Selections from the public documents of the province of Nova Scotia

Advertisement.* (copy.) Whitehall, 7th March, 1749.

A proposal having been presented unto His Majesty for the establishing a civil government in the Province of Nova Scotia, in North America, as also for the better peopling and settling the said Province, and extending and improving the Fishery thereof, by granting lands within the same, and giving other encouragement to such of the officers and private men lately dismissed His Majesty’s land and sea service, as shall be willing to settle in said Province. And His Majesty having signed his royal approbation of the report of the said proposals, the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, do by His Majesty’s command, give notice that proper encouragement will be given to such of the officers and private men lately dismissed His Majesty’s Land and Sea service, as are willing to accept of grants of land, and to settle with or without families in Nova Scotia. That 50 acres of land will be granted in fee simple to every private soldier or seaman, free from the payment of any quit rents or taxes for the term of ten years, at the expiration whereof no person to pay more than one shilling per annum, for every 50 acres so granted.

That a grant of 10 acres, over and above the 50, will be made to each private soldier or seaman having a family, for every person including women and children of which his family shall consist, and from the grants made to them on the like conditions as their families shall increase, or in proportion to their abilities to cultivate the same.

That eighty acres on like conditions will be granted to every officer under the rank of Ensign in the land service, and that of Lieutenant in the sea service, and to such as have families, fifteen acres over and above the said eighty acres, for every person of which their family shall consist.

That two hundred acres on like conditions will be granted to every Ensign, three hundred to every Lieutenant, four hundred to every Captain, and six hundred to every officer above the rank of Captain. And to such of the above mentioned officers as have families, a further grant of thirty acres will be made over and above their respective quotas for every person of which their family shall consist.

That the lands will be parcelled out to the settlers as soon as possible after their arrival, and a civil government established, whereby they will enjoy all the liberties, privileges and immunities enjoyed by His Majesty’s subjects in any other of the Colonies and Plantations in America, under His Majesty’s Government, and proper measures will also be taken for their security and protection.

That all such as are willing to accept of the above proposals shall, with their families, be subsisted during the passage, also for the space of twelve months after their arrival.

That they shall be furnished with arms and ammunition as far as will be judged necessary for their defence, with a proper quantity of materials and utensils for husbandry, clearing and cultivating the lands, erecting habitations, carrying on the fishery, and such other purposes as shall be deemed necessary for their support.

That all such persons as are desirous of engaging in the above settlement, do transmit by letter, or personally give in their names, signifying in what regiment or company, or on board what ship they last served, and if they have families they intend to carry with them, distinguishing the age and quality of such person to any of the following officers appointed to receive and enter the same in the books opened for that purpose, viz : — John Pownell, Esq., Solicitor and Clerk of the Repts. of the Lords Comrs. of Trade and Plantations, at their office at Whitehall; John Russell, Esq., Comr. of His Majesty’s Navy at Portsmouth; Philip Vanburgh, Esq., Comr. of His Majesty’s Navy at Plymouth.

And the proper notice will be given of the said Books being closed, as soon as the intended number shall be completed, or at least on the 7th day of April.

It is proposed that the Transports shall be ready to receive such persons on board on the 10th April, and be ready to sail on the 20th, and that timely notice will be given of the place or places to which such persons are to repair in order to embark.

That for the benefit of the settlement, the same conditions which are proposed to private soldiers and seamen shall likewise be granted to Carpenters, Shipwrights, Smiths, Masons, Joiners, Brickmakers, bricklayers and all other artificers necessary in building or husbandry, not being private soldiers or seamen.

That the same conditions as are proposed to those who have served in the capacity of Ensign shall extend to all Surgeons, whether they have been in His Majesty’s service or not, upon their producing proper certificates of their being duly qualified.

By order of the Right Hon. the Lords Comrs. of Trade and Plantations.

Thomas Hill, Secretary.

*This advertisement was published in the London Gazette, March, 1749

His Majesty’s Commission to His Excellency Governor Cornwallis

George the Second, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. To our Trusty and well beloved, the Honorable Edward Cornwallis, Esquire, Greeting. Whereas we did by our Letters Patent under our Great Seal of Great Britain bearing date at Westminster the Eleventh day of September in the second year of Our Reign constitute and appoint Richard Philipp’s, Esquire, Our Captain General and Governor in Chief, in and over Our Province of Nova Scotia or Acadie in America, with all the rights, members and appurtenances whatsoever thereunto belonging, for and during our will and pleasure ; as by the said recited Letters patent relation being thereunto had may more fully and at large appear.

Now Know you that we have revoked and Determined and by these presents do Revoke and Determine the said recited Letters Patent, and every clause, article and thing therein Contained; and Further Know you that we reposing special trust and confidence in the prudence, courage and Loyalty of you the said Edward Cornwallis of our especial Grace certain knowledge and meer motion have thought fit to constitute and appoint you the said Edward Cornwallis to be our Captain General & Governor in Chief in and over our province of Nova Scotia or Acadie in America with all the rights, members and appurtenances whatsoever there- unto belonging, and we do hereby require and command you to do and execute all things in due manner that shall belong unto your said Command and the Trust We have reposed in you according to the several powers and authorities granted or appointed you by tins present Commission and the instructions herewith given you or by such further powers, Instructions and authorities as shall at any time hereafter, be granted or appointed you under our signet & sign manuel or by our order in our privy Council & according to such Seasonable Laws and Statutes as hereafter shall be made or agreed upon by you with the advice and consent of Our Council and the Assembly of our said province under Your Government hereafter to be appointed in such manner & form as is here- after expressed.

And for the better administration of Justice and the management of the Publick affairs of our said province, We hereby give and grant unto you the said Edward Cornwallis full power and authority to Chuse nominate & appoint such fitting and discreet persons as you shall either find there or carry along with you not exceeding the number of Twelve, to be of our Council in our said Province. As also to nominate and appoint by Warrant under your hand and seal all such other officers and ministers as you shall Judge proper and necessary for our service and the good of the people whom we shall settle in our said Province untill our further will and pleasure shall be known.

And our will and pleasure is that you the said Edward Cornwallis (after the publication of these our Letters Patent) do take the Oaths appointed to be taken by an Act passed in the first year of his late Majesty’s our Royal father’s Reign, Entitled an Act for the further security of His Majesty’s Person and Government and the succession of the Crown in the Heirs of the late Princess Sophia being Protestants and for extinguishing the hopes of the pretended Prince of Wales and his open and secret abettors. As also that you make and subscribe the Declaration mentioned in an Act of Parliament made in the Twenty fifth year of the Reign of King Charles the Second entitled an Act for preventing dangers which may happen from Popish Recusants. And likewise that you take the usual Oath for the due execution of the office and trust of Our Captain General & Governor in Chief of our said Province for the due and impartial Administration of Justice } and further that you take the oath required to be taken by Governors of Plantations to do their utmost that the several Laws relating to Trade and the Plantations be observed. All which said Oaths and Declaration Our Council in our said province or any five of the members thereof have hereby full power and authority and are required to tender and administer unto you and in your absence to our Lieutenant Governor, if there be any upon the place, all which being duly performed you shall administer unto each of the members of Our said Council as also to our Lieutenant Governor, if there be any upon the place, the said Oaths mentioned in the said Act Entitled an Act for the further security of His Majesty’s Person & Government and the succession of the Crown in the Heirs of the late Princess Sophia being Protestants and for extinguishing the hopes of the pretended Prince of Wales and his open and secret abettors ; as also to cause them to make and subscribe the aforementioned declaration and to administer to them the Oath for the due execution of their places and Trusts.

And We do hereby give & grant unto you full power and Authority to suspend any of the members of our said Council to be appointed by you as aforesaid from sitting voting and assisting therein if you shall find just cause for so doing.

And if it shall at any time happen that by the Death departure out of our said province, suspension of any of our said Councilors or otherwise there shall be a vacancy in our said Council (any five whereof we do hereby appoint to be a Quorum) our will and pleasure is that you signify the same unto us by the first opportunity that we may under our signet & sign manuel constitute and appoint others in their stead.

But that our affairs at that distance may not suffer for want of a due number of Councilors, if ever it shall happen that there shall be less than nine of them residing in our said Province We hereby give and grant unto you the said Edward Cornwallis full power and authority to Chuse as many persons out of the principal freeholders Inhabitants thereof as will make up the full number of our said Council to be nine and no more; which person so chosen and appointed by you shall be to all intents and purposes Councilors in our said Province until either, they shall be confirmed by us or that by the Nomination of others by us under our sign manuel or signet our said Council shall have nine or more persons in it.

And We do hereby give and grant unto you full power & authority with the advice and consent of our said Council from time to time as need shall require to summon and call General Assemblys of the Freeholders and Planters within your Government according to the usage of the rest of our Colonies & plantations in America. And our will and pleasure is that the persons thereupon duly elected by the major part of the Freeholders of the Respective Counties and places & so returned shall before their setting take the Oaths mentioned in the said Act entitled an Act for the further security of his Majesty’s Person and government and the succession of the Crown in the Heirs of the late Princess Sophia being Protestants, and for extinguishing the hopes of the pretended Prince of Wales and his open and secret abettors, as also make and subscribe the aforementioned Declaration (which Oaths & Declaration you shall commissionate fit persons under our seal of Nova Scotia, to Tender and administer unto them,) and until the same shall be so taken and subscribed no person shall be capable of sitting tho’ elected, and we do hereby declare that the persons so elected and qualified shall be called and deemed the General Assembly of that our Province of Nova Scotia.

And that you the said Edward Cornwallis with the advice and consent of our said Council and Assembly or the Major part of them respectively shall have full power and authority to make, constitute and ordain Laws, Statutes & Ordinances for the Publick peace, welfare & good government of our said province and of the people and inhabitants thereof and such others as shall resort thereto & for the benefit of us our heirs & Successors, which said Laws Statutes and Ordinances are not to be repugnant but as near as may be agreeable to the Laws and Statutes of this our Kingdom of Great Britain.

Provyded that all such Laws, Statutes & Ordinances of what nature or duration so ever be within three months or sooner after the making thereof transmitted to us under Our Seal of Nova Scotia for our approbation or Disallowance thereof as also Duplicates by the next conveyance.

And in case any or all of the said Laws, Statutes & Ordinances not before confirmed by us shall at any time be disallowed and not approved & so signyfied by us our Heirs or Successors under our or their sign manuel & signet or by order of our or their privy Council unto you the said Edward Cornwallis or to the Commander in Chief of our said Province for the time being then such and so many of the said Laws Statutes, and Ordinances as shall be so disallowed <fc not approved shall from thenceforth cease, determine & become utterly void & of none elect any thing to the contrary thereof notwithstanding.

And to the end that nothing may be passed or done by our said Council or Assembly to the prejudice of us our Heirs & Successors We Will & ordain that you the said Edward Cornwallis shall have and enjoy a Negative Voice in the making and passing of all Laws, Statutes & Ordinances as aforesaid.

And you shall & may likewise from time to time as you shall Judge it necessary, adjourn, Prorogue & Dissolve all General Assemblies as aforesaid.

And our further will and pleasure is that you shall and may keep & use the Publick Seal of our Province of Nova Scotia for Sealing all things whatsoever that Pass the Great Seal of Our said Province under your Government.

And We do further give and grant unto you the said Edward Cornwallis full power and authority from time to time & at any time hereafter by yourself or by any other to be authorised by you in that behalf to administer and give the Oaths mentioned in the aforesaid Act to all and every such person or persons as you shall think fit who shall at any time or times pass into our said Province or shall be residing or abiding there.

And We do by these presents give and grant unto you the said Edward Cornwallis full power and authority with advice and consent of our said Council to erect constitute and establish such & so many Courts of Judicature & publick Justice within our said Province and Dominion as you and they shall think fit and necessary for the hearing & determining all causes as well Criminal as Civil according to Law and Equity and for awarding of Execution thereupon with all reasonable and necessary powers, Authorities fees & Privileges belonging thereunto as also to appoint & Commissionate fit per- sons in the several parts of your Government to administer the oaths mentioned in the aforesaid Act Entitled an Act for the further security of His Majesty’s Person & Government & the Succession of the Crown in the Heirs of the late Princess Sophia being Protestants and for Extinguishing the hopes of the pretended Prince of Wales and his open and secret abettors; As also to tender & Administer the aforesaid Declaration unto such persons belonging to the said Courts as shall be obliged to take the same.

And We do hereby authorise and Impower you to constitute & appoint Judges & in cases requisite Commissioners of Oyer & Terminer, Justices of the Peace and other necessary officers & ministers in our said Province for the better ad- ministration of Justice and putting the Laws in execution and : to administer or cause to be administered unto them such oath or oaths as are usually given for the due execution and performance of offices and places and for the clearing of truth in Judicial Causes.

And We do hereby give and Grant unto you full power & Authority where you shall see cause or shall Judge any offender or offenders in Criminal matters or for any fines or forfeitures due unto us, fit objects of our mercy to pardon all such offenders and to remitt all such Offences Fines & Forfeitures, Treason & willfull murder only excepted; in which cases you shall likewise have power upon extraordinary occasions to Grant Reprieves to the offenders untill & to the intent our Royal Pleasure may be known therein.

We do by these presents Authorise and empower you to collate any Person or Persons to any Churches, Chapels or other Ecclesiastical Benefices within our said Province as often as any of them shall happen to be void.

And We do hereby give & grant unto you the said Edward Cornwallis by yourself or by your Captains & Commanders by you to be authorized full power and authority to Levy, arm, muster, command & employ all persons whatso- ever residing within our said Province and as occasion shall serve to march from one place to another or to embark them for the resisting & withstanding of all Enemies, Pirates & Rebels both at Land & Sea, and to Transport such Forces to any of our plantations in America if necessity shall require for the Defence of the same against the Invasion or attempts of any of our Enemies, and such Enemies, Pirates & Rebels if there shall be occasion to pursue and prosecute in or out of the Limits of our said Province & plantations or any of them & (if it shall so please God) to vanquish, apprehend & take them & being taken, according to Law to put to death or keep & preserve them alive at your discretion & to execute Martial Law in time of Invasion or other Times when by Law it may be executed & to do & execute all & every other thing or things which to our Captain Generals & Governor in Chief Doeth or ought of right to belong.

And we do hereby give & grant unto you full power and authority by & with the advice and consent of our said Council of Nova Scotia, to Erect, Raise & Build in our said Province such & so many Forts & Platforms, Castles, Citys, Boroughs, Towns & Fortifications as you by the advice aforesaid shall Judge necessary, and the same or any of them to fortify and furnish with ordinance, ammunition & all sorts of arms fit and necessary for the security and defence of Our said Province and by the advice aforesaid the same again or any of them to demolish or dismantle as may be most convenient.

And for as much as divers mutinies & disorders may happen by persons shipped and employed at sea during the time of War and to the end that such as shall be shipped & employed at sea during the time of War, may be better governed & ordered, We hereby give and grant unto you the said Edward Cornwallis full power and authority to constitute & appoint Captains, Lieutenants, Masters of Ships & other Commanders & Officers, and to grant to such Captains, Lieutenants, Masters of Ships & other Commanders & Officers Commissions in time of War to execute the Law martial according to the directions of such Laws as are now in force or shall hereafter be passed in Great Britain for that purpose and to use such proceedings, authorities, punishments and executions upon any offender or offenders who shall be mutinous, seditious, disorderly or any way unruly either at sea or during the time of their abode or residence in any of the Ports, Harbours or Bays of our said Province as the cause shall be found to require according to the martial Law and the said directions during the time of War as aforesaid.

Provyded that nothing herein contained shall be construed to the enabling you or any by your authority to hold Plea or have any Jurisdiction of any offence, cause, matter or thing committed or done upon the high sea or within any of the Havens, Rivers or Creeks of our said Province under your Government by any Captain, Commander, Lieutenant, master, officer, seaman, soldier or person whatsoever, who shall be in our actual service & pay in or on board any of our Ships of War or other Vessels, acting by immediate Commission or Warrant from our Commissioners for executing the office of our High Admiral of Great Britain for the time being, under the Seal of Our Admiralty, but that such Captain, Commander, Lieutenant, master, officers, seaman, soldier, or other person so offending shall be left to be proceeded against & tryed as their offences shall require either by Commission under our great Seal of Great Britain as the Statute of the 28th of Henry the eighth directs or by Commission from our said Commissioners for executing the office of our High Admiral or from our High Admiral of Great Britain for the time being, according to the aforementioned Act for the establishing Articles & orders for the Regulating and better Government of His Majesty’s Navies, Ships of War & Forces by sea and not otherwise.

Provyded nevertheless that all disorders & misdemeanors, committed on shore by any Captain, Commander, Lieutenant, master, officer, seaman, soldier or other person whatsoever belonging to any of our ships of War or other Vessels acting by Immediate Commission or Warrant from our said Commissioners for executing the office of High Admiral or from our High Admiral of Great Britain for the time being under the Seal of Our Admiralty, may be tried & punished according to the Laws of the Place where any such disorders, offences and misdemeanors shall be committed on shore, notwithstanding such offender be in our actual service, & borne in our pay, on board any such our ships of war or other vessels acting by immediate Commission or warrant from our said Commissioners for executing the office of High Admiral or our High Admiral of Great Britain for the time being as aforesaid so as he shall not receive any protection for the avoiding of Justice for such offences committed on shore from any pretence of his being employed in our service at Sea.

And our further will and pleasure is that all publick money raised or which shall be raised by any Act hereafter to be made within our said province be issued out by Warrant from you by & with the advice and consent of the Council & dis- posed of by you for the support of the Government and not otherwise.

And we do likewise give & grant unto you full power and authority by & with the advice and consent of our said Council to. settle and agree with the Inhabitants of our Province for such Lands, Tenements, & hereditaments as now are or hereafter shall be in our power to dispose of and them to grant to any Person or Persons upon such terms and under such moderate Quit Rents services and acknowledgements to be thereupon reserved unto us as you by & with the advice aforesaid shall think fit. Which said grants are to pass & be sealed by our seal of Nova Scotia and being entered upon Record by such officer or officers as shall be appointed thereunto, shall be good & effectual in Law against us our heirs <fc successors. And We do hereby give you the said Edward Cornwallis full power to order and appoint Fairs, Marts & Markets as also such & so many Ports, Harbours, Bays, Havens and other places for convenience & security of shipping & for the better Loading & unloading of Goods & merchandizes as by you with the advice & consent of the said Council shall be thought fit & necessary.

And We do hereby require & Command all officers & ministers Civil & Military and all other Inhabitants of our said Province, to be obedient, aiding and assisting unto you the said Edward Cornwallis in the Execution of this our Commission and of the powers & authorities herein contained, and in case of your death or abscence out of Our said province to be obedient, aiding & assisting unto such person as shall be appointed by us to be our Lieutenant Governor or Commander in Chief of our said Province ; To whom we do therefore by these presents give & grant all & Singular the powers & authority’s herein granted, to be by him executed & enjoyed during our pleasure or untill your arrival within our said province.

And if upon your Death or absence out of our said province there be no person upon the Place commissionated or appointed by us to be our Lieutenant Governor or Commander in Chief of the said Province, Our Will & Pleasure is, that the Eldest Councilor, who shall be at the Time of your death or absence residing within our said Province shall take upon him the administration of the Government and execute our said Commission & Instructions and the several powers and authorities therein contained in the same manner & to all intent and purposes as either our Governor or Commander in Chief should or ought to do in case of your absence until your return or in all cases untill our further pleasure be known herein.

And we do hereby declare ordain & appoint that you the said Edward Cornwallis shall & may hold, execute & enjoy the office & place of our Captain General & Governor in Chief in & over our said Province of Nova Scotia, with all its rights, members & appurtenances whatsoever together with all & singular the Powers & authorities hereby granted unto you for & during our will & pleasure. In Witness whereof we have caused these our Letters to be made patent. Witness ourself at Westminster the Sixth day of May in the Twenty-second year of Our Reign. By Writ of Privy Seal.

(Signed) [L. S.] YORKE & YORKE.

At a Council holden at the Governour’s House at Halifax on Thursday July 11th, 1751.

Present — His Excellency the Governour. Col Horsman, Col. Gorham, B. Green, J. Salusbury, W. Steele.

His Excelly. informed the Council of the arrival yesterday of a number of palatine Settlers, and desired their opinion of the best method of disposing of them, The Council were of opinion That it would be most convenient to land them for the present at Dartmouth, and employ them in picketing in the back of the said Town.


At a Council holden at the Govrs. House at Halifax Friday June 12th, 1752.*

Present — His Excellency the Govr. Benj. Green, Wm. Steele, John Collier, Geo. Potheringham

*At a previous meeting of the Council held on the 3d of February, a public ferry was established between Halifax and Dartmouth, and John Connor of the latter place appointed ferryman, with the exclusive privilege for 3 years to keep boats constantly passing and repassing, between Sunrise and Sunset, every day in the week, except on Sunday, when the boats should pass only twice — the ferriage to be 3d., and 6d. after hours, for each Passenger, and a reasonable price to he paid for goods, other than baggage, &c., carried in the band, which passed free.

At a Council held at the Governor’s House at Halifax on Thursday 22d March 1753.

Present — His Excellency the Governor. The Ilonble. Chas. Lawrence, Benj. Green, J no. Salusbury, Willrn. Steele, J no. Collier, Willrn. Cotterell,

His Excellency having acquainted the Council that he was Instructed by His Majesty that a Militia should be raised and Established for the Service of this Province.

The Council did advise and Consent that the following Proclamation should be immediately Issued. Proclamation for the forming of a Militia By His Excellency Peregrine Thomas Hopson Esqr. Captain General and Governor in Chief and Vice Admiral of His Majesty’s Province of Nova Scotia or Accadie and Colonel of One of His Majesty’s Regiments of Foot.

Whereas, I am directed by His Majesty’s Royal Instructions to cause a Militia to be Established, as well for the Defence of the Lives and Properties of His Majesty’s Subjects as the Honour and Security of this his Province. I have thought fit by and with the Advice and Consent of his Majesty’s Council, to issue this Proclamation hereby strictly requiring and enjoining All Planters, Inhabitants and their Servants between the Ages of Sixteen and Sixty residing in and belonging to this Town, Suburbs or the Peninsula of Halifax, the Town and Suburbs of Dartmouth and the Parts adjacent Excepting the Foreign Settlers, as it is intended that they shall be Formed at their Out Settlement.

That the said Planters and Inhabitants do forthwith provide themselves and Servants with proper and sufficient Fire Arms Consisting of a Musket, Gun or Fuzil not less than three foot long in the Barrell, two spare Flints, and Twelve Charges of Powder and Ball, suitable to their respective Fire Arms, which said Arms and Ammunition the said Planters, Inhabitants and their Servants are to have and appear with at such Rendezvous as shall be by Proclamation Appointed at any time on or after, the 22d day of May next in the year of Our Lord 1753 At which time the said Planters and Inhabitants to be accountable for themselves and Servants. And in Default of such.

Appearance and Provision aforesaid, they will be liable to the Penalty of Forty Shillings to be levied on the Goods and Chattels of such Offender or Offenders by Warrant of Distress and Sale under the Hand and Seal of any one or more of His Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for the Town and County of” Halifax, and for want of sufficient Distress such Offender or Offenders to suffer One Months Imprisonment and hard Labour. Such Warrant to be Granted upon Information of such Officer or Officers as shall be appointed to muster the Persons required to appear as aforesaid. Done in the Council Chamber at Halifax this 22d day of March, in the year of Our Lord 1753, and in the 26th year of His Majesty’s Reign.

(Signed) P. T. HOPSON. By His Excellency’s Command by and with the Advice and Consent of His Majesty’s Council.

(Signed) Wm. Cotterell, Secy. God Save the King.

Resolved that an Act be forthwith prepared for the Regulation of the said Militia.

P. T. HOPSON. Jno. Duport, Sec. Cone.

Governor Hopson to Lords of Trade. Halifax 23d July 1753

Your Ldships may perhaps be somewhat surprised that I should have anything to apprehend from so inconsiderable and contemptible a body when I have the command of so many troops; but exclusive of the difficulty that attends marching after Indians in a country like this, I assure your Ldships that the troops are so divided in keeping the different posts of Chignecto, Annapolis Royal, Mines, Pisiquid, Lunenburg, Dartmouth, George’s Island, Fort Sackville and Halifax that I have not at present a detachment to spare from hence even upon the most urgent occasion. In fact what we call an Indian War here is no other than a pretense for the French to commit Hostilities upon his Majesty’s subjects.

The Lords Commrs for Trade & Plantations. Remarks relative to the Return of the Forces in Nova Scotia, 30th March, 1755.

To give a more distinct Idea of the situation of his Majestys Troops in this Province it is necessary to mention the several posts they at present occupy and the necessity there is that these posts be maintained.

  • 1, Halifax in Chebucto Harbour now the chief town in the Province being so well known needs no particular description.
  • 2, George’s Island is situated within the Harbour of Chebncto and has several Cannon mounted for protecting the Harbour but the Batterys are not quite finished.
  • 3, New Battery has lately been begun likewise not finish- ed. It stands on a rising ground about two miles east across the Harbour from Halifax this is to prevent shipping entering the Harbour under the Eastern shore without reach of George’s Island.
  • 4, Dartmouth, a large place picketed in for protection of the Settlers from England that arrived in 1750 and of the Government Mills lyes to the North East about a mile and a half from Halifax on the other side of the Harbour. With these three places there is only communication by water.
  • 5, Lawrence Town is a large palisaded square and Blockhouse situated upon a point of land near the Harbour of Musquedaboit about 4 leagues by water Eastward from Halifax with which there is a Communication by land from Dartmouth, & distance about 12 or 14 miles. This is a Settlement under- taken by a Company of Gentlemen and protected by the Troops from the incursions of the Indians who live a good part of the year in that neighborhood.
  • 6, Lunenburg is the place where the Palatine Settlers have been set down it is situated upon a neck of land which forms a peninsula having the Harbour of Mirleguish on the South West and a branch of Mahone Bay on the North East, Distant from Halifax by Water about 16 leagues — we have as yet no communication open with it by land. There is great necessity for the troops at that place both to protect the Settlers and to awe those of them that are of a turbulent disposition.
  • 7, Fort Sackville is a post at the head of Chebucto Bay or Bason, about 12 miles by water and 15 miles by land from Halifax. It is by this Port that the Route lyes to the interior parts of the Province, and from which Halifax may be alarmed m case of any sudden attempt of the French or Indians upon us by land.

At a Council holden at the Governors House in Halifax on Friday the 3d Dec 1756.

Present — His Excellency the Governor, The Lieutenant Governor, Benj. Green, Councs. Jno. Collier, Robt. Grant, T Chas. Morris

Jonathan Belcher Esqr. took the Oaths as a Member of His Majesty’s Council of this Province, and his Seat at the Board. His Excellency then communicated to the Council some Proposals which Mr. Chief Justice Belcher had laid before him the last Year for Calling a House of Representatives, and which he had at that time transmitted to their Lordships.

That until the said Townships can be more particularly described the limits thereof shall be deemed to be as follows, vizt.

That the Township of Dartmouth comprehend all the Lands lying on the East side of the Harbour of Halifax and Bedford Bason, and extending and bounded Easterly by the Grant to the Proprietors of Lawrence Town & extending from the Northeasterly Head of Bedford Bason into the Country, until one hundred Thousand Acres be comprehended

Akins, Thomas B. “Selections from the public documents of the province of Nova Scotia” Halifax, N.S.: C. Annand, 1869″

A sufferer of Monopoly

Allow me through the medium of your paper to call the attention of the public to the recent conduct of the Steamboat Company. You are, probably aware that during the last summer, we have had a boat plying between this and your city every twenty minutes. This was felt to be a great convenience, and was an improvement on the old system; and there seemed every prospect of Dartmouth looking up, and of persons coming over here to reside permanently; and although the boat didn’t run after ten o’clock at night, and all intercourse between this and your city was prohibited after that hour, yet we were disposed to submit to that inconvenience, rather than make any difficulty.

Now, however, a change seems to have come over the spirit of the company, and they have in the plenitude of their power, discontinued running one boat, so that now opportunities of crossing occur but once in forty minutes; and although the boat runs till ten o’clock, yet ticket holders are charged regular passage after 9 o’clock. Now both of these changes are felt to be great hardships.

The law of the Province which grants to the Steamboat Company THE MONOPOLY OF THE HARBOR OF HALIFAX, provides that a boat shall run every thirty minutes-but the Company think themselves justified in laughing at the law, and treating legislative enactments with supreme contempt; and the additional charge made after 9 o’clock can be looked upon in no other light than a mean, contemptible, and arbitrary abuse of power-intended, no doubt, as a punishment to those who petitioned the Governor and House of Assembly last winter for redress.

One would suppose that it was for the benefit of the company to promote intercourse between Halifax and Dartmouth, and induce parties to take up their permanent abode on this side. Bet the Steamboat Company, it seems, do not think so, for they are doing all in their power to restrict intercourse-drive people away from Dartmouth-and retard the prosperity of the place; and we doubt if any other country than Nova Scotia would tolerate a few individuals possessing a monopoly like that enjoyed by this company to restrict all communication between the capital of the Province and a large section of the country-to subject persons from the country and others, during the short winter days, to dance about without shelter on either side of the harbor the best part of an waiting for a boat; and we believe that in no other part of the world does it occur that the regular mails are obliged to wait the pleasure of the ferry boats-but I am informed that several times have our mails been compelled to wait all night in Dartmouth, when they have arrived after the hour when the Directors have ordered the boats to stop running.

This is surely a grievance that loudly calls for redress. The Company cannot shelter themselves under the plea of poverty, for the concern is well known to be the best investment in the place as a proof of which we mention, that no stock has been thrown into the market: the company by a law, requiring any member wishing to dis pose of his stock to offer it first to the Company, when it is at once taken off his hands. By a law passed last session, the Sessions are empowered to make such regulations respecting the boats as they think proper. Allow me the sir, in conclusion, to call upon all interested in the matter, on both sides of the water, to join in a petition to the Sessions at their next meeting, setting forth our grievances, and praying them to grant us such relief in the premises as the circumstances of the case demand.

Yours, &c..
Dartmouth, Novr. 1849.

The British Colonist, Nov 8, 1849.,+nova+scotia&article_id=5319,1139137&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwitsP-4_IOGAxVkPxAIHSlyCd44UBDoAXoECAoQAg#v=onepage&q&f=false

Ferry Boat Tender

Sealed Tenders will be received at the Office of the SECRETARY of the DARTMOUTH FERRY COMMISSION at DARTMOUTH, NOVA SCOTIA, until 4 o’clock on the 15TH DAY of AUGUST, 1896, for the CONSTRUCTION and DELIVERY at the Deck of the Dartmouth Ferry Commission at Dartmouth, duty paid (?) of a FERRY STEAMER, to be built, completed, and (?) in all respects in accordance with the Conditions, Plans, and Specifications now on (?) at the Office of the Dartmouth Ferry Commission, and Copies of which are
available at the Office of WILLIAM JACKS & CO.. ROYAL EXCHANGE SQUARE, GLASGOW, GR, and the Lockwood Manufacturing Company, East Boston, U. S., a Contract to be executed in accordance with the draft annexed to the said specifications. Tenders are to have the option of tendering for the construction of a Steel instead of a Wood Ship, in which they will be required, in the Tender being considered, to furnish without charge the necessary additional specifications to the satisfaction of the Commission.

The Commission do not bind themselves to adopt the lowest or any Tender.
DJohn W. Jago. Secretary Dartmouth Ferry Commission.

Dartmouth, N.S, June, 1896.

The Glasgow Herald, Jul 13, 1896.,+nova+scotia&article_id=7002,1134118&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjf3-T32IOGAxUtSFUIHUyMDTA4ChDoAXoECA0QAg#v=onepage&q=dartmouth%2C%20nova%20scotia&f=false

Dartmouth Parish (The Harbour of Halifax)

dartmouth-parish map

One of the only maps I’ve seen that shows what is a political division, “Dartmouth Parish”, I believe this is a reference to it being a bishopric. From Coke Upon Littleton:

“…the ancient towns called boroughs are the most ancient towns in England; and from these towns come the burgesses of parliament, when the king has summoned his parliament. Every borough incorporate that had a bishop within time of memory, is a city, albeit the bishopric be dissolved…It is not necessary that a city be a county of itself; as Cambridge, Ely, Westminster &c. are cities, but are no counties of themselves, but are part of the counties where they are.”

This ancient constitutional precept can be seen in Nova Scotian municipalities, at least, it was more easily seen while they were still legitimate municipal corporations, previous to the 1996 municipal coup when they had separate jurisdiction from the Counties in which they resided. This may have been owing to Nova Scotia’s Virginian Constitutional foundation as much as it was due to any influence from England. [“After the incorporation of Halifax (1841) and Dartmouth (1873), which made those cities geographically but not politically part of the County, the House of Assembly adopted the County incorporation Act in 1879.”].

“In Virginia, “town” means any existing town or an incorporated community within one or more counties that became a town before noon, July 1, 1971. Interestingly, the Code of Virginia allows for a process known as reversion. This process allows a city with a population of less than 50,000 to become a town. Two former cities, South Boston and Clifton Forge, have reverted.

Both cities and towns operate under charters (little constitutions) granted by the Virginia General Assembly. Unless state law says otherwise, charter provisions take precedent over state law. To amend or replace its charter, a city or town has to obtain General Assembly approval.

Unlike cities, which are independent geographically, incorporated towns are territorial subdivisions of the counties within which they are situated. Town residents are subject to county ordinances. They pay taxes to the county as well as the town, and they vote in county elections. Towns cannot levy a sales tax, but they do share in county sales tax revenue. Town annexations, unlike city annexations, do not remove territory from the county.

Until 1887 no formal distinction was made in law between cities and towns. Today, towns perform many of the same functions as cities, except they do not have courts, constitutional officers, or electoral boards. They do not supply social services, public and mental health services, community corrections and juvenile justice services, and (with a couple of exceptions) they do not operate schools. Instead, towns receive those services from the county of which they are a part.”

“Civics Education”, Local Government in Virginia. Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Education.

“Virginia’s thirty-eight incorporated cities are politically and administratively independent of the counties with which they share borders, just as counties are politically and administratively independent of each other. This separation of counties and independent cities evolved slowly beginning with the incorporation of the first city, Williamsburg, in 1722 and has no statewide parallel anywhere else in the United States.

From 1722 until 1892, towns became cities only by act of the General Assembly, which issued a city charter in the form of a statute; after 1892 a town could also incorporate as a city by petition to the circuit court. The first state constitutional mention of separate cities and counties came in the Constitution of 1869 and in the enabling legislation passed in the 1869–1870 General Assembly session. The constitution required that each county be divided into townships, and the enabling act stipulated that the commissioners appointed to lay off the townships (later changed to magisterial districts) should not include therein any town or city with a population of 5,000 or more. The Constitution of 1902 made no specific reference to independent cities but included provisions recognizing the principle that Virginia’s cities were independent of their neighboring counties. The Constitution of 1971 codified the independent status of Virginia’s cities.”

“Cities of Virginia”, Encyclopedia Virginia.

This was very much the situation of Nova Scotia as well until the unitary revisions to Nova Scotia’s (unwritten and therefore forever fungible) constitution which were made quite recently.

That the establishment of Dartmouth Township (among others) predated Halifax County, that the incorporated Municipality of the Town of Dartmouth inherited the constitutional machinery of Dartmouth Township, preceding the incorporation of a municipalized “Halifax County”, which was later integrated into what became the chartered city of Dartmouth, is a further example as to the constitutional order as it relates to local government.

Some interesting features are included, including the Ferryhouse located at the bottom of Old Ferry Road, the flour mill just outside of the town plot, as well as the “three hills above Dartmouth”, (which I believe is in reference to “Mt. Amelia” at the top of Old Ferry Road, “Silver’s Hill” in the Sinclair neighborhood and “Mt. Thom” aka Brightwood).

“The Harbour of Halifax”, Backhouse, Th. 1798.,

Annual Report 1890


Ladies and gentlemen:

The second year of my official duties as mayor of this town having closed, it affords me the opportunity to place before you the following report of the several services that have engaged the attention and exertions of your council. The most important of which are the ferry, between the Town and the city of Halifax; the railway subvention; the water supply and sewerage; electric lighting; cemetery and post office; together with the ordinary services incidental to the health, good order and management of the town in general; some of which they have been enabled to carry to completion, while others, particularly the introduction of a water supply, and construction of systematic sewerage have, after much laborious investigation, been adjourned, pending the result of a further and exhaustive examination that has been carried out by the assistance of a committee you considerably appointed in September last. unquestionably the year just passed has been a momentous one for the town, and the measures that have been matured and carried into operation, notably the entire control and acquisition of the ferry must have a great influence on our future progress and development; the auditor’s report: here too appended, page 20 will show you in detail your present financial condition; and the future requirements will be shown by the reports of the various departments. I trust that the several steps that have been taken by your Council for the purpose of improving the well-being, health and prosperity of the town will be considered satisfactory and meet with your full approbation. I will now review the various departments under their several heads.


The water supply in sewerage act of 1889 not having received your approval, and certain alterations being found necessary to make it a cord with the altered conditions then existing so that it’s privileges and Powers might be taken advantage of it any future time you might determine; your counsel promulgated and procured during the last session a short active amendment, insofar as was rendered requisite without making any material alteration in the principles of the bill. As instructed by your vote at a public meeting held March 6th, requesting your Council to take the legal steps to procure the authority and powers to establish an operate a corporation ferry, to and from Halifax; your Council procured the introduction, and notwithstanding the strenuous and persistent opposition of the Halifax and Dartmouth ferry company, secured the passage of an act investing a commission with full powers to carry out your desires, and authorizing your counsel to borrow the sum of 110,000 on debentures for the purposes of the ferry, and further in compliance with your vote at public meeting held 25th March last, your Council likewise secured the passage of an act in powering them to borrow the sum of 12,000, to enable the school commissioners to erect and equip three additional schools. this has been carried into effect by the issue of debentures for the sum of 12,300, bearing interest at 4% per annum, and the amount realized has been handed to the commissioners for the purposes set forth. And act was also procured repealing the 30th section of chapter 40 of the act of 1877, amending the towns incorporation act, and which restricted the council from levying and assessment exceeding the sum of $15,000 in any one year; this having been rendered requisite by the growth and increased requirements of the town.

By-laws and Ordinances

The prevalence of diphtheria in the town during the past summer rendered it necessary for the general health that your council, acting as a board of health, should draw up and submit to his excellency, the lieutenant governor in council, a set of bylaws and code of regulations, governing persons and places infected, which were duly approved; and having been published for the information of all concerned, have greatly assisted the health officers in carrying out their arduous duties.

The sanitary state of the Town

During the past year there has been an unusual outbreak of diphtheria in the town, several of the cases having been undoubtedly imported by parties coming from the city and outside districts. The number of cases during the epidemic has been distributed through 29 families, resulting in 40 recoveries and 18 deaths, the last case received a clean certificate from the doctor on the 24th December last. The only house in the town still under the band of infection is that occupied by Henry power on Tulip Street who since the diphtheric patient of his family died, has neglected to take the proper steps to cleanse and disinfect his premises so as to procure the necessary certificate. I am happy to say that by God’s grace and the efficient exertions of the doctors and health officers in carrying out the various orders and regulations of the board of health, together with the precautions taken by the citizens generally, the town is entirely free from the fatal scourge. having in view the fact that the town is absolutely without any sewerage, and that the water supply is defective in quality and inadequate and quantity, the death rate of the town has been surprisingly below that of many other places far more favorably equipped in these respects.

Railway subsidy

The several applications of the Dominion government for the annual subsidy of $4,000, now amounting to the sum of $20,000, having become important and in fact placed in the hands of their solicitors Messers Borden, Richie and Parker, for collection, and your Council failing to make their case understood by correspondence, and from the best information available, been assured that the terms and conditions of the agreement under which the demand was made against the town, have not fully complied with by the Dominion government; and that consequently the town’s liability had not accrued, decided in April last to send myself and his honor the recorder as delegates to Ottawa, to present their case personally to the government, and press the points relied upon as favorable to the town’s contention; with the result that the case has been for the time suspended to await the action of parliament at its forthcoming session, when it is fully anticipated that a satisfactory solution of this much effect and serious question maybe arrived at. It will appertain to the incoming Council to closely watch the case, and they may find it necessary for its success to send a personal representative again to Ottawa to press their claims.

Water supply and sewerage

This much discussed and important service has been passing through various phases during the year, and the act of the legislature of 1889 an amendment there too, of 1890, having failed to meet with the approval of the citizens as expressed at two public meetings held for the purpose of their consideration, a citizens committee was appointed on the 29th of September last, to inquire into the whole subject; who have since that time been engaged in an exhaustive examination and inquiry as to the capacity, capability, quality, and possibilities of the various proposed sources of supply, their cost of introduction and distribution, and have decided to virtually endorse the scheme as propounded by engineering, and adopted by the council in 1889, and recommend it’s adoption with some alterations in the mode of carrying out the work which, if approved by the citizens that to be held on the 26th, will necessitate the procuring of a new act from the legislature during their coming session. The plan of sewerage has been likewise approved with some slight modifications in the details of construction.


According to the auditor’s report and statements here to appended page 20, the receipts of the town from all sources, has been for the year 17,285.77, this with the balances in hand on the 31st December, 1889, of $1,156.72, balance due to treasurer or bank $54.68, and transferred interest from the school and fairy boards of 2,682.36, makes a total of $21,179.53, which some has been expended during the year as they’re in set forth. The current liabilities of the town are as follows:

The actual assets to represent the above are largely of a productive character, that is the fairy will of itself produce sufficient to cover the interest, the general finances of the Town having to provide the interest on the remaining 31,300 expended for schools, Town Hall and engine house.

The current liabilities show a heavy amount owing to the balance due to the ferry company on the purchase of their property by the commission, and for which the legislature will be asked to Grant authority to fund semicolon the amount paid to E.H. Keating C.E. on water supply; the purchase of land at spider lake; and the large amount of the assessment for the year still uncollected; which of itself is more than sufficient to cover all current outstanding claims chargeable on the current finances of the year.

Being nearly 10%, and end in excess of the same period in 1889 of $406.18, and is a larger amount that has been outstanding for many years, the only apparent reason for which is the general depression that has permeated the business portion of the community during the past two years; still with exercise of the utmost forbearance consistent with the town’s requirements, I’m fully assured that the greater portion of the amount will be collected.

The other current assets principally for poll tax and common rent are $338.74.

The only service that has during the year exceeded the estimated provision, was the construction of the fireproof vault in the town’s clerk’s office, and this was an item in which efficiency and completeness were imperative, and the work could not be curtailed; I have therefore much pleasure and congratulating the citizens on the very satisfactory state of the public finances, a detailed statement of receipts and expenditure with auditors report, will be founded page 20.


The commission instituted by the act of legislature on the 15th day of April, having been duly appointed on the 17th of the same month, was at once organized and commenced to take the necessary steps to carry out the duties and post upon them, by taking over from the citizens committee on the steamer Arcadia that had been provisionally purchased on the 31st day of March to carry the foot passengers across the harbor upon the ferry company withdrawing the privilege of commutation rates; and made provision for the continuation of this initial service; they also immediately sent delegates to New Brunswick and the States to look for and report upon a boat suitable to undertake the complete team service; at the same time the engaged in engineer to examine and report on the most available site on the harbor for the Dartmouth landing, and to prepare plans for the docks, floats, landings, etc, that would be required on both sides of the harbor; after a lengthened tour of the delegates and extensive examination of various vessels, the steamer “Halifax”, (late “Annex 2”) was, on the report of engineer warring, supplemented by the recommendation of the delegates, purchased in New York for $25,000, to which the expense and insurance incurred to bring her down, the duty and necessary repairs and alterations required to fit her to receive the requisite certificate for the service, have to be added. During the proceedings pending the purchase of this boat, negotiations were opened with the existing ferry company for the purchase of their entire premises and plant, but no definite arrangement could be arrived at until after the final purchase of the steamer had been completed; soon after which the suspended negotiations were reopened and eventually led to the acquisition of the whole interest of the company it being transferred to the commission for the sum of $109,000, the sale being perfected as taking place on the first day of July last; that’s terminating the exciting contest for supremacy between the then existing company and the commission for the passing traffic that had been carried on with more or less vigor during the previous three months, and preventing the loss that must have a crude by operating an opposition fairy on a large scale.

By this purchase the investment of the commission was increased to the extent of $40,000 beyond the some contemplated. And for which you in public meeting called for the purpose on the 22nd day of July, voted approving the scheme, and authorized your counsel to apply to the legislature for the necessary power to borrow on debentures the said further sum of $40,000; but this is not likely to increase in any way the burdens of the town is the commission has entered into possession of property beyond the necessary requirements of the ferry that is producing an annual rent equal to the interest of about $35,000 of this sum, and the remaining interest will become a first charge on the earnings of the ferry itself; this property can at any time be disposed of when a purchaser can be found willing to pay a figure equivalent to its annual return; there are also two or three boats I can be dispensed with when opportunity offers, which will likewise reduce the capital investment.

As to the achievements that have resulted from the town’s acquisition of this undertaking, first there has been affected a bona-fide reduction of 40% on the rate for foot passengers, which is the chief source of income, this is participated by the public at large. The citizens of Dartmouth, who are the principal holders of commutation tickets, have not directly received any benefit from this reduction, as the special rates charged remain the same as of old; it has been found necessary to slightly increase the charge for commutations for team and vehicle traffic, in order to assimilate it more in accordance with the expense occurred. the great reduction from 5 to 3 cents has already been more than made up by the increased number of passengers carried, but this has been in some measure achieved by the reduced number of persons that have taken out commutation tickets, so that while the receipts from the general traffic for the past 6 months has increased nearly $1,000 beyond the corresponding period in 1889, the returns from commutation tickets for the same time has been $1,260, less than an 1889, but this appears to be largely improving, is the returns for the last quarter has made a great advance beyond the first. I therefore consider you may look forward in the near future to the time when this income will have increased to some Beyond its previous return. But the expenses are largely in excess of those incurred by the company; the running of larger boats, and those for longer hours, are in every respect to more costly affair; the engineers have to be of a more advanced class, and must be paid accordingly, the cruise have to be increased in number, and the quantity of coal consumed is increased 50%, this necessitates more yard labor to handle; the wear and tear to the boats, docs, and approaches, is beyond calculation, all these additions, with many others, added to the cost of maintainance will for some time militate against the accumulation of any surplus. The necessity of having to erect a new waiting room in station House in halifax, the repairs to docks, words and buildings, have made heavy demands on the resources of the commission, so that sometime will probably elapse before any much greater reduction in rates can be contemplated; but being in the hands of the citizens they have the assurance that so soon as the income May warrant, a revision of tariff rates will take place, and they will receive the full benefit that may be compatible with security. I trust that the accounts of the commission at the close of the first full year of operation will show on the whole a very satisfactory result.

Public schools

These have been under the control of a special commission for the past two years, and should now be showing the advantages anticipated by the change of management, how far these have realized I will leave to the judgment of such parents as of children in attendance, who should be in the best position to form an impartial opinion.

The town having in the spring of 1889, established a kindergarten department as part of the public system of education; which has now been operation upward of three terms, and if the special method of imparting instruction is in itself a success, apart from the original idea of introducing a brightening and invigorating principle into the lives of the little waves of a great city, who had previously found little in this world but squalor, want and misery; it is now quite time that it should be shown by the improved status the pupils that have received this training attain in the other departments of the schools, for if it terminates in their ability to imitate the actions of their instructors it is of small value semicolon I am sure you will anxiously watch the developments in this connection.

The sum asked for maintenance this year appropriated by your Council for the service was $6,603, which with the sum of 1,357.62 the amount of provincial Grant to teachers makes a total of $7,960.62, and there has been expended for this purpose $8,211.31.

For the purchase of land and the erection of three new buildings, the benches had been issued by the town for the sum of $12,300 for 20 years bearing interest at the rate of 4% per annum. The North end building of two departments has been erected, the Tufts Cove school occupying one of the rooms. The green veil or Central building for four departments is in course of construction, the contract for the Woodside building has not been let at present, and the commissioners have found it necessary to make an application for the further sum of 2,500 to enable them to complete the grading and fencing of the grounds attached to the central school and the erection of the building at woodside; the consideration of this additional requisition will devolve upon the incoming Council for a particulars see chairman’s report page 31.

Dartmouth Park

This fine tract of land has been, under the charge of the commission, planted with 500 ornamental trees, a pavilion erected, seats set up, the roads and paths have been improved, portions of land leveled, the surface stones removed, and drains constructed, which in the course of a few years will greatly add to the appearance and usefulness of the place as a public resort semicolon much more could have been accomplished had more extensive funds been available for this purpose. The receipts for the year have been, from the town funds, $250; from voluntary contributions, $55; an interest of deposit, $30.21; for building stone, $9.50; these, with the balance in hand on first January, 1890, of $831.62, make a total of $1,176.33. the expenditure has been for town, $100; pavilion, $210.38; labor and sundries, $563.63, and all $874.01, leaving a balance of $302.32, $300 of which wise in the bank on special deposit, and the sum of $50 of the voluntary contributions still uncollected.


This service has received the constant attention of the committee and overseer, who have endeavored to bring into as efficient of State as possible, the roads and streets of the outlying sections, and as in the year 1889, doing a little more than cleaning and maintaining the streets of the center plot, having in contemplation the necessity of their surfaces having to be broken up in the near future, for the purpose of constructing sewers etc. The some placed in the estimates was $2,100, out of which $2,081.44 has been expended. granite Crossing on water street, paving 500 ft of gutter with stone on Ochterloney street, the Reconstruction of several large culverts, the erection of new fences, the repairing of Lake road with 1,244 bushels of broken stone, 436 loads of shore gravel was used in the general repairs throughout the town, and in cleaning out and repairing the various gutters, drains and culverts this service will in the near future require a much larger expenditure, is the shore gravel now obtainable is becoming yearly deteriorated in quality, and all the pits in the vicinity of the town from which material have been from time to time drawn, have been exhausted, the only resource left being the purchase of an improved Stone crusher with portable engine, and the breaking up of the wind Stone so abundant on all.

The sum of $300 was provided for watering of streets; during the summer the committee had the cart out 43 days from May 23rd to September 26th, using saltwater throughout at an expenditure of $194.93.

Public property

Town clerk’s office– The sum of $250 was provided in the estimates for the construction of a fireproof fault, to contain the papers, vouchers, and documents appertaining to this office; this much required work has been satisfactorily completed by tender and contract at a total cost of $339.47, and all although this some exceeds the estimated amount by $89.47, still the outlay is small for the obtained certainty of security against possible loss by fire of the vast accumulation of documents, that no money compensation could possibly recover.

Lamont property– This is under conditional lease to Levi Conrad the dam in Mill being considerably out of repair the place is let at a nominal rental; the house was slightly damaged by fire during the summer colon and has been repaired at the charge of the insurance company.

Engine house and lock up– In additional room has been fitted up and added to the apartments of the caretaker of The engine House and necessary repairs affected to the lockup, at a total cost of $43.92. the bell tower of The engine House having lately developed symptoms of weakness will require thorough examination in the spring, and any defect that may be found attended to.

Street lamps– These at present number 57, distributed throughout the town; they include three new ones erected by the town, and one presented by ex mayor Simmons and erected in Ward 1 the cost for this service has been $755.93. I cannot leave this subject without reverting to the various proposals that have been made to employ electricity for this purpose; but has no reasonable plan that was likely to satisfy the requirements of the citizens, at a cost within the reach of your Council has been propounded, it has again been necessary to defer action in this direction for the time being semicolon but I trust that, through the many and great improvements that have, and are continually taking place in the application of electricity to Street and other lighting, it will not be long before it can be made available.

Pumps and Wells– There are at present 19 public Wells and 18 pumps these have been duly cleaned and repaired there has been during the year one new well excavated and three new pumps set up the whole service insofar is it extends is in a satisfactory condition although the quality of the water is in general far from good and the distribution inadequate to meet the requirements of all sections; the amount expended has been $167.69.

Fire department– This service has been maintained in its usual state of efficiency, and is promptly responded to the several calls during the year, which have been six, this, three alarms, and three fires, and in each case the fire was so far controlled as to confine its ravages to the building within which it originated, the amount expended has been $457.92.


The usual force has been employed and from the large extent of ground to be patrolled by so small of force, it has on the whole been satisfactorily performed, the town having been exceptionally free from disorder in crime; the expenditure for this service has been $1,197.94. a change has been decided upon whereby half of the force will be from the first of the present month perform night duty and, and it is fully anticipated that the change will be the means of preventing the repetition of a series of petty offenses that have been at various times occurred to the annoyance of the citizens.

Liquor Licenses

This is the fourth year in which the only application for license has been from messers Oland and sons and company, for a wholesale Brewer’s license, for which they have paid the statutory application fee of $10.


There has been an increase of two persons chargeable to the town during this year, making a total of eight, namely, five males and three females; they have been taken care of in the county pores farm at a charge to the town of $424.37. they appear to have received all requisite care and attention. The other charges under this department amount to $179.19 for usual Grant to dispensary and general assistance to some of the families while suffering from attacks of diphtheria and other indigent persons.

Pauper lunatics

The number of town patients in hospital at the commencement of this year was eight, admitted since two, making a total of 10. Two patients have died, and one has been discharged, leaving a balance of seven in hospital at present chargeable to the town, VIS three meals and four females. the amount paid to the hospital has been $66.50, do on the 31st of december, 1889, of which some the town has received for maintenance, etc, of the patient the sum of 117.46, making a net expenditure of 489.04, paid by the town. There is now due to the hospital to date the sum of $1,138.29, which will have to be provided for in the estimates for the year 1891.

Public cemetery

The plot of ground devoted to this purpose is nearly all taken up, and although there is an authorization to extend the enclosure southwards to the line of stairs street, it has not been deemed advisable to carry it into effect, the general consensus of opinion being favorable to the establishment of a place of burial further removed from the population, and in this connection your Council has been like their predecessors untiring in their inquiries and examinations of localities for this purpose, but have up to this present failed to recognize a plot that will meet all the requirements; they haven’t viewed two probable parcels of land either of which can be procured, and they are in many respects very suitable, but each has its own deficiencies. From the massive information that will be placed at the disposal of the incoming council, I have every reason to Hope they will be enabled at an early date to select a satisfactory plot that will meet with your full approval.

Post office

I have much satisfaction in reporting that the Dominion government have acknowledged the long made just claims of the town for a change in this service; at the last meeting of the legislature a sum of money was placed in the estimates for the purpose of purchasing a site for and erecting a suitable building for a post office. After full consideration your Council have decided that the lot of land owned by the ferry commission on the southwest corner of Portland and water streets, is the most suitable site for this purpose, and they have appointed a committee to wait on the county members of the House of Commons to request their services in recommending the same to the government, and urged the necessity of the work being proceeded with immediately.


During the year no very important litigation has occurred. A suit was brought against the town for proceedings of the street committee in 1889. The committee had made an arrangement with Mr Franklin, who assumed to be the owner of the Cottage Hill property, for the privilege of taking Earth from the side of the hill to repair the streets. The ownership of the land has since been claimed by Mr L.B. Fairbanks, who brought a suit against the town for the value of the Earth taken. The cause was tried before Mr Justice Townshend, who gave judgment against the plaintiff on the ground that no trespass was shown to have been committed outside of the line of the street, even assuming that the land adjacent was that of the plaintiff, as alleged by him. The plaintiff has appealed from this judgment to the supreme Court in banc.

Before closing this report I have to acknowledge the great obligations I am under to the several members of my council, the numerous commissioners and others with whom I have been associated in the onerous duties of the various services of the town, to his honor the recorder, the town clerk, and other officials of the town, for their hearty cooperation and cordial assistance under many difficult and trying circumstances and carrying out of the various duties devolving upon them and the ability with which they have throughout attended to the best interest of the town.

Thanking you for the honor and confidence you have a second time bestowed upon me and with sincere wishes for the progress and prosperity of the town of Dartmouth, I have the honor to be, ladies and gentlemen,

Your most obedient servant, Frederick Scarfe, Mayor

Dartmouth NS January 22nd 1891.

Auditors report

To his worship the mayor and counselors of the town of Dartmouth:


We beg to report having audited the books, vouchers and accounts of the Town clerk and treasurer, including the books, vouchers and accounts of the board of school commissioners, Dartmouth, for the year ending December 31st, 1890, all of which we find in order and correct.

Annexed is a list of the current liabilities of the town, and a statement of the consolidated and bonded debts, as shown by the ledger accounts and sundry documents placed in our hands for inspection.

By the accompanying statement it will be seen that the receipts for the year amounted to $19,968.13, and the expenditure to $21,179.53, leaving to debit of the Town $54.68, being the difference between receipts and expenditure, less 1,156.72, balance at credit of the Town brought down from last year.

The statement of the board of school commissioners shows that the receipts for the year amount to $8,146.23, and the expenditure to $8,211.31, leaving a balance to the debit of this account, $48.98. it will be seen the balance between receipts and expenditure shows $65.08; the difference, $16.10, is in the balance brought down.

By the school board capital account the receipts from debentures sold amount $11,998.65, and sale of Falconer house, $255 = $12,353.65, and expenditure on school sites and buildings, $5,520.20, leaving balance of $6,733.45, on special deposit, $6,200 in Bank current account $484.47, and owing this account by general fund $48.98.

All of which is respectfully submitted,

Geo. Foot, W. Creighton, } Auditors

Dartmouth, N.S., January 12th, 1891.

Statement of Receipts and Expenditures of the Town of Dartmouth for the year ended 31st Dec., 1890.

Auction, Hackney, Truck & Trader’s licenses and Dog Taxes Paid, 1890

Dartmouth Municipal Court

Police Court

Staff of Teachers, Nov 1890

Ratepayers of the town of Dartmouth

Ladies and gentlemen it is my duty, as chairman of the board of school commissioners, to lay before you a brief report of the receipts and expenditures for the financial year ending the 31st December last, and also to acquaint you with the general condition of this most important branch of the public service.

Seventeen teachers were employed during the winter, and 18 during the summer term of the past year, an increase of one over the corresponding terms of the previous year.

During the winter term the schools were open 118 days full time; $988 pupils were enrolled, who made a total attendance of $73,389 days, or an average of 62% of the school days was open.

It is to be regretted that, owing to the prevalence of diphtheria, it was deemed advisable to close the schools in the center of the town for about 6 weeks. During this term the schools were open only on an average of 68 days; the enrollment was $1,057. The total attendance during this time was 44,404 days, making the average 62% of the enrollment, daily present.

The attendance for the term previous to the appearance of diphtheria, was much larger than that of the corresponding term of any previous year; but the attendance from the reopening of the schools, until the end of the year, was only about 1/3 of the usual number.

The total number of different pupils enrolled during the year was 1,176, and increase of 45, or about one department, but there is no doubt had it been not for the outbreak of diphtheria the increase would have been very much larger.

The total cost for the year was $7,975.46, or a per capita cost of $6.78 for those enrolled, which is an increase of six cents per capita over the last year; but if the increase in attendance had been as large as anticipated, the per capita cost would have been less.

The equipment is much better than formerly, and the teachers are there for enabled to do better work.

The kindergarten department coordinates easily with the regular primary departments; many of its methods have been carried on in the succeeding department, continuing that training of the hand and eye, so valuable and afterlife.

The action of the board and establishing this department has been fully endorsed, by the establishing of three fully equipped kindergartens, in the city of Halifax, besides several others in different parts of the province. In a few years, no town of any importance will consider its system complete, without a department in which Froebels principles are fully practiced.

The attendance in this department for the past term was 69, which is as many as can be efficiently taught. It is to be regretted that the assistance are all from Beyond the confines of our own town; but these unpaid, but wise young ladies will reap benefits, that should be secured by those among us.

As the people everywhere are asking for practical education, and are urging the establishment of manual training schools, it can readily be seen that, our kindergarten is a step in the right direction introducing as it does, the manual training at the outset, which is admitted by all, to be the proper time.

The schools’ banks still continue to be well patronized.

The amount deposited since their establishment, three years ago, has been $3,165.15.

Of this amount there has been transferred to the Government and Post Office Savings’ Bank $2,501.

Repaid to depositors $343.35.

Leaving a balance in hand of $320.80.

$300 of which is on deposit in the Union Bank, Halifax, at four per cent interest, and $20.80 in same bank in the current amount.

The contract for the school at the North end was awarded to Mr John T. Walker for the sum of $2,149, being about $1,600 less than the next tender.

Several tenders were received for the construction of the central building, but Mr Walker’s tender was again $28 lower than any other, being $5,997. The building is now in course of construction, and will be handed over to your board early in the spring.

The architect in preparing the plans has made provision for future needs; and has so designed it that future enlargements can be economically made. The building will, when completed, enable the board to provide for all the pupils attending without renting outside rooms.

Your bored considered the question of sites very carefully, and examined a number in all quarters, getting prices and comparing sizes. The site selected were in each case fully considered, and all things being taken into account, your board feel the selections were the best that could be made with the funds at their disposal.

At the North end a site was purchased from Mr D. Farrell measuring 200 ft on Windmill road and 150 ft on the side street.

On this site they have erected a fine substantial building containing two rooms, one of which is now occupied. This building is lighted, heated and seated according to the most approved methods.

It is so situated, that while doing Justice to the residents at Tufts Cove who have been promised such accommodation for several years past, it will also be convenient for a number residing in the North end of the town.

A site has been purchased from Mr AC Johnston at the south end, at such a distance from the sugar refinery that a number of pupils residing in the town may be accommodated without coming, as at present, to Hawthorne school.

In the center of the Town a site has been purchased from Mr James Shand, measuring 249 ft on Ochterloney street, and 283 ft on pine street, which street, according to the deed, has to be extended so as to meet an extension of quarrel street, thus making it a corner lot. The lot contains nearly one and one half acres.

The three sites cost about $350 less than was estimated; but the cost of construction being so much greater, that when park and Hawthorne schools were built; you’re bored find that they will not be able to accept tenders for the south end school, and for fencing and out buildings for the central school, without a further Grant of $2,500. You’re bored regrets having to ask you for a further sum, for completing the work, but as tenders were asked for, and the lowest accepted in every case, they feel that you will see they were as economical as possible, and did the very best they could with the money voted.

It is gratifying to note the very few cases of corporal punishment inflected on pupils during the year, and therefore we must conclude that the moral character of the young is improving.

The action of the ferry commission in passing the children attending the county academy, without charge, has removed one of the principal reasons for starting a high school in Dartmouth, and therefore your board has not deemed it advisable to add that department to the system.

Appended will be found a statement of receipts and expenditure both for the general and capital accounts.

I have the honor to be, ladies and gentlemen, your obedient servant,

W.H. Stevens, Chairman of the Board of School Commissioners.

Dartmouth Board of School Commissioners

“Go to Halifax”


An article of note for the information it provides of 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 with the boat (in Yarmouth) and goes direct to Halifax in about ten hours time… Another very popular route to Halifax is by boat from Boston direct to the city.”

“(Halifax) is a quaint old town, not unlike Quebec, only vastly more prosperous. There are handsomer houses and better kept stores. You do not see the great poverty and wretchedness that you see in the city on the St. Lawrence. Although business is not very brisk, Halifax in its day has been a very prosperous city and is said today to contain a great deal of wealth. The inhabitants, however, are very dissatisfied with the union with the other Canadian provinces. They wish that they had remained an independent province. They say they have received no benefit whatever from the union. They have to send to Ottawa and other parts of Canada for the grain and other products of the soil they cannot raise and have to pay for them in money. They cannot exchange their coal and metals for those articles. Canada can do with out Nova Scotia, but Nova Scotia must send her gold to Canada for very many necessary articles. She has a high protective tariff, but it does not do her any good. The people here I find are nearly all very loyal to the mother country. While they desire trade with the United States, and wish for some reciprocal plan of commercial relation, yet there seems to be very little desire to be annexed to this country. Probably in no part of the British Provinces is the feeling for the mother country so loyal than here in Halifax.”

“Recently, for some unaccountable reason, the military authorities have leased the citadel hills to local alderman for the pasturage of cows and the Nova Scotian and the visitor from America are told by the English sentinels to “keep off the grass.” The American, of course, feels very indignant that he cannot climb about the hill as he would like to, but his indignation is nothing compared to that of the old residents of Nova Scotia, who from their boyhood days have been accustomed to prowl about the Citadel at their will. Of course, a pass can be obtained from some high official and, by keeping the roadway, the visitor can go to the top of the hill, but he is not allowed to climb up the side and to walk around the summit of the fort.”

“Across the harbor is the village of Dartmouth and one of the ferryboats plying on this line was formerly on the Pennsylvania Annex running from Brooklyn to Jersey City. Dartmouth is the Brooklyn of Halifax. It has a large park on the summit of a hill where the view is even finer than that obtained on the summit of citadel hill.”

H.F.G. “Go to Halifax”. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle [Brooklyn], Sunday, 08 Jul 1894. p.5

This is the paddle-wheeler “Annex 2” built in 1878 at New Baltimore, N. Y., and one of the six boats of the Jersey City-Brooklyn ferry system. She was bought in New York by John White and Byron A. Weston representing the Citizens’ Committee of Dartmouth to run as a competitor to the Ferry Company. The boat cost $25,000 but in the months subsequent to her purchase a considerable sum had to be spent on repairs. The “Annex” was re-named the “Halifax”, and did duty until 1909 when she was destroyed by fire at her dock in Dartmouth.

See also: 1890, The Annex.

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