Christ Church, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, 1817 to 1959

“The Corner-Stone of a Church to be erected by subscription of the inhabitants of Dartmouth and Halifax, aided by a donation from His Excellency Sir John C. Sherbrook, was laid at two o’clock this day, by His Excellency the Earl of Dalhousie, who has also been a liberal subscriber to the undertaking, in the presence, and under the auspices of the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Nova Scotia, Rear Admiral Sir David Milne, K. C. B., The Hon. Commissioner Wodehouse, the Rev. Dr. Inglis and many other respectable parishioners”……NOVA SCOTIA GAZETTE, Halifax, 9th July, 1817.

Thus runs the brief official description of an event that marked the initial step in the establishment of an institution that for the past one hundred and forty-two years has been a centre of worship, inspiration and spiritual uplift for the Anglican people of Dartmouth, and also a landmark in the town. Extremely well situated with abundant room for church and complementary buildings, Christ Church, Dartmouth, stands today a memorial to the foresight of the founders of the parish. Time has proved the wisdom displayed by them in the selection of this building site, which was secured by a government grant.

The town of Dartmouth had at that time little more than fifty families and the parish in 1817 covered an area extending from Halifax Harbour east to Chezzetcook, from Eastern Passage to Bedford, and a visit by the rector to many parts of the parish meant long horse-back rides over paths and trails through virgin forest. When Christ Church was erected it was the only church in the town, but not in the area as, nearly thirty years earlier an Anglican church had been built at Preston, about seven miles from the town. On October 3rd, 1791 Bishop Charles Inglis writing to the Archbishop of Canterbury, reported that he had “consecrated churches at Granville, Annapolis, Digby and Preston.

Although no building had been available for church services in the district prior to the erection. of the church at Preston, nevertheless, through the efforts of the rector of St. Paul’s Church, Halifax, N. S. services had been conducted in this area. Dr. R. V. Harris in his book “The Church of St. Paul in Halifax, N. S.” wrote as follows:

“The first church services in Dartmouth were conducted by Mr. Tutty in the fall of 1750. In his letter to the Society, October 29th, he writes:” In a fortnight hence I must officiate there, in the open air.”

In the following July he again writes the Society and refers to a raid, made by Indians on the new settlement on May 13, 1751, adding “Till that time I used constantly to preach there in the afternoon.” After referring to the steps taken to palisade the town, he continues, “When this happens I shall renew my former practice and dedicate the afternoon to their service in spiritual things.”

In November he reports having “once more administered the Holy Communion to the newcomers who were engaged in palisading Dartmouth.”

St. Paul’s seems to have maintained these occasional services until the territory of Dartmouth, Preston and Cole Harbour was set apart in 1792 as a separate parish.”

The Mr. Tutty referred to in the above quotation was the Rev. William Tutty who had come out with Lord Cornwallis as a missionary when the city of Halifax was founded in 1749. He was the first clergyman to hold services in St. Paul’s when as rector he officiated at the opening of that church on September 2, 1750.

“The Society” to which Mr. Tutty reported was the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. This organization, operating in England, supplied and paid the missionaries and other clergy who ministered to the early settlers for many years after the Church of England became active in Nova Scotia.

The Preston church was erected on a high hill about three quarters of a mile to the north of the present St. John’s Church, and was supposed, at that time, to be situated in the center of the parish. The first clergyman appointed to the parish of Preston was the Rev. Joshua Wingate Weeks who commenced work there in September 1792. He remain. ed in charge until December 1795.

On November 3rd, 1792, Bishop Charles Inglis requested the Governor, Sir John Wentworth, to erect Preston, Dartmouth, and “Lawrence Town” into one parish by the name of St. John’s, Preston. This request was laid before the Council and granted. In writing to the Society for the Propagation the Gospel on May 1st, 1794, Mr. Weeks thus described his parish “The mission consists of four towns, Dartmouth is the principal which consists of fifty families; Preston has fifteen; Cole Harbour 12, and Lawrence 23.”

While in charge of the parish of St. John, Mr. Weeks lived in Halifax. Following his resignation in 1795, he was succeeced by the Rev. Benjamin Gerrish Gray, who was born in Boston and came with his father to Halifax in 1776. After his ordination to the priesthood he was appointed King’s Chaplain to the Maroons, who played an important role in the history of Nova Scotia from 1796 until 1799. The story of their coming, their stay in the Halifax-Dartmouth area and their departure for Sierra Leone in Africa, has been told in numerous records and historical accounts. Mr. Gray was recommended for the position of Missionary of the parish of St. John, to which he was inducted in 1795 and where he served until 1799, when he became garrison chaplain. His appointment to the parish of Sackville was made in 1806. He was afterward rector of St. George’s, Halifax, from 1819 to 1823 and was appointed rector of Trinity Church, St. John, N. B. in 1825, serving until 1849. It was in 1825 that the Rev. Mr. Gray, under Bishop’s mandate, inducted into the parish of St. Pauls’s, Halifax, the Rev. Robert Willis in a service that was held outside the locked doors of the church. The reason for this absurd situation was the extreme dissatisfaction and antagonism of the wardens and some of the parishioners over the appointment.

For some years after Mr. Gray’s departure from Preston, the church was served by clergy from St. Paul’s and during this time the people of Dart- had to go to Preston or cross the harbour to Halifax to attend church services. This inconvenience brought about the decision to build a church in the town and a definite move was made when land was procured and the erection of Christ Church began. The Rev. Charles Ingles was appointed rector in 1817, and according to S. P. G. reports the Church was opened for service in May 1818.

The original plans of the church show it to have been a simple oblong structure. (The present transepts and chancel were added later.) There were square pews against the wall on each side and a double set of oblong pews down the center of the building. An entry in the first minute book of the parish and vestry meetings records the first Easter meeting as follows-
Dartmouth, April 12th, 1819

“At a meeting of the Parishioners of Christ Church at Dartmouth on this day for the appointment of Parish Officers and other pur- poses according to the Law of the Province, the following persons were chosen, viz,
Samuel Albro, Esq., H. William Scott, Esq., Church Wardens.
James Creighton, Alex McMinn, Daniel Eaton, George Francis, John Reeves, John Stew- art, John Prescott, Alex Farquharson, Stephen Collins, Joseph Findlay, John Tapper, John Hawthorn-Vestrymen.”

It was further decided at that time “to appoint Edward Warren (whose vocation was publican) Clerk and Sexton, at a salary of ten pounds annually.” At an adjourned meeting in April the same year, it was decided to allow the Rector thirty pounds for house rent. This was in addition to his salary of 200 pounds a year from the S. P. G. and surplice fees. Later it was further resolved:

“That the fee simple of each pew be sold by public auction subject at every transfer to be offered to the Church Wardens at the last price given for said pew whether purchased from the Church or individuals; liable to a yearly rent paid quarterly to be hereafter fixed upon and Resolved “That the Church Wardens have the right of making use for the benefit of the public, any pew shut up by the proprietor without sufficient reason assigned and
Resolved “That all arrears of pew rent at the end of the year shall make the pew liable to forfeiture at the discretion of the Church Wardens”.

In June 1819, the Rector and Wardens successfully petitioned the Governor, the Earl of Dalhousie, to have the grant of the land on which they had built the Church, made out and completed. Meanwhile some history that has often repeated itself in this and other parishes was being written. At a meeting of the Vestry held on April 9th, 1821, it was resolved “That a subscription should be set afoot for the purpose of raising a sum to pay the debts of the church, and that it is advisable to receive such subscriptions in quarterly payments, the whole to be paid within the twelve month in order to accommodate those not possessing immediate means”.

Also a petition was made to His Excellency, Sir John Kempt, Governor of Nova Scotia – “For some assistance in relieving the church from the debt under which it is now embarrassed.” Meanwhile the ever present legally-minded parishioners had raised a neat question as to the legality of former proceedings on the ground that Christ Church, Dartmouth, was, in reality, only a chapel-of-ease to the Parish Church of St. John’s Preston. Accordingly it was decided that His Excellency, the Governor be petitioned to divide this parish from the Parish of St. John, which was eventually done.
The Rev. Mr. Ingles, during his stay in the Parish, lived at Brook House, near, what is now, the Woodlawn United Church. Stories of this house and it’s former tenants make up another interesting portion of the history of Dartmouth.

During the year of 1824, William Walker, school master in the town succeeded Edward Warren as Parish Clerk. In 1825, the Rev. Mr. Ingles was appointed to the important and historic parish of St. George’s, Sydney, N. S. the mother church of the Island of Cape Breton.

After the departure of Mr. Ingles in 1825, until the coming of the Rev. Edward Lewis Benwell as rector in 1826, the parish was without a resident clergyman. Amongst the clergy who officiated from time to time were the Rev. B. G. Gray then rector of St. George’s, Halifax, the Rev. R. F. Uniacke, the Rev. C. B. Rosenburg, Chaplain to His Majesty’s Ship “Jupiter”, the Rev. James J. Jackson, Ven. Archdeacon A. G. Spencer, later bishop of Newfoundland 1839-43 and Jamaica 1843-72, the Rev. Robert Willis, rector of St. Paul’s, Halifax, and the Rev. W. W. Walker.

While the parish was without a rector, the important ceremony of the consecration of Christ Church took place. This event marking as it did, the two facts, that the church had all the necessary appointments for the ministration of Divine Service according to the use of the Church of England, and that it was free from debt, must have been of the deepest interest to the parishioners.

The old Minute Book gives in full, the petition and deed of consecration as follows:

Consecration of the Church by the Lord Bishop of Nova Scotia

“To the Honorable and Right Reverend Father in God, the Lord Bishop of Nova Scotia – The Petition of the Archdeacon of the Diocese, Church Wardens and Vestry of Christ Church in the parish of Preston in the Archdeaconry of Nova Scotia,

Humbly Sheweth,

That a new Church hath been erected in the said parish for the worship of Almighty God according to the rites and ceremonies of the United Church of England and Ireland, but that no opportunity hath yet occurred for having the said Church set apart forever from all profane uses and solemnly consecrated and dedicated to the service and worship of Almighty God.

Your petitioners therefore humbly represent that the said church is now ready for consecration and pray that your Lordship will be pleas- ed to consecrate it accordingly.

EDWARD H. LOWE Church Wardens

A portion of the reply from the Right Reverend John Inglis, Bishop of Nova Scotia, reads as follows:

“Now we by Divine Permission, Bishop of Nova Scotia and its dependencies, do, by virture of the authority to us committed, separate the said Church or Chapel from all profane and common uses and do dedicate the same to Al- mighty God and divine worship by the name of Christ at Dartmouth and consecrate it for the celebration and performance of Divine service, and do, openly and publickly, pronounce decree and declare that the same ought to remain so separated, dedicated and consecrated forever by this our definitive sentence or final decree which we read and promulge by these presents.

August 20th, 1826.

Shortly after the consecration ceremony the Rev. E. L. Benwell was appointed rector. He was an Englishman, sent out by the S. P. G.

The manner of taking up the collection in church evidently caused some concern. At first it was taken up in a box placed on the end of a long stick and carried from pew to pew. As this was not looked upon with favour, it was decided to place a plate by the door with a vestryman in attendance. This change apparently did not prove satisfactory as they soon went back to the former method. The bell was presented to the church in 1826 by the Honorable Michael Wallace, a leading parishioner, who was engaged in various business enterprises in the area as well as being active in Government circles.

Meanwhile a parsonage had been erected near First Lake for the use of the Rector (this building, thought later to be too far from the Church, was sold to Colonel Robert B. Sinclair.) About the same time the first church in Preston was torn down and rebuilt on a site about one quarter mile to the east- ward of Maroon Hill which was, at that time, much nearer to the homes of the people. A legend tells that when the monks of Winchester, England, decided to remove the body of St. Swithun from the grave under the eaves of the church where he had expressly desired to be buried, to a specially prepared tomb, within the cathedral, it rained for forty days and the attempt, for a time, had to be abandoned. This legend has a counterpart in Preston where the story is told that whenever attempts were made to remove parts of the old church, rain fell, but those concerned with the removal disregarded all protests of the elements as well as some members of the congregation and proceeded with the job.

The second church at Preston has been described as follows-
“The church was very rough and without ornament or even comfort. The narrow chancel with its plain wooden table rarely, if ever, used for Holy Communion, would have suited the most primitive conception of taste. Highly realistic in one point alone was the order of the sittings. The men sat on one side and the women on the other; precedent and good manners alike forbidding any infringement of this rule during Divine Service.”

The new church with burial ground adjoining was consecrated at the Feast of Epiphany, 1826 by Bishop of Nova Scotia on petition from the wardens and vestry of Christ Church, Dartmouth, which was considered to be the Parish Church and the church at Preston was regarded as the Chapel of St. John.

Bayer, Charles Walter, “Christ Church, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, 1817 to 1959” [Dartmouth, N.S. : Christ Church] 1960.

From Thomas Whitehead to George Washington, Aug 29, 1793

Granville near Annapolis Royal Nova Scotia

August Sir

Being sensible from the nature of true greatness & goodness, that the greatest & best of men was never unwilling to accept a tribute of respect from the least of their Friends, gives me tacit leave, to address myself Great Sir, to the most illustrious character, the Annals of Fame can glory of—altho there is nothing that relates to me or mine—worthy the notice of so august Personage, yet I presume my simple narrative will not be displeasing.

I am a native of the state of New york, and as such had (during the struggle for American Liberty) a peculiar regard for the wellbeing of my Country—her cause I espoused, in her cause I bled & bled profusely & freely—throug the well directing providence of GOD, after a Bloody war, a happy, advantageous peace took [578] place August Sir, according to the desire of your heart & power of your Arms, for which may the Almighty arbitor of war & peace for ever be adored.

In 1788 I trust by the direction of Heaven—& by the advice of my Brethern & Friends of the Methodest connexion I sail’d from New york to Nova scotia, to Preach the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ—sometime since I enter’d into the domestic Life—on the 14th April 1792 my wife was deliver’d of a Son & daughter, which we were unhappy enough to loose in a short time—on 14th Apr. 1793 she was delivered of another son & daughter which abundantly compensates the first loss—I have taken the Liberty to name my little son George Washington, not being favourd with Lady Washington’s first nor maiden name I could not name my little daughter as I desired, I believe time itself never heard such another noise about the name of a Child as has been made about mine, but I am happy to say that its confined to that unhappy description of People, who not long since were call’d Tories but now refugees.

I have sometime wish’d to have certain account of America’s young Patron, the unfortunate Marqu⟨is⟩ De Le Fayette.

Since America has gain’d her independence at the Expence of vast Blood & treasure, I pray God to conti⟨nue⟩ the same unto her admidst the confusion of Europe, my Expection⟨s⟩ thereof are sanguine, August Sir, since I read your pe⟨ace⟩full Proclamation & have been enform’d of the neutral disposition of the people U.S.A. in General.

May the best of Heaven’s blessings for ever rest upon you as upon the Father & Prince of his peo⟨ple⟩ and may Lady Washington richly share in the sa⟨me⟩ adundant blessings is the sincere desire & constant Prayer of August Sir your most Humble & most Obedient Servant

Thos. Whitehead

Ochterloney Street, Preston Road, No. 7 Highway

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin:

The names of Ochterloney and Quarrell (now Queen) were commemorated by streets in downtown Dartmouth. The extension of the first named thoroughfare marked the beginnings of the present no. 7 highway.

Ochterloney Street at the harbor, second street from right above, what is now Alderney Drive travelling horizontally along the shore. Seth Coleman owned the land to the north side on both sides of Alderney at Ochterloney.

Below, “Ferry” marks the foot of Ochterloney Street where John Skerry was the proprietor, while what is now Victoria Road serves as the northern extent of the town plot.

“Peninsula and harbour of Halifax”, 1808.

From the old town-plot boundary, (Ochterloney Street) veered to the north beyond Pine Street. Opposite the Greenvale Apartments, the antique stone-house demolished only recently, and apparently built “on the bias”, probably fronted the original line of Ochterloney Street as it continued through the property, now occupied by the Nova Scotia Light and Power plant, and headed for the millstream flowing from the lakes. This road then bridged the stream near the western end of the circular-dam [which then did not exist] and ran diagonally to the rise of Prince Albert Road, just below Hawthorne St. Mounded evidence of this route used to be exposed whenever Sullivan’s Pond was drained.

“Map of the Town of Dartmouth”, 1878.

The original road beyond the Sinclair Estate at First Lake is the Preston Road, the path as seen below, located above Prince Albert Road, though the ROW ends abruptly before Cottage Hill Drive.

Looking west towards Sullivan’s Pond.

At Silver’s Hill, the slope no doubt originally extended down to the lake shore. Pioneer trails generally avoided lowlands. Hence this “new” road to Preston followed the broad path still seen on the hillside below Sinclair Street, until it emerged around the bend at that bay of the lake called by the Mi’kmaq “Hooganinny Cove”.

This map shows the (old) Preston Road up above, the lower road or the “Road made by the Canal Company” is the present day Prince Albert Road at Silver’s Hill, the left edge of the map being near where Cranston Avenue is today if it were to continue through Benview to meet with Prince Albert Road. “Hooganinny Cove” would be at bottom left. “Dartmouth”, 5 September 1877.

The causeway-bridge over Carter’s Pond at the town limits, was very likely built during the time of the Maroons, for the road is shown on military maps as early as 1808, indicating that this section of highway had been constructed some years previously.

At left Ochterloney Street labelled as Portland Street, First Red Bridge as mentioned below is seen between Hurley and Elliots at (what was once) Carter’s Pond, “Cottage Hill” subdivision at right didn’t come to pass, at least not as originally planned. “Preston Road” is shown with a notation “Canal Co road 1832” while the old “Preston Road”, the high road, is noted and dated 1815. Martin also notes a “Preston Road of 1797” which must have been the original path considering it was 1796 when the Jamaican Maroons settled Preston Township.

From the vermilion color of the protective wooden railing, this crossing was long known as “First Red Bridge” to distinguish it from “Second Red Bridge” with similarly colored railing, built about 1826 across the bay of Lake Mic Mac near Miller’s Mountain.

What is now Prince Albert Road, what was once the Preston Road. Its path continued to the right at Graham’s corner to what is now Main Street and eventually the Number 7 highway. To the left at Graham’s Corner what is now Braemar Drive. The nook in the lake that Graham’s corner once navigated, what was recently the Mic Mac Rotary is examined separately here. More on Main Street here, at the top of the map is the continuance of the “Road to Preston” in the 1820s.

Education in Nova Scotia before 1811

“In 1792, 400 acres (were set apart for school purposes) at Dartmouth… By surveys conducted in 1813 previous land grants for schools were supplemented by an addition of 4,625 acres comprising tracts in twelve settlements in different parts of the province. These latter parcels of land were made in favor of the Chief Justice of the province to be held in trust by the Bishop and the Secretary.

These land concessions for school purposes were made in conformity with the agreement of the Lords of Trade with the S. P. G. in 1749; the Royal Orders issued to Governor Cornwallis in 1749, and the more recent instructions given Governor Lawrence in 1756 authorizing him to reserve “a particular spot in or near each town for the building of a church and four hundred acres adjacent thereto for the maintenance of a minister and two hundred acres for a schoolmaster;” and to retain, likewise, over and above the stated amount, one hundred acres in each township free of quit rent for ten years, for the use of all schoolmasters sent out by the Society. Prior to 1766 ministers of the Church of England exercised a sort of guardianship over the school plots lying in their respective parishes pending their occupation by duly appointed teachers.

But because of a school law passed by the Nova Scotia Legislature in that year administration of all school lands in the province was vested in a board of trustees endowed with corporate powers. Usually the ministers of the parishes in which the lands were situated and the church wardens were named trustees. From this circumstance, partly, the view came to prevail that the original intention was to reserve these lands exclusively for the benefit of S.P.G. teachers although there had been no express agreement to that effect.”

Thibeau, Patrick Wilfrid, 1892-. “Education In Nova Scotia Before 1811 …” Washington, D.C., 1922.

Empire of Liberty

“When in early 1806 Jefferson requested $2 million from Congress to help obtain the Floridas, Senator Stephen Bradley of Vermont proposed an amendment to give the president authority to acquire not only West and East Florida but also Canada and Nova Scotia, by purchase or “otherwise,” by which he meant military means. The amendment gained some support but was defeated. The “Two Million Dollar Act,” as it was called, was bitterly opposed by John Randolph, the Virginia spokesman for the States’ Rights Principles of 1798, largely because the money was to be paid to France, which presumably would influence Spain to surrender the Floridas. Randolph “considered it a base prostration of the national character, to excite one nation by money to bully another out of its property,” and he used this incident to break decisively with Jefferson.” (Randolph, Annals of Congress, 9th Congress, 1st Session (April 1806), 947.)

Wood, Gordon S. “Empire of Liberty, A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815”. Oxford University Press, 2009.

View of the North part of the Town of Halifax…and the town of Dartmouth

Dartmouth , as seen from somewhere near the Nova Scotia Community College campus today.

“View of the North part of the Town of Halifax in Nova Scotia including the Dock Yard, The Bason terminating the Harbour and the town of Dartmouth”, Saint-Mémin, Charles Balthazar Julien Févret de. 1793.

“Expansion has been from the earliest day the policy of our country…evidence from fathers of the republic”

I’m not sure union is in any way imminent — the plethora of American companies with Canadian subsidiaries, most of which are located in central Canada, seems to indicate that there’s many vested interests whose entire existence depends on upholding the status quo.

Union would certainly complicate affairs for the old Province of Canada, eradicating the artificial economic boost provided to Ontario and Quebec through their role as a kind of exclusive gateway to the US economy — in a similar way to Canadian media entities whose role appears to be as an exclusive gateway to US culture. Only they have the authoritative perspective on American issues and politics that “good Canadians” share, which is almost always about framing the overton window around Democratic party talking points while delegitimizing Republicans and Independents.

In some ways it appears the status quo has settled around the feelings of Gouvernour Morris, who said: “I always thought when we should acquire Canada … it would be proper to govern them as provinces, and allow them no voice in our councils”, (the US Senate), which, with the creation of “Canada” in 1867, was all but guaranteed.

It’s undeniable that the founders were keenly aware of the colonies to America’s north, that some considered them proto-States on an indeterminate timeline to union. If one can set aside the idea of statehood and instead examine the powers of self-government afforded to US territories, it’s clear that even they stand far above and beyond the forever status of childhood imposed on the people “of Canada” by the BNA, though perhaps not its provinces.

I’m in complete agreement with Jefferson, that “no constitution was ever before so well calculated as ours for extensive empire and self-government”. Federalism allows for great difference of opinion as it relates to particularists, while at the same time lending great strength in union, an inversion of that imposed by “Canada” and its clumsy carpentry.

I wonder what the reaction from Nova Scotians would have been, had they known that Washington remembered their pleas from years earlier?

“It’s Only A Question Of Time.” Old Fogyism May Hold Her Back For A While, But She Is Bound To Come To Us.

In all the important ways Canada owes its very existence to the United States. Whether through official channels such as becoming a literal territory, an annexation or adjunct, or as a supposedly “sovereign” and “independent” country, we’ve already “come to them”, we are their buffer state in a number of ways, our security and economy will always depend on what is also a cultural behemoth next door.

The relationship more recently seems to have decayed into a kind of lawfare, in terms of Federal legislation in Canada designed to “answer” the laws of several of the States, interleaved into “newsworthy topics” every evening — along with guns and abortion which serve as a constant drumbeat from “Canadian media” to portray what is Canadian by what is not, namely that which is “American”, a portrayal which will surely misunderstand the topic at hand along with federalism and the constitutions of its 50 parts in order to paint a certain picture for political purposes, treating “Canada” as a unitary monolith in opposition.

It seems to me this divergence is on the increase and that it isn’t at all organic, which I can only assume is how “Ottawa” wants it. There is also “the mother country and her dependencies”, let alone other foreign actors colonial and otherwise to account for. An additional, even more depressing possibility which I haven’t fully accounted for, is that it might be how Uncle Sam wants it — that America’s interests are best served from their perspective by the status quo.


“And lastly, another Province (Nova Scotia), which some time ago was very desirous of it, would be added to the Federal Union. It may not be amiss to give Bermuda some consideration, as circumstances in the course of the campaign may lead to the conquest of this island, without incurring much expense, or interfering with other plans. Policy in this case may invite the measure whether it is adopted with a view of retaining or ceding the island by way of composition at a general pacification. Some good and no bad consequences can result from an attempt to take this island by surprise. The island might be carried without much, if any, opposition ; for it is presumed very little would come from the inhabitants, who have often expressed a wish to be united with America and enjoy the benefit of its support.” —George Washington in his Plan of Campaign for the year 1782, in the Revolutionary War, drawn up by him at Newburgh, May 1st, 1782

“Wanting scarcely anything but the free navigation of the Mississippi, which we must have and as certainly shall have as we remain a nation, I have supposed that, with the undeviating exercise of a just, steady and prudent national policy, we shall be the gainers, whether the Powers of the Old World may be in peace or war, but more especially in the latter case.” —George Washington, in a letter to Lafayette, August 11th, 1790.

” I see no objection to our indulging a hope that this country (Canada), of such importance in the present controversy, may yet be added to and complete our Union.” —George Washington, in a letter to General Sullivan, June 16th, 1776.

“The accounts which you had received of the accession of Canada to the Union were premature. It is a measure much to be wished, and I believe would not be displeasing to the body of that people. Your ideas of its importance to our political union coincide exactly with mine. If that country is not with us, it will, from its proximity to the Eastern States, its intercourse and connection with the numerous tribes of Western Indians, its communion with them by water and other local advantages, be at least a troublesome if not a dangerous neighbor to us; and ought, at all events, to be in the same interests and politics of the other States.” —George Washington, in a letter from Valley Forge to Landon Carter, May 30th, 1778.


“Britain possesses Canada. It might be humiliating to her to give it up on the demand of America. Perhaps America will not demand it. But on the mind of the people in general would it not have an excellent effect if Britain should voluntarily offer to give up this province? And I hinted that, if England should make us a voluntary offer of Canada expressly for the purpose of effecting durable peace and sweet reconciliation, it might have a good effect.”

Benjamin Franklin in 1782 in negotiating with Richard Oswald, the British Envoy, the Treaty of Peace at the close of the Revolutionary War. ” If the United States should think fit to attempt the reduction of the British power in the northern parts of America, or the islands of Bermudas, those countries or islands, in case of success, shall be confederated or dependent upon the said United States.” —Benjamin Franklin in Treaty with France in 1778, written by him.


“Standing here and looking far off into the Northwest I see the Russian as he busily occupies himself in establishing seaports’, and towns, and fortifications, on the verge of this continent, as the outposts of St. Petersburg, and I can say, ‘ Go on and build up your outposts all along the coast, even up to the Arctic Ocean—they will yet become the outposts of my own country—monuments of the civilization of the United States in the Northwest.’ So I look off on Prince Rupert’s Land and Canada and see there an ingenious, enterprising and ambitious people occupied with bridging rivers and constructing canals, railroads and telegraphs to organize and preserve British provinces north of the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence and around the shores of the Hudson Bay, and I am able to say: ‘It is very well; you are building excellent States to be hereafter admitted into the American Union.'”

William H. Seward in a speech at St. Paul September 18, 1850. “A war about these fisheries ( the British fisheries in North America) would be a war which would result either in the independence of the British provinces or in their annexation to the United States. I devoutly pray God that that consummation may come, the sooner the better; but I do not desire it at the cost of war, or injustice. I am content to wait for the ripened fruit which must fall.” —William H. Seward in a speech in the Senate August 14, 1852.


“We should then have only to include the North in our Confederacy, which would be of course in the first war, and we should have such an empire for liberty as she has never surveyed since the creation ; and I am persuaded no constitution was ever before so well calculated as ours for extensive empire and self-government.”

Thomas Jefferson, in a letter from Monticello to James Madison, April 21th, 1809. “Although it is acknowledged that our new fellow citizens (of Louisiana) are as yet incapable of self-government as children, yet some cannot bring themselves to suspend its principles for a single moment.” —Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to De Witt Clinton, Dec. 2d, 1803.

GOUVERNEUR MORRIS said: “I always thought when we should acquire Canada and Louisiana it would be proper to govern them as provinces, and allow them no voice in our councils. In wording the third section of the fourth article of the Constitution I went as far as circumstances would permit, to establish the exclusion.’

Gouverneur Morris of New York, who wrote the third section of the fourth article of the Constitution, in a letter to Henry W. Livingston, December 4, 1803.” The Congress shall have power to make all needful rules and regulations respecting territory or other property belonging to the United States.” Section 3, Article 4, of the Constitution.” I knew then, as well as I do now, that all North America must at length be annexed to us.” —Gouverneur Morris in a letter to Henry W. Livingston, November 25th, 1803.

[Article IV, Section 3: New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State, nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well of the Congress.

The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.]

UNITY OF EMPIRE. ALEXANDER HAMILTON’S IDEAS CONCERNING THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE UNITED ” Besides the eventual security against invasion, we ought certainly to look to the possession of the Floridas and Louisiana, and we ought to squint at South America. —Alexander Hamilton in a letter to James McHenry, June 21th, 1799. ” I have been long in the habit of considering the acquisition of those countries (Louisiana and Florida) as essential to the permanency of the Union.”

Alexander Hamilton, in a letter to H. G. Otis, Jan. 26th, 1799.” The Farmer, I am inclined to hope, builds too much upon the present disunion of Canada, Georgia, the Floridas, the Mississippi and Nova Scotia from other Colonies. I please myself with the flattering prospect that they will, ere long, unite in one indissoluble chain with the rest of the Colonies.” —Alexander Hamilton, in his ” Vindication of the Measures of Congress” in 1774.”

Walker, Albert H. (Albert Henry). “Expansion has been from the earliest day the policy of our country. The evidence from the fathers of the republic” New York, Republican National Committee, [1900?]

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

While Nova Scotia had established a Civil Council in 1720 and a General Court by 1721, Governor Cornwallis brought with him new instructions and a new regime with courts initiated under a new constitution 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,

Dartmouth Shore, 1786

“Dartmouth Shore, N.S., 1786. From Anchorage off Naval Yard, Halifax, Looking Eastward.

A general view of the town of Dartmouth as it appeared at this period, is here given. It is impossible, however, to identify most of the buildings, which were merely dwellings. Dartmouth was first settled in 1750. On 2nd March, 1786, the old town lots were escheated, the town re-planned, and granted to twenty families of Quaker whalers from Nantucket. The picture shows their dwellings until 1792, when most of the residents moved to Milford.

1: Main center of present town. 2: Old grist mill in Dartmouth Cove. Lawrence Hartshorne and Johnathon Tremaine worked a grist mill there about 1820. Of late years it was destroyed by fire. 3: Halifax harbor. 4: This elevation is now known as Prince Arthur’s Park, a recent name. The left end of this view joins the right of that of the “Hospital and Entrance of Bedford Bason.”

Exact reproduction of the water color sketch by the Duke of Clarence, afterwards William IV., in the private log book of H.M.S. Pegasus, when commanded by him in 1786.”

“Dartmouth Shore”, Duke of Clarence, 1786.

Samuel Starbuck

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Starbuck Archive. Photo: Catherine Southon Auctioneers.

“In his notes, Starbuck (1762-1829) wrote: “Not only the floors and the platforms are entirely covered with bodies, but the bodies actually touch each other, how wretched must have been their situations…” His descendant said it was likely that, as a young man in whaling, Starbuck had witnessed aspects of slavery first-hand. “It would have been almost inconceivable for them not to have come across slavery in some form or other in various ports that they visited.””

“The Starbuck family were prominent in the Anti-Slavery movement both in the UK and the USA. Having been involved in the founding of Nantucket, members of the family emigrated to Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire, South Wales after the American Revolutionary War and continued their successful Whaling business. The family who were Quakers were active abolitionists throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.”

“The Starbuck family, originally from Derbyshire, emigrated to Dover in the North American colony of New Hampshire in about 1635. The island of Nantucket, off Massachusetts, was granted to Thomas Mayhew and his son in 1641; they combined with others to buy the island from its Indian owners. By c. 1660, Nathaniel Starbuck was one of the associates. In 1725, Nathaniel Starbuck of Sherborn, blacksmith, granted land to his son Paul, including land that had formerly belonged to his brother Barnabas. Paul Starbuck described himself in his will of 1759 as a glazier; Samuel Starbuck described himself as a mariner in 1745, as a glazier in deeds dated between 1751 and 1763, and as a merchant, 1772-1783. In 1791 Samuel Starbuck, now of [Dartmouth], Nova Scotia, merchant, sold Samuel Starbuck & Co. to William Hussey of Sherborn, merchant. Samuel Starbuck’s will was proved at Canterbury in May 1805. Samuel Starbuck of Nantucket, mariner, bought the sloop Unity in 1745, with all appurtenances, except for some whaling equipment. The first American Quaker whalers arrived in Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, from Nantucket in 1792. The Starbuck family is said to have sailed to Milford Haven on the whaler Aurora. By 1800, Daniel Starbuck held land in Milford and Steynton, and had goods distrained for the non-payment of tithes in four of the six years 1810-1815. Samuel Starbuck probably died in 1819, when his estate included half of the stock in trade of Daniel & Paul Starbuck, joiners (£5,020), the lighter Upton Castle, and the brig Diligence. The Starbucks were related to the Penrose family of Waterford, Ireland, merchants, who were fellow Quakers.”

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