“THE AUTHOR’S APOLOGY THIS little messenger, presented to the public, is a collection of information gained from many of the oldest members of the Churches in the Association, where records were imperfectly kept, and, in many instances, none whatever. I am aware that every person who attempts a work of this kind is left open for public comment or criticism. And as I make not the faintest attempt to literary attainments, I must claim your sympathy. My simple aim is to place in the hands of every [Black] Baptist in Nova Scotia a copy of this little book, in order if possible to give them some idea of how it came about that there should be a Church built by one who had so shortly escaped from the ranks of slavery, fled from the house of bondage, and could attract so much attention and sympathy from a British public, as …

A brief history of the [Black] Baptists of Nova Scotia and their first organization as churches Read More…

“With the outbreak of the American Revolution, colonial leaders asserted their claims to the lands beyond the Alleghenies. Congress in its treaty plan of September, 1776, anticipated the acquisition of Canada, Nova Scotia, Florida, and all other British possessions on the North American continent.” “Congress’s special committee to consider foreign affairs issued its initial report on February 23, 1779. This report delineated a northern line running from Nova Scotia to Lake Nipissing, then west to the Missisippi.” “Clearly the critical decision for peace would be made in London because Britain alone could offer the essential concessions. The battle of Yorktown in October, 1781, convinced the ministry of Lord North that it could no longer continue the war in America. Still Lord North, backed by the king, refused to yield to American rebels. North resigned in March, 1782… Lord Rockingham and the earl of Shelburne, both moderates in their views towards …

The Illinois Country and the Treaty of Paris of 1783 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…

“In the United States there should be much interest in the Diocese of Nova Scotia, for that Diocese owes its existence to the Tories of the Revolution, who went in thousands from New York and Massachusetts to the “Acadian Province by the Sea,” and its first bishop was, at the outbreak of the war, the honored rector of the leading Church in the older Colonies.” “If it had not been for the fierce legislation of the Whigs in the various colonies against the adherents of the crown, the history of this part of the country, both secular and religious, would be vastly different from what it is.” “The attention of New York loyalists seems to have been early directed towards the almost uninhabited province of New Brunswick.” Eaton, Arthur Wentworth Hamilton, 1849-1937. The Church of England In Nova Scotia And the Tory Clergy of the Revolution. 2d ed. New York: …

The Church of England in Nova Scotia and the Tory clergy of the revolution Read More…

“From the beginning of the strife in the American colonies, New York, which unlike Massachusetts was a royal or crown colony, naturally showed marked loyalist sympathies. It has often been sweepingly asserted that all the leading families of New York were Tories, but that this was far from being the case is shown by the fact that some of the most active supporters of the revolutionary cause, like John Jay and Gouveneur Morris, bore names as proud as any in the province; and that although the DeLanceys, DePeysters, Philippses and Johnsons, and the greater part of the local aristocracy who acknowledged the leadership of these families, were enthusiastic supporters of the crown, the Schuylers and Livingstons, at least, were known as equally enthusiastic in the Whig cause.” “So far as religion ruled, the Episcopalians naturally were almost entirely Tory in feeling, and the same was true of a minority of …

The New York Loyalists in Nova Scotia Read More…

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Dartmouth Shore in the Harbour of Halifax, Nova Scotia.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1780. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47db-176e-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Letter III – 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.” “In this great American asylum, the poor of Europe have by some means met together, and in consequence of various causes; to what purpose should they ask one another what countrymen they are? Alas, two thirds of them had no country. Can a wretch who wanders about, who works and starves, whose life is a continual scene of sore affliction or pinching penury; can that man call England or any other kingdom his country? A country that had no bread for him, whose …

Letters From an American Farmer Read More…

“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…

“Township of Dartmouth Opposite the Town of Halifax, the Town called Dartmouth was laid out in the Year 1749; but in the war of 1756, the [Indigenous people] collected in great force on the basin of Minas, ascended the Shubenacadie in their canoes, and in the night surprised the guard, and killed, scalped, or carried away the most of the settlers; from which period the settlement went to decline, and was almost derelict until the year 1784, when a number of families were encouraged to settle there from Nantucket, to carry on the whale fishery. The town was then laid out in a new form, and cultivation and business revived with spirit and activity, and very encouraging expectations were formed of success in the whale fishery by all concerned in it, until these enterprising people were persuaded, by liberal encouragement, to quit this Country, and remove to Whitehaven in England, …

Instructions under the direction of the Secretary of State for the Colonial Department Read More…

“The total number of [Black] slaves brought into Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island from the revolted colonies previous to the summer of 1784 may be estimated with some approach to certainty. Under instructions from Sir Guy Carleton, Colonel Morse, commanding Royal Engineer, made a tour of the Provincial settlements in the autumn of 1783 and early part of the summer of 1784, and to his report appended a “return of the disbanded troops and Loyalists settling in Nova Scotia,” for the purpose of ascertaining the number entitled to the “Royal Bounty of Provisions.” In the column allotted to ”servants” are, Dartmouth, 41 ; Country Harbour, 41 ; Chedabucto, 61 ; Island St. John, now Prince Edward Island, 26; Antigonish, 18; Cumberland, etc., 21 ; Partridge Island, now Parrsboro, 69 ; Cornwallis and Horton, 38 ; Newport and Kennetcook, 22 ; Windsor, 21 ; Annapolis Royal, etc., 230 …

The slave in Canada (1899) Read More…

“Dartmouth was founded-in 1750, but in 1756 it was destroyed by the [Indigenous people]. In 1784 it was again settled by emigrants from Nantucket, most of whom removed in 1798. Since that time its population has gradually increased. The townships of this county-are Halifax, Dartmouth, Laurencetown (sic) and Preston. The first of these has two representatives in the Assembly.” Dawson, J.W. “A hand book of the geography and natural history of the province of Nova Scotia” Pictou [N.S.] : J. Dawson, 1848. https://www.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.37346/34?r=0&s=1

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…

After piecing together several Crown land grant maps, you can see the path of the Old Annapolis Road much more clearly. Open the image in a new tab, to see it in more detail. Below you’ll find a few representations of the road as a contiguous route, as opposed to what is left recorded on the Crown Land Grant maps. (You can find find the individual Crown Land Grant maps here: https://novascotia.ca/natr/land/grantmap.asp) One of the first representations of the Old Annapolis Road, “Road markt out by Gov. Parr’s orders in 1784” One of the last representations of the Old Annapolis Road: Fifteen years later, by 1927 (perhaps because it wasn’t fit for automobile travel), the Old Annapolis Road disappears.

“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 [Black] slaves. Only the Loyalists had remained. The [Black people] were industrious, gaining a living by supplying butter, eggs, and poultry to Halifax, but most of them had taken advantage of the offer in 1791, extended by the British government, to resettle them in the newly purchased Colony of Sierra Leone. Of the other group of settlers Haliburton notes that “the disbanded soldiers were prone to idleness and intemperance, and when they had …

The Geography of Haliburton’s Nova Scotia Read More…

“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 loyalist and romantic town of Shelburne, whose dramatic rise and fall after the loyalists’ coming has evoked prolonged comment from nearly everyone who has written on that period of Nova Scotian history, presented no stranger phenomenon than contemporary Dartmouth. Yet no Haliburton has arisen to grieve over her deserted …

The Dartmouth Whalers Read More…

“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 they had lied to the Lieutenant-Governor’s Council of Twelve when it had conducted an inquiry into some of the allegations two and a half years earlier. The “trial” of the judges on these articles of impeachment took place before the Committee of the Privy Council for Trade and Plantations in …

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

“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 depredations of the American privateers; while a few, especially the Halifax merchants, grew rich from the usual profits of war. But was there nothing else? M. W. Armstrong has convincingly argued that probably the most important impact of the Revolution upon Nova Scotia was in precipitating the “Great Awakening …

The American Revolution and Nova Scotia Reconsidered Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by 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 of a misfortune to William Cooper whose location would be near the lower end of the present Queen Street. The following is a transcript from the Nova Scotia Gazette: “On Monday the 17th January, a direful fire broke out at the house of Mr. Wm. Cowper at Dartmouth, owing to the …

1780s 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…