The township of Cumberland was settled in 1762-3 or thereabouts, by settlers from Rhode Island. They came in four schooners, and a list of their names was formerly in the Archives of the Province. During the whole of the struggle between the mother country and her colonies, the Cumberland settlers, especially those from the old colonies and the north of Ireland, warmly sympathized with the revolted colonies. In 1772-3-4 and 5, a large immigration took place to both the township and county, principally from Yorkshire, and in no instance during the revolutionary struggle, and the many acts of violence committed …

Trials For Treason In 1776-7 More…

“Soon after the first unfriendly attempt upon our chartered privileges, a congress of delegates from nine colonies was assembled at New York in October, 1765, at the recommendation of Massachusetts, and they digested a bill of rights, in which the sole power of taxation was declared to reside in their own colonial legislatures. This was preparatory to a more extensive and general association of the colonies, which took place in September, 1774, and laid the foundations of our independence and permanent glory. The more serious claims of the British parliament, and the impending oppressions of the British Crown at this …

“…from Nova Scotia to Georgia” More…

“Writing in the posthumously published final version of his historical chronicle of early Halifax town, lawyer-archivist Thomas Beamish Akins condemned the infamous 1820 state trial, R. v. Wilkie, in these memorable words: An anonymous pamphlet was published from the press of A.H. [Anthony Henry] Holland, charging the magistrates of the town with malpractices, which caused much excitement. It was discovered to have been written by Mr. William Wilkie, of Halifax. He was indicted for libel, tried at the Easter term of the Supreme Court [17 April 1820] and sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labor in the House of …

Sedition in Nova Scotia: R. v. Wilkie (1820) and the Incontestable Illegality of Seditious Libel before R. v. Howe (1835) More…

“Nova Scotia had found [in Joseph Howe] not only its John Wilkes but also its Charles James Fox.” — W.S. MacNutt, 1965 “In a seminal article published in 1974, Kenneth McNaught described Howe as one of Canada’s “two most significant cases involving political freedom of the press” — the other being Dixon for seditious libel arising from the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919. McNaught failed to mention an important early New Brunswick case (Hooper, 1830), where the proprietor-editor of the British Colonist (Saint John) was prosecuted for seditious libel after publishing, under the author’s suggestive Puritan nom-de-plume (“Hampden”), a letter …

Sedition In Nova Scotia: R. v. Howe and the “Contested Legality” of Seditious Libel More…

(bb.) Adml. Graves to Mr. Stephens.—Boston, 3 Oct. Receipt of letters acknowledged, and an account given of his further proceedings. The province of Nova Scotia contains many disaffected people, natives and New Englanders. I have reason to apprehend an attempt to destroy H.M.’s yard and stores, in which the rebels from the eastern parts of New Hampshire would be sure of assistance, not only from the town and country people, but even from the artificers of the yard, who are mostly of this province. It is, indeed, a very serious consideration that those employed in the yard are so intimately …

“Nova Scotia contains many disaffected people, natives and New Englanders” More…

Our couriers between Quebec and Montreal depart from hence twice a week. The letters they carry scarce defray the expense of the riding work; but, seeing that the conveniency of the posts weekly is felt by the mercantile body, and in short by the whole province, and saves the expense of many expresses to Government, I shall continue it as long as it does not bring the office in debt. In all probability we shall be shut out from all communications from any one part of the world after the middle of November until the middle of May, unless letters …

“There’s many Whigs (as they are called) in Nova Scotia” More…

(aa.) Admiral Graves to Mr. Stephens, Boston, 18 May.—I find that the rebellion begun in Massachusetts Bay has spread itself to New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. There is too much reason to apprehend the infection is general, since even Nova Scotia has shown symptoms in burning a quantity of hay collected for the use of the troops. I submit, therefore, how extremely useful a few of the old fifty-gun ships would be to serve in the rivers of this continent, &c. Every day’s experience shows that we can hope for no supplies the rebels can prevent; their vigilance extends even …

Hay Party More…

At a meeting of the Members of the House of Assembly, in the Assembly Room, in the Provincial Building at Halifax, on the 7th day of November, 1867, the following Declaration was unanimously agreed to, and ordered to be published:— We, the representatives of Nova Scotia, having assembled for the purpose of constructing an Administration, and having effected that object, cannot separate without making known to our constituents our unanimous and unalterable determination to use every lawful and constitutional means to extricate this Province from the operation of the British North America Act, the passage of which, in the Imperial …

Reports of meetings held in the province of Nova Scotia, to consider a repeal of the “British North America Act, 1867” More…

To His Excellency George Washington, Esq, Generalissimo of the Army of the Twelve United Colonies of America. May it please your Excellency: The liberty we take in addressing a person of so exalted a rank will, we presume, be fully pardoned when you perceive the occasion of it. The inhabitants of Nova-Scotia, and in particular those of the County of Cumberland, have been under the greatest desire and apprehension ever since the great contest subsisting between Great Britain and the American Colonies. Our situation has been such that we have not had it in our power to do anything in …

Petition from Nova Scotia, February 8th, 1776 More…

“Of all the new settlers, the people of Liverpool seem to have been most imbued with the spirit of their Boston brethren. In the minutes of the council of Nova Scotia, under date of July 24, 1762, is a remarkable document drawn up by the inhabitants . . . insisting in no measured terms on their right to local self-government: “We, your memorialists, proprietors of the township of Liverpool, look upon ourselves to be freemen, and under the same constitution as the rest of His Majesty King George’s other subjects, not only by His Majesty’s Proclamation, but because we were …

“The spirit of their Boston brethren” More…