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

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

“List of Contributors: … P. McNab, Dartmouth – barley and oats.” “On the east side of the harbor is situated the town of Dartmouth, settled in 1750. The town is well situated, and is admirably adapted to the employment of ship-building. It is connected with the city by steamboats.” “Prior to 1719 (at which time Annapolis was the seat of government) the management of the civil affairs of the province was vested solely in the Governor; and, in his absence, in the Lieutenant-Governor or the Commander-in-Chief. In 1719, Governor Phillips, who succeeded Mr. Nicholson, received instructions from the British Ministry to choose a Council from amongst the principal English inhabitants, and, until an Assembly could be formed, to regulate himself by the instructions of the Governor of Virginia. This Council was composed of twelve members, principally officers of the garrison and the public departments. The Governor and Council, from the …

Nova Scotia in 1862: papers relating to the two great exhibitions in London of that year Read More…

“It has so often happened to me in our own island, without traveling into those parts of Wales, Scotland, or Ireland, where they talk a perfectly distinct language, to encounter provincial dialects which it is difficult to comprehend, that I wonder at finding the people here so very English. If the metropolis of New England be a type of a large part of the United States, the industry of Sam Slick, and other writers, in collecting together so many diverting Americanisms and so much original slang, is truly great, or then inventive powers still greater.” Lyell, Charles, Sir. “Travels in North America, in the years 1841-2 : with geological observations on the United States, Canada, and Nova Scotia” 1845. https://archive.org/details/gri_33125010817993/page/n7/mode/2up

“The pages of this work are … compiled to show the origin of every barony, from its first commencement by writ of summons to parliament, to the time it became (as presumed) extinct, or terminated in an heir general in dormancy; or in coheirs general in abeyance between them; accompanied with such remarks as appear explanatory of their course of descent.” “Heralds and critics, that abusive throng; May as they please, speak of me right or wrong; Their praise will never give me any pride, Their spite, I heed not, and their snarls deride.” “In the Appendix to the second volume is an account of the first settlement of the Scots in Nova Scotia, the occupation of the country by them, and the institution of the Order of Knights Baronets therein. No similar account has ever before been published; and, indeed, the several writers who have attempted to show the …

Baronia anglica concentrata, or, A concentrated account of all the baronies commonly called baronies in fee Read More…

“I learned… that there was a class of persons in Nova Scotia called the Blue Noses (so called from a kind of potato which thrives well here.) Whether this nick-name is an appropriate one or not, I did not become sufficiently acquainted with their habits to determine. This much however is true, that they are not in the habit of setting a very high value either on their own time or that of others.” “In spite of the large extent of barren and rocky land in the south, and what is a more serious evil, those seven or eight months of frost and snow, which crowd the labors of the agriculturalist into so brief a season, the resources of the province are very great.” “In this province the stranger may see that there is a political dissatisfaction among the inhabitants; however not to so great an extent as in the …

Sketches on a tour through the northern and eastern states, the Canadas & Nova Scotia Read More…

“Within the last six years, during all which time these wiseacres have been declaring that we were all going to the dogs, Halifax has grown one-third and Dartmouth has nearly doubled in size… Thirty miles of level main road have been made in the western part of the township… Turning to the east; its condition when I first visited it in 1837 was this; for fifty miles there was neither roads, bridges, magistrates nor schools. Now there are six schools dotting the shore, where formerly there was not one; magistrates have been appointed, and while the Great Eastern Road has been carried nearly to the bounds of our county, the shore settlements are becoming one after another closely connected by means of roads and bridges.” Howe, Joseph. Annand, William. Chisholm, Joseph Andrew. “The Speeches and Public Letters of Joseph Howe” Halifax, Canada: The Chronicle publishing company, 1909. https://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc2.ark:/13960/t87h1hh71?urlappend=%3Bseq=467

The timing of this address in favor of the “rights” of those who considered Nova Scotia their proprietary colony, in 1848, immediately after Nova Scotia had successfully won a measure of self government thanks to the efforts of Joseph Howe and others, says so much, and perhaps points to part of the impetus behind the obstinacy of the British Crown in regards to “confederation”. “As regards justice, the crown charters, of combined justice, policy, and humanity. acts of parliament, and other legal instruments founded upon (upwards of two hundred in number,) demonstrate, beyond all doubt or cavil, that the rights and privileges which they vest in the Order are still valid, subsisting, and effectual. The policy of restoring to activity and usefulness such a great monarchical institute as the Baronetage of Scotland and Nova Scotia, would be a means of rapidly settling, with a loyal and attached landocracy, yeomanry, and …

Committee of the Baronets of Scotland and Nova Scotia for Nova Scotia Rights. Read More…

“The greatest civil blessings which any people can enjoy, are a wise and just system of Laws, and their enlightened and faithful administration. On these, more than on any other political advantages, public prosperity and happiness must depend. But for securing this favorable result, these two advantages must unite. The first however excellent in itself, and pleasing as a matter of mere contemplation, is, when alone, insufficient for the purpose. It is, indeed, by the wise and vigilant application of such a system, not only that the happy effect is produced, but that the laws become the most generally known, and most truly appreciated. The inhabitants of this Colony, possess a very fair portion of the first of those blessings. Although some parts of our Legal Code will admit of considerable correction and improvement, yet upon the whole, there is in this branch of our social system, no very serious …

The justice of the peace, and county and township officer, in the province of Nova Scotia (1846) 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 history of Nova Scotia. We find then from that time a civil government duly organized as in other English colonies of America, …

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

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

Duc d’Anville arrived at Chebucto, 10 Sept 1746 Halifax founded, 21 June 1749 [Indigenous people] attacked 6 men at Maj. Gilman’s saw-mill, Dartmouth Cove, killing 4, 30 Sept 1749 Saw-mill let to Capt. Wm. Clapham, 1750 Alderney arrived from Europe with 353 settlers, Aug. 1750 Town of Dartmouth laid out for the Alderney emigrants, Autumn 1750 Order issued relative to guard at Dartmouth, 31 Dec. 1750 Sergeant and 10 or 12 men ordered to mount guard during the nights at the Blockhouse, Dartmouth, 23 Feb. 1751 [Indigenous people] attacked Dartmouth, killing a number of the inhabitants, 13 May, 1751 German emigrants arrived at Halifax and were employed in picketing the back of Dartmouth, July 1751 Ferry established between Dartmouth and Halifax, John Connor, ferryman, 3 Feb. 1752 Mill at Dartmouth sold to Maj. Ezekiel Gilman, June 1752 Population of Dartmouth 193, or 53 families, July 1752 Advertisement ordered for the …

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

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

“Nine years later, one finds this institute arranging an excursion to Portland, “under the auspices of the Marine Charitable Mechanics’ Association of Portland”, which brought not only much pleasure, but a £60 profit for the building fund . Dartmouth Mechanics’ Institute, Nova Scotia, arranged a picnic and bazaar, under the patronage of Lieutenant Governor Falkland, on neighbouring McNab’s Island in 1845, and this was recognized as ” the outstanding summer event in the social life of the community.” Four thousand people were conveyed by ferries to a picnic ground, where displays were intermingled with refreshment stands, with music provided by a military band, and with everything from quoits, balls, and swings, to dancing on the green. A gross profit of £500 was realized and was to facilitate construction of the institute’s new building in the following year. The neighbouring Halifax Mechanics’ Institute, doubtless chagrined that this more recent foundation was …

The Work/Leisure Ethic in Adult Education Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: The year 1849 was long remembered by residents hereabouts. For one thing, the winter was very severe, and the summer unusually dry. Halifax celebrated its 100th anniversary in June, and by the end of the year was enjoying its first street lighting and water system, and also the first telegraph connection with the United States, via Amherst and Saint John, N.B. Cold weather seems to have prevailed through most of January and February, without any sign of a thaw. Sub-zero temperatures gradually froze the harbor until the ice extended to Mauger’s Beach on McNab’s Island. Only by keeping a channel open at night, was the ferry able to maintain communication. The ill-wind of that winter blew somebody good in Dartmouth, because pedestrians and market people no doubt took advantage of the ice-bridge to make uninterrupted journeys to the City. Usually the …

1849 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: In 1848 we note that this year marks an epoch in Nova Scotia history, because it was then that the Province attained complete Responsible Government. (See plaque in the corridor of Province House commemorating this accomplishment of Howe, Uniacke and others of the Reform Party.) Foreign news that year conveyed the intelligence that King Louis Philippe, who was once in Dartmouth (p. 95), had been driven from the throne of France by another Revolution. In our own country, preparations went on for the proposed Halifax to Quebec railroad; and also for the construction of a telegraph line to the New Brunswick border. One section of the Railway Commissioners’ report dealing with their surveys in and around Halifax, must have made Dartmouthians leap with delight. The report noted: The best site for a railway terminus is on the opposite shore at Dartmouth. The …

1848 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: Newspapers about this time were filled with accounts of political meetings, for this was the year of the Provincial elections. The Liberal candidates in Halifax County were Henry Y. Mott and Joseph Howe. The Conservatives were James F. Gray and William Lawson. (Four other candidates contested Halifax Township.) Mr. Gray was a Halifax lawyer. As a Coroner, he had presided at the Thompson inquest in Dartmouth the previous autumn. Mr. Lawson was a summer resident of Mount Edward and son of a Bank President. (A son of this Conservative candidate, later married Miss Mary Jane Katzman, the writer of our well-known History of Dartmouth.) During the campaign, there were lively meetings held at Dartmouth and in the suburbs. The Conservative meetings were held at McDonald’s stone store in a large room above the Post Office; and also at James Roue’s, the “billiard table …

Elections of 1847 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: The year 1847 opened with a severe spell of weather. Newspaper items early in January inform us that “there was superior skating on the Dartmouth Lakes”. The thermometer at Citadel Hill registered 15 below on the 20th. The Axe Firemen of Halifax made merry on an exhilarating sleigh drive to Schultz’s Inn at Grand Lake, and returned through Dartmouth in Hiram Hyde’s Mammoth Tea Party Sleigh with six-in-hand and colors flying”. Another newspaper report that month mentions a misfortune of the Mailboat brig Margaret, which had been driven up on shore at Black Rock on the Dartmouth side of the harbor. Distress and disease prevailed among the Mi’kmaq tribes at Shubenacadie and Dartmouth where several deaths had resulted from an outbreak of fever that winter. Forthwith the Provincial Government directed that an [Indigenous] Hospital be prepared in the vicinity of the …

1847 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: The advantages of Dartmouth as a summer resort were extolled by a correspondent in the newspaper Nova Scotian, in the early summer of 1846. Perhaps the writer was Joseph Howe who at that time, was residing at Middle Musquodoboit, and who would observe the changes on his frequent journeys through Dartmouth. This article appeared among the Halifax items: We have observed that many of our citizens in order to enjoy the sunny smiles of summer, have removed their residence to Dartmouth for a few ensuing months, while others literally in droves, are constantly crossing and recrossing our harbor that they may inhale that sweet air, which in the heart of the City, cannot be enjoyed. No observer can overlook the rapid improvements that are taking place in this town. There is much enterprise here, although it is without noise. In addition to the …

1846 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: In April a house was commenced for Arthur W. Godfrey “on the other side of Geyro’s”. George A. S. Crichton, finished enough of “The Brae” at Mount Pleasant, to live there that summer. On part of her late father’s property at the tanyard, Miss Annie Albro had a neat dwelling erected, which she called “Grove Cottage”, and later on, leased it to her brother and his bride. The scene from Mount Pleasant was described as being very beautiful with the cottages on the opposite hills, and the rows of wigwams along the side of Silver’s Hill from the present MicMac Club to Graham’s cross roads. There was another encampment at “Second Red Bridge”. Other records state that there were also camps in the vicinity of Pleasant Street, near Erskine. This may account for the heaps of bones that have been unearthed …

1844 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: By 1842, when Dartmouth was nearly 100 years old, there still seemed to be no regular system of mail transportation. About that time, a resident complained to the newspapers that letters from abroad, addressed to Dartmouth, were detained at Halifax until nearly half a bushel had accumulated. Then they were sent over by a carrier who charged one penny on each letter for his trouble. There was no recognized Post Office in Dartmouth until about 1870. Instead there was a “way office”. In small centers, such as ours, letters were left at the village store, commonly known as two-penny offices, because the keepers charged two pence on every letter passing through their hands. A letter from England to Halifax would cost 20 cents, but it might be taxed 16 or 18 cents extra to send it a few miles farther—all depending …

1842 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: When the new House met in February 1841, Joseph Howe was chosen as Speaker. That appointment brought a bit of political prestige to our side of the harbor, because Dartmouth was the largest center in Mr. Howe’s constituency. An Act incorporating the City of Halifax was passed by the Legislature that session. Of more local interest, however, was an Act for regulating Dartmouth Common. This was the “new town-plot” … As the trustees of the Common were all dead by 1841, there was no one in authority to prevent the increasing number of squatters from occupying parts of the Common, especially those portions adjacent to the waterfront in the vicinity of Black Rock. (The whole area of the new town-plot must have been so called from earliest times, no doubt from the black color of the slate rock there.) The Act …

1841 Read More…

From The Story of Dartmouth, by John P. Martin: The elections were on that autumn. Joseph Howe came quite frequently to campaign in Dartmouth and in its suburbs, because he and William Annand were candidates for the County of Halifax, which was a separate constituency from the City. On Friday evening, October 30th, there was a meeting of about 200 supporters of Howe’s Reformers held in the Dartmouth School House. Henry Y. Mott presided, and Alexander James, then the schoolmaster of the town, was Secretary. Joseph Howe spoke at some length, outlining the legislative reforms recently gained by his party. Although the night was dark and tempestuous, loyal followers accompanied the Halifax group to the ferry; and as the boat pulled out, gave three rousing cheers which were lustily returned. The poll for the election of candidates was held at the Halifax Court House for five days early in November. …

1840 Read More…