“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…

“The [Indigenous people] had appeared in the neighborhood of the town for several weeks, but intelligence had been received that they had commenced hostilities, by the capture of twenty persons at Canso… On the last day of September they made an attack on the sawmill at Dartmouth, then under the charge of Major Gilman. Six of his men had been sent out to cut wood without arms. The [Indigenous people] laid in ambush, killed four and carried off one, and the other escaped and gave the alarm, and a detachment of rangers was sent after the [Indigenous people], who having overtaken them, cut off the heads of two [Indigenous people] and scalped one. (This affair is mentioned in a letter from a gentleman in Halifax to Boston, dated October 2nd as follows: “About seven o’clock on Saturday morning before, as several of Major Gilman’s workmen with one soldier, unarmed, were …

History of Halifax City Read More…

“East side of Bedford Basin The winding shore above the narrows has many picturesque points and coves to recommend it to the lover of natural scenery. It has also historical associations, but not, perhaps, of such prominence as that of the western side. High hills, clad with pine and spruce, rise conspicuously above the sparkling waters, affording wide views of the city and harbor of Halifax. Tuft’s Cove, which was named after Gerisham Tufts, who belonged to a family extensively known in the United States, was the first to obtain a grant of the land surrounding this cove. The impression prevailed that he belonged to New England and came to Halifax early in the settlement of the town. The land above the Tufts property was granted to Ezekiel Gilman. He was one of the two army majors, retired, that accompanied the first settlers to Halifax. Leonard Lochman, after whom Lockman …

Footprints Around and About Bedford Basin 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…

Duc d’Anville arrived at Chebucto, 10 Sept 1746 Halifax founded, 21 June 1749 [Indigenous people] attacked 6 men at Maj. Gilman’s saw-mill, Dartmouth Cove, killing 4, 30 Sept 1749 Saw-mill let to Capt. Wm. Clapham, 1750 Alderney arrived from Europe with 353 settlers, Aug. 1750 Town of Dartmouth laid out for the Alderney emigrants, Autumn 1750 Order issued relative to guard at Dartmouth, 31 Dec. 1750 Sergeant and 10 or 12 men ordered to mount guard during the nights at the Blockhouse, Dartmouth, 23 Feb. 1751 [Indigenous people] attacked Dartmouth, killing a number of the inhabitants, 13 May, 1751 German emigrants arrived at Halifax and were employed in picketing the back of Dartmouth, July 1751 Ferry established between Dartmouth and Halifax, John Connor, ferryman, 3 Feb. 1752 Mill at Dartmouth sold to Maj. Ezekiel Gilman, June 1752 Population of Dartmouth 193, or 53 families, July 1752 Advertisement ordered for the …

Chronological Table of Dartmouth, Preston, and Lawrencetown Read More…

“Disaster is frequently the parent of legislation. In surveying the long history of Nova Scotia, we find this saying particularly true.” “The first recorded instance of illness in Nova Scotia is the account of Champlain of an outbreak of scurvy at Port Royal in 1606. His group of settlers had spent the winter of 1605 at St. Croix Island, where, of a group of seventy-nine, forty-four died of scurvy. In Port Royal in the following year twelve of forty-five died.” “Of all the epidemics, that of smallpox carried with it the greatest destruction and terror. In 1694 an epidemic was present among the [Indigenous people] of Acadia, but we have no knowledge of the number dying as a result. We may be sure it was large, however…” “There was again an outbreak in Acadia in 1709 where there is evidence to suggest that the disease was of the haemorrhagic type. …

The Development of Public Health in Nova Scotia Read More…

“Long before this, the thirteen transports had reached port. Of all their passengers only one had died on the long, rough voyage, and that was somebody’s child. Thanks to the humane care of the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantation, the ships had been fitted with ventilators, then a new idea, and the result was most gratifying. The expedition was evidently well managed. Very different is the tale of the poor German emigrants procured by the unscrupulous Mr. Dick of Rotterdam at a guinea a head. They were taken out of the ships to die, many of them on Dartmouth beach.” “Long after the town was built, his council was still of the opinion that it should have stood on the Dartmouth side. But as that position could be commanded from the higher ground opposite, Cornwallis would not consider it. The present site was the fourth choice” MacMechan, Archibald. “Ab …

Ab Urbe Condita Read More…

“…the first court of judicature, administering the English common law, within what is now the Dominion of Canada, for at Annapolis Royal, in Nova Scotia, on the 20th day of April, 1721 (0. T.), His Excellency, Governor Phillips, and his council, after full advisement, adopted a resolution constituting themselves a court which was to administer justice “by the same manner and proceedings as the general court” in Virginia. It is a far cry from Nova Scotia to Virginia-and more so in the early years of the eighteenth century than now, but nevertheless for several decades of that century the “the lawes of Virginia” were the model and pattern for the new court in Nova Scotia… Upon the founding of Halifax in 1749, by Governor Cornwallis, the seat of government was changed from Annapolis Royal to Halifax. Cornwallis was instructed to establish courts of justice, and in December of that year …

Virginia and Nova Scotia: An Historical Note 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: Even before Dartmouth was settled, the authorities at Halifax planned for a sawmill and a guardhouse to be constructed on the eastern side of the harbor. It was Major Gilman who erected the sawmill at Dartmouth Cove. It was likely situated on the stream which flowed from the Dartmouth Lakes (later, the Shubenacadie Canal), but the exact site is difficult to ascertain. The land laid out for the sawmill appears under the name of Ezekiel Gilman in records of the time. The boundary of the plot began on the stream, at a spot about thirty chains (605 Meters, 0.38 miles) from Collins’s Point (King’s Wharf), near the Railway. From there it ran north 65° east, about sixty chains (1210 Meters, 0.75 miles); then north 35° west for about forty-two chains (845 meters, 0.52 Miles); then south 55° west, for seventy-two and a half chains (1460 …

1749 Read More…