“James Delancey, Esquire, of Annapolis, in the Province of Nova Scotia, had a [Black] slave, named Jack, who run away from his service without leave, and went to Halifax, above an hundred miles distant from Annapolis, where he was taken into the service of a Mr. Wooden on wages. On hearing this, Col. Delancy directed his Attorney to write to Mr. Wooden, informing him, that the [Black man] belonged to Mr. Delancey, and that if he detained him, an action would be brought against him for so doing. To which Mr. Wooden’s Attorney returned for answer, that the [Black man] in question was indeed retained by Mr. Wooden in his service, but that he, as well as all other [Black people] in this Province, were Freemen; there not being any other law here to make them otherwise.” Opinions of Several Gentlemen of the Law, On the Subject of Negro Servitude, …

Opinions of several gentlemen of the law, on the subject of [Black] servitude, in the province of Nova-Scotia Read More…

“In the year 1799 the Bishop of Nova Scotia reported to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts that the Province was being troubled by “an enthusiastic and dangerous spirit” among the sect called “Newlights”, whose religion seemed to be a “strange jumble of New England Independency and Beheminism.” Through the teaching of these “ignorant mechanics and common laborers”, the people were being excited to a “pious frenzy,” and a rage for dipping” prevailed over all the western counties. It was further believed by the Bishop and the Anglican clergy that these sectaries were engaged in a plan for “a total Revolution in Religion and Civil Government.” “…as Bishop Inglis recognized, the movement was a continuation of the great revival or religion which occurred in New England between 1740 and 1744, it may be properly called “The Great Awakening in Nova Scotia.” “Although laws (such as …

The Great Awakening in Nova Scotia, 1776-1809 Read More…

On moving the eleventh resolution, on the 3rd of March (1837), Mr. Howe made a speech that is worth preserving, for various reasons. Those who defended the old system of government assumed, first, that the institutions of the United States had failed to secure liberty and happiness, and that by yielding responsible government, republican institutions would be at once introduced. Mr. Howe combated both these arguments. While he did justice to our neighbours, and ascribed to the practical working of their purely elective institutions the great prosperity and freedom which they enjoyed, he showed that responsible government was not republicanism, but a purely British mode of conducting public affairs, which British Americans might claim without any impeachment of their loyalty: “In rising to move the last resolution, while I congratulate the House on having got so nearly through the series, I must also thank them for the patient attention with …

Speech on Elective Councils (Senate) Read More…

“I have also thought it due to the pioneers in the religious development of Nova Scotia to give a brief sketch of the establishment of the five great denominations, the Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, Baptists, Church of England and Methodists – who comprise in their membership nearly all the population of the province, where the Church has always exercised a powerful influence on the social and moral conditions of a country where the Puritan and English element of New England has, in the course of over a century, intermingled with English, Scotch and Irish and given birth to the “Nova Scotian.”” “Howe was never in his heart opposed to union in principle as I know from conversations I had with him in later times, but he thought the policy pursued by the promoters of confederation was injurious to the cause itself -that so radical a change in the constitution of the …

Builders of Nova Scotia Read More…

“The total number of [Black] slaves brought into Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island from the revolted colonies previous to the summer of 1784 may be estimated with some approach to certainty. Under instructions from Sir Guy Carleton, Colonel Morse, commanding Royal Engineer, made a tour of the Provincial settlements in the autumn of 1783 and early part of the summer of 1784, and to his report appended a “return of the disbanded troops and Loyalists settling in Nova Scotia,” for the purpose of ascertaining the number entitled to the “Royal Bounty of Provisions.” In the column allotted to ”servants” are, Dartmouth, 41 ; Country Harbour, 41 ; Chedabucto, 61 ; Island St. John, now Prince Edward Island, 26; Antigonish, 18; Cumberland, etc., 21 ; Partridge Island, now Parrsboro, 69 ; Cornwallis and Horton, 38 ; Newport and Kennetcook, 22 ; Windsor, 21 ; Annapolis Royal, etc., 230 …

The slave in Canada (1899) Read More…

“That slavery existed in Canada before its conquest by Britain in 1759-60, there can be no doubt, although curiously enough it has been denied by some historians and essayists. The first [Black] slave of which any account is given was brought to Quebec by the English in 1628. He was a young man from Madagascar and was sold in Quebec for 50 half crowns. Sixty years thereafter in 1688, Denonville, the Governor and DeChampigny, the Intendant of New France, wrote to the French Secretary of State, complaining of the dearness and scarcity of labor, agricultural and domestic, and suggesting that the best remedy would be to have [Black] slaves.” “The curse of [Black] slavery affected the whole English speaking world; and that part of the world where it was commercially profitable resisted its abolition. The British part of this world does not need to assert any higher sense of justice …

The slave in Canada (1920) Read More…

“[Black] slaves were among the population of Halifax from the beginning or very shortly after. Where they came from is uncertain and it has been suggested that they came with the original settlers across the ocean. In the absence of any other explanation more plausible, this might be accepted. Lord Mansfield’s decision in the Somerset case was a quarter of a century in the future. But it seems more probable that they were brought from the English Colonies, and some almost certainly were. The official records of the country exhibit much evidence to this effect. In September, 1751, the Boston Evening Post advertised “Just arrived from Halifax and to be sold, ten strong heart, [Black] men mostly tradesman, such as caulkers, carpenters, sailmakers and ropemakers. Any person wishing to purchase may enquire of Benjamin Halliwell of Boston.” Such an advertisement indicates that shipbuilding was slack at Halifax and more brisk …

Slavery in the Maritime Provinces Read More…