DARTMOUTH, Halifax County: This city is located on the east side of Halifax Harbour. A [Mi’kmaq] name was Boonamoogwaddy, “Tomcod ground.” The English name may have been given in honor of William Legge, Earl of Dartmouth, Colonial Secretary 1772-75, but it was probably named for the Devonshire port of Dartmouth. In August, 1750, the Alderney arrived in Halifax (Chebucto) Harbour with 353 settlers on board. On August 23 the Council resolved to settle them across the Harbour from Halifax. Before the end of 1750, a blockhouse and small military post had been built. In 1751 the settlers suffered from an [Indigenous] attack. After the American Revolution an oil factory was set up and operated by a Nantucket Whaling Company about 1785 to 1792. They built a meeting-house about 1787, and their little village near the factory became known as Quaker Town because most of the people were Quakers. Later most …

Place Names and Places of Nova Scotia (in Dartmouth Township) 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 …

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“James Delancey, Esquire, of Annapolis, in the Province of Nova Scotia, had a [Black] slave, named Jack, who run away from his service without leave, and went to Halifax, above an hundred miles distant from Annapolis, where he was taken into the service of a Mr. Wooden on wages. On hearing this, Col. Delancy directed his Attorney to write to Mr. Wooden, informing him, that the [Black man] belonged to Mr. Delancey, and that if he detained him, an action would be brought against him for so doing. To which Mr. Wooden’s Attorney returned for answer, that the [Black man] in question was indeed retained by Mr. Wooden in his service, but that he, as well as all other [Black people] in this Province, were Freemen; there not being any other law here to make them otherwise.” Opinions of Several Gentlemen of the Law, On the Subject of Negro Servitude, …

Opinions of several gentlemen of the law, on the subject of [Black] servitude, in the province of Nova-Scotia Read More…

Dartmouth can be seen to the left, number 8. Parkyns, George. “View from Fort Needham near Halifax.” 1801. Aquatint and etching printed in dark greyish yellowish brown ink, coloured with water colour, on laid paper. Laid down on cardboard. https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMDC-JRR2149&R=DC-JRR2149

Parkyns, George Isham. “View of Halifax from Davis’s Mill, Dartmouth” 1801. Aquatint and etching printed in dark greyish yellowish brown, coloured with water colour, on laid paper. Laid down on cardboard. https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMDC-JRR2146&R=DC-JRR2146

Dartmouth and Indian Town! 😎 Moore, John Hamilton, -1807, et al. To his excellency Thos. Jefferson, esqr., president of the Congress, this chart of the United States of America: including Halifax, Havannah Havana, New Providence, and all the northern parts of the West Indies. London: R. Penny, sculp, 1805. Map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2003620053/>

1746-1799 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 …

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

An excellent map from 1808, and one of the only maps to show the location of “Fort Duncan” in Dartmouth, whatever was left of it would’ve likely been obliterated by the construction of the bridge which also just happened to bisect Dartmouth’s Common land. 🤔

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

The Development of Public Health in Nova Scotia Read More…

“Upon looking over again the words of the first article, there seems to be room for dispute, which a British minister, in the present state of his country, would be capable of taking advantage of. The terms which are used are exceptionable. There are no American colonies at war with Great Britain. The power at war is the United States of America. No American colonies have any representative in Europe, unless Nova Scotia or Quebec may have an agent in London. The word colony implies a metropolis, a mother country, a superior political governor, ideas which the United States of America have long since renounced, forever.” “From John Adams to Boston Patriot, 12 July 1809,” Founders Online, National Archives, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Adams/99-02-02-5391

“…The English made their first efforts against the northern states. There they were able to do nothing but shew their ill will. They then fell upon the middle states. Here they succeeded no better than before. Now they have concerted their plans and directed their forces against the southern states. Georgia and South Carolina are at the southern extremity of the continent, and have so few white people, and are embarrassed with so many [Black people], that the English have gained more advantage, as they think. But it will appear in the end, that the principal advantage will be, stealing a multitude of [Black people], and sending them to the West India islands for sale, and plundering other effects for the private emolument of some of the officers. The militia of the southern states have not yet been practised to war, and are, I suppose, strangers to discipline. But the …

From John Adams to Boston Patriot, 12 August 1809 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: In the Royal Gazette for July 1809, the livestock of Maroon lull was advertised to be sold at Mr. Bell’s Ferry House Old Ferry Inn, at one o’clock on Saturday the 29th. The lot included one pair of beef oxen, one pair small oxen, seven milk cows, one calf, six handsome horses and one bay stallion. Theophilus Chamberlain advertised the loss on the Preston Road between Crane’s and Ross’ of a linen girdle two feet long and three inches wide, containing 50 guineas and two Joes. The owner was Monsieur Chaunion, a prisoner of war at Mr. Crane’s, who offered half the money as a reward to the finder. Through the summer of 1809, newspapers continued to advertise runaway prisoners from Preston. In June, Joseph Bissett of “Coal” Harbor received £5 reward for apprehending a deserter from a ship in the …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: 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”. 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. In the year 1808 Mrs. Jonathan (Almy) Elliot, widow, was married to Nathaniel Russell, widower, of Russell’s Lake, who had been long bereft of all his family. Of the Russell union, one son Nathaniel was thus a half-brother to the Elliot children.

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: On Wednesday, March 11, 1807, Christian Bartlin and Alexander McDonald were drowned by the oversetting of their boat as they were returning home from Halifax. (This man may have been a son of Christian Bartlin who died here in 1792). In that same year 1807, ferryman John Skerry purchased from Dr. Clifford the premises at Ochterloney and Commercial Streets, and also the wharf on the shore below. This was formerly Maroon wharf or King’s wharf, and no doubt used by Skerry when he took over the ferry service in 1797. He may also have leased the corner building from that date. As it was in that same year that construction of no. 7 highway got started, Skerry’s wharf would be the most convenient place to land tools and supplies for the use of the road workers. Skerry’s Inn on the corner …

1807 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: The spring of the year 1806 was one of exceptional drought. Pumps and wells were bailed to the dregs. The woods were like tinder. To aggravate the situation, destructive forest fires raged in the rural areas of Dartmouth. On Thursday evening, May 29th, the cottage on Old Preston Road belonging to Margaret Floyer and occupied by Governor D’Anseville, together with all the elegant furniture and decorations, and the surrounding outbuildings were entirely consumed. A house out there owned by Hon. Michael Wallace, and another belonging to Mrs. Phoebe Moody had the same fate. Henry Wisdom’s mill also fell a prey to the flames. At Halifax, a request was issued by the Firewards asking inhabitants “to remove all combustible material from their homes while the drought prevails. They think it would be prudent for persons who are in the habit of smoking …

1806 Read More…