History of Nova Scotia for schools

I can’t vouch for the accuracy of any “firsts” listed here but it’s interesting to see what was expected to merit the attention of students around the time of “confederation”, at least compared to the kind of history I was exposed to in school a little more than a century later. We certainly never delved into Cromwell’s conquest of Nova Scotia or the proprietary regimes, perhaps because it gives perspective to the here and now of arbitrary “Canadian governance”.

“Chapter 1-2: Early settlement
Chapter 3: Sir W. Alexander, and La Tour
Chapter 4: Oliver Cromwell, and Sir Wm. Phips
Chapter 5: Louisburg – The Acadians
Chapter 6: Settlement of Halifax
Chapter 7: The Expulsion of the Acadians
Chapter 8: First Assembly in Nova Scotia – Lousibourg destroyed
Chapter 9: War with America – The Duke of Kent
Chapter 10: The Maroons, and the Chesapeake and Shannon
Chapter 11: Agricola – Colleges
Chapter 12: The Brandy Dispute – Mr. Howe and the Magistracy
Chapter 13: Steam communication, Responsible Government
Chapter 14: The Heroes of Sebastopol – Coal Mines
Chapter 15: The Indian mutiny – Telegraph, etc
Chapter 16: International exhibition, Education Bill
Chapter 17-18: Union of the Provinces
Chapter 19: Opposition to Confederation – Loss of City of Boston – Death of Mr. Howe
Chapter 20: Sketch of the life of S.G.W. Archibald
Chapter 21: Sketch of the life of Thomas C. Haliburton, M.P.
Chapter 22, Sketch of the Life of Dr. Gesner
Chapter 23: Sketch of the Life of Judge Blowers
Chapter 24: Sketch of the Life of Judge J.W. Johnston
Chapter 25: The Steamship “England”
Chapter 26: General description of Nova Scotia, etc.
Chapter 27-28: A trip to the fruit show at Somerset.

Resources of Nova Scotia:
Chapter 29: Coal and Iron
Chapter 30: The Gold mines of Nova Scotia
Chapter 31: The Fisheries of Nova Scotia
Chapter 32: Population of Nova Scotia – Manufactures – Shipbuilding
Chapter 33: The dominion of Canada, Appendix: Sable Island, La Tribune.”

“The first attempt on the part of Europeans to settle on the eastern portion of the Continent was by the Baron de Lery in the year 1518. But he arrived on the coast too late in the season, and after leaving a part of his live stock at Canso, and the remainder on Sable Island he returned to France. The animals left at Canso either perished or were destroyed by the [Mi’kmaq], while a few of those left on Sable Island survived and multiplied.

Several other attempts were made to effect a settlement, the most remarkable of which was an English expedition, at the head of which was a Mr. Hore. It was fitted out in the year 1536, under the patronage of King Henry the Eighth, and consisted of one hundred persons — of whom thirty were men of birth and education — who embarked in two ships. Two months after starting, the expedition arrived at the Island of Cape Breton.

They afterwards sailed for Newfoundland, where they failed in opening communication with the natives. They were reduced to a state of absolute starvation, depending for sustenance on roots, and such fish as the parent birds brought to their nests. In the frenzy produced by hunger one or two men were murdered by their companions, when searching for food on the Island, and their flesh devoured. That evening, some of the company agreed to cast lots who should be killed, rather than that all should perish, when lo ! a sail was seen in the distance which proved to be that of a French ship amply supplied with provisions. But to the disgrace of the English they took forcible possession of her, and sailed for England, leaving the Frenchmen, who rescued them from the very jaws of death, in possession of their dilapidated vessel.

The reckless voyagers had returned to England about the end of October, and were in a few weeks, followed by the Frenchmen whom they had robbed, and who lost no time in making a formal complaint to the King as to the injuries inflicted on them by his subjects. The King, after an examination into the facts made full reparation to the complainants, and pardoned his subjects on account of the miseries they had already endured. For forty years after the expedition of Mr. Hore no effort was made in prosecuting further discoveries in America.

In the year 1578 Sir Humphrey Gilbert got a patent from Queen Elizabeth for the discovery and settlement of new lands. Gilbert was a brave and generous man. His first voyage was unfortunate, for he lost one of the two ships with which he started, which obliged him to return to England. Determined to fit out another expedition, he sold his estate, and with the money thus obtained he fitted out five small vessels in the year 1583. He made for Newfoundland where he arrived in August. In returning to England in a vessel called the Squirrel he and all on board were lost, the vessel having foundered.”

“The English Governor of Virginia having resolved to destroy the French settlements in Acadia sent Captain Argal with several armed vessels to effect his purpose, when the son of Poutrincourt fled to the forest and lived with the [Mi’kmaq]. In the mean time Poutrincourt visited Port Royal where he found a scene of desolation. He accordingly resolved to leave it forever, which he did, returning to France, and fell fighting bravely in the service of his country, in December, 1615. His son seems to have remained in Acadia till his death, which occurred in the year 1624.”

“In the month of August, 1750, the ship Alderney arrived in Halifax with about three hundred and fifty emigrants, who were sent to the opposite side of the harbor, and founded the town of Dartmouth in the autumn of that year. In December following, the first ferry was established, and John Connor appointed ferry-man by order in Council. In the following year the [Mi’kmaq] surprised the little village at night, scalped a number of settlers, and carried off several prisoners. The inhabitants, fearing an attack, had cut down the spruce trees near the settlement, which, instead of a protection as was intended, served as a cover for the enemy.

Captain Clapham and his company of Rangers were stationed on the Blackburn Hill, and, it is said, remained within his block-house firing from the loop-holes during the whole affair. The light of the torches and the firing of musketry alarmed the inhabitants of Halifax, some of whom put off to their assistance, but did not arrive in any force till after the [Mi’kmaq] had retired. The night was calm, and the cries of the settlers and the whoops of the [Mi’kmaq] were distinctly heard on the western side of the harbor. On the following morning several bodies were brought over — [Mi’kmaq] having carried off the scalps.”

“Mr. Campbell, of Dartmouth, had panned gold in 1859, and was the first to advocate the existence of gold in quantity in the Province… Silver ore has not been discovered in the Province in any considerable quantity. Mr. Campbell, of Dartmouth, was the first to discover it in small quantity.”

“The success of the Marine Slips at Dartmouth, which is capable of accommodating only the smallest class of vessels, should inspire capitalists with confidence.”

Campbell, Duncan. History of Nova Scotia: for Schools. Montreal: Lovell, 1874. https://hdl.handle.net/2027/aeu.ark:/13960/t6m04g264

An Act to divide the County of Halifax into Townships, and to confer certain Municipal Privileges upon the Inhabitants thereof, 1850, c5.

Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor, Council and Assembly, as follows:

I. The Governor in Council shall forthwith appoint Three Commissioners to lay off and subdivide the County of Halifax into Townships of moderate area, having due regard to the relative extent of territory and amount of population to be included within the same, the natural boundaries presented by the indentations of the Sea Coast, the course of Rivers and Inland Waters, the homogenous character of Settlements already formed, and the facilities of communication afforded by Main and Cross Roads.

II. The Commissioners having completed their work, shall within six months after their appointment report their proceedings to the Governor, which Report shall contain the names of the Townships, their Boundaries, the number and names of Settlements to be included therein, with the aggregate amount of Population, as nearly as it can be ascertained in each Township.

III. The Report shall be forthwith published in at least Four of the Halifax Newspapers, and circulated in Hand Bills throughout the County for at least One Month after it shall have been laid before the Governor, and during the Month all Parties who may take exceptions to it shall be heard either by Petition or otherwise, before the Governor in Council, who shall have power to alter or amend it, as may appear meet, after hearing objections made, or evidence, if any, shall be produced before them.

IV. On receipt of the Report so amended or otherwise, with the sanction and approval of the Governor in Council, marked thereon, it shall be the duty of the Commissioners to define the Boundaries of each Township by actual Survey, and to set up Marks in convenient places, by which the same may be generally indicated and known.

V. The Report of the final proceedings of the Commissioners, which shall include the Names and Boundaries of each Township, shall be published in manner as directed with regard to their first Report; and upon the expiration of the Month, the functions of the Commissioners shall determine, and the Rate-payers residing within each Township respectively, shall thenceforth enjoy all the privileges and exercise all the rights in respect of Local Affairs now possessed and exercised by the Freeholders or Inhabitants of other Townships within this Province.

VI. The expenses attending the execution of the Commission shall form a County charge, and be presented, conformed, assessed, levied, and collected, as by Law directed in reference to other Monies raised for County purposes.

VII. In addition to the powers now conferred by Law, the Rate-payers of such Townships at their Town Meetings, on the First Monday of November in every year, shall select a Warden and Four Councillors, who shall be respectively chosen by a majority of Votes, and continue in office until the next Annual Meeting in November, during which time they shall have the general over-sight and care of the Township, and shall possess all the powers now exercised by Justices of the Peace; the Warden to preside at all Township Meetings held during the year after his appointment, including the one at which he shall go out of Office, and to be the Organ of Official Communication with the Representatives of the County and the Executive Government.

VIII. Rate Payers shall at their Annual Meeting in November, elect all Township Officers, whether such as are now appointed by the Sessions, such as are appointed at Town Meetings, or such others as they may consider necessary, and in addition to other powers conferred by Law, may assess themselves for the building of Town Houses, the Support of Schools, the Improvement of Roads and Bridges, the Deepening of Water Courses and Harbors, the Erection of Breakwaters, and generally for any other Public Objects by which the Interests of the habitants may be promoted and advanced.

IX. Over the Funds so raised, the Rate Payers, their Officers and Representatives shall have exclusive Control, and Public Property thereby accumulated, shall vest in the Warden and Councillors for the time being, who shall form a perpetual trust and a Body Corporate, under the name of “The Warden and Councillors for the Township ,” and as such, may have a Common Seal, and sue and be sued.

X. The Warden in each Township shall report the Proceedings, under this Act, at the close of the year, to the Provincial Secretary, for the information of the Legislature.

XI. Immediately upon the appointment of Wardens and Councillors hereunder, all the Powers and Duties of Justices of the Peace for the County of Halifax, shall cease, except in respect of Proceedings already commenced before them, for the final determination and execution of which, their functions shall continue.

XII. In carrying out the Provisions of the Act for the Summary Trial of Actions before Justices of the Peace, the following changes are made:
A Court to be called the Warden’s Court for the Township of shall be held at some central and convenient place in each Township, on the First Monday in every Month, when the Warden and Councillors shall attend and form the Court, and any three of them shall be a quorum.
Parties shall be summoned and bound to appear under Process issued by one or two of such Justices according to the amount of the Claim at the Warden’s Court, the particular place of holding which shall be stated in the Process, and the Court shall determine Suits in the same manner, and shall have like powers in relation thereto, as are now exercised by One or Two Justices of the Peace, and Execution and further Proceedings, shall be had in the name of the Court, and be issued and had by any one or two of the Justices for the Township, for the time being, according to the amount. The Fees for issuing Writs shall be paid to the Justice issuing the same, or where there are two Justices divided equally between them, and the Fees on Judgment shall be divided equally between the Justices present.

XIII. The Warden and Councillors, as respects Criminal Proceedings, and the General Regulation and Management of County Affairs, shall be Justices of the Peace for the whole County, and shall compose the Court of General Sessions of the Peace therefor.

XIV. Nothing herein contained shall extend to the City of Halifax.

“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?] http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.gdc/scd0001.00139014698

At Dartmouth

At Dartmouth.
On FRIDAY, the 22nd May, at 12 o’clock: HAT Valuable Building LOT, situate in the Township of Dartmouth, on the South Side of Quarrel Street, 82 feet in front and 128 feet in depth, bounded East by Walter Robb and others.
Terms of Sale.-A deposit of 10 per cent of the purchase money at the time of sale-remainder on delivery of the deed, which will be made ready with despatch.
Sale positive, no upset price. may 13

Morning Journal, May 13, 1857. https://books.google.com/books?id=mxQHAAAAIBAJ&pg=PA3&dq=dartmouth+township&article_id=1980,6812037&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiO-srEl4aGAxV9PxAIHZNyCG44ChDoAXoECAoQAg#v=onepage&q=dartmouth%20township&f=false

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