the territories, lands, and coasts aforesaid”; and all sorts of pains and penalties are threatened against all those who do visit, haunt, frequent, or trade, traffic or adventure into the said countries; and all such shall, saith the Royal Charles, “incur our Royal indignation, and the forfeiture and loss of the goods and merchandize so brought.” But time does not permit the dwelling longer on this relic of antiquity. It will suffice to express my confident belief, that Canada has only to express in firm but respectful tones her demands as to that vast territory, and these will be cheerfully acceded to by Britain. Those demands should be ripely considered, and so matured as to evince, not a mere grasping thirst of territorial aggrandizement, but a large-spirited and comprehensive appreciation of the requirements of the country, and a proper sense of the responsibilities to be assumed in regard to the well-being of the native and other inhabitants, and the due development of the resources of the territory. In such a spirit our statesmen will I trust be found acting. The position of our Province too is to be weighed. To a large portion of the Territory we have an indubitable legal claim; to another portion the Crown of Britain would be entitled: but all that is adapted for settlement should be placed under the jurisdiction of representative government, and any further extension of the rights of the Company to trade in the more northerly regions should be subjected to the approval or control of Colonial authorities. The subject is not without its difficulties; but, I doubt not, these can all be satisfactorily overcome; and the interests of the whole Empire imperiously demand their prompt and satisfactory adjustment.

…the Maritime Provinces alone comprise 86,000 square miles, and, as we may safely assume, are capable of sustaining a population nearly as great as England, —their natural productions and resources being very similar in kind and amount. They are as large as Holland, Greece, Belgium, Portugal, and Switzerland, all put together. New Brunswick alone is as large as the Kingdom of we find that we can endorse the views of the Hon. Joseph Howe, when he ex-claimed in the Nova Scotian House of Assembly.

“Beneath, around, and behind us, stretching away from the Atlantic to the Pacific, are 4,000,000 square miles of territory. All Europe with its family of nations contains but 3,708,000, or 292,000 miles less. The United States includes 3,300,572 square miles, or 769,128 less than British America.
Sir, I often smile when I hear some vain-glorious Republican exclaiming, ‘ No pent-up Utica contracts our powers : The whole unbounded continent is ours forgetting that the largest portion does not belong to him at all, but to us the men of the North, whose descendants will control its destinies forever.
The whole globe contains but 37,000,000 square miles. We North Americans under the British flag have one ninth of the whole, and this ought to give us ample room and verge enough for the accommodation and support of a countless population.”

Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, too, are each extending their iron arms to meet the Canadian chain of railway. A line of railway is in progress, under the control of Nova Scotia, designed to extend from Halifax to the New Brunswick frontier, and thence New Brunswick purposes to continue it to St. John, the commercial capital of New Brunswick, a distance of 255 miles from the Atlantic terminus at Halifax. The American interests, ever awake, are labouring to connect this line with Portland and Maine; but a branch is intended to connect the “European and North American Railway” with Miramichi, distant from Riviere du Loup but 200 miles. As the result, then, of these efforts in the Lower Provinces and in Canada, I look for the eventual extension of a main Provincial artery, reaching from Lake Huron to the Atlantic at Halifax ; part of it constructed, it maybe, as an inter-provincial route.

Nations, like individuals, have their peculiar characteristics. The British people, so firmly combined and yet so singularly distinct, present in proud pre-eminence a high toned national character, a fit model for our imitation. Inheriting, as we do, all the characteristics of the British people, combining therewith the chivalrous feeling and the impulsiveness of France, and fusing other nationalities which mingle here with these, into one, as I trust, harmonious whole, —rendered the more vigorous by our northern position, and enterprising by our situation in this vast country which owns us as its masters, —the British American people have duties and responsibilities of no light character imposed upon them by Providence. Enjoying self-government in political matters, —bringing home, through the municipal system, the art of government, and “consequent respect for it, to the whole people, —let a high ensample of national character be kept steadily in view, and let every effort be directed by our statesmen and by our whole people to its formation. A wide-spread dissemination of a sound education, —a steady maintenance of civil and religious liberty, and of freedom of speech and thought, in the possession and enjoyment of all classes of the community,—a becoming national respect and reverence for the behests of the Great Ruler of events and the teachings of his Word, —truthfulness and a high-toned commercial honour, -unswerving and unfaltering rectitude as a people, in the strict observance of all the liabilities of the Province towards its creditors, and in all its relations towards all connected with it, —a becoming respect for the powers that be, and a large and liberal appreciation of the plain and evident responsibilities of our position,—should be pre-eminent characteristics of the British American people; and so acting, they will not fail to win the respect, as they will command the notice, of the world.

“Nova Brittiana, or, British North America, Its Extent and Future”, Morris, Alexander, A.M. Mercantile Association of Montreal. 1858.

A Plan of National Colonization

dartmouth royal instructions 1749

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, as it relates to the delay of the institution of representative government at Halifax until 1758; the requirement of a population of 25 electors in 1757 in order to qualify for a representative in the legislature, which become 50 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” at Halifax not to mention French hostilities has led me to question whether it was really the Mi’kmaq who were to blame for the “destruction of Dartmouth” at all.

I’m not sure how far those intent on advancing their position would go — whether it would include the removal of people situated across the harbor by any means necessary, to prevent any additional representation which would compete with Halifax — or in furtherance to claims for land located there. That the imposition of the BNA and “amalgamation” were repeats of this scenario in many ways, at least in terms of administrative capture and the furtherance of land claims, means that I can’t help but give the possibility of this scenario credence, especially considering differing descriptions of these events in various sources and the revisionism that has taken place since.

Of further interest in this “Plan for National Colonization” was that the partisan affiliations of each of the newspapers published in Halifax at the time are listed, the disdainful attitude of the author towards the black people settled here (perhaps due primarily to their American origin) is also apparent. Whether that was the prevailing attitude of the British more broadly at the time is an interesting question, especially with respect to today’s 1619 project era of presentism which operates as if British attitudes towards blacks were more benevolent in nature in comparison to Americans, when it was British law that served as the basis for slavery to begin with.

In earlier chapters especially, but even when describing the people of Nova Scotia, we see many attempts to extol the virtues of Anti-Americanism, to showcase the loyalty of Nova Scotians towards the crown and to stress they weren’t disaffected; no chance is wasted to cast Americans as uncivilized throughout.

Page 342: “(Nova Scotians) are entirely British in their feelings, and loyal to a degree that reminds one of the reign of George the Third, and the threatened invasion of England by Napoleon, when it was not enough to be loyal, but every one was expected to make constant profession of his being so, to prevent his being classed among the disaffected.

Following there is a note about Joseph Howe and his compatriots efforts at reform.

Here, as in Canada there is a large class of Reformers, who contend for the necessity of Responsible Government; — by which is simply meant, that while the Sovereign at home shall have the appointment of the Governor, and the nomination of the Legislative Council— the members of the Executive Council, corresponding to our Cabinet Ministers in England, shall be selected from that party which has the majority in the House of Representatives, so that the acts of the Executive shall be somewhat in harmony with the public opinion, as expressed by the choice of their delegates.”

Also included here is the book’s timeline of historical events concerning Nova Scotian colonization, since it delves into the Baronets and baronetcies in a manner I haven’t seen in other sources — an institution that I’m not at all sure has actually faded into the history books. The anecdote shared by the author which attempts to rationalize the ad hoc and arbitrary nature of the British monarchy (“for ever”) is revealing, where it was thought at first it must have been an issue with translation and not the totalitarianism of the British crown that led to a “misunderstanding”. The crown’s perpetual redefinition of words and terms as it suits the crown as an institutional affect, the “royal prerogative”, is something which might seem familiar to Canadians today — it’s a story that helps to explain some of the impetus for the American revolution, from the perspective of American colonists in terms of rule of law and the desire for a written Constitution.

It helps to explain the feelings of the New Englanders who formed the majority of settlers in the province initially. Almost all were dissenters, until a push of loyalists in the 1780s changed the political landscape. Those New Englanders had settled in Nova Scotia thanks in large part to assurances that they could enjoy local self government — township government in the New England form — and that their rights to enjoy religious liberties would be respected, that which would otherwise serve as the basis for the Bill of rights a few miles away. Both were yanked out from underneath them in order to concentrate even more power within the Halifax establishment.

Over the generations what was an initial radical Whig interpretation and reaction to the revolution, and in some cases republican sympathies, has been morphed into what’s derisively called “conservatism” by those who aren’t. This can be seen in Wilkie and Howe’s time as they were more finely tuned against the magistrates in what was still being governed as Virginia had been a century earlier, by quarter session, a process which wasn’t interrupted in the slightest, regardless of the many protestations and prayers of the people until 1841. The effort to recast “conservatism” as “Tory’s” exclusively is in my opinion a way to prevent any kind of fusion like that which John Adams’ identified as the basis for the spirit of the revolution. A regime of philosophical intoxication against republicanism by proxy exists today, as any number of thought crimes against woke intersectionality, gender and/or climate confusion. It’s present regardless of party and in many ways identifies the uni-party, used to assuage anything other than the default government orthodoxy of “global equity” and “diversity”, in everything but political ideology.

Opposite to Halifax, on the eastern shore of its harbour, is the small town of Dartmouth, the soil around which is more fertile than on the west, and is advantageously cultivated chiefly by German settlers. The breadth of the harbour here is about a mile and half, and a steam ferry-boat goes across every half hour. It is of nearly as early a date as Halifax, having been founded in 1750; but about six years after its foundation it was destroyed by [Mi’kmaq], and the greater number of its inhabitants massacred. It was revived in 1784 by some families from Nantucket, among whom were some of the Quebec family of the Roches, related to the wealthy merchants of that name in New Bedford. They carried on the whale-fishery here with great success till 1792, when a branch of them removed to Milford Haven in Wales. The town has now a population of 1,500 only; but if the projected canal, called the Shubenacadie – intended to pass through a chain of small lakes behind the town towards the river Shubenacadie, which falls into the Bay of Fundy – should ever be completed, it would no doubt greatly advance the prosperity of Dartmouth.

It is from this point of view that the town of Halifax, with its crowning hill and fortifications, its busy wharves lined with shipping below, the spires of its churches and the general mass of dwellings, is seen to the greatest advantage.

Newspapers appear to be as numerous here, as in any town of a similar size in America. None of them are published daily; but there are large weekly papers-the Times, Conservative; the Nova Scotian, Reformer; the Royal Gazette, official; the Journal and the Acadian Reporter, neutral. These are all conducted with great care, and respectable talent. There is also a religious paper in the Baptist interest, called the Christian Messenger; and another in the Methodist interest, called the Guardian. Besides these, there are three penny papers published twice and thrice a week – the Herald, the Morning Post, and the Hailgonian, which furnish only the heads of news, without exercising much influence on public opinion.

There is a Theatre in Halifax; but, like most of these establishments in the Colonies, it is so little frequented by the higher and even middle classes, that its support is left to strangers, and the lowest class of the population, so that it is constantly in debt and embarrassment, and will ultimately, no doubt, be abandoned.

The Commerce of Halifax is confined chiefly to the United States, the West Indies, and the Brazils, in America; and to Great Britain and the Mediterranean, in Europe. It consists chiefly of the export of timber, dried fish, wheat, flour, oats, salted pork, butter, and fish-oil; and in the import of manufactured goods from England, wines from the Mediterranean, and sugar, molasses, logwood, mahogany, coffee, cigars, and rum, from the West Indies. The aggregate amount of exports and imports on an average of several years past, is about £750,000 annually for each; though for the whole Province of Nova Scotia, including the few other ports, it is about £1,000,000.

The population of Halifax is estimated at 16,000 persons, including at least 1,000 black people], and a few [Mi’kmaq] of the [Mi’kmaq] tribe. These last are rather occasional visitors than permanent residents; but, like the black people], being seen frequently in the streets, and attracting attention from their fantastic dress and colours, they give an impression to the stranger of their being more numerous than they really are. The black people] settled here are chiefly from the United States and the West Indies. During the American war, the British squadron, under Sir Alexander Cochrane, after ravaging the shores of the Chesapeake, and going up to Washington to burn the Capitol, and destroy the public records there, brought away a great many black people] from Maryland and Virginia, as prisoners of war; and these becoming free as soon as they were landed here, had no disposition to return. Ships arriving from the West Indies also brought, from time to time, runaway slaves, who sometimes secreted themselves in the shipsholds, till they got to sea, and sometimes entered on board vessels as cooks or stewards, and finding many of their own colour here, joined them as residents. The greater number of them appear to have made little or no improvement in their condition, being poor, ignorant, dirty, and indolent; while no pains seems to be taken, either by the Government or by any Benevolent Society, to elevate them, by education and training, above their present state.

The history of Nova Scotia may be briefly told. It was first discovered by the Cabots in 1497; was visited by the Marquis de la Roche in 1598; and was first colonized by the French, under De Monts, in 1604, when it was called Acadia. In 1613, however; the English sent a small expedition [–Argal, from Virginia] to expel the French, and take possession of Acadia, on the ground of their navigators having been the first to discover the territory. This practice of claiming a property in every land discovered, as if there were no higher title, is happily ridiculed by one of the writers of the day, in this quaint couplet-

“For these were the days – to all men be it known, That all a man sailed by, or saw, was his own.”

But even this was not literally true, for it was rather the monarchs of the hardy navigators, than the territories because their subjects had discovered them. Accordingly in 1621, King James the First granted the whole of this country of Acadia to Sir William Alexander, and changed its name to Nova Scotia. The boundary line then fixed for the territory was one drawn from the river St. Croix to the St. Lawrence, so that it included all the present colony of New Brunswick, as well as a part of Lower Canada from Bic Island to Gaspe. In conformity with the usage of the times, this grant was made on the royal word “for ever;” but in treaties, grants, and diplomatic documents, the words “eternal peace and amity,” and “perpetual and undisturbed possession,” have a very limited meaning; their true signification being only just as long as may suit the convenience or interest of the parties to let this “eternity” continue, which may be twenty years, or ten, or only one, as circumstances may render expedient.*

* I remember an anecdote so strictly in point to illustrate this, that I cannot refrain from mentioning it. When I was at Shiraz, in Persia, in 1816, I lived in the house of an exiled Indian prince, named Jaffier Ali Khan, who was very much attached to the English, and who had, before this kindly entertained the estimable Henry Martyn, the lamented Church of England Missionary, under the same roof, and was delighted to hear that we were both natives of the same county, Cornwall. The father of Jaffier Ali Khan had ceded some territory among the Northern Circars, under the Presidency of Madras, to the East India Company; in consideration of which, the Company, through the Madras government, undertook to pay, to himself and the dependent members of his family, certain fixed annuities, which were to be guaranteed to them “in perpetuity for ever.” After a few years had elapsed, however, the Prince found his annuity considerably reduced in amount; and no reason being assigned for this, he wrote, first to India, and then to England, but could get no satisfactory explanation on the subject. He then thought it possible that the words “perpetuity” and ”for ever” might have a different meaning in English, from their equivalents in Persian, or that some change had taken place in the general acceptation of the terms; as words sometimes grow obsolete and change their meaning. He therefore sent to England for one of the latest and best editions of the most generally approved dictionary of the English language, which he spoke imperfectly, but which he could read pretty well; and on turning, with great eagerness and anxiety, to the words in question, he found that ”perpetuity” meant exactly as he had supposed, “without change or cessation;” and that “for ever” was only another and stronger mode of expressing the same “continual duration.” But he found that at the India House, as in the courts of other monarchs, “perpetual and everlasting” meant only “as long as might be expedient, and no longer.”

Charles the First, therefore, soon put an end to the “for ever” of his predecessor James; and shortly after his accession, this monarch sold what his royal parent had previously given away. This was done by the institution of a new order of Nova Scotia baronets, which were limited to 150 in number. To each of these baronetcies, a grant of land in the province was attached, and the titles and territory were sold to such persons as would undertake to make certain payments to the crown, in aid of settlement, as it was called, but in reality to replenish the King’s privy purse.

Many of the original French settlers, however, remained in Acadia; when Cromwell, in 1654, sent a force to dislodge them, and was successful. In the reign of Charles the Second, it was again ceded to France, by the treaty of Breda, in 1667, and remained in her possession till 1689, when it was taken by the English, with an expedition from Massachusetts, then a British Colony, under the command of Sir William Phipps. The leader of this expedition was one of the most remarkable men of his day. He was the son of a very humble blacksmith, and was brought up as a shepherd’s boy. At the age of eighteen, he was first apprenticed to a shipwright; and before he was twenty-one, he built a small vessel, with which he offered to raise some treasure, sunk in a Spanish ship, that was wrecked some years before at the Bahamas. His offer was made to the English court, and was accepted; and with the assistance he received from thence, he succeeded in recovering 300,000l. from the wreck. Of this he retained a portion sufficient to enrich himself, and the rest was given to his patron, the Duke of Albermale, who had assisted him in the equipment of the ship in which he performed this expedition. He was afterwards made a knight by King James the Second; and subsequently Governor of Massachusetts, in 1691, by the authority of William the Third.

Another change took place in the possession of Nova Scotia, when it was ceded a second time, by the Treaty of Ryswick, in 1696, to France, who held it till 1710, when it was again captured by the English, with an expedition from Boston; it was finally ceded to the British in the reign of Queen Anne, in 1713, since which it has remained in our undisturbed possession.

Halifax from Dartmouth
Halifax from Dartmouth near the gazebo on the bluff at Dartmouth Common, the church with steeple at left is undoubtedly the first St. Peter’s at the corner of Ochterloney and Edward Streets.


Buckingham, James Silk, 1786-1855; Bartlett, W.H. (William Henry), 1809-1854. “Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the other British provinces in North America : with a plan of national colonization”. 1843.

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