Dr. Alexander Reid was superintendent of the Nova Scotia Hospital in Dartmouth from 1878 to 1892, and as such was one of the first to put the ideas of eugenics into practice in Nova Scotia. The following are some highlights from a speech he gave before the Nova Scotia Institute of Natural Science in 1890, and there’s recognizable bits of policy from today (extolling the virtues of the “dignity” of labor, for example, by those from a class insulated from such labor) embedded throughout. Most interesting to me is the connection made by Dr. Reid as to those “simply honest …

Stirpiculture, or, The ascent of man More…

“The total number of [Black] slaves brought into Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island from the revolted colonies previous to the summer of 1784 may be estimated with some approach to certainty. Under instructions from Sir Guy Carleton, Colonel Morse, commanding Royal Engineer, made a tour of the Provincial settlements in the autumn of 1783 and early part of the summer of 1784, and to his report appended a “return of the disbanded troops and Loyalists settling in Nova Scotia,” for the purpose of ascertaining the number entitled to the “Royal Bounty of Provisions.” In the column allotted …

The slave in Canada (1899) 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 …

The Constitution of the Legislative Council of Nova Scotia More…

“The annals of Dartmouth and its sister townships contain several tales of a by-gone era, whose recital has often brought tears to humble eyes and which may yet have a charm for a more general and critical audience.” Lawson, William Mrs. “History of the townships of Dartmouth, Preston and Lawrencetown, Halifax county, N.S. : (Akins historical prize essay)” Halifax, N.S. : Morton, 1893. https://www.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.09015/3?r=0&s=1

“Rhus Toxicodendron, Linn. Poison Ivy. Plentiful in stony land, a few miles above Dartmouth town” Lawson, George. “Notes for a flora of Nova Scotia”, 1891. https://www.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.25537/1?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 …

Chronological Table of Dartmouth, Preston, and Lawrencetown More…

Considering that most of the literature on the eugenics movement downplays or ignores its history in Nova Scotia, this amazing dissertation is proof one can’t always rely on what little is initially apparent in order to guide the search for facts, especially in regards to Nova Scotia. Never let an initial apparent lack of data discourage your efforts. If you’ve been a member of the “lower classes” in Nova Scotia you too may feel a kind of familiarity with the ways in which eugenics aims were pursued in your life, especially when it comes to experiences and interactions with teachers, …

Institutionalizing Eugenics: Custody, Class, Gender And Education In Nova Scotia’s Response To The “Feeble-Minded”, 1890-1931 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 …

The Development of Public Health in Nova Scotia More…

Remember that time Dartmouthians got so fed up with the substandard ferry service offered by Haligonians, they charted their own course, and organized a committee that started a rebel ferry service? We do. A service that became so popular that the Haligonian run service was abandoned in favor of the people’s service. This group of rebels even organized a ferry boat buying expedition to the United States. “The Spirit of Dartmouth”, that’s what they should’ve named a county masquerading as a city’s new ferryboat 😉 (Pictured, Dartmouth’s Yankee sourced “The Annex” ferry, alongside a friend, the USS New Orleans – also, …

The Annex More…