“Across the harbour from Halifax were the settlements of Dartmouth and Preston, already economically dominated by the capital. Dartmouth had been settled in 1784 by twenty families from Nantucket. The men had been engaged in whaling, as had the men of Barrington, but the enterprise had suffered a financial disaster in 1792, and most of the original inhabitants had moved to Milford in South Wales. Preston had been settled in 1784 by Loyalists, disbanded soldiers, and freed Negro slaves. Only the Loyalists had remained. The Negroes were industrious, gaining a living by supplying butter, eggs, and poultry to Halifax, but …

The Geography of Haliburton’s Nova Scotia More…

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“THERE can be few incidents in Nova Scotian history which, on the surface, present a greater enigma than that of the Dartmouth whale fishery. In 1785 a fleet of thirteen whalers, with fishermen and their families, came to Dartmouth. They put up houses, and settled, and in three years built up a successful and lucrative industry. But four years later, in the full enjoyment of it, suddenly, and for no apparent reason, they packed up their belongings, left their homes to tumble down or rot, and sailed away. This strange interlude has attracted scant attention from contemporary or subsequent writers. …

The Dartmouth Whalers More…

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“Isaac Deschamps and James Brenton, puisne judges of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court [NSSC], had, charged the colonial Assembly in April 1790, committed “divers illegal, partial, and corrupt acts” such as to justify “Impeachment” for “High Crimes and Misdemeanours.”‘ These words come from the preamble to a list of seven “articles of impeachment” passed by the Nova Scotia Assembly on 5-7 April 1790. The seven articles, distilled from thirteen draft articles which had been introduced on 10 March, listed ten cases in which the judges were alleged to have acted incompetently or partially, or both, and also included accusations that …

The Impeachment of the Judges of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, 1787-1793: Colonial Judges, Loyalist Lawyers, and the Colonial Assembly More…

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What is an American? “Some few towns excepted, we are all tillers of the earth, from Nova Scotia to West Florida. We are a people of cultivators, scattered over an immense territory, communicating with each other by means of good roads and navigable rivers, united by the silken bands of mild government, all respecting the laws, without dreading their power, because they are equitable.” “Formerly they were not numbered in any civil lists of their country, except in those of the poor; here they rank as citizens. By what invisible power has this surprising metamorphosis been performed? By that of …

Letters from an American farmer More…

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“The New Englanders, moreover, were greatly dissatisfied with the Halifax government. Had not Francklin encouraged the Yorkshiremen to settle in the Isthmus? Furthermore, the New Englanders reacted violently to the fact that a small clique of Halifax merchants controlled the legislative and executive functions of government stubbornly refusing to grant to the New Englanders the right of ”township form of government” which Governor Lawrence had promised them in 1758 and 1759″ “What real impact did the Revolution have upon the inhabitants of Nova Scotia? Of course most of them resolved to adopt a policy of neutrality; many suffered because of …

The American Revolution and Nova Scotia Reconsidered More…

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by Dr. John P. Martin: Most of the material In the Halifax weekly newspaper comprises advertisements and clippings from Old Country journals. Local items are largely limited to movements of ships. Incidents hereabouts had to be very exceptional to be published. A death or a marriage notice would often appear, but never a birth. Even to report that a person was ill, or had broken a leg, was regarded as a trespass on privacy. As a consequence, news from Dartmouth is very scant. In winter of 1780, however, there was printed an unusually long account …

1780s More…

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