“Across the harbour from Halifax were the settlements of Dartmouth and Preston, already economically dominated by the capital. Dartmouth had been settled in 1784 by twenty families from Nantucket. The men had been engaged in whaling, as had the men of Barrington, but the enterprise had suffered a financial disaster in 1792, and most of the original inhabitants had moved to Milford in South Wales. Preston had been settled in 1784 by Loyalists, disbanded soldiers, and freed Negro slaves. Only the Loyalists had remained. The Negroes were industrious, gaining a living by supplying butter, eggs, and poultry to Halifax, but …

The Geography of Haliburton’s Nova Scotia More…

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“THERE can be few incidents in Nova Scotian history which, on the surface, present a greater enigma than that of the Dartmouth whale fishery. In 1785 a fleet of thirteen whalers, with fishermen and their families, came to Dartmouth. They put up houses, and settled, and in three years built up a successful and lucrative industry. But four years later, in the full enjoyment of it, suddenly, and for no apparent reason, they packed up their belongings, left their homes to tumble down or rot, and sailed away. This strange interlude has attracted scant attention from contemporary or subsequent writers. …

The Dartmouth Whalers More…

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“Isaac Deschamps and James Brenton, puisne judges of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court [NSSC], had, charged the colonial Assembly in April 1790, committed “divers illegal, partial, and corrupt acts” such as to justify “Impeachment” for “High Crimes and Misdemeanours.”‘ These words come from the preamble to a list of seven “articles of impeachment” passed by the Nova Scotia Assembly on 5-7 April 1790. The seven articles, distilled from thirteen draft articles which had been introduced on 10 March, listed ten cases in which the judges were alleged to have acted incompetently or partially, or both, and also included accusations that …

The Impeachment of the Judges of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, 1787-1793: Colonial Judges, Loyalist Lawyers, and the Colonial Assembly More…

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Is Dartmouth different? In the 19th century it certainly was. From the Reports of the London Vaccine Institution, we have a contribution from July 28th, 1823 about Dartmouthian and Quaker Seth Coleman and how he tended to the people of Preston (and Dartmouth at large) who had smallpox. In 1814, when the “medical gentleman of the town of Halifax were not to be induced to cross the harbour”, Seth Coleman stepped in and saved the lives of at least 423 people, including 285 Black refugees and 59 Mi’kmaq. Coleman regretted the racial prejudice expressed by most colonists and Nova Scotian …

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On July 17th 1795, Joshua Evans arrived at Dartmouth, and stayed for almost two weeks, visiting with local Quakers Seth Coleman and Thomas Green, among ten other local families. Evans, a Quaker minister and abolitionist, was born in 1731 in West Jersey. He was a vegetarian and a fervent proponent of the peace testimony, Quaker plainness, and ending slavery. “…Wherever he went, Evans was acutely sensitive to all suffering. He would visit any Indian village near his route, relaying the needs he found there to whatever Meeting he was visiting, suggesting members take action, which they usually did. He often …

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From The Story of Dartmouth, by Dr. John P. Martin: The removal of the Nantucket Whaling Company to Dartmouth in 1785, gave the town its first major industry; and also brought about a marked change in the shape of the 1750 town-plot. A local commission of inquiry set up in 1783, ruled that all but two of the Dartmouth proprietors had failed to fulfil conditions of their grants. The Legislature of*Nova Scotia voted a considerable sum of money to assist this enterprise, because candles, sperm oil and other products were as essential then, as are gasoline and electricity in our …

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