Having spent much time in Nova Scotia, I am often asked—Why does that province wish to sever connection with the Dominion, and what means her cry of “Repeal and Reciprocity”? And some of my friends are not a little shocked that, at a time when the question of Imperial Federation is so much discussed, our nearest kinsfolk on the American continent should be agitating for what at the first glance looks like separation, though it is far from being so intended. Imperial Federation is indeed a grand scheme, or will be when it attains the dignity of a scheme. At present it seems little better than a vague, but decidedly alluring, dream. And it is likely so to remain unless, among other safeguards, each unit which makes up …

Nova Scotia’s cry for home rule Read More…

It is my purpose, in the following pages, to expose the fallacies of a Pamphlet on Confederation, “by a Nova Scotian,” which has been widely circulated, and, though shallow in the extreme, is calculated to mislead the unwary. It bears strong evidence, of being the work of one of the unauthorized individuals, who pretend to have visited London, clothed with authority, to overturn all our political institutions. Although the author complains, in reference to imputations cast on their spotless reputations, that “no one ventures under his signature in open day to prefer a charge, &c,” he has not mustered courage to put his own name to this tissue of mere sophistries. When the delegates returned to the Province they did not meet with a very flattering reception. They …

Confederation examined in the light of reason and common sense Read More…

“This letter will give you some gleanings from Halifax — the most English of the provincial cities. It was founded in 1749, by the Lords of the Board of Trade, and named after the President, Gen. Montague, Earl of Halifax. It has ever since been the capital of Nova Scotia, — robbing that honor from Annapolis. Thirteen transports brought from England 2576 emigrants, the nucleus of the present population, which counts about 40,000 souls. The sloop of war Sphinx led the way, bearing Colonel the Honorable Edward Cornwallis as Captain General and Governor of Nova Scotia. He afterwards presented a sword to Gen. Washington at Yorktown, a circumstance which will never be forgotten. His name is more pleasantly linked with Cornwallis County, the garden of the province. Immediately …

Coit correspondence of 1871 Read More…

Mr. Bright: “Sir, about a month ago—on the 15th of May last—I presented a petition to the House from the representatives of the colony of Nova Scotia, and I now rise for the purpose of calling attention to that petition, and to statements made in it, and of proposing what appears to me to be a judicious course in regard to it. The Resolution which I have given Notice of consists of two parts—first, the statement of a fact which is easily proved; and, secondly, a statement of the mode in which the Government would do wisely to meet the difficult questions which have arisen. I am sorry to see that the right hon. Gentleman who has charge in this House of colonial affairs is not here; but …

Nova Scotia—British North American Confederation Read More…

“It has been argued that we are so small a territory, that we should endeavor to unite with some larger country, in order to enlarge our scope for action… Turn to the American States, and contrast the size of Nova Scotia with some States there, and from which we have heard no talk of forming any union with any other State, in order to increase their importance in the Union. There are the States of New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, &c- all very much smaller in area than Nova Scotia, and yet from these we hear of no Union being formed among them, in order that the citizens may have more area or room for development. Nova Scotia contains 20,436 square miles; New …

Speech on the union of the colonies, Debates, 1865 Read More…

“We have witnessed the tremendous struggle and sacrifice made by our Republican neighbors, rather than suffer the disintegration of their common country.” “Nova Scotia, then, is a British Province, enjoying the priceless privilege of British laws, British connection, and a free Constitution.” “The consequence has been that our progress has been one incessant struggle, and the youth of our population, unable to find employment at home, have been obliged to seek it in a foreign country.” “It may be asked, in what respect will confederation affect this for the better? …It will strike down forever all inter-Provincial tariffs; every port in all the Provinces will admit productions of each, free of duty. An esprit, or pride of country, will be created.” “The port of Halifax will be the …

Confederation Considered On Its Merits: Being an Examination Into the Principle, Capabilities, And Terms of Union, As Applicable to Nova Scotia Read More…

“Every man who is invited or proposes to enter into any partnership or agreement, naturally thinks of the advantages and disadvantages it will involve or produce to himself.” Marshall, (Judge) John George. “Facts And Reasons Against New Brunswick And Nova Scotia Confederating With Canada: Addressed to the Electors of New Brunswick”. [S.l.: s.n., 1866. https://hdl.handle.net/2027/aeu.ark:/13960/t41r80t31

“Much misrepresentation has been indulged in concerning the increased debt of the Dominion, and comparisons made between it and the federal debt of the United States most unfair to Canada… the different purposes for which the two debts were incurred are also kept out of sight ,- that of Canada having been for valuable public works, from which the country will forever derive increasing advantages, while that of the United States is wholly for an unfortunate war.” “On the question of repeal we dissent entirely from the position taken by our opponents… If elected we shall advocate all measures calculated to make Halifax the winter port of Canada – to hasten the extension of the C.P.R. by means of the short line to Halifax Harbor… to secure the …

To the electors of the county of Halifax Read More…

“That the people of Nova Scotia are prepared to entertain any propositions by which (preserving to them the Institutions they now have, and the privileges they enjoy,) greater facilities for commercial and social intercourse with other States and Provinces may be secured, and they are willing, whenever their own costs and habors are safe, to aid Her Majesty’s forces to preserve the from aggression the Provinces in the rear. But they view with profound distrust and apprehension schemes, recently propounded by which it is proposed to transfer to the people of Canada the control of the government, Legislation and Revenues, of this loyal and happy Province” The Petition of the Inhabitants of Nova Scotia Humbly Sheweth: That the Province of Nova Scotia Is One of the Oldest Colonies …

Petition of the inhabitants of Nova Scotia Read More…

An article of note for the information it provides in regards to the Dartmouth Ferry Commission’s first external ferry purchase, the Annex. It’s full of interesting observations. “In this generation it is safe to give one advice to go to Halifax. Such was not the case in the days of our great grandfathers. To send a man to Halifax in those times was the same as banishing him to perdition in good orthodox fashion today.” “There is a line of steamers from Brooklyn direct to Halifax… Persons can also go to Halifax all the way by rail if they so prefer. This is, of course, a somewhat long and tedious ride. The most popular way, however, is via Boston… The express train, called the Flying Blue Nose, connects …

“Go to Halifax” Read More…

In opposing the British North America Act… (Joseph Howe) always urged that it was not acceptable to the people of Nova Scotia. As an election was soon to be held, to make good his statement Mr. Howe felt that he must organize his forces, and demonstrate beyond dispute that the Province of Nova Scotia was overwhelmingly opposed to the union. He returned early in May, and on May 22nd delivered at Dartmouth the following speech, in which he betrays no loss of his old-time warmth and vigour: MEN OF DARTMOUTH -Never, since the [Indigenous people] came down the Shubenacadie Lakes in 1750, burnt the houses of the early settlers, and scalped or carried them captives to the woods, have the people upon this harbour been called upon to …

Speech at Dartmouth, May 22 1867 Read More…

“Hon. Mr. Wilkins, Attorney General, moved the following resolutions on the subject of confederation, in the house of assembly, on the 5th of February: That the members of the Legislative assembly of this Province, elected in 1862 simply to legislate under the colonial constitution, had no authority to make or consent to any material change of such constitution, without first submitting the same to the people at the polls That the resolution of the 10th of April, which preceded the enactment of the British North America Act is as follows Whereas it is the opinion of this house it is desirable that a Confederation of the British North America Provinces should take place Resolved therefore that his excellency the Lieutenant Governor be authorized to appoint delegates to arrange …

Debate on resolutions relative to repeal of the “British North America Act” in the House of Assembly of Nova Scotia; session 1868 Read More…

“At Confederation the Conservative Government then in power in Nova Scotia had filled all the vacancies in the Council (of which there were a number), occasioned not only by natural causes but by the appointment of a number of Councillors to the newly formed Senate of Canada; so that the Liberals who were returned in September of 1867 were in a minority in the Council.” “As to the practical reasons behind this determined attempt to get rid of the Council-three main arguments are usually advanced. First: That it is obsolete and unnecessary and that all the other Provinces in Canada, except Quebec, carry on their affairs without an Upper House. Second: That it tends to become an obstructionist body when made up of an opposition majority, and that …

Constitutional Questions in Nova Scotia. The Attorney-General of Nova Scotia v. The Legislative Council of Nova Scotia Read More…

If arrogant assumption were argument, and cool impudence common sense, the advocates of Confederation in Nova Scotia might perhaps hope to convince the people of this province, some day, that it would be a great advantage to them to have the control of all their political and commercial affairs handed over to Canada as in intended under that scheme. From the first, unfounded assumption, and a tone of supercilious insolence towards all who ventured to differ from them in opinion, has been the only argument used by those people in the controversy, and from present appearances their stock of such commodities is by no means exhausted. At one time we were told that the scheme originated with the British government; this assertion was soon refuted by official and …

“If the sky falls we shall catch larks” Read More…

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