“List of Contributors: … P. McNab, Dartmouth – barley and oats.” “On the east side of the harbor is situated the town of Dartmouth, settled in 1750. The town is well situated, and is admirably adapted to the employment of ship-building. It is connected with the city by steamboats.” “Prior to 1719 (at which time Annapolis was the seat of government) the management of the civil affairs of the province was vested solely in the Governor; and, in his absence, in the Lieutenant-Governor or the Commander-in-Chief. In 1719, Governor Phillips, who succeeded Mr. Nicholson, received instructions from the British Ministry to choose a Council from amongst the principal English inhabitants, and, until an Assembly could be formed, to regulate himself by the instructions of the Governor of Virginia. This Council was composed of twelve members, principally officers of the garrison and the public departments. The Governor and Council, from the …

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

“Contains chiefly correspondence of British proprietor and governor of Nova Scotia Thomas Temple and his nephew John Nelson concerning land claims in Nova Scotia and the French role in Canada” Temple, Thomas, 1614-1674. Thomas Temple correspondence concerning Nova Scotia, 1656-1768. Cobham, Sir Richard Temple, viscount, 1669?-1749. MS.L.(copy) to [Col. ] Taylor; London, 18 Aug 1719. MS Am 1249 (49). Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. https://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:FHCL.HOUGH:33504613?n=1

Harvard Law School Library. “Description Legislative history regarding treaties of commerce with France, Spain relating to New Foundland, Nova Scotia, and Cape Breton,” ca. 1715? Small Manuscript Collection, Harvard Law School Library. https://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HLS.LIBR:19686447, Accessed 07 June 2021

“The beauty and the safety of this (Halifax) harbor attracted the notice of speculators at a very early period, and many applications were at different times made, for a grant of land in its vicinity. The famous projector, Captain Coram, was engaged in 1718, in a scheme for settling here; and a petition was presented by Sir Alexander Cairn, James Douglas, and Joshua Gee, in behalf of themselves and others, praying for a grant upon the sea coast, five leagues S.W. and five leagues N.W. of Chebucto, upon condition of building a town, improving the country around it, be raising hemp, making pitch, tar and turpentine, and of settling two hundred families upon it within three years. This petition received a favorable report from the Lords of Trade; but as it was opposed by the Massachusetts’s agents, on account of a clause restricting the fishery, it was rejected by the …

An historical and statistical account of Nova Scotia Read More…

“The manuscript documents relating to the history of Nova Scotia were collected, arranged, bound, indexed and catalogued by the late Thomas Beamish Akins C. L., who was appointed Commissioner of Public Records, in accordance with a resolution passed by the House of Assembly on the thirtieth of April, 1857. According to the catalogue prepared by Dr. Akins in 1886, and now out of print, they number over 535 volumes ; and there are besides fifty-nine boxes of unbound papers, arranged and indexed. All these are preserved in the Province Building at Halifax, and form the materials for a complete history of the province. The collection is twofold in character. It consists of original documents, and transcripts of papers from the Public Record Office in London and elsewhere. A selection from them was published at the expense of the province in 1868 by Dr. Akins. It was a stout volume of …

A Calendar of two letter-books and one commission-book in the possession of the government of Nova Scotia, 1713-1741 Read More…

For a few years the government of Nova Scotia was vested solely in a governor, who had command of the garrison stationed at the fort of Annapolis, known as Port Royal in the days of the French regime. In 1719 a commission was issued to Governor Phillips, who was authorized to appoint a council of not less than twelve persons, all of whom held office during pleasure. The governor, in his instructions, was ordered neither to augment nor diminish the number of the said council, nor suspend any of the members thereof, without good and sufficient cause… This council had advisory and judicial functions, but its legislative authority was of a very limited scope. Consequently the year 1758 is the commencement of a new epoch in the constitutional history of Nova Scotia. We find then from that time a civil government duly organized as in other English colonies of America, …

The Constitution of the Legislative Council of Nova Scotia Read More…

Council of Trade and Plantations to Committee of Privy Council. Representation upon petition of Mrs. Campbell. Continue : We have discoursed hereupon with Coll. Philips, H.M. Governour of Nova Scotia, and likewise with Mrs. Campbell the petitioner, who hath laid before us several papers and affidavits relating to her title to the aforesaid lands and quit rents in Nova Scotia, from whence it appears, That in 1631 the Most Christian King Lewis XIII gave the Government of Nova Scotia or Accadie to Monsieur Charles de St. Estienne, Sieur de la Tour, grandfather to the petitioner, who had Letters Patents granted to him thereupon. What the particulars contained in the said Letters Patent were, does not appear, because no copies of them have been produced to us, but upon the death of Lewis XIII, his son Lewis XIV etc. having been informed of the progress and improvements made in Accadie by …

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

“NOTES TO THE TREATY OF UTRECHT. 1 The text is reprinted from the “ Collection of Treaties between Great Britain and other powers,” published by George Chalmers at London in 1790. In that collection the Treaty of Utrecht is, according to the compiler, “printed from the copy which was published by authority in 1713.” 2 The two dates here given are according to the Old Style and the New Style ; the latter had been adopted by France in 1582, and it was not adopted in England till 1751. 3 For the Charter of the Hudson Bay Company see Ontario Sessional Papers, vol, xi, No. 31. 4 The boundary was never determined by the commissaries appointed under the Treaty of Utrecht (Ont, Sess. Papers, vol. xi. No. 31, p. 136 p.), and it remained un- settled until Canada became a British Province. There was then no pressing reason for defining …

Documents illustrative of the Canadian constitution Read More…

“255. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices. Enclose following. Continue: The Province [of Placentia and Nova Scotia] not being hitherto peopled or settled by H.M. subjects, we did not think it necessary, that either the Commission or Instructions for Col. Philips should be so extensive, as those for H.M. other Governors, in America etc. But for Col. Philips better Government, in addition to these Instructions, we have thought it necessary, that he should have with him, a copy of H.M. Instructions to His Governor of Virginia, which may be of use to him so far as they shall be applicable to cases that may happen and are not sufficiently provided for by these instructions, till H.M. further pleasure shall be known. Your Excellencies will perceive that the Instructions we have prepared for Col. Philips, are entirely calculated for the laying out and making a new settlement, wherein we have …

Draught of H.M. Commission to Richard Philips to be Governor of Placentia and Cap. General and Governor in Chief of Nova Scotia or Accadie, June 19 1719 Read More…

“The new governor’s commission gave him power to establish the accepted institutions of civil government: a council, a legislative assembly, courts, and a judiciary. It accorded him the power of the civil executive to defend the colony, exercize the king’s prerogative of mercy, administer public funds, make grants and assurances of lands, and establish fairs and markets. Most significantly, Cornwallis’ commission, tested 6 May 1749, gave authority to the governor “with the advice and consent of our said Council and Assembly or the Major part of them respectively . . .” in Nova Scotia to make, constitute and ordain Laws, Statutes & Ordinances for the Publick peace, welfare & good government of our said province and of the people and inhabitants thereof and such others as shall resort thereto & for the benefit of us our heirs & Successors, which said Laws, Statutes and Ordinances are not to be repugnant …

“As Near as May Be Agreeable to the Laws of this Kingdom”: Legal Birthright and Legal Baggage at Chebucto, 1749 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: After the Treaty of Utrecht, the first recorded proposal for a settlement on the Dartmouth side from British officials originated with Captain Thomas Coram of London in 1718. One of the districts selected for establishing colonists was “northeast of the harbor of Chebucto”. Massachusetts influence opposed this plan as being detrimental to their fisheries. As an aside, Martin’s account of Captain Thomas Coram in 1718 and his attempt to establish settlements “northeast of the harbor of Chebucto” isn’t supported by “An historical and statistical account of Nova Scotia” by Thomas Chandler Halliburton, where it is stated that the settlement was instead planned for a location “upon the sea coast, five leagues S.W. and five leagues N.W. of Chebucto”, not on the Dartmouth side. (Five leagues is appropriately 28 km). When Hon. Edward Cornwallis set out to settle Halifax in 1749, he …

1750 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: Dartmouth, long before the European explorers and colonizing forces, had a 7,000 year history of occupation by the Mi’kmaq people. The Mi’kmaq annual cycle of seasonal movement; living in dispersed interior camps during the winter, and larger coastal communities during the summer; meant there were no permanent communities in the Euro-centric sense, but Dartmouth was clearly a place frequented by Mi’kmaq people for a very long time. Whether it was the Springtime smelt spawning in March; the harvesting of spawning herring, gathering eggs and hunting geese in April; the Summer months when the sea provided cod and shellfish, and coastal breezes that provided relief from irritants like blackflies and mosquitos, or during the autumn and its eel season; Dartmouth with its lakes and rivers, both breadbasket and transport route back and forth to the interior, was a natural place for the …

Pre-English Settlement Read More…