Washington’s Letters To The Catholic Indians of Maine. Their Services in the Revolution

“Notwithstanding the endeavors of British agents to win these Indians to the side of England they pledged fidelity to Washington and through all vicissitudes of the Revolution remained faithful. They could have destroyed or driven away every inhabitant east of the Penobscot.”
Williamson’s History of Maine says: Had they been against us, and been set on by the British to plunder our towns and settlements, the whole population must have been destroyed. Great credit is due the Indians for their rigid adherence to our cause, although at times the commissionary’s department was destitute of provisions and clothing for them.”

“Never let the King’s wicked Counselors turn your hearts against me and your Brethren of this Country.”

Washington’s Letters To The Catholic Indians of Maine Indians of Maine. Their Services in the Revolution. (1899). The American Catholic Historical Researches, 16(3), 107–111. http://www.jstor.org/stable/44374081

Dominion Disallowance of Provincial Legislation in Canada

Federal disallowance of Provincial Legislation has been a significant aspect of the Canada’s system of “federalism”, allowing the central government to nullify provincial acts deemed contrary to federal interests. This power, unique to Canada, contrasts with the American federal system, reflecting a “differing approach” to federalism. From 1867 to 1935, the Dominion government disallowed at least 114 provincial acts and territorial ordinances, highlighting its considerable powers over provincial legislation.

The process of disallowance involved the submission of provincial acts to the governor-general, with the governor-general in council having the authority to disallow them, typically based on recommendations from the Ministry of Justice, in the same way colonies previous to Confederation would submit their legislation through Lieuitenant Governors to the Crown. Disallowance had to occur within one year of receiving the act. While the British government couldn’t directly interfere with provincial acts after confederation, it could express its concerns to the Dominion government instead, as could other foreign governments.

The reasons for disallowance varied widely, including conflicts with federal legislation, exceeding provincial powers outlined in the British North America Act, violation of treaty rights, or infringement on individual rights and property. The subjects of disallowed acts ranged from immigration and banking to mining and liquor regulation, indicating the Dominion’s broad oversight.

Historically, the frequency of disallowance fluctuated, with peaks in the late 19th and early 20th centuries followed by a decline in recent years. Initially, the crown and its Federal government, themselves involved in a parent-child relationship, viewed a strong central government as necessary, akin to a parent-child relationship with provinces. Where that leaves “the people” is clear.

Evolving interpretations of “Canadian federalism” have more recently emphasized provincial rights and autonomy, more in keeping with the American meaning of the term. Decisions by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and advocacy for provincial rights led to a shift in attitudes toward disallowance. Provinces began to assert their legislative independence, advocating for minimal federal interference. By the early 20th century, calls for disallowance were expected to be justified by clear attempts to infringe on federal jurisdiction.

“Although there is a federal form of government in both the Dominion of Canada. and the United States, there are striking differences in the two types of federalism. Some of these differences are to be found in fundamentals, such as the basis upon which the powers of government are divided in the two countries. Less striking, but nevertheless significant, are still other points of variance. Among these is the power which the dominion government has to disallow legislative acts of the provinces. Just why the fathers of the Canadian federation thought this power should be given to the central government is not clear. The fact remains, however, that in the years from 1867 to 1935, at least 114 provincial acts and territorial ordinances were set aside. It is important to note that these acts were dis- allowed by executive officers of the dominion government. Executive officers of the national government in the United States do not possess similar powers where state legislation is concerned.”

“A survey of the law-making efforts of provincial legislatures which have been set aside by the dominion government indicates that the central government has interfered with some of the most important fields in which provincial legislation might be enacted.”

“The frequency with which the dominion’s power of disallowance has been used has varied considerably at different periods in Canada’s history. In the years from 1867 through 1895, no less than 72 acts and ordinances were set aside. In the years from 1896 through 1920, a period of almost equal length, 37 provincial acts and ordinances were annulled. From 1920 to 1935, only five acts passed by provincial legislatures fell before the disapproval of the dominion government. In the first period mentioned, the greatest number of acts to be disallowed in one province was 26, in Manitoba. British Columbia, with 20, was a close second. Seven ordinances (as distinct from legislative acts) were set aside in the Northwest Territory, while in Ontario and Nova Scotia six acts in each province were disallowed. The remainder of the 72 can be accounted for by the disallowance of four statutes in Quebec, two in Prince Edward Island, and one in New Brunswick. In the second period, British Columbia headed the list with 22, while Manitoba and Saskatchewan had three each. Ontario and Quebec each had one act annulled. Seven ordinances were set aside, five in the Yukon Territory and two in the Northwest Territory. Since 1920, legislative acts in only three provinces have been disallowed. Three were annulled in Nova Scotia and one each in Alberta and British Columbia.”

“To many Americans, it is, of course, striking that the central government in a federation should possess this degree of control over certain types of legislation enacted by the member units in that federal organization. In the Canada of 1864-66, however, there were many who, like J. A. Macdonald, wished to see a strong central government created. They believed that the war between the states to the south of them was due, in part, to weakness at the center. That the dominion government should be able to disallow provincial legislation did not seem strange to them.”

Heneman, H. J. (1937). Dominion Disallowance of Provincial Legislation in Canada. The American Political Science Review, 31(1), 92–96. https://doi.org/10.2307/1948049

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

It’s obvious to me that the eugenicists didn’t stop after 1931, that it was used in ways that were politically motivated seems just as obvious. It was preceded by a few generations of “stirpiculture“, which just so happened to make an appearance in an institutionalized form in Nova Scotia in time for “confederation” leading to many subsequent expansions, including at the time of Dartmouth’s incorporation. Howe hinted towards this possibility in his speech at Dartmouth, “The lunatic asylum of course we must keep up, because Archibald may want it by-and-by to put Tupper and Henry into at the close of the elections“, by no means the only example of such statements. That 1868-69 featured the highest number of admission to the “Hospital for the insane” since its inception in 1859 adds further context.

I often think of this whenever I hear a member of Canada’s ruling caste — those who we are supposed to believe have the best interests of their subjects at heart — talk about “mental health” within the context of the current political environment, where they’re preparing every avenue, most especially health and education, for the application of philosophical intoxication against those who resist any of their totalitarian actions and inclinations.

It certainly brings clarity as to why we have such a highly political and ideologically focused monopoly health care system devoid of private payments or hospitals, let alone private insurers for primary care. It’s a level of control that wouldn’t have been so easy to achieve with the patchwork of jurisdictions, imbued with some measure of self government, which we enjoyed previous to this current “amalgamated” regime of hyper-centralization in terms of the administrative state.

I’m sure they’re just looking out for all of our best interests, now.

“Between 1890 and 1927 hundreds of Nova Scotian children and adults were identified as either feeble-minded or mentally deficient through investigations conducted by physicians and philanthropists in the province. The earliest of these studies were not commissioned by the provincial government but instead reflected the middle-class internalization of the eugenic discourse. Reformers, drawn often from medical, religious, educational, and philanthropic vocations, sought with ever-increasing alacrity to respond to perceived social problems, such as poverty, prostitution, venereal disease, and alcoholism, with a scientific solution. The scientific solution that they embraced was eugenics.

Eugenic ideology and programs rose to popularity in Europe and North America at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century. Driven by social anxiety and the medicalization of reproduction, eugenic theory expressed the concerns of the middle classes that those they deemed less fit on the basis of socio-economic class, education or heredity, were reproducing at a higher rate than the ‘desirable’ segments of the population. The application of eugenic theory was shaped by cultural assumptions about gender, class and race which resulted in the same principles finding different expression in different areas across the globe.

This dissertation seeks to understand how local circumstances shaped the Nova Scotian understanding of eugenics and its application. It examines the manner in which Nova Scotian physicians and philanthropists, with strong ties to both New England and Britain, participated in the transnational eugenic discourse through both professional and popular publications and organizations. Overall it argues that the expression of eugenics in Nova Scotia culminated in legislation that enforced the inspection, segregation and institutionalization of individuals who were assessed as feeble-minded. In doing so it also calls attention to the need to recognize outcomes other than sexual sterilization as legitimate expressions of eugenic policy. Subsequently the influential role played by regional circumstances in shaping what was considered an acceptable eugenic outcome as well as how eugenic policy was sought and implemented is examined. In investigating what reformers understood to be eugenic, and conversely what they considered dysgenic, a complex discourse surrounding the health of populations and reliant on ideas of gender, race, and class is revealed.”

Baker, Leslie Elaine. Institutionalizing Eugenics: Custody, Class, Gender And Education In Nova Scotia’s Response To The “Feeble-Minded”, 1890-1931. University of Saskatchewan, Feb. 2015. https://harvest.usask.ca/bitstream/handle/10388/ETD-2015-01-1934/BAKER-DISSERTATION.pdf

Sullivan’s Pond (from the banks of Findlay’s Pond), Dartmouth

This photo appears to be looking north, the opposite direction of this other photo of Sullivan’s Pond and Findlay’s Pond, but more than 20 years later on Oct 24th, 1890.

The large three story house in the center of the photo framed by two trees at the edge of Findlay’s pond is 84 Crichton Avenue today (Lakeside), the house to its left at further distance is likely the Crichton Manor house (The Brae), the houses on the ridge to the left are on Thistle Street, or perhaps it’s Rose.

I didn’t see it at first glance, but the caisson in Sullivan’s Pond helped with orientation.

A general idea of what the view looks like today:

“Shubenacadie Canal: Sullivan’s Pond, Dartmouth”, Oct 24, 1890. https://archives.novascotia.ca/photocollection/archives/?ID=9135

“The Dominion of Canada; a study of annexation”

“The Canadian colonies have always been deprived of representation in the Imperial government, and, until the recent Dominion Constitution, prescribed by act of the British Parliament in 1867, they had few privileges of self-government. The colonial government given to Canada after the fall of the French power was not even as liberal as that under which the New England colonies had struggled. The home government understood the peculiar nature of its subjects and established a strong and almost tyrannical colonial administration, while the Canadians were content to be ruled by a Governor and Council, since they knew no government better than that of Louis XV., and did not desire self government and legislation according to the constitutional system of a governor and two branches or houses. The several Colonial Secretaries who were appointed do not seem to have worked for the best interests of the colonies, since their terms of office were dependent upon the success of their party. Each secretary understood the peculiar policy pursued by his party toward Canadian affairs and made it his custom not to acquire a suitable knowledge of the needs of his people, but to study how he might retain his place and salary. Thus, while the leading features of the Canadian policy were changing often with party movements, the details of carrying out that policy were in the hands of irresponsible agents who sat in their high seats in England.

The government established by the Constitutional Act of 1791 did not avert the abuses and misgovernment which resulted from differences in party politics. The province was divided into Upper and Lower Canada with a separate legislature in each, composed of a Council and Assembly. The executive power was vested in a Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada and a Governor of Lower Canada, who had also a certain control over the Upper province. There was an Executive Council, composed of officers of the Crown, presiding over both provinces. These provinces were then, as now, essentially different in ethnical character and political knowledge. The colonies were satisfied for years afterward with the rule of England; but when the increased population became fused with English and American settlers, it began to feel its strength, and appreciating the rights conferred by the Constitution of 1791 to desire their substantial exercise and further extension. Dissatisfaction naturally commenced in Lower Canada, the most powerful and progressive of the six colonies, and spread to the others. The question of becoming independent often agitated the minds of the Canadians, and after the triumphs of the revolutionary principle in Europe during the ten years preceding 1840, the excitement of the people was strongly in favor of a government similar to that “composing the industrious, moral and prosperous confederations of the United States.” The Assembly of Lower Canada, in 1834, passed a set of resolutions, asking for a Legislative Council chosen by the people, instead of by the Crown, and the power of revising the constitution. They declared that by this measure the British Parliament “would preserve a friendly intercourse between Great Britain and this province, as her colony, as long as the tie between us shall continue, and as her ally whenever the course of events may change our relative position.”

The sentiment of the people as represented in the lower house became so strong for reform of existing government or entire independence, that they “Resolved, that the neighbouring states have a form of government very fit to prevent abuses of power, and very effective in repressing them ; that the reverse of this order of things has always prevailed in Canada under the present form of government; that there exists in the neighbouring states a stronger and more general attachment to the national institutions than in any other country, and that there exists also in those states a guarantee for the progressive advance of their political institutions toward perfection, in the revision of the same at short and determinate intervals, by conventions of the people, in order that they may without shock or violence be adapted to the actual state of things.” Not content with these bold, and, as the British thought, treasonable expressions, they added that ” the institutions of Great Britain are altogether different from our own,” and ” that the unanimous consent with which all American States have adopted and extended the elective system, shows that it is adapted to the wishes, manners, and social state of the inhabitants of this continent. These numerous petitions, complaints and demands for redress of grievances were caused by the desire of the French Canadians to keep alive their nationality, the influence of American agitators, and the conflict of the two races arising out of those land grants which we have already investigated, as well as those made to the British-American Land Company, which increased the influence of the mother country. It is not necessary to trace the history of this agitation onward through its various stages. The people demanded:

  1. An Elective Council.
  2. The repeal of the Tenures Act, and the act creating the British-American Land Company.
  3. Complete Parliamentary control over the whole of the lands belonging to the colony.
  4. Complete control over revenue and expenditures.

The clamor for an elective legislative body was made by the French element, which was opposed to the English, and desired authority over the immediate representatives of the Crown. The Assembly withheld the supplies, and there followed acts of disorder, causing the rebellion of 1837-8 for national independence which was soon put down by those who were loyal to England and desired her supremacy. The leader of the revolt was Louis Joseph Papineau an ambitious French Canadian of mild manners, but possessing a discontented mind filled with theories for the advancement of the people of his nationality. He thought that by causing the Canadians to revolt he might gain the independence of Canada, with himself as Dictator, after the manner of the revolutionary leaders of France. The constitution of Lower Canada was suspended, and Lord Durham, who was appointed to administer the provisionary government, made a report on the conditions and needs of the province in which he recommended the restrictions of the French language and the union of the British North American possesions because “it would enable the province to cooperate for all common purposes, and above all, it would form a great and powerful people, possessing the means of securing good and responsible government for itself, and which, under the protection of the British Empire, might in some measure, counterbalance the preponderous and increasing influence of the United States on the American continent.”

The result was a bill brought forward by Lord John Russel, during the session of 1839, providing for a new constitution. The debates that followed were interesting and important, and local and responsible government received full consideration. Lord John Russel did not want separation, but said that the interference of the Imperial Parliament in affairs of colonial government ought to be confined to extreme cases. Therefore, by the constitution of 1840, the two provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, which had been separate since 1791, were united, and a government established whereby England removed the management of local affairs from the combinations and agitations in home politics, and permitted Canada to approach nearer the ideal self-government system of Teutonic states. Representation was divided equally between the two provinces, although Lower Canada was more populous. Lord Syndenham, who came out as Governor, succeeded, during his short term of office, in counteracting the French-Canadian influence by procuring an Anglo-Canadian majority in both Houses of the Parliament of the united province. This caused a feeling of security for a time in the country, since legislation was toward securing titles to real property and the abolition of the feudal system. One of the most successful arguments to excite rebellion had been that the inhabitants would free themselves from seignioral dues. The political movements of the times succeeding, were the endeavors of the “Liberals” and “Conservatives” to get the upper hand, and of the Governors to please both elements of the population. The Liberals had in their party the French-Canadian faction, headed by Mr. Papineau, who had been conspicuous in the late rebellion. They frequently agitated the subject of annexation or independence, and were encouraged by American speculators and those who had strong democratic ideas. It was through their maneuvering that the Rebellion Losses Indemnity Bill was passed through both Houses and received, from Lord Elgin, his sanction and recommendation to the home government. Annexation associations were formed in a few places, but the movement was confined to no particular party. It was noticeable that persons of the most opposite political views on domestic questions forgot their differences and united in their advocacy of this great scheme. The annexation manifestoes were approved by many who thought that England’s policy at that time was in favor of getting rid of her colonies. The position taken by many of the leading London papers, for example, the Times, was such as to convey this impression. It is likely that some decisive action would have been taken but for the internal disturbances in the United States which preceded the Civil War. Opposed to the Annexationists was a strong party consisting of the Roman Catholic clergy, with their French-Canadian followers, and the Conservatives. The latter, after the passage of the Rebellion Losses Indemnity Bill, had banded themselves into a ” British American League,” which was loyal to England and instrumental in restoring peace and order. The Conservative party began to lose power, and there was a movement in all parties toward reform. That part of Canada known as the maritime provinces does not need as much attention in a constitutional history, inasmuch as it has not been subject to the French influence. It was originally Acadie, but in the year 1749 England colonized it and gave it the name Nova Scotia (–not exactly…), including the provinces of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. The latter was constituted a distinct province in 1770, and the former in 1784.

These provinces were colonized by English, Scotch and U. E. Loyalists, and, therefore, remained in sympathy with British institutions. Their government was more responsible than that of French Canada and freer from great internal dissensions. It was quite natural, therefore, that Nova Scotia should take the first step toward forming a confederation of the provinces on the plan of responsible government so often proposed in political crises. This province, with that of New Brunswick, urged the union, and there resulted a conference of delegates from all the provinces at Quebec, October 10th, 1865, in which was formed the foundation of the present constitution and government. The Fenian movement against Canada in June, 1866, did not arise from a desire for annexation, but was planned by the leader, O’Neil, and his American followers, through sympathy for Irish independence. Their intention was to injure England and help Ireland gain its freedom. The government of Canada soon restored peace ; the United States then, as in the subsequent raid of 1869 by the same leader, giving assistance. The British North American Act federally united the provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and made provisions for the admission of other parts of British North America. The province of Canada was divided into the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, having their territories co-extensive with the old provinces of Upper and Lower Canada. Provincial constitutions were given to these provinces according to the constitutions existing before the Union Act of 1840. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick retained the same boundaries and provincial constitutions. Before entering on the discussion of the constitution it would be well to speak of the provinces lately admitted into the Dominion of Canada.

Manitoba was part of the territory granted to the Hudson Bay Company by Charles II. In 1811 the Earl of Selkirk, who owned stock in the company, purchased a large tract of country covering what is now Manitoba, and established a colony of Scotch, which was unsuccessful. The company bought it back in 1835 and established a government with a Governor and Council. Legislation over Rupert’s Land and the Northwest Territories was vested in the Dominion in 1868, when a provisional government was established, but owing to the consequent conflicting rights of the company and the government, a rebellion arose among the French [Metis] led by Louis Riel, which resulted in the immediate establishment and entrance into the Dominion, in 1870, of the province of Manitoba. Its government is vested in a Lieutenant-Governor and Executive Council, and a Legislative Assembly. The Saskatchewan rebellion, in 1882, also led by Louis Riel, caused the formation of the provisional districts of Assinboia, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Athabasca, of the Northwest Territories, with a Lieutenant Governor and Council. British Columbia was also a part of the Hudson Bay Company’s territory, but at the time of the “gold fever” of 1858, it received distinct territorial government. Vancouvers Island was united with it in 1860. In 1871 it entered the Dominion with a constitution consisting of a Lieutenant-Governor, an Executive Council and a Legislative Assembly. Prince Edward Island entered in 1873, and has a legislature consisting of a Lieutenant-Governor, a Legislative Council and an Assembly. The Canadian constitution is based upon the English, although in many respects it borrowed from the American.

The Imperial Parliament does not allow local jurisdiction over those matters which regard imperial interests and honor, but maintains a large amount of control over the Dominion government, especially by reserving to England the rights of appointing the Governor-general, of making treaties and of disallowing acts not affecting trade and commerce. The Dominion can alter its constitution only through the Imperial Parliament and not, as in the United States, through the ratification by three-fourths of the states, of amendments proposed by a convention called by Congress or proposed by two-thirds of both Houses of that body. The local self-government system is in many respects directly the reverse of that in the United States. The provinces possess only the power of legislating on those matters allowed by the Dominion constitution. The government at Washington, on the other hand, is limited in its functions under the constitution by the rights of the several states. Here we find the distinction between “states” and “provinces.”

Imperial control in all matters can be traced to the fountainhead in the will of the sovereign prerogative. For the purpose of examining the constitution and comparing it with that of the United States let us glance briefly at the legislative powers, subject to the Imperial Parliament as embodied in the Governor General, Senate and House of Commons in the central government, and the legislatures in the provinces. The Governor-General, who represents the dignity of sovereignty is appointed by the Crown, and can be removed at pleasure. He appoints the member of the Senate from the provinces, and the Lieutenant- Generals. The members of the Senate hold office for life, and are of the aristocratic class. They therefore vote down all measures that may tend to diminish the power of the Crown or undermine their secure and lofty positions. The lack of real interest for local affairs in the provinces from which they are appointed gives them little support in the popular feeling, since their motives are not always for the best interest of the people. Canadian Senators do not fear the loss of votes at a re-election, and therefore do not have that incentive which spurs on the American Senator to advance the power of his state according to the idea of his constituents. The members of the House of Commons are chosen by the people and represent the true democratic ideas of government. Since 1885 the franchise in Canada has been uniform and based on ownership, occupation or income. The right to vote is given to all who possess the following qualifications:

  1. The ownership or occupation for at least one year of premises of the value of $300, in cities; $200 in towns, and $150 in other places.
  2. An income of $300 a year or an annuity of $100, provided there has existed a residence of one year.
  3. The father’s ownership or occupation, as required gives the franchise to the sons.
  4. Possession of fishing outfits to the value of $300.

This law regarding electors seems to be an improvement on the too liberal granting of the franchise practiced in many of our states. The government of Canada is in three branches, decidedly unlike the three powers in the United States, where there is a balance of power, each branch being able to veto the acts of the other two, and each receiving its authority from the people. Each state, in exercising those attributes not relegated to the central government under the federal constitution, is a commonwealth enjoying domestic sovereignty. By an admirable method adopted by the framers of the constitution the representation at Washington of states unequal in areas and populations is provided. The Senate is composed of two members from each state, who compose the Federal or Upper House, while in the Lower or National House the members are in proportion to the population of each state. In Canada, the Upper House and the Governor-General, though the latter is usually careful with his veto, work for the interests of the Crown, and the voice of the people can only be heard in the Lower House and the Privy Council of the Governor-General, according to the plan of responsible government.

There is no equality among the provinces; each is only a part of the whole Dominion. They are represented in the Senate as follows:

  1. Ontario, 24 members
  2. Quebec, 24
  3. Nova Scotia, 10
  4. New Brunswick, 10
  5. Manitoba, 3
  6. British Columbia, 3
  7. Prince Edward Island, 4
  8. Northwest Territories, 2.

The House of Commons consists of 215 members, representing the provinces as follows:

  1. Ontario, 92 members, representing a population of 20,904 to each.
  2. Quebec, 65 members, representing a population of 20,908 to each.
  3. Nova Scotia, 21 members representing a population of 20,979 to each.
  4. New Brunswick, 16 members, representing a population of 20,077 to each.
  5. Manitoba, 5 members, representing a population of 21,728 to each.
  6. British Columbia, 6 members, representing a population of 8,243 to each.
  7. Prince Edward Island, 6 members, representing a population of 18,148 to each.
  8. The Territories, 4 members, representing a population of 12,090 to each.

The number of 65 members for the province of Quebec was fixed, as it was thought that the population was of a permanent character, upon which the representation from the other provinces could be based. For each of the other provinces the members are in such proportion to the population, as ascertained every ten years, as the number 65 bears to the number of the population of Quebec. Thus it may be noticed that in the two provinces especially subject to the French and Catholic influence, the representation in the Dominion Parliament is greater than in the other provinces and sufficient to have a preponderating weight in all matters that come before it. The Queen has concurrent power over all matters within the legislative jurisdiction of the Dominion government, since she is not divested of her prerogative powers, and the Dominion government, in turn, over matters in the Provincial government. But within certain limits each legislature is supreme. The people of Canada are thus subject to the mother country through three legislative bodies.  The lowest body is that of the province, headed by a Lieutenant Governor, whose acts can be vetoed by the higher bodies. England, therefore, has great power over Canada, for although she allows the government to regulate all matters between the provinces, as well as those pertaining to its own internal affairs, she will treat with the provinces only through the Dominion Parliament, which in turn must direct its communications to the Crown through the Colonial Office. If the present status of Canada should change, it is generally agreed upon that it will take one of these three destinies

  1. Imperial Federation.
  2. Independence and a new American Republic.
  3. Annexation to the United States.

Imperial Federation

The tendency of colonies has been to overcome their sense of inferiority by resenting the legal exercise of imperial powers. After attaining a mature growth, like the child become a man, they desire to leave the protection of the mother country and assume sovereign powers. To counteract this tendency, and secure a closer political union between England and her colonies, statesmen have long advocated a plan of Imperial Federation. By this system they propose to establish on a firm basis the relation which a dependency bears to the centre of power in the empire, and so define and regulate reciprocal obligations that distant and powerful colonies can be maintained as parts of one great empire. Thus, as the force of gravitation can hold the far off planets in subjection to the sun as the centre of one system, this Imperial Federation would unite states independent in their internal affairs into one great nation. A new body would be formed for imperial matters, and the colonies would enjoy independent legislative powers in all matters of self-government. The colonies would be on the same footing and free to act within the scope of their prescribed powers, but all subject to the decision of a common supreme tribunal. They would be immediately interested in all international affairs and have a power of voting on all such questions. War, therefore, could not be declared by England without the consent of her colonies, thus avoiding the often repeated complaint of colonies that they are compelled to assist in wars in which they have no interest. England could not impose taxes without their consent. Imperial rights would be exercised to maintain the unity of the empire, and promote the common interests of all its widespread possessions. There would be an universal military organization, and an universal commercial union establishing free trade between distant parts of the empire.

This theory of Imperial Federation is not one peculiar to modern colonial reformers, but is the outcome of ideas long cherished by those who believe in self-government. If we trace back through the events of colonial history of the United States, and examine carefully the charters granting lands in America, we shall see that the colonies enjoyed local autonomy subject to the sovereignty of the Crown. In the event of Imperial Federation the present colonies would tend to become sovereignties, and representatives in the federal congress would be partly ambassadorial. The representation from distant states with democratic ideas would tend to abolish the English hereditary nobility. Thus it is a question whether England would lose or gain power by this scheme. The advocates of this system belong to both parties in England, and for the purpose of discussing its practicability, are bound together in a society called the Federation League. Sir John Macdonald, the Premier of Canada, is a member, and has for his associates a wealthy class who think that by this method the annexation or independence of Canada would be retarded. The Marquis of Lome, in a work entitled “Imperial Federation,” says “Does not disintegration loom in the future, and is not the independence of Australia, and the annexation of Canada, a result sure to follow the local freedom practiced throughout the Anglo-Saxon Empire ?”


The recent growth of nations has been toward democracy. In former times the people never conceived the idea of a social condition different from that in which they were born, but as intelligence spread and knowledge became general, the principles of action in economics, education and religion advanced toward democracy. The people have gradually learned -that they are sovereign and constitute the state. Political independence, therefore, has raised itself from the relics of religious superstition and feudalism. Since the separation of the American colonies from the mother country in which Canada refused to join, struggling nations have turned to the example of the North American Republic for political reform. England may expect the separation of all her colonies. Her course in regard to them has been a beneficial one, but not made for ever.

The people of the colonies can move an overwhelming preponderance of power against existing institutions. They are thousands of miles from the mother country and almost independent in their self-government. Thus the only tie that binds is the military and diplomatic protection of England. Does Canada need this protection? The confederation has proved of great benefit to the country in creating an almost national existence, and was brought about by Canadian statesmen. It was a step toward Imperial Federation, since in all matters concerning their interests England consults Canada, and has appointed on such commissions, as that of the fisheries men who were especially interested in the promotion of Canadian affairs. Then, the idea of federation has been, in a small degree, carried out by Canada having a resident in London, known as High Commissioner, who acts in accordance with his instructions from the Dominion government. The first commissioner was Sir Alexander Gait, who was followed by Sir Charles Tupper. England has often assured Canada that she will protect its interests in the negotiations of all treaties, and has evinced a desire to retain only the treaty-making power. This, then, is intended as a link of connection whereby England, through honor and affection may continue her protection, at the same time allowing the Dominion Parliament almost sovereign powers. Canada has passed through the stages of development usual in all nations from the despotism under the old regime to the constitutional period, when the struggle between the monarch and the people took place, which led to the present self-government. It is but a short step forward to complete independence. Whether this will occur in the near future is a question which must be determined by the majority of the Canadian people, but political sentiment is divided between the Conservatives, Liberals and French Nationalists. The Conservatives are the old Canadians who still cling to the British flag, because under its protection they feel secure. They are the wealthier class of the population and compose the society immediately outside of the royal and aristocratic retinue attached to the Governor-General. He is the representative of royalty and in his person brings forcibly to the minds of the Conservatives their allegiance to the English Crown, which he represents. The Conservatives, headed by the old and beloved Premier, Sir John Macdonald, hold the most important offices, and therefore do not want the present condition of affairs disturbed. The Orangemen must also be classed in this party, although many of them since the allowance of the Jesuits’ Estates Bill have gone over to the Liberals. The Liberals comprise the “Young Canada” element of the population, and instead of being British colonists, would prefer to say: “We are Canadians” or possibly, “We are Americans.” There is no aristocracy in Canada that is regarded by the people as constituting their natural superiors and rulers, and the Liberals are asking the question

“Why not elect our own Governor and Senators?” Expressions are now frequently used which would have been regarded as high treason before the Union Act. The desire for independence or a national change has been admitted, even by those newspapers which work in the interest of the government. The London Free Press, the Windsor Review, the St. Catharine Star, the Toronto Mail and numerous other papers see indications of independence. Since the organization of a national party, whose motto was “Canada First,” the spirit of national independence has rapidly increased. The young Liberal Clubs in all parts of the Dominion are increasing their memberships even from the ranks of the Conservatives. The issue of independence has been frequently brought forward, and elections have taken place of candidates who were in favor of independence. There has been exhibited in Windsor, Ontario, a proposed Canadian flag of dark blue with a red square in the corner, in which is displayed a white beaver representing the Northwest territories, while in the blue field are seven stars representing the provinces.

The French Nationalists constitute a third and independent party, and side with that party in all political questions who will enable them to retain their ethnic and confessional autonomy. Those misunderstandings and differences which the inhabitants of Quebec have had so long with the Anglo-Canadians have not been dispelled by confederation. The growth of empire in the Northwest, and the ethnic influence which always existed in their favor among [Metis] has raised new hopes. They have long maintained a French Catholic province on an English Protestant continent, and hope ere long to see it promoted into a nation. The leading papers in Quebec have frequently expressed this desire of the French Canadians, and in a recent article La Verite says: “Let us say it boldly—the ideal of the ‘French Canadian people is not the ideal of the other races which today inhabit the land our fathers subdued for Christian civilization. Our ideal is the formation here, in this corner of the earth watered by the blood of our heroes, of a nation which shall perform on this continent, the part France has played so long in Europe. Our aspiration is to found a nation which, socially, shall profess the Catholic faith and speak the French language. That is not and cannot be the aspiration of the other races. To say, then, that all the groups which constitute confederation are animated by one and the same aspiration is to utter a sounding phrase without political or historical meaning. For us the present form of government is not and cannot be the last word of our national existence. It is merely a road toward the goal we have in view. Let us never lose sight of our national destiny; rather let us constantly prepare ourselves to fulfill it worthily at the hour decreed by Providence, which circumstances shall reveal to us.”

On the other hand, the Anglo-Canadians see that if they would establish a great nation they must abolish French institutions, the levying of tithes, and the maintenance of parochial schools by public money. These ethnic and religious differences retard the growth of independence and act as a drawback to annexation, for annexation is not likely to take place until after independence. Since Brazil has changed its government, and its de-facto existence has been acknowledged, British America is the only country on the hemisphere not a republic. England’s right to govern Canada is based wholly on the presumption that it is not able to govern itself. Is it not proper, then, that she should cease to play the part of a parent, by withdrawing that protection for which Ireland as well as Great Britain must pay? Her indirect liabilities through keeping the Canadian connection are enormous, since their commercial policies are at right angles, and England is prevented from entering into whatever relations she pleases with the United States. When Canada is free and exists under a policy of peace and free commerce it will be a matter of history as to her ultimate destiny. But we can only conjecture that, after the French influence has been over- come by an increased population, the greater nation will absorb the smaller on the North American continent.


Although Canada is practically sovereign—a “semi-sovereignty”—it has not the power to discharge external functions, and is not a state in an international position. Therefore, in exercising power given by the constitution, whereby “new states may be admitted by the Congress into the Union,” it is necessary for us to consider our international relations with England. The methods by which annexation may be brought about are

  1. Conquest by the United States.
  2. Independence of Canada and cession of its territory by its people.
  3. Cession of Canada by its people with the consent of Parliament and the Crown.
  4. Treaty arrangement between Great Britain and the United States, and the consent of the Canadian people.

Behind the constitution there is a right to acquire territory by conquest, which is “an incident of sovereignty.” This is a power that has always existed, but in the present, development of international law and human rights, it is only exercised in the subjection of uncivilized people and semi-states. The interference of the United States in Canadian affairs would probably bring about a war with England, but other nations would not be likely to interfere in a movement in which they are not concerned, whereby the United States would prepare the way for that certain future advance in population and national prosperity. If it had been our policy to conquor, Canada would have belonged to the United States long ago, since statesmen have often referred to the advisability of annexation.

Mr. Clay, in a speech on the occupation of West Florida, said: “I am not, sir, in favor of cherishing the passion of conquest, but I must be permitted to conclude by declaring my hope to see, ere long, the New United States (if you will allow me the expression), embracing not only the old thirteen states but the entire country east of the Mississippi, including East Florida, and some of the territories to the north of us also.” It is the peculiar duty of a Republic to recognize the rights of other peoples, and so endeavor to maintain them. The second method is very simple, for as an independent state, Canada could rightfully cede her whole territory and unite her government with us without the interference of any foreign power. In treating the third method by which annexation might be accomplished, we must consider that Canada has not the power of making treaties with foreign states, which is an incident to sovereignty. But it might appoint a committee to treat with the United States, with the positive or tacit consent of the mother country, the conclusions of which might be accepted by the sovereign through a treaty.

This method would depend upon the willingness of England to permit Canada to go forth from her protection, and differs from the fourth method in the source from which the proposals for annexation seem to eminate. It is founded on the theory that the people constitute the state and that from them must proceed any desire for a change. The negotiation of treaties between sovereigns, is a usual method of annexation, as was demonstrated in the annexation of Schleswig-Holstein to Prussia, of the Neopolitan Provinces to Italy, and of Savoy and Nice to France.   ̶I̶n̶ ̶a̶l̶l̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶s̶e̶ ̶c̶a̶s̶e̶s̶  The plebiscite of the people  ̶w̶a̶s̶  should be obtained before the cession ̶s̶  is  ̶w̶e̶r̶e̶  completed.

If England had the power to barter or give Canada without the will of the people, she might cede the territory to China or Russia; and thus a great social disturbance would occur through difference in unities. Whereas the United States is the only country to which Canada could properly be annexed. Now, as to the organization of the new government and relations. It would not be necessary to obtain the consent of each state in the Union for the admission of Canada, as long as there were a majority in Congress in favor of the union. This was demonstrated in the annexation of Texas. On the other hand, the Dominion could not cede the territory without the consent of the people of each province, for this would be a violation of the principle which we have just seen. For the same reason, England has been unable to join Newfoundland to the Dominion. Therefore, any province might declare its independence and unite its government with us; but it would be a violation of de jure rights under the Dominion, as the provinces have not sovereignty or the power to secede.

This has been clearly demonstrated by the uneasiness of Nova Scotia since confederation. This province was the first to propose the new government, but it soon desired to withdraw from a union with its undesirable neighbors—a procedure which it found impossible. Lately this desire for a change has clearly shown itself, nor would it be surprising if a proposition for annexation should come from this English province. The inhabitants of the ceded territory would be admitted according to the principle of our federal constitution, into all the rights of citizens of the United States. The rights and obligations which belonged to each province before the union would be binding upon them or the government at Washington. Thus the debt of Canada would be assumed by the federal government, apportioned among the provinces as it was before the Dominion Act, or divided according to relative population. The annexed territory would retain all its private rights of property in the soil, and the public buildings would belong to the province in which they are situated.

Having discussed the methods of annexation the next question is its practicability. On casting a retrospective eye on the progress of Canada we cannot but be struck with the difficulties it has had to encounter before attaining its present position on the threshold of a new existence. It is governed by institutions and laws similar to our own, and inhabited by a people, many of whom have a like origin, education and religion with ourselves. But we have seen differences between the populations which can only be gradually eliminated by social fusion. The question of religion in state and common schools would be a source of discussion and controversy, since we are apt to maintain our belief in non-sectarianism as a policy superior to that of Canada. We must not look to the provinces of Quebec, Ontario and those on the Atlantic, whose future can only be prophesied by the historic past, for a beneficial union with us, but to the wonderfully fertile and sparsely populated country extending to the Pacific. The west and northwest are receiving a tide of immigration which must, through similarity in ethnical character, develop social institutions suitable for an intimate alliance with us. The territory of the Dominion is contiguous, and annexation, if not necessary, would at least permit the extension of our commerce with perfect freedom and security. Its numerous harbors, large rivers and communications connect its people with our own, and, by the representative system and the avoidance of sectional prejudices and factions, the United States though of vast extent, might with perfect harmony and security expand into an entire North American Republic.”

Aitken, William Benford. “The Dominion of Canada; a study of annexation”, New York, H. K. Van Sielen, 1890. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.gdc/scd0001.00173951760

Local Government in Nova Scotia

The local government history of Nova Scotia reflects a circuitous progression, from central control to increasing local autonomy and back again to centralized control. From its inception in 1605 with Port Royal, local governance was essentially an extension of central government, lacking elected councils or municipal institutions. Annapolis Royal saw early attempts at local government with the establishment of a civil council in 1720 and a general court in 1721. Halifax’s founding in 1749 marked a shift, with the establishment of Quarter Sessions, allowing for local governance with administrative and judicial functions. The system was influenced by both the Virginia and New England-style systems, with Quarter Sessions and an Inferior Court of Common Pleas.

New England settlers in Halifax demanded greater local self-government, leading to conflicts and eventual incorporation of Halifax in 1841 after a push by figures like Joseph Howe. Despite earlier attempts at incorporation, Halifax faced disallowance due to resistance from the Legislative Council. Meanwhile, outside Halifax, the Quarter Sessions system persisted until 1879 when county incorporation became compulsory, replacing the old system with elected municipal councils. Towns also sought incorporation, Dartmouth being the first in 1873, with eight towns incorporated by 1888.

Towns had to meet population and area requirements for incorporation, with mayors and councillors elected for two-year terms. The councils had broad powers, including taxation and infrastructure development. By 1954, Nova Scotia comprised 18 counties, 24 rural municipalities, 39 incorporated towns, and 2 cities, each with its own local government structure, independent of county or district authority. By 1961 Dartmouth became the third incorporated city.

Functions of local government expanded over time, responding to social and economic changes. Traditional roles included regulation and service provision, such as supporting the poor, maintaining roads, and education. However, more modern demands led to the development of new services like community planning, housing, and recreation.

Financially, municipalities initially relied on property taxes but faced challenges due to increased demands and inflation. Provincial assistance, through grants and shared responsibilities, became essential, especially during times of war and economic downturns. Tax rental agreements and conditional grants help fund services like education and social assistance, reflecting a shift towards greater Provincial and Federal involvement.

Since the 1996 amalgamation, which unilaterally consolidated several local entities into one unit, local government in Nova Scotia has undergone significant restructuring. The dissolution of distinct municipalities has reshaped the landscape, upending established institutions, the concept of local government itself and the constitutional frameworks upon which it relied.

Although there were no parliamentary institutions of any kind in the area during the French regime, local government of one sort or another has existed in Nova Scotia from the founding of Port Royal in 1605. It began not with elected municipal councils, nor with incorporated towns and cities, not even with the Court of Sessions or the Quarter Sessions. In its beginning it was essentially an extension of the arm of the central government.

…central administration at Annapolis Royal was modified and a measure of local government was provided. At Annapolis Royal a civil council was established in 1720 and a general court in 1721. The Acadians continued to choose their own deputies annually; Acadians acted as collectors of quit rents, notaries, herdsmen and overseers; and one Acadian (notwithstanding the difficulty over oaths of office) was commissioned justice of the peace in 1727. At Canso from 1720 there were justices of the peace, who were also usually captains of the militia there. Moreover, during his visits to Canso, Lieutenant-Governor Armstrong gave at least a semblance of local government to the place, by consulting the justices of the peace and a committee of the people there. “the least appearance of a Civil Government:’ he wrote, “being much more agreeable to Inhabitants than that of a Martial.”

Quarter Sessions:
With the founding of Halifax by more than 2500 people from the Old Country in 1749, the seat of government was transferred to it from Annapolis Royal, and soon a system of local government by Quarter Sessions was established in the new capital. This system had been in operation in England for a long time; it was now transplanted in Nova Scotia. The Court of Quarter Sessions, composed of Justices of the Peace appointed by the Governor and Council, enabled the central government to extend its influence into local affairs. The Quarter Sessions had administrative as well as judicial functions; these included the appointment of local officers; licensing of taverns; control over weights and measures; fixing of certain prices; levying of poor and county rates; and control over roads and bridges, prisons and hospitals, and other public works.

The first Justices of the Peace for the Township of Halifax were commissioned on July 18, 1749. In December of the same year justices of the County Court were appointed, and a commission of the peace for the appointment of justices of the town and county of Halifax was issued. The justices of the County Court took their oath of office on December 27, 1749. and the County Court met for the first time on January 2, 1750. Although the first records of the Quarter Sessions are not now available (few being extant prior to 1766), it is likely that the Quarter Sessions first met on the same day as the County Court. Thus it seems quite clear that the Quarter Sessions were established at Halifax early in 1750. A year later the people were given a direct voice in choosing certain minor town officers. On January 14, 1751 the Governor and Council ordered that the town and suburbs of Halifax were to be divided into eight wards, and that the inhabitants were to be empowered annually to choose eight town overseers, one town clerk, sixteen constables and eight scavengers, for managing such prudential affairs of the town as should be committed to their care by the Governor and Council. For several years the annual election of constables was the only part of local government in which the people directly participated, and this was afterwards taken over by the Quarter Sessions.

If settlers from Old England founded Halifax, people from New England soon constituted the most important element in the new town. They quickly arrived in considerable numbers, in order to take advantage of the opportunities in trade or of the privileges accorded to settlers. Jealousy soon arose between the New World and the Old World settlers. with those from New England insisting upon a greater measure of local self-government and upon the adoption of practices to which they had previously been accustomed. At the outset the government had been modelled after that of Virginia, and accordingly, a County Court, meeting monthly, had been established. By March 2, 1752, however, a change was made in line with New England practice. The County Court became an Inferior Court of Common Pleas, meeting not monthly, but quarterly, on the first Tuesday in March, the first Tuesday in June, the first Tuesday in September, and the first Tuesday in December. As the justices of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas were also Justices of the Peace, the Quarter Sessions opened the same day as the Inferior Court, and the same Jurymen attended both courts.

For a few years, until a House of Assembly was established in 1758, the Governor and the Council of Twelve at Halifax enjoyed a monopoly of power and patronage. At the first session of the Legislature, however, the Assembly (more than half of whose members were of New England origin) initiated legislation to provide a municipal council for Halifax. Rather than agree to this bill, the Council now prepared a bill of its own for erecting Halifax into a parish, with power to provide for its own poor. A conference between the two houses was held, and a compromise seemed to be reached; yet, when the Assembly embodied this agreement in a bill for choosing town officers for the town and suburbs of Halifax and for prescribing their duty, the Council continued to procrastinate. It apparently resented the Assembly’s initiative and early in the following year it rejected the bill on the ground that it was contrary to His Majesty’s instructions. It is clear that when machinery was provided in 1759 for township government in Halifax victory lay with the Council.

Strange to say, this machinery was provided by a bill entitled “An Act for Preventing Trespasses” [extended to Dartmouth in 1818 “An act to extend the provisions of c15 of 1761 relating to Trespasses, to the Town of Pictou and the Town Plot of Dartmouth, 1818 c23“, see also “For regulating the Dartmouth Common, 1841 c52“, “An Act for Preventing Trespasses“] which was introduced in the Legislative Council and afterwards amended by the Assembly and by the Council. It empowered a joint committee of the Council and Assembly to nominate four suitable overseers of the poor, two clerks of the market, two fence viewers, two hog-reeves, and four surveyors of highways for the town of Halifax to serve until the autumn when the Grand Jury should nominate, and their Court of Sessions should appoint their successors. Thereafter annual selections were to be made in this manner. This machinery became the model for township government in Nova Scotia until 1765, when the mode of appointing town officers was modified. At that time the Grand Jury, selected by lot, was empowered to nominate two or more persons for each office, and the Court of Sessions was empowered to choose and appoint the officers from these nominees. Subsequently, in 1811, it was arranged that the number nominated was to be as the justices in sessions might direct, “as the numbers before limited by law were found insufficient.”

The New England Form of Township Government:
For a brief period the New England form of township government, with the direct democracy of the town meeting, was in operation in part of Nova Scotia. It was introduced at the beginning of a substantial wave of New England migration in 1760. In an attempt to fill up land recently vacated by the Acadians or never previously occupied, the authorities had promised New Englanders central and local institutions similar to their own. Between 1760 and 1765 approximately 8,000 New Englanders migrated to the agricultural townships in the Annapolis Valley, along Minas Basin and across the Isthmus of Chignecto, and to the townships for fishermen and lumbermen along the South Shore. Those who arrived in 1760, accustomed to choosing their own officers and managing their own affairs, immediately inaugurated the same sort of township government in Nova Scotia. A provincial statute was passed to enable proprietors to divide their lands, and they appointed their own committee for this purpose until His Majesty disallowed the Act in 1761. [1760 c3, “An ACT, To Explain An Act, made and passed in the Twenty Third Year of His Majesty’s Reign, entitled, “An Act to enable Proprietors to divide their lands held in common and undivided”]

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1760 c3, “An ACT, To Explain An Act, made and passed in the Twenty Third Year of His Majesty’s Reign, entitled, “An Act to enable Proprietors to divide their lands held in common and undivided”

The Extension of the Quarter Sessions:
The local autonomy and the direct democracy characteristic of township government in the new settlements were soon replaced by the extension of central authority and by the adoption of the principle of indirect rather than direct election. The British and Virginian way of Quarter Sessions prevailed over the New England style of township government.

In 1759 the province was divided into the five counties of Halifax, Annapolis, Kings, Lunenburg and Cumberland. Two years later, after His Majesty disallowed the act passed to enable proprietors to divide their lands, committees for that purpose were appointed by the Governor and Council. In the same year the judicial organization of Quarter Sessions and Inferior Court of Common Pleas that already existed in Halifax County was extended to Lunenburg, Kings and Annapolis Counties, and provision was made for the nomination of surveyors of highways by the Grand Jury at the General Sessions of the Peace. This mode of appointment was soon expanded to include all town officers that were chosen prior to the Act of 1765. It left the choice of the officers exclusively to the Grand Jury; but by the Act of 1765 the Grand Jury could only nominate two or more persons for each office, and then the Court of Quarter Sessions those and appointed the officers from those nominees. The central government regained control over the associated proprietors of the township by a statute prescribing that township lands could be apportioned and divided into individual shares, only after a writ had been obtained for that purpose from the Supreme Court. The provost marshal or his deputy, to whom this writ was to be addressed, had to act by inquisition of a jury in the presence of two Justices of the Peace. As new counties and districts were created, the Quarter Sessions extended into them. This system of local government by Quarter Sessions was the general mode in Nova Scotia for more than a century

Personnel In the Quarter Sessions:
In the Court of Quarter Sessions the sheriff, an appointee of the Crown, was the executive officer. Prior to 1778 there had been one provost marshal for the whole province; but thereafter there was a sheriff for each county. Until 1849 the county sheriff was chosen and appointed by the Governor and Council from a list of three names prepared by the Chief Justice or the presiding Justice. An amendment in 1849 provided for the list of three names to be made by the Chief Justice and a puisne judge for, if the Chief Justice were absent, by two puisne judges, acting with two members of the Executive Council. The Justices of the Peace were also appointed by the Crown, and they held office during the pleasure of the Crown. The Grand Jury was a select few who represented the people. It was composed of residents having freehold property of a yearly value of £10 or personal of £100. Each year the sheriff prepared a list of those qualified to serve, and at a stated time the required number of names was drawn from the box.

The Incorporation of Halifax:

[There have been at least three previous attempts to incorporate Halifax: one in 1758, as noted earlier in the Quarter Sessions section, another in 1785, and a third in 1814. However, each of these endeavors faced disallowance, either from the Legislature or the Legislative Council. In later historical accounts of Joseph Howe, one aspect that has notably been removed is his involvement in the push to incorporate Halifax. This involvement primarily revolved around his confrontation with the magistrates, which, within the framework of the existing Quarter Sessions system, represented the closest semblance to a municipal institution we would recognize today.]

Abuses crept into the system, and there were criticisms of its operation in Halifax. Grand Jury after Grand Jury attacked it; there were complaints of unfair assessment, of inefficiency and neglect in the collecting of poor, and county rates, and of other forms of maladministration. The Grand Jury appealed to the Lieutenant-Governor to remedy the situation, and he requested the House of Assembly to do so. Early in 1835 a letter signed “The People”, but written by George Thompson, charging the magistrates of Halifax with misconduct, was published by Joseph Howe in The Nova Scotian. Howe was then prosecuted for criminal libel; he defended himself in a famous trial, the outcome of which was a triumphant acquittal, establishing the freedom of the press and foreshadowing reform in local government. The cry for incorporation grew more insistent. Eventually the old system was swept from Halifax, with the incorporation of the city in 1841. By the charter of that year Halifax was endowed with municipal privileges and securities. This development in local affairs took place seven years before responsible government was won in the wider field of provincial politics in 1848.

An Interlude:
Outside the city of Halifax, the system of local government by Quarter Sessions persisted relatively undisturbed for over thirty more years. In 1850, however, there was an attempt to divide Halifax County into townships and to provide each of its townships with an elected warden and councillors, who were to assume the administrative powers previously exercised by the Justices of the Peace. But a bill to achieve these ends met the disapproval of the Colonial Secretary.

In 1855-56 two provincial statutes provided machinery for the creation of municipal government in counties desiring it by majority vote. The Act of 1855 applied to the Counties of Yarmouth, Annapolis, Kings and Queens; that of 1856 to all the other counties. These acts were permissive not compulsory. They remained on the statute book until 1879, but the fear of heavier county rates prevented any County from adopting the principle of incorporation during those years.

Another Act of 1856 permitted the voluntary incorporation of townships. The municipal council of each township was to consist of five councillors, one of whom was to be the presiding officer, under the name of town reeve. It was to have power similar to that of a county council over roads, poor relief, assessment, and other matters. Only one township-Yarmouth-took advantage of this legislation and ventured upon the experiment of municipal incorporation; and it abandoned it by a majority vote of the electors, after a three years’ trial, in 1858.

As time passed, however, the larger communities sought more amenities. In order to provide them, they began to request incorporation. Thus the towns seemed more eager than the counties to obtain the privileges of self government, and especially the privileges of assessing for local purposes and of borrowing money. Prior to 1888 eight towns were incorporated. These were Dartmouth, (1873), Pictou (1874), New Glasgow (1875), Windsor (1878), North Sydney (1885), Sydney (1885), and Kentville (1886), each of which was incorporated by special Act.

A New System: Elected Municipal Councils:
By the County Incorporation Act of 1879, the incorporation of counties was made compulsory, and the old system of local government by the Quarter Sessions was at last swept away. Its principal object was to compel the Counties to tax themselves directly to keep up their roads and bridges. It provided for the incorporation of every county and sessional district in the province. Each municipal council was to consist of a warden and councillors, with the warden being chosen by the councillors. From the enactment of this statute to 1892, councillors sat for one year; since 1892, however, their term has been three years. Six of the eighteen counties are divided into two districts, making in all twenty-four rural municipalities. These are divided into polling districts, each of which is entitled according to population to at least one representative in the council. The councils have power to assess for specified purposes, including education, the support of the poor, prevention of disease, administration of justice, court house and jail, protection from fires, and so forth.

The Towns Incorporation Act of Nova Scotia was passed in 1888, revised in 1895, and embodied in the consolidation of 1900 and the revised statutes of 1954. It requires a majority vote of the ratepayers of the town in support of incorporation before it can be granted. It also requires a certain population within a specified area-in 1954 a population of over 1500 within an area of not more than 640 acres was required for any new incorporation. A mayor and not less than six councillors are elected for each town. The mayor and councillors generally hold office for two years; but one-half of the council usually retires each year. The mayor and the councillors are eligible for re-election.

The council has power to assess, collect, and appropriate all sums of money required by the town for erecting, acquiring, improving and furnishing buildings for public schools, fire department, police office, lockups, town hall or other town purpose: streets, sewers, water, town courts, police, support of the poor, salaries, and other town purposes. It appoints town officers, excepting the stipendiary magistrate. Every part of the province is contained within a city, or a town or a rural municipality. The province is divided into eighteen counties. Twelve of the counties constitute separate municipalities; and the remaining six counties are divided into two districts or municipalities each making a total of twenty-four rural municipalities. In addition, there are thirty nine incorporated towns and three cities: Halifax (1841), Sydney (1904), and Dartmouth (1961.)

Each town or city is geographically but not politically part of a county or district, and except for joint expenditures is independent of it.

Local Government in Nova Scotia:
Local government as we know it, has arisen to meet the needs of the people. but it is something more than an agency designed to provide services and to regulate private interests for the public welfare. It has a theoretical foundation as well as a practical responsibility. It is closely linked with the democratic philosophy. Consequently it must be considered not only for its efficiency but also for its place in the democratic process. Local government contributes to the strength of democratic institutions; being close to the people it makes government more responsive to local needs and enables the citizen to participate actively in the affairs of the community. It also serves as a training ground in governmental practices and procedures for those who may later serve the province or the nation.

The basic structure of the present system of local government in Nova Scotia must now be outlined. it rests upon the County Incorporation Act of 1879. the Towns Incorporation Act of 1888, and the special Acts by which the three cities were incorporated. It has some relationship to the earlier system of local government by Quarter Sessions, in that the Act of 1879 provided for the compulsory creation of 24 rural Municipalities, based on the boundaries of the Counties and Sessional Districts. Twelve of the eighteen Counties became separate Municipalities, while the remaining six were divided into two Municipalities each. Today there are 66 municipal units: 24 rural municipalities, 39 towns and three cities. These types of municipal units are similar in certain essentials. They are self-governing. Local matters are decided and local services are provided by elected bodies directly representative of the citizens. In addition, they have School Boards, which are chosen partly by the local Council and partly by the Governor-in-Council of the Province. But there are a number of differences. Although for administrative and electoral purposes all rural Municipalities are divided into districts, not all towns are divided into wards. Generally each district in a rural municipality elects one councillor, but some choose two, and a few return three each. In 1959 each of the 24 rural municipalities had from 4 to 24 districts, with from 8 to 26 councillors-a total of 323 districts, with 361 councillors. From late in 1961, however, the Municipality of the County of Halifax has 27 districts and 27 councillors. instead of 22 districts and 26 councillors as heretofore. Municipal councillors are elected for three-year terms.

On the other band, towns may be divided into wards (or electoral purposes, although such divisions are not compulsory. Thus, in 1959, only 11 of the 40 incorporated towns were divided into wards. According to the Towns Incorporation Act, each town must elect at least 6 councillors, each for a two-year term, with half of them retiring each year. If the town is divided into 3 wards, one councillor may be elected (rom each ward per year. Six of the towns are divided into three wards each. New Waterford, North Sydney and Sydney Mines, however, have 8 councillors and 4 wards each, while Glace Bay has 12 councillors and 6 wards. The eleventh 1959 town was Dartmouth, which then had 4 wards and 8 councillors; it has since been incorporated as a city.

Another difference is seen in the way in which Wardens and Mayors are chosen. The Warden of a Municipal Council is chosen by the councillors from among themselves, whereas the Mayor of a Town or a City is elected at large. The Mayor of Halifax, who is elected for a one-year term, may not immediately re-offer after having served for three consecutive years. The Mayor of Sydney is elected at large for a two year term, as is the Mayor of Dartmouth.
The three cities are divided into wards. Halifax now has seven wards; Sydney has six; and Dartmouth has seven. Halifax elects two aldermen for each ward on three-year terms, half being elected each year. Sydney elects a council of 12, half elected each year from six wards for a two-year term. Dartmouth has two aldermen for each of seven wards, half of them elected each year, each elected for a two-year term.

Villages may provide themselves with additional local services, administered by themselves rather than by the Municipal Council. This may be done under the Village Service Act or by special legislation, by incorporating village or service commissions for that purpose. Such villages and service commissions do not constitute separate municipal unit~; only the commissions are incorporated; and the village ratepayers still remain part of the municipality. Under the Village Service Act, the commissioners may provide street lighting, fire protection, sewers, water works. streets, roads, sidewalks, police, garbage disposal, parks, and village buildings. Service commissions incorporated by special legislation may provide fire protection, street lighting, or other services. At the end of 1960 there were 16 village commissions, incorporated under the Village Service Act, in operation, and about 20 service commissions incorporated by special Acts of the Legislature.

Within towns and cities there are a few instances of a similar nature. For example, in the City of Halifax the water utility is operated by an independent body; and in the towns of Bridgewater and Glace Bay water and electric services are provided in the same way.

The school boards of the cities, towns and municipalities are in no case elective, (except (or the. Town of Berwick,) but are appointed partly by the local councils and partly by the Governor-in-Council. Within rural municipalities prior to 1956 school trustees, incorporated, and operating for the provision of school facilities under the Education Act, had power to borrow money and to impose taxation. Since then, however, the dominant control over education in the rural municipalities has passed to the Municipal School Boards. Although school trustees still exist in the rural municipalities, they act generally only as a local agent for the Municipal School Board and they no longer have power to levy taxation or to borrow money. There are no school trustees within any town or city.

Certain joint services required by municipal and urban units-such as court houses, jails, and welfare homes, or offices for the sheriff, registrar of probate, and registrar of deeds are provided by rural municipalities for themselves and for the towns and cities within their limits. They are paid for, under a Joint Expenditure scheme, by which each unit pays a proportion of the cost.

Although each of the three cities in the province has a Mayor and a Council, Halifax has adopted a variation on the basic Mayor-Council theme, a form of the Council-Manager plan. It has not only a Mayor and a Council, but also a manager or executive director of all civic departments who is appointed by the Council.

There has been an expansion in the functions of local government. In the old days the dominant idea was that government should only control and regulate the activities of citizens in the common interest. Two things, however, have caused substantial increases in municipal expenditures. One is the fact that social and economic changes in a rapidly moving world have created a demand not only for new services but also Cor higher and more expensive standards for those services that were previously provided by municipalities. The second is the effect of inflation upon all costs, municipal or otherwise.

The day of “the little red school house”, with one teacher for eight or ten grades, is about over. Instead we have large regional schools in central locations, costing sums of money which only a few years ago would have been regarded as astronomical, both to build and to operate, with fleets of buses to convey to school those pupils who live more than a mile or so away from it.

Another instance of the change in circumstances and in attitude is seen in the subject of transportation. The automobile and the motor truck have made paved streets desirable, if not necessary; the car driver and the truck driver of this generation regard them as necessary; the driver of the horse and wagon of the previous generation would have said that they were all very fine, but he couldn’t afford them.

Community planning, now universally regarded as necessary, is a comparatively recent development. Slum clearance and low rental housing provided by the municipality, with the co-operation of other levels of government, are now being undertaken. They were almost unheard of a few years ago.

All of these developments have created financial problems for the municipal governments. There has been an expansion of their work and of their outlay. This has resulted not only in the tax levy of Nova Scotian municipalities having been multiplied by four in less than twenty years, but also in assistance from the provincial government in two ways. One form of assistance is given by cash grants, some amounts being earmarked as direct aid for specific projects, and others being general grants without specified purposes.

The traditional functions of local government included both regulatory activities and certain services provided for citizens. Municipalities have always had a good deal to do with protecting persons and property, and the Municipal Acts all contain long lists of the specific kinds of regulation with which Councils may deal. For municipalities they range from regulating the firing of guns, the management of log booms, and the restraining of domestic fowl from going at large, to controlling brush burning, “abating all public nuisances,” and licensing “hack-men, waggoners and cart-men.” For towns and cities, they include regulating halls “for preventing accidents therein”; making building by-laws; fixing closing hours for shops; licensing restaurants and trades, gasoline pumps and swinging sign-boards; and preventing “unusual noises” and loitering. All of these regulations imply some curbing of freedom in the common interest. and failure to comply with them may involve legal proceedings and penalties. Of the traditional services the most important were the support of the poor, roads, and education.

Recent developments have produced changes even in the field of regulation, as well as in the sphere of services. There are now “truck-men” in addition to “hack-men waggoners and cart-men.” “Automatic machines” have been added to the list of licensed games. Towns and cities have had to be given power to control parking and, in many cases, to install parking meters. In general, however, the lists of kinds of regulation have remained much the same. Certain phases of law enforcement, including court houses, jails, or lock-ups, besides police and other personnel, are also the responsibility of municipalities.

If social and economic changes have affected the regulatory functions of municipal governments, they have greatly increased the demands of people and tremendously expanded the social services. The community is called upon to do many things to improve the health, the welfare and the comfort of its citizens. Local government is therefore concerned with the improvement of the social, cultural and recreational environment in a wide variety of ways. These include adult education, public libraries, traffic police for schools, public concerts and plays, auditoriums, parks and playgrounds, swimming-pools and rinks, health clinics, juvenile courts, housing and slum clearance. There is a growing consciousness of the need for community planning and for zoning. Urbanization and suburbanization, and the emergence of metropolitan areas, have their attendant problems. These raise questions as to whether they are to be dealt with by annexation, by the co-operation of two or more units in matters of mutual concern, or by other means.

Although Nova Scotia passed its first planning Act as early as 1912, municipalities for a variety of reasons proceeded slowly with the work of planning. The Act was completely revised in 1939. Amendments passed in 1956 provided for planning on a regional rather than on a strictly municipal basis. Interest in the field of planning is increasing and a beginning has been made in regional planning with the formation of three Metropolitan Planning Commissions (to August 31,1961). These are (1) the Richmond Inverness Metropolitan Planning Commission, including the Town of Port Hawkesbury and the adjoining southern portion of Richmond and Inverness Counties; (2) the East River Valley Planning Commission, including the Towns of New Glasgow, Stellarton Trenton and Westville, and the adjoining area of the County of Pictou; and (3) the North Side Metropolitan Planning Commission, including the Towns of North Sydney and Sydney Mines and the adjoining area of the County of Cape Breton. Subdivision regulations to enable better control by Planning Boards over subdividing have been enacted for eleven municipal units. The number of municipal units having zoning by-laws is increasing. In the field of housing and urban redevelopment, the City of Halifax began construction of low rental housing about ten years ago, and it has recently completed a survey for slum clearance and embarked upon this project.

When municipalities were created, they were obliged to collect money to pay for the services which they provided, including roads and bridges, education and the support of the poor. For those purposes they had to resort to the direct taxation of real and personal property. It was their aversion to this sort of taxation which delayed the establishment of municipal self-government.

For some time there was criticism of the new system in some of the municipalities. But generally they seemed to get along fairly well with the revenue from taxation on real and personal property. The services they provided were neither elaborate nor expensive, though they were reasonably adequate for the demands of the day. By the County Incorporation Act of 1879 the management of the road and bridge service was transferred to the municipal councils instituted by the Act. At that time the Provincial Government reduced its expenditure on this service and left it up to the new municipal councils to maintain the former standards by supplementing that amount out of their own revenues. Eventually this dual control proved impracticable; in 1907 the Province reassumed the expenditure of all provincial moneys for roads. For another ten years the municipal councils continued to look after the statute labour on the highways, and then they lost that control when this was ended. The coming of the automobile had created the need for change. Greatly improved highways were necessary, and the Province began to assume responsibility for this service. At the outset the Province asked the rural municipalities to make a contribution towards the cost of highways based on a fixed rate of taxation on their assessments. This provided about $250,000. In 1961, however, for highways of the standard now in existence the Legislature has appropriated $15,000,000 for maintenance and improvement, to be raised by taxation, and an additional $16,000,000 for construction, to be raised by borrowing.

If the coming of the automobile caused a change, other changes were made by the depression of the thirties and by the second World War. The depression led to a greater measure of planned regulation and to a continuing drive for a more adequate system of social services. During the war municipalities did very little in the way of capital construction or expansion of services. It would have been regarded as unpatriotic to enter the money market to borrow money j that was left for the Dominion in order to ensure necessary financing for the war. It would also have been regarded as unpatriotic to enter the labour market or to purchase material; those also were reserved for war purposes. Consequently, when the war ended municipalities found it necessary to undertake the immediate replacement of some of their capital assets. The attitude of people had also changed. No longer were they satisfied with the type of service previously provided by municipalities; they now wanted better services sometimes much better services, and handsomer buildings, including finer buildings to accommodate a larger school population. They wanted all the streets in the municipality to be paved. With the construction of many new houses, there was also a corresponding increase in the demand for water, sewer and other services which these require.

Along with new demands went higher costs. Inflation had arrived, and seemed to be here to stay. Everything the municipalities bought or built cost a great deal more than it would have cost before the war. But if costs had changed, so had the attitude of the people. All this meant that the municipalities had to provide increasingly large sums of money, and they declared that they were unable to do so from the traditional taxes on real and personal property. If these services were to be provided then the Provincial or the Federal Government would have to help.

Even earlier, as we have seen, the Province had assumed responsibility for highways. There had also been increasing Provincial participation in school administration from 1864-65, when a free school system, supported by compulsory assessment, bad been established in Nova Scotia. Estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1962 require the Province to pay over $23,000,000 towards the cost of education.

The system of unconditional or unspecified grants made by the Province to the municipalities is of quite recent origin. It also arose during and because of the war. Prior to 1942 the municipalities had the right to levy a tax on income, though it had not been used a great deal in Nova Scotia. Then as the Dominion required large sums of money for war purposes, an agreement was made in 1942 between the Province and the Dominion, under which the Province for itself and for the municipalities withdrew from the income tax field so as to leave it to the Dominion alone. This was the first of what are sometimes called “tax rental agreements.” Under that 1942 agreement, the Dominion made certain payments to the Province. In order to compensate the municipalities for their potential loss because the income tax had been taken from them, the Province made cert.1.in grants to them. The major part of the grants now being paid by the Province to its cities, towns and rural municipalities is based on population. The total of these grants for 1961 is approximately $1,000,000.

Grants for specified purposes are also being paid by the Province to the municipalities in a number of fields. Those for education have already been mentioned. Another example is social assistance (formerly called “poor relief”) in which the Province and the Dominion together pay a total of two-thirds of the cost, provided certain standards are met and certain specifications are followed. Similar assistance is made to the county homes, as long as the stipulated standards are maintained. In the operation of county mental hospitals (formerly called “local asylums”), the Province pays one-half the cost, if the required standards are met. The public health scheme under which free hospital care is now provided to the general public has relieved the municipal units of practically their entire expenditure for this purpose.

Notwithstanding the greatly increased participation by the Province in these services, the municipalities have also expended increasingly large sums upon them. Their disbursements on education rose from a little over $3,000,000 in 1943 to a net total of approximately $16,600,000 in 1959. Their total tax levy increased from $8,306,543 in 1942 to $13,620,650 in 1949, and then to $31,626,165 in 1959. Their total general revenue, excluding joint expenditure boards and district or area rates, was $41,560,135 in 1959. Of that amount, about $31,000,000 was raised by taxation, while sums of $2,132,245 and $3,530,607 were received from the Federal and Provincial Governments, respectively.

It is clear, from the increased levy by the municipalities and from the increased participation by the Province and the Dominion, that the cost of providing the public with what were formerly known as municipal services has shown a very great increase indeed.

“Local Government in Nova Scotia”, Fergusson, C. Bruce. 1961. The Institute of Public Affairs, Dalhousie University. https://dalspace.library.dal.ca/handle/10222/11024

A brief history of the [black] Baptists of Nova Scotia and their first organization as churches

banook baptism black history

This “authors apology” perfectly describes how I feel about Dartmouth specifically and Nova Scotia in general as it relates to all of the people, so I had to include it. Anything that seemed to relate to Dartmouth I’ve included here as follows:

“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 the subject of our little book— Rev. Richard Preston— born in Virginia, a slave.”

“As far back as 1785, one hundred and ninety-four [black] persons arrived here from St. Augustine, who were joined by another arrival of over four hundred, seven years later; and about the same time a similar number were landed at Shelburne.

Many of these people embraced religion in the United States, under adverse circumstances, and were glad to know that they had a part in the Saviour’s sufferings, which assisted them to endure their own. They were given grants of land by the Government a few miles from the city to cultivate for their support. Those who had trades, such as carpenters, blacksmiths, and coopers, remained, and readily got work in the city at fair remuneration. These were troublesome times between the provinces and the United States, and as loyalists were arriving constantly the [black] people would correspondingly increase. Mr. Burton, who was better known by the [black] brethren as Father Burton, had established a Baptist church in the city, wherein they found a home, on Barrington Street, just were the present Aberdeen building now stand. They were spiritually cared for by this servant of God. As time increased so did these people; and little settlements were formed at Preston, Dartmouth, Cherry brook. Loon Lake, Beech Hill, Campbell Road, Musquodoboit Road, Fall River, and at Hammond Plains. At all of these places Father Burton preached, baptized, married, and buried his flock, as he called them. Having proved himself so wise an administrator of justice that the civil authorities gave him entire control of these people whilst he remained their pastor.”

Organized April 14th 1832, With Branches at Dartmouth, Preston, Beech Hill, Hammond Plains.
Resolved, That the said Rev. Richard Preston be now received and acknowledged as minister of the said African Baptist Church; Resolved further, That the officers of said Church be as follows:
…Dartmouth — Pastor: Rev. R. Preston. Deacon: Samuel Jones. Elder: Jeremiah Page.
The above branches, viz., Dartmouth, Preston, Beech Hill, and Hammond Plains, were organized into independent churches as soon as their membership increased.”

…Dartmouth — Pastorless. Licentiate: Jas. Borden. Deacons: A. Green, J. Tynes, C. Smith, D. Lee, W. Riley, T. Tynes. Councillors: R. Tynes, sen’r, A. Brown, J. Bauld, R. Tynes, jun’r, R. C. Tynes. Treasurer: D. Lee. Clerk: F. J. Bauld.”

A baptism being held near what is today Birch Cove, on First Lake (Lake Banook) https://cityofdartmouth.ca/dartmouth-lake-church/

“DARTMOUTH CHURCH, (Organized in 1844. June 9th.)

Rev. R. Preston, Pastor; S. Jones, Deacon; Jeremiah Page, Elder.

Members names: J. Gerrow, T. Robinson, S. Gibson, G. Gibson, K. Gordon, J. Johnson, D. Franklyn, E. Franklyn, E. Brown, E. Bowers, R. Tynes, M. Woods, J. Symonds, M. A. Symonds, M. Thomas, E. Connix, C. Johnson, T. Cox, Mrs. Gilmore, Mr. Page.

Those who joined after the organization, date omitted, but previous to 1850: L. Gross, L. Williams, S. Morton, M. Goffigan, R. Spriggs, C. Brown, M. Green, J. Quinn, Mar. Green, D. Gross, H. Ross, M. A. Brothers, E. Rollins, E. Lee, P. Brown, A. Carter, G. Carter, T. Carter, I. Peters, M. A. Butler, T. Parker, J. Graves, J. Cassidy, T. Tynes, sr., Jas. Brown, A. Brown, W. Sparks.

Present members: R. Tynes, sr., R. Tynes, jr., T. Tynes, jr., G. Tynes, H. Tynes, R. E. Tynes, A. Brown, F. Reilly, sr., J. Dean, G. Middleton, J. Bauld, A. Willis, M. Jenkins. R. Bauld, F. Reilly, jr., Wm. Sparks ; Sisters : R. Jenkins, M. Tynes, A. Tynes, M. Smith, M. Bauld, L. Lee, C, Smith, J. Johnson, M. Middleton, M. Bauld, S. Lee, T. Brown, II. Brown, A. Brown, Mar, Tynes, E. Cuff, A. Smith, Sarah Lee, A. Lee, M. Bundy, M. Bowden, Eva Green, A. Kane, M, Reilly, H. Burns, M. J. Bauld, M. E. Bauld, Mrs. Henderson, E. Reilly, J. Johnson.

The church at present has no settled pastor. Bro. Borden, licentiate, has been supplying with much acceptance. The brethren so manages that a unity of spirit is kept up, which is the grand success of any church. When a good thing is suggested by any of the members, there is a general taking hold of by all. They agree with the idea that there are diversities of gifts, and readily give way when the superior presents itself. Dr. Kempton, pastor of the Dartmouth church, often preaches to them, and other city pastors. This christian recognition is very stimulating and highly appreciated by the brethren. Father Burton in his day preached to those people, but few of the present generation remember him. Father Preston, who succeeded him, preached to them for a number of years. An aged brother not long ago informed the writer that he elicited large congregations when it was made known he was to preach. On one occasion a large skeptical crowd had assembled, when several of the respectable ruffians agreed not to allow him to preach, and for fear of creating a fracas his brethren thought best to postpone the meeting. Said he we will go outside, as the grace of God gives me sufficient power over men and devils, hence I fear neither. At first they thought to have matters their own way, but after he got to work and prayed for the power of the Holy Spirit, both saint and sinners were rejoicing, all was perfect peace. Tears were shed in abundance from strong men, courage failed them; and many who for the first time heard him, felt themselves in need of a Saviour; from this broke out a large reformation. At the close of the meeting some of those very men came forward and acknowledged their guilt, and asked for prayers; and not long after some were baptized, and lived consistent members all through life’s journey. Father Thomas pastored these people until 1879. Although there had been a division in the church, he stuck to the few who held to their first love. After his death the church united, and Father Smithers became their pastor, which charge he held until his death; when he was succeeded by Rev. F. R. Langford, who held the charge until 1892; when in 1886, under his ministrations, 20 were baptized; in 1887, 5; in 1888, 6; in 1891, 1; in 1892, 5; and in 1893, 1. The Brother’s work was arduous, and covered a considerable amount of ground. The field is a good one, as the people are active, intelligent and observing.

The greatest drawback to the growth of the church is the distance from the town, the travelling in stormy weather being unpleasant. Another draw-back is the continual drain on the membership, through the tide of emigration, which is always on the move; and were it not for tho interest taken by those who remain at home, the doors would be necessarily closed. Brother Borden, the present supply, is a licentiate who is very acceptable to the church, and it is to be hoped that under his labours, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit’s power, the church will increase in numbers and influence, and live in delighted expectations of being crowned with spiritual glory by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”

Dartmouth : — Sept. 29th, 1885, Jas. Brown to M. Tynes; Nov. 14th, 1893, H. Kane to Ag. Brown ; Aug. 17th, 1887, F. J. Bauld to M. Lee ; A. Tynes to L. Berryman ; A. Brown to Ruth Wise ; T. Tynes to M. Medley.”

“Wedding of Miss Mary Borden and Mr. Richard Tynes, Dartmouth, 1898”, https://archives.novascotia.ca/halifax/archives/?ID=85

McKerrow, P. E. (Peter E.), 1841?-1906; Bill, I. E. (Ingram E.), 1805-1891. “A brief history of the coloured Baptists of Nova Scotia and their first organization as churches” [Halifax N.S.? : s.n.] https://archive.org/details/cihm_25950/page/n11/mode/2up

Annual report of the Department of Education 1890-91

“Reports of Inspectors of Schools: Dartmouth has provided a house, in the north end, with two departments. The site is retired, dry and pleasant, surrounded with forest trees. What has been known as Tuft’s Cove school occupies one of the rooms. The “Greenvale” house has four large and well ventilated rooms. The basement is well planned and arranged for play rooms in wet weather. The site is admirable. It would take many years for the newly planted trees to assume the stateliness and beauty of the trees which surround this building. In fifteen of the school-rooms in Dartmouth the pupils are saved from the effects of stair climbing, which has been pronounced “evil, and only evil, and that continually.””

“Halifax County has sections among the [black] population; 5 of these have school houses which answer fairly well for the summer term, and we hope to have two more added for 1892. I may here remark that in the Fall River school no distinction of color has ever been recognized. Only think of two public schools, situated within two hundred yards of each other, the one with an average of 15, the other [black], and average of 11. What a waste of public money! When will this prejudice, as foolish as it is cruel, cease to cripple weak sections that need to economize all their forces?”

“Dartmouth has the distinction of being the first in the Maritime Provinces, to open a free Kindergarten in connection with the Public Schools. It was opened in May, 1888, under the able directorship of Miss Hamilton, who recieved her training at Truro. Her Kindergarten has won its way by sheer merit, and commended itself to the approbation of competent judges. It has its quarters specially designed in the Greenvale schoolhouse.

A happy feature of the Dartmouth schools is the Banking system.

The Chairman of the Board of School Commissioners, W.H. Stevens, Esq., in his report to the ratepayers of the Town, Nov. 1890, gives -“The amount deposited since their establishment three years ago, as $3165.15.”

Nova Scotia. Dept. of Education, and Nova Scotia. Superintendent of Education. Annual Report of the Department of Education. Halifax: Dept. of Education, https://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc1.b3013762

Missionary enterprise among the [black] people of the Maritime Provinces of Canada

black history

African Methodist Episcopal Church of Nova Scotia. Missionary Enterprise Among the Coloured People of the Maritime Provinces of Canada. [Halifax, N.S.?: s.n., 1899. https://hdl.handle.net/2027/aeu.ark:/13960/t87h1xk0h

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