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 …

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 …

History of Halifax City Read More…

In Mr. Bromley’s Appeal on behalf of the [Indigenous people], printed in Nova Scotia, in 1820 p.24 he says:— “One of the chiefs, who took up his abode with me a few weeks ago, appeared much agitated while he related the circumstance of the white people having obtained a grant of the burying-ground of his ancestors, whose bones they had lately ploughed up; and this to an [Indigenous person] is a species of sacrilege which he never can forgive. I am also acquainted with a particular part of the province of Nova Scotia, where a most ancient burying-ground of the [Indigenous people] is now in the possession of the white people; who, however, out of courtesy, still allow them to bury their dead there.” Mr. Bromley adds, “While …

An account of the aborigines of Nova Scotia called the [Mi’kmaq] Read More…

Haghe, Louis. “View of Halifax from Dartmouth Cove” 1828. Lithograph, coloured with water colour, on wove paper. Laid down on cardboard https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMDC-JRR2195&R=DC-JRR2195

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

Footprints Around and About Bedford Basin Read More…

“When Halifax was first settled, this side of the harbor was the home and hunting ground of the [Mi’kmaq people]. Soon after the settlement of Halifax, Major Gillman built a saw mill in Dartmouth Cove on the stream flowing from the Dartmouth lakes. On September 30th 1749, the [Indigenous people] attacked and killed four and captured one out of six unarmed men who were cutting wood near Gillman’s mill. In August 1750, the Alderney, of 504 tons, arrived at Halifax with 353 immigrants, a town was laid out on the eastern side of the harbor in the autumn, given the name of Dartmouth, and granted as the home of these new settlers. A guard house and military fort was established at what is still known as Blockhouse hill. …

The story of Christ Church, Dartmouth 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 …

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

For a few years the government of Nova Scotia was vested solely in a governor, who had command of the garrison stationed at the fort of Annapolis, known as Port Royal in the days of the French regime. In 1719 a commission was issued to Governor Phillips, who was authorized to appoint a council of not less than twelve persons, all of whom held office during pleasure. The governor, in his instructions, was ordered neither to augment nor diminish the number of the said council, nor suspend any of the members thereof, without good and sufficient cause… This council had advisory and judicial functions, but its legislative authority was of a very limited scope. Consequently the year 1758 is the commencement of a new epoch in the constitutional …

The Constitution of the Legislative Council of Nova Scotia Read More…

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 …

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

“Soon after the first unfriendly attempt upon our chartered privileges, a congress of delegates from nine colonies was assembled at New-York in October, 1765, at the recommendation of Massachusetts, and they digested a bill of rights, in which the sole power of taxation was declared to reside in their own colonial legislatures. This was preparatory to a more extensive and general association of the colonies, which took place in September, 1774, and laid the foundations of our independence and permanent glory. The more serious claims of the British parliament, and the impending oppressions of the British Crown at thislast critical period, induced the twelve colonies, which were spread over this vast continent from Nova Scotia to Georgia, to an interchange of opinions and views, and to unite in …

“…from Nova Scotia to Georgia” 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 earliest road maps, from 1755. “A New map of Nova Scotia and Cape Britain”, https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b53089581f An excellent early road map from 1768. “Map of Nova Scotia, or Acadia, with the islands of Cape Breton and St. John’s, from actual surveys” https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b53209890m Previous to the construction of the more direct route to Annapolis, this …

Old Annapolis Road Read More…

An examination of the legislated spatial dimensions of Dartmouth – from its initial definition as a township, care of the Royal instructions that accompanied Cornwallis in 1749, to its dissolution by fiat into a county masquerading as a city in Nova Scotia’s municipal coup of 1996. “And whereas for the better security, regulation and government of our said settlement, it will be necessary that such persons as we shall judge proper to send to our said province should be settled in townships; you are therefore hereby authorized and required to appoint such proper persons as you shall find there fully qualified to carry along with you forthwith to survey and mark out the said townships in such manner and at such places as is herein directed, that is …

Body politic, Body corporate; City limits Read More…

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

The Development of Public Health in Nova Scotia Read More…

“Writing in the posthumously published final version of his historical chronicle of early Halifax town, lawyer-archivist Thomas Beamish Akins condemned the infamous 1820 state trial, R. v. Wilkie, in these memorable words: An anonymous pamphlet was published from the press of A.H. [Anthony Henry] Holland, charging the magistrates of the town with malpractices, which caused much excitement. It was discovered to have been written by Mr. William Wilkie, of Halifax. He was indicted for libel, tried at the Easter term of the Supreme Court [17 April 1820] and sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labor in the House of Correction [Bridewell]. This was esteemed a most tyrannical and cruel proceeding on the part of the government. The pamphlet was a very paltry offence, such as at the …

Sedition in Nova Scotia: R. v. Wilkie (1820) and the Incontestable Illegality of Seditious Libel before R. v. Howe (1835) Read More…

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