An Act to divide the County of Halifax into Townships, and to confer certain Municipal Privileges upon the Inhabitants thereof, 1850, c5.

Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor, Council and Assembly, as follows:

I. The Governor in Council shall forthwith appoint Three Commissioners to lay off and subdivide the County of Halifax into Townships of moderate area, having due regard to the relative extent of territory and amount of population to be included within the same, the natural boundaries presented by the indentations of the Sea Coast, the course of Rivers and Inland Waters, the homogenous character of Settlements already formed, and the facilities of communication afforded by Main and Cross Roads.

II. The Commissioners having completed their work, shall within six months after their appointment report their proceedings to the Governor, which Report shall contain the names of the Townships, their Boundaries, the number and names of Settlements to be included therein, with the aggregate amount of Population, as nearly as it can be ascertained in each Township.

III. The Report shall be forthwith published in at least Four of the Halifax Newspapers, and circulated in Hand Bills throughout the County for at least One Month after it shall have been laid before the Governor, and during the Month all Parties who may take exceptions to it shall be heard either by Petition or otherwise, before the Governor in Council, who shall have power to alter or amend it, as may appear meet, after hearing objections made, or evidence, if any, shall be produced before them.

IV. On receipt of the Report so amended or otherwise, with the sanction and approval of the Governor in Council, marked thereon, it shall be the duty of the Commissioners to define the Boundaries of each Township by actual Survey, and to set up Marks in convenient places, by which the same may be generally indicated and known.

V. The Report of the final proceedings of the Commissioners, which shall include the Names and Boundaries of each Township, shall be published in manner as directed with regard to their first Report; and upon the expiration of the Month, the functions of the Commissioners shall determine, and the Rate-payers residing within each Township respectively, shall thenceforth enjoy all the privileges and exercise all the rights in respect of Local Affairs now possessed and exercised by the Freeholders or Inhabitants of other Townships within this Province.

VI. The expenses attending the execution of the Commission shall form a County charge, and be presented, conformed, assessed, levied, and collected, as by Law directed in reference to other Monies raised for County purposes.

VII. In addition to the powers now conferred by Law, the Rate-payers of such Townships at their Town Meetings, on the First Monday of November in every year, shall select a Warden and Four Councillors, who shall be respectively chosen by a majority of Votes, and continue in office until the next Annual Meeting in November, during which time they shall have the general over-sight and care of the Township, and shall possess all the powers now exercised by Justices of the Peace; the Warden to preside at all Township Meetings held during the year after his appointment, including the one at which he shall go out of Office, and to be the Organ of Official Communication with the Representatives of the County and the Executive Government.

VIII. Rate Payers shall at their Annual Meeting in November, elect all Township Officers, whether such as are now appointed by the Sessions, such as are appointed at Town Meetings, or such others as they may consider necessary, and in addition to other powers conferred by Law, may assess themselves for the building of Town Houses, the Support of Schools, the Improvement of Roads and Bridges, the Deepening of Water Courses and Harbors, the Erection of Breakwaters, and generally for any other Public Objects by which the Interests of the habitants may be promoted and advanced.

IX. Over the Funds so raised, the Rate Payers, their Officers and Representatives shall have exclusive Control, and Public Property thereby accumulated, shall vest in the Warden and Councillors for the time being, who shall form a perpetual trust and a Body Corporate, under the name of “The Warden and Councillors for the Township ,” and as such, may have a Common Seal, and sue and be sued.

X. The Warden in each Township shall report the Proceedings, under this Act, at the close of the year, to the Provincial Secretary, for the information of the Legislature.

XI. Immediately upon the appointment of Wardens and Councillors hereunder, all the Powers and Duties of Justices of the Peace for the County of Halifax, shall cease, except in respect of Proceedings already commenced before them, for the final determination and execution of which, their functions shall continue.

XII. In carrying out the Provisions of the Act for the Summary Trial of Actions before Justices of the Peace, the following changes are made:
A Court to be called the Warden’s Court for the Township of shall be held at some central and convenient place in each Township, on the First Monday in every Month, when the Warden and Councillors shall attend and form the Court, and any three of them shall be a quorum.
Parties shall be summoned and bound to appear under Process issued by one or two of such Justices according to the amount of the Claim at the Warden’s Court, the particular place of holding which shall be stated in the Process, and the Court shall determine Suits in the same manner, and shall have like powers in relation thereto, as are now exercised by One or Two Justices of the Peace, and Execution and further Proceedings, shall be had in the name of the Court, and be issued and had by any one or two of the Justices for the Township, for the time being, according to the amount. The Fees for issuing Writs shall be paid to the Justice issuing the same, or where there are two Justices divided equally between them, and the Fees on Judgment shall be divided equally between the Justices present.

XIII. The Warden and Councillors, as respects Criminal Proceedings, and the General Regulation and Management of County Affairs, shall be Justices of the Peace for the whole County, and shall compose the Court of General Sessions of the Peace therefor.

XIV. Nothing herein contained shall extend to the City of Halifax.

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″

Dartmouth Side, Lawrencetown

Thursday the 16th past, the Settlers of Lawrence Town set out from this Town in order to go by Land for that Place, having a strong Guard of 200 Regular Troops, exclusive of Officers, commanded by Capt. Stone, with a Number of Rangers; which Place they arrived at the Saturday following, having made a Road from Dartmouth Side to the said Town, which is but little more than 11 Miles distance from us, they immediately went to picketting in the Neck, which they compleated in a short Time, and have rais’d and finish’d the Block-House, Store. House, &c. and mounted their Cannon ; they are also picketting the Town, and have broke up the Soil, which appears to be extraordinary good, and planted a considerable Quantity of Potatoes ; they are in high Spirits, and by the favourable Accounts we have since receiv’d, we are in hopes that in a few Years the Settlement will answer our best Expectations.

Halifax Gazette, Jun 8, 1754.

Duties and Excise


Publick Notice is hereby given, That all Masters of Vessels and Others, who shall import Rum and other distilled Spiritous Liquors into the Port of Halifax, for one Year after the 24th Instant, are to apply to Malachy Salter, in order to pay the Duties on the same, or give bond as the Law directs: And all licenc’d Retailers and Tavern keepers of Halifax aforesaid, and the Town of Dartmouth, are also to apply to said Salter on the 25th Day of the next twelve succeeding months, in order to pay the excise on rum and other distill’d spiritous liquors by them sold. Any persons who shall fail to comply with the several Acts of this Province relating to the abovementioned Duties and Excise, may expect to suffer penalties thereof.

Malachy Salter,{Farmer of the Duties and Excise

N.B. Attendance will be given at the House of the Subscriber on every Day in the Week, except Sundays, from 9 to 12 o’clock in the forenoon. Halifax, September 21. 1754.


Halifax Gazette, Sep. 28, 1754. Page 2, Column 2.

An Act for Establishing and Regulating a Militia

This is an enactment, not a law passed by a legislature (which didn’t exist for another five years, and which was quiet as it concerned Dartmouth until the 1780s), though it carried the same authority as such a law since Nova Scotia at the time was governed soley by the Governor and Council.

The Town and Suburbs of Dartmouth“, notable to me as it’s the first record I’ve seen of Dartmouth in law, previous to a record of Dartmouth Township from 1757 and the Royal instructions that accompanied Cornwallis that presumably referred to Halifax and Dartmouth but didn’t specify either (more here), only that two townships were to be created at or near the harbor.

The following Act of this Province for establishing and regulating a Militia, being in the hands of but a few persons; we thought the publishing it at this time of Military watches, might not be unacceptable to our readers.

Province of Nova Scotia.

At a council holden at the Governor’s House in Halifax, on Thursday the 10th Day of May, 1753.

Whereas by His Majesty’s Royal Instructions to his Excellency the Governor of this Province, he is directed to cause a Militia to be established as soon as possible: And whereas the security and preservation of this Province greatly depends upon the said Militia being put into methods, and under such rules as may make the same most useful for the support and defence thereof, and that the inhabitants should be well armed and trained up in the Art Military, as well for the honour and service of his most sacred majesty, and the security of his province, against any violence or invasion whatsoever, as for the preservation of their own lives and fortunes, and that every person may know his duty herein, and he obliged to perform the same:

It is resolved by his Excellency the Governor, by and with the Advice and Consent of His Majesty’s Council of this Province, and by the Authority of the same IT IS ENACTED.

I. That from and after the Twenty Second Day of this instant, all Male persons, planters, inhabitants and their servants, between the ages of sixteen and sixty, residing in and belonging to the Town, Suburbs, or the peninsula of Halifax, the Town and Suburbs of Dartmouth, and the Parts adjacent, shall bear Arms and duly attend all musters and military exercises of their respective companies where they shall be listed or belong, allowing three months time to every son after coming to sixteen years of age, and every servant so long after his time is out, to provide themselves with arms and ammunition.

II. And the Clerk of each company, once a Quarter yearly, shall take an exact List of all Perfons living within the Precincts of such Company, and present the fame to the Captain or chief Officer, on pain of forfeiting Forty Shillings for each Default, to be paid to the Captain or chief Officer to the Use of the Company, and in Case of Non-payment to be levied by Distress and sale of the Offender’s Goods, by Virtue of a Warrant from the Captain or chief Officer, who is hereby impowered to grant the same.

III. That every Person lifted in any Company, shall so continue and attend all Duty in such Company, or otherwise suffer the Penalty by Law provided, until orderly dismissed or removed out of the Town or Precinct of such Company; and in case of Removal into the Precinct of another Company in the fame Town, to produce a Certificate under the Hand of the Captain or chief Officer of the Precinct whereunto he is removed that he is lifted there..

IV. If any Person liable to be listed as aforesaid, do exempt himself by shifting from House to House or Place to Place, to avoid being so lifted, he shall pay as a Fine for every such Offence, to the Use of the Company to which he properly belongs, Ten Shillings, being thereof convicted before any one of His Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for the County of Halifax.

V. That every Militia lifted Soldier and other Householder residing as aforesaid, Shall be always provided with proper and sufficient Fire Arms, consisting of a Musket, Gun, or Fuzil; not less than Three Foot long in the Barrel, two spare Flints, and Twelve Charges of Powder and Ball suitable to their respective Fire Arms, and to the Satisfaction of the Commission Officers of the Company to which he belongs, on Penalty of Forty Shillings for want of such Arms as is hereby required, and Two Shillings for each other defective Appurtenant, and the like Sum for every four Four Weeks he shall so remain unprovided or deficient: The Fine to be paid by Parents for their Sons under Age and under their Command, and by Matters or Heads . of Families for their Domestics and Servants, other than Servants upon Wages; to be levied on the Goods and Chattels of the Offender or Offenders, their parents or Masters, by Warrant under the Hand and Seal of one or more of His Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for the Town and County of Halifax, arid for want of sufficient Distress, such Offender or Offenders to suffer One Month’s Imprisonment and hard Labour.

VI. That Regimental Musters shall be made once in every Six Months, or as often as shall be required by the Governor of Commander in Chief of this Province for the Time being, and every Captain or chief Officer of any Company Regiment, shall be obliged, on Penalty of Five Pounds, to draw forth his Company, or cause them to be drawn forth once every Three Months and no more, to exercise them in Motions, the Use of Arms and Shooting at Marks, or other Military Exercises, which every Person liable to be trained, having three Days Notice thereof, and not appearing and attending the fame, shall, for each Day’s Neglect, pay a Fine of Five Shillings.

VII. That the Commission Officers of any Company, or the major Part of them, may order the correcting and punishing Disorders and Contempt on a Training Day, or on a Watch; the Punishment not being greater than Riding the Wooden Horse, or Five Shillings Fine.

VIII. That there be Military Watches appointed and kept at such Times, in such Places, in such Numbers, and under such Regulations, as the Governor or Commander in Chief of this Province for the Time being shall appoint; and that all Persons able of Body, and that are of Age and not exempted by Law, shall by themselves, or some proper Person in their Stead, to the Satisfaction of the Commanding Officer of the Watch, attend the fame, on Penalty of Ten Shillings for each Defect, there having been due Warning given.

IX. Every Militia Soldier or other Person liable by Law, refusing or neglecting to attend Military Exercises on Training Days, or Military Watches, that shall not pay or have any Estate to be found whereon to levy the Fine, it shall be in the Power of the Captain or chief Officers of such Company, on the next Training Day after such Neglect (he not having satisfied the Clerk) to punish him for such Offence by Riding the Wooden Horse, not exceeding One Hour’s Time; and if such a Delinquent shall absent himself the second Training Day without giving sufficient Reason to the Captain or chief Officer for such Absence, it shall be in the Power of the chief Officer of the Company to direct a Warrant to any of the Constables of the said Town or Suburbs of Halifax, requiring him to apprehend such Delinquent, and bring him into the Field that he may be punished as by this Law is provided; and all Constables are hereby required to execute such Warrants accordingly.

X. That the Persons hereafter named be excepted from all Trainings, viz. The Members of His Majesty’s’ Council, the Secretary, Justices of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas, Justices of the Peace, Masters of Art, Ministers, Elders and Deacons of Churches, Provost Marshal, allowed Physicians or Chirurgeons, and Licensed School Matters, all such as have had Commissions and served as Field Officers, or Captains, Lieutenants, or Ensigns, Coroners, Treasurer, Attorney General, Deputies to the Provost Marshal, Clerks of Courts, Constable’s, constant Ferry-Men, and one Miller to each Grift-Mill, Officers employed in and about His Majesty’s Revenues, all Masters of Vessels of Thirty Tuns and upwards usually employed beyond Sea, and constant Herdsmen, Lame Persons or otherwise disabled in Body, producing a Certificate thereof from two able Chirurgeons.’.

XI. That the Persons herein after named be, and hereby are exempted from Military Watches and Warding, viz. The Members of the Council, Secretary, Ministers and Elders of Churches, allowed Physicians and Chirurgeons, Constables, constant Ferry-Men, and one Miller to each Grift-Mill.

XII. That the Captain and Commission Officers of each Company shall and hereby are fully impowered to nominate and appoint proper Persons to serve as Serjeants and Corporals in their respective Companies, and to displace them and appoint others in their Room, as they shall see Occasion.

XIII. That twice every Year, or oftner if required, ‘every Captain or chief Officer of each company shall give Order for a diligent Enquiry into the State of his Company, and for taking an exact List of the Names of his Soldiers and other Inhabitants within the Limits of his Company, and of the Defects of Arms or otherwise, and Names of the defective Persons, that they may be prosecuted as the Law hath provided, and that such Care may be taken as is proper to remedy the fame.

XIV. That if any person who is by Law obliged to provide Arms and Ammunition, cannot purchase the same by such Means as he hath, if he bring to the Clerk of the Company merchantable Provision, or other vendible Goods, so much as by Appraisement of the Clerk and two other Persons mutually chosen shall be judged of greater Value by one Fifth Part than such Arms and Ammunition is of, he thereupon shall be excused from the Penalties for want of Arms and Ammunition until he can be provided, which the said Clerk shall provide as soon as may be by Sale of such Goods, and render the Overplus, if any be; but the Party shall notwithstanding give his personal Attendance upon all Occasions as other Militia Soldiers until he be supplied, and at such Times shall perform any proper Service he may be put upon by the Captain or chief Officer of the Company he belongs to : But if the Person be adjudged unable to buy Arms, or to lay down the Value

XV. THAT such proper Person as by the Commission Officers of any Company shall be appointed Clerk, and shall refuse to serve, shall pay Forty Shillings Fine, and another be chosen in his Room, and so until one do accept, which Person shall be under Oath for the Faithful Discharge of his Office, to be administered unto him by a Justice of the Peace of the County of Halifax, in the Words following,

YOU do swear truly to perform the Office of Clerk of the Military Company under the Command of A. B. Captain, to the utmost of your Skill and Power, in all Things appertaining to your Office, according to Law. So help you GOD.

And for every Destraint made for any Fine not exceeding Forty Shillings, he shall have one Quarter Part for his Pains and Trouble, and for such Fines he may detrain ex officio, and in such Distress shall observe such Rules as the Law hath provided in other Cafes ; and upon Ten Days Notice shall account with and pay the Captain or chief Officer what Fines he hath receiv’d, his own Part being deducted.

XVI. The chief military Officer of the Regiment, as often as he shall see Cause, shall require the Captain or chief Officer of each Company in his Regiment to meet at such Time and Place as he shall appoint, and there with them to confer and give in charge such Orders as shall by them, or the major part of them be judged meet for the better ordering and settling their several Companies, and for the better promoting of Military Discipline amongst them; and the chief Officer is hereby impowered, by his Warrant directed to any Clerk or Officer of his Regiment, to summon or cause to be brought before them any Offender against this Act, and according to Law to hear and determine all Matters proper for their Cognizance, and to give Sentence, and to grant Mittimus or Warrants of Distress to the Clerk of the Company where the Offence is committed, for executing which Warrant, if above Forty Shillings, he shall have Ten Shillings out of the same for his Pains and Trouble the rein, and no more.

XVII. That no Clerk, ex officio, make Destraint for any Fine until fix Days after the Offence is committed, that so the Party may have Opportunity to make Excuse, if any he hath, why he should not pay the Fine ; and every Clerk that neglects or refuses to account or make Payment as by this Law is provided, he by a Warrant from the chief Officer of the Company, directed to the Constable, may be distrained on for so much as he hath or should have collected or distrained for.

XVIII. That all Officers yield Obedience to the Warrants or Commands of their superior Officers, on Penalty of Five Pounds, to be heard and determined at the next Meeting of the chief Officers and Captains of the Regiment, and the Fine to be taken by Distress and Sale of the Offender’s Goods ( returning the Overplus if any be) by Warrant from the chief Officer of the Regiment, directed to the Clerk of the Company to which each Offender belongs, and to be applied to the Use and Benefit of such Company as the Officers so met shall agree, their Expences being first defrayed out of the fame, not exceeding Twenty Shillings.

XIX. That an Alarm at the Citadel of the Town of Halifax, being made upon such Causes as are agreeable to Instructions to be given by the Governor or Commander in chief for the Time being, to the Officer commanding at the said Citadel, shall be by firing a Beacon at the Summit of the said Citadel-Hill, or such other place as the Governor or Commander in chief for the Time being shall hereafter appoint, and by firing four Guns at the Parade in the Town of Halifax, or at such other Place as the Governor or Commander in chief for the Time being shall appoint, distinctly one after the other, and also by firing four Guns at Georges- Island, distinctly one after the other, and at the Distance of Five Minutes after the Firing of the Four first mentioned Guns at the Parade or such other place as aforesaid, all Persons being called up to Arm, upon which all the trained Officers, Soldiers, and others capable to bear Arms, that are then resident in the said Town, Suburbs, or Peninsula of Halifax, in case the Alarm should be made, shall forthwith appear complete with their Arms and Ammunition according to Law, at such Place or Places of RendezVous as may from Time to Time be appointed by the Governor or Commander in chief for the Time being, there to attend such Commands as shall be given for His Majesty’s Service, and that on the Penalty of Five Pounds, or Three Months Imprisonment. The Members of His Majesty’s Council, Justices, and Provost- Marshal to attend upon his Excellency the Governor, if at Halifax, and in 0ther Places to appear and advise with the chief military Officers of the Place where such Alarm shall be made, and to be assisting in His Majesty’s Service according to their Quality. And if any Person shall willfully make any false Alarm, he shall be fined to His Majesty Fifty Pounds, for Support of the Government, or suffer Twelve Months Imprisonment.

And for the better preventing of false Alarms, Be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That no Captain, Master or Commander of any Ship or Vessel, riding at Anchor or being within the Harbor of Chebucto, or any other Person or Persons whatsoever, either afloat or on shore, within the Town, Suburbs, or Peninsula of Halifax, the Town or Suburbs of Dartmouth, or Places adjacent, shall presume to fire any Guns or Small Arms, or beat any Drum after Sunset, unless on some lawful Occasion, under the Penalty of Forty Shillings for every Gun or Small Arm so fired, or Drum beaten, to be levied by Warrant from any one of His Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for the County of Halifax, ( who is hereby empowered to issue the fine and to give Judgment thereupon) by Distress and Sale of the Offender’s Goods, and for want of such Distress to commit such Officer to the Goal, there to remain until Payment be made of the same.

Provided always, That this Clause shall in no wise be construed to extend to any Captain or other Officer of any of His Majesty’s Ships of War, for their firing at setting the Watch, nor to any of His Majesty’s Troops on Shore or on Board in the Execution of their Duty.

XX. That all Persons exempted by this Law from Training, shall notwithstanding be provided with Arms and Ammunition complete, upon the fame Penalty as those that are obliged to Train.

Provided also, And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That nothing in this Act contained be expounded construed, or understood to diminish, alter, or abridge the Power of the Captain General or Commander in Chief tor the Time being, but that in all Things, and upon all Occasions, he may cat as fully and freely as Captain General or Commander in Chief, to all Intents and Purposes, as if this Ad had never been made, any Thing in this Act contained to the contrary notwithstanding.

Provided also, That no Person or Persons whatsoever shall be sued, prosecuted, or his Goods and Chattels liable to any Seizure by Virtue of any Clause in this Act before mentioned, but within the Space of Three Months after the committing the respective Facts hereby made Offences, and not at any time after the said Three Months.

XXI. All Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures arising by Virtue of this Act or any Breach thereof (not otherwise disposed of therein) shall be for the Use of the Regiment or Company respectively wherein the fame doth arise, that is to say for the procuring and repairing Drums, Colours, Banners, Halberts, pay of Drummers, or other Charge of the said Company, and the surplus, (it any be) to be laid out in Arms and Ammunition for a Crown Stock; and be recoverable by Action, Bill, Plaint, or Information in any of His Majesty’s Courts of Record,

And whereas it is intended by His Excellency the Governor forthwith to settle a Township in the Harbour of Merlegash in this Province by the Name Lunenburg, and for the better Security of which a Militia is to be Established there, It is therefore hereby further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, Thar such Militia to be raised shall be deemed, construed, and understood to be to all Intents and Purposes within the Invention and Meaning of this Act, and the Offender or Offenders against the fame shall be subject to all the Pains and Penalties herein continued.

See also:

Militia, Dartmouth Company

Halifax Gazette, January 5-12, 1754.,

Militia, Dartmouth Company

Secretary’s Office, 6th July, 1753

His excellency the Governor having divided the Militia for the Peninsula of Halifax and parts adjacent, into Two Battalions, the first of twelve, the second of ten companies, and one company for Dartmouth, under the Command of the following officers, Viz:

Dartmouth Company:

William Clapham, Esq., Richard Emery {Gent., Samuel Blackden {Gent.

All Persons residing in the above recited squares or divisions of the Town, in the North and South Suburbs, and at Dartmouth, are to observe the Orders and Directions of their respective Officers, according to the Act for establishing and regulating the Militia. By His Excellency’s Command

Halifax Gazette, Saturday July 7, 1753. Page 2.

An Act for Establishing and Regulating a Militia


Last Thursday a Law was published here by Command of his Excellency the Governor and his Majesty’s Council of this Province, entitled, An Act for Establishing and Regulating a Militia: Whereby all male persons, Inhabitants, &c. between the Ages of 16 and 60, residing in and belonging to the Town, Suburbs or Peninsula of Halifax, the Town and Suburbs of Dartmouth, &c. shall bear Arms and attend military Exercises, &c. once in three Months, on Penalty of 5 s. fine, or riding the wooden horse. —That every listed Militia soldier and other Householder residing as aforesaid, shall be always provided with good and sufficient Fire Arms, consisting of a Musket, Gun, or Fuzil, not less than Three Foot Long in the Barrel, two spare Flints, and Twelve Charges of Powder and Ball, suitable to their respective Fire Arms, and to the Satisfaction of the Comission Officers, on Penalty of Forty Shillings for want of such Arms as are herteby required, and Two Shillings for each other defective Appurtenant, and the like Sum for every four Weeks he shall remain so unprovided or deficient: The fine to be paid by Parents for their Sons under Age and under their Command, and by Masters or Heads of Families for their Domesticks and Servants, other than Servants upon Wages. —

The time fix’d for the Inhabitants, &c. to be provided with Arms and Ammunition, is Tuesday next the 22nd instant.

Halifax Gazette, May 19, 1753. Page 2, Column 2.

“The history of Kings County, Nova Scotia, heart of the Acadian land”

Governor Cornwallis initiated courts of justice based on English common law in 1749, leading to the establishment of County Courts and a General Court. This book asserts that in January 1757 (as do others, owing to the fact there was a revision between the initial attempt in 1757 and the finalized representative arrangements in 1758), Nova Scotia took its first steps in transitioning from being ruled solely by the Governor and Council to establishing a Representative Assembly. It was originally comprised of twelve members for the province and additional representatives for various townships, including Dartmouth. Members and voters were required to be Protestant, above twenty-one years old, and possess a freehold estate in their district. The first Assembly was convened in October 1758 (this time without a representative for Dartmouth), followed by adjustments to representation in subsequent years.

Over time, the judicial system evolved, with the introduction of Circuit Courts and changes in court jurisdictions. The New England town meeting model influenced local governance, coexisting with courts to address various civic matters, including poor relief. Dartmouth held town meetings for several decades after its incorporation as a town. The narrative also explores the growth of Baptist communities, the role of the clergy, and the social and political dynamics during the American War. Additionally, it mentions the formation of Light Infantry companies and the challenges faced by Governor Legge in maintaining loyalty during the conflict.

Following this overview, the subsequent text comprises brief biographies of prominent figures and families who are connected to Dartmouth in some capacity.

“Until January, 1757, the Governor and Council ruled alone in Nova Scotia, at that time, after long debate, it was decided that a Representative Assembly should be created, and that there should be elected for the province at large, until counties should be formed, twelve members, besides four for the township of Halifax, two for the township of Lunenburg and one each for the townships of Dartmouth, Lawrencetown (both in Halifax County), Annapolis Royal, and Cumberland. The bounds of these townships were described, and it was resolved that when twenty-five qualified electors should be settled at Piziquid, Minas, Cobequid, or any other district that might in the future be erected into a township, any one of these places should be entitled to send one representative to the Assembly and should likewise have the right to vote in the election of representatives for the province at large.

Members and voters must not be “Popish recusants”, nor be under the age of twenty-one years, and each must have a freehold estate in the district he represented or voted for. The first Assembly met in Halifax on Monday, October 2, 1758, when nineteen members—six “esquires”, and thirteen “gentlemen”, were sworn in. At a meeting of the Council in August, 1759, soon after the dissolution of the second session of the first Assembly, the Council fixed the representation of the township of Halifax at four members, and of Lunenburg, Annapolis, Horton, and Cumberland, at two each. For the newly formed counties of Halifax, Lunenburg, Annapolis, King’s, and Cumberland, there were to be two each.”

County Government, Public Officials:

“When Governor Cornwallis came to Nova Scotia in 1749, one of his earliest acts was the erection and commissioning of courts of justice for the carrying out of the principles of English common law. In pursuance of his orders from the crown he at once erected three courts, a Court of General Sessions, a County Court, having jurisdiction over the whole province, and a General Court or Court of Assize and General Jail Delivery, in which the Governor and Council for the time being, sat at judges. In 1752, the County Court was abolished, and a Court of Common Pleas similar to the Superior Courts of Common Pleas of New England erected in its place. In 1754, Jonathan Belcher, Esq., was appointed the first Chief Justice of the province, and the General Court was supplanted by a Supreme Court, in which the Chief Justice was the sole judge.

In 1829 Judge Haliburton wrote: “There is no separate Court of Common Pleas for the Province, but there are courts in each county, bearing the same appellation and resembling it in many of its powers. These courts when first constituted had power to issue both mesne and final process to any part of the Province, and had a concurrent jurisdiction with the Supreme Court in all civil causes. They were held in the several counties by Magistrates, or such other persons as were best qualified to fill the situation of judges, but there was no salary attached to the office, and fees, similar in their nature, but smaller in amount than those received by the Judges of the Supreme Court, were the only remuneration given them for their trouble. As the King’s bench was rising in reputation, from the ability and learning of its Judges, these courts fell into disuse, and few causes of difficulty or importance were tried in them. It was even found necessary to limit their jurisdiction, and they were restrained from issuing mesne process out of the county in which they sat.

The exigencies of the country requiring them to be put into a more efficient state, a law was passed in 1824 for dividing the Province into three districts or circuits and the Governor was empowered to appoint a professional man to each circuit, as first Justice of the several courts of Common Pleas within the District, and also as President of the courts of sessions. In 1774 an act of the Legislature was passed, first establishing the circuits of the Supreme Court. At Halifax the terms were fourteen days, liberty, however, being allowed for longer terms if the number of cases to be tried demanded an extension of time. No less than eighteen or twenty acts of the legislature relative to the times of holding the courts in the province, were passed between 1760 and 1840. In 1824 an act was passed changing the constitution of the courts of Common Pleas, and dividing the province into three Judicial Districts: the Eastern District, to comprise the county of Sydney, the districts of Pictou and Colchester, and the county of Cumberland; the Middle District, the counties of Hants, King’s, Lunenburg, and Queens; the Western District, the counties of Annapolis and Shelburne. In 1841, by an act of the legislature, the Inferior Courts of Common Pleas were abolished and the administration of law was generally improved.

With the advent of the New England planters to the county, came the introduction of New England’s time honoured institution, the Town Meeting.

[An institution on the radar of those in Dartmouth long before being enacted in law in Dartmouth township, a practice which continued for the first few decades of its existence as an incorporated Town. Martin indicates the last of the “old style” (New England) Town meetings in Dartmouth was held in 1902].

“The New England town meeting was and still is”, says Charles Francis Adams, “the political expressions of the town”, and many writers have spoken of the influence the institution has had in developing and conserving that spirit of independence and sense of liberty which have been characteristic of the New England colonies and colonies sprung from New England. In all the New England settlements in Nova Scotia, the Town Meeting was from the first, in conjunction with the Court of Sessions, the source of local government. The Court of Sessions was composed of the magistrates or justices of the peace, the chairman of which was the Gustos Botulorum, and its secretary, the Clerk of the Peace. By this court, the constables, assessors, surveyors of highways, school commissioners, pound keepers, fence viewers, and trustees of school lands, were appointed. In the Town Meeting the rate-payers met to discuss freely all local affairs, not the least important matter under its jurisdiction being always the relief and support of the poor and the appointment of overseers and a clerk of overseers for carrying out the provisions for the needy the Town Meeting made. For many years it was customary for certain rate-payers to “bid off” one or more poor men, women, or children, for stipulated sums to be paid weekly by the town. In these cases, where it was possible, the rate-payers made the poor whom they bid off, useful in their homes [“parties in need of domestic servants will now have no difficulty in supplying themselves.”]; for such service, and for the sum they received, giving the unfortunates, board, lodging, and clothes. Many persons also, who became town charges were “farmed out” to men who made their living wholly or in part by boarding them. See also “The Great Awakening in Nova Scotia, 1776-1809”, Armstrong, Maurice Whitman] .

Up to 1790, and how much later we do not know, the Town Meetings of Cornwallis were held in the Meeting-House, but after that they were held in some other convenient place. In 1839 an act was passed to enable the inhabitants of Cornwallis to provide a public Town House for the holding of elections in that township. For this building the township was to be assessed in a sum not to exceed two hundred pounds. In 1879 the three townships of the county were united in a central government, and the Town Meeting and Court of Sessions became things of the past. In place of the three townships now arose the Municipality of King’s County, the sole governing body of which is the Municipal Council. Under this new system the county is divided into fourteen wards, twelve of which elect one councillor each, and two, two councillors, for a term of two years. The Council as a whole then elects a Warden, who corresponds to the Custos Rotulorum, of the old Court of Sessions, and whatever other officers it was the duty of the Court of Sessions to elect. Under the Municipality’s control thus came all the interests that formerly pertained to both the Town Meeting and the Court of Sessions. The change of the county to a Municipality was affected at a meeting held at the court house on Tuesday, January 13, 1879, pursuant to a notice by the then Sheriff, John Marshall Caldwell.”

“Before 1888 the only towns in the Province incorporated, besides Halifax, were Dartmouth, Pictou, Windsor, New Glasgow, Sydney, North Sydney, and Kentville.”

“Barristers and Attorneys in King’s County: … James Ratchford De Wolf (long Medical Superintendent of the Insane Hospital at Dartmouth, N. S.)”

“The next rector of Aylesford was the Rev. Richard Avery, son of John and Elizabeth (Simmons) Avery, who was bom at Southampton, England, and educated there, at Warminster, and at Oxford, his brothers, the Rev. John S. Avery, M. A., and the Rev. William Avery, B. A., being chiefly his tutors. Passing the Clerical Board of the S. P. G. in London, Mr. Avery was sent out as a Deacon to Nova Scotia, and by Bishop John Inglis was given the curacy of Lunenburg. In the spring of 1842 he was called as assistant to St. Paul’s Church, Halifax, and Christ Church, Dartmouth”

“In 1827, the Rev. George Struthers, also of the Established Church of Scotland, who afterwards (the Rev. John Martin of Halifax officiating), January 28, 1830, married Mr. Forsyth’s eldest daughter, Mary, and the Rev. Morrison were sent from Scotland by the Lay Association as missionaries to Nova Scotia. At once Mr. Struthers came to Horton, Mr. Morrison going to Dartmouth, which place he afterwards left for Bermuda.”

“The Baptist body in Nova Scotia had its birth in a general religious Revival, and its growth may largely be traced through later similar revivals. Of these revivals King’s County has had always its share, and out of them have come undoubtedly a great deal of deep, continuing religious life.

In 1809 the members of the Cornwallis Baptist Church numbered sixty-five, in 1810 fifty-six, in 1811 sixty-three, in 1812 seventy-three, in 1813 sixty-five, in 1814 sixty-eight, and in 1820 a hundred and twenty-four.

Mr. Manning’s pastorate of the Church lasted until his death, which occurred, as we have said, on the 12th of January, 1851. In 1847, on account of his failing health, the Rev. Abram Spurr Hunt, a young graduate of Acadia College of 1844 (and master of arts of 1851), was chosen to assist him. “When Mr. Manning died Mr. Hunt succeeded to the pastorate, and in this office remained until November, 1867, when he resigned and removed to Dartmouth, the well known suburb of Halifax.”

“On the breaking out of the American War in 1775, Light Infantry companies were ordered by the Governor to be formed in the various townships of King’s and other counties. The number of the King’s County contingent was to be fifty men at Cornwallis, fifty at Horton, and fifty at Windsor, Newport, and Falmouth, together. Fearing sympathy on the part of the Nova Scotians who had come from New England with their rebellious kinsmen in the New England colonies, Governor Legge further ordered that all grown men in the several townships should take an oath of allegiance to the British Crown. … Among the men sent from England to govern the province of Nova Scotia during nearly a century and a quarter, not one ever showed such ill-temper as Governor Legge, the incumbent of the governorship at the outbreak of the war. His charges of disloyalty towards England included, not only the inhabitants of the province who had recently come from New England, but the staunchest members of the Council at Halifax as well. As early as January, 1776, he writes disparaging letters concerning the New England settlers to the British Secretary of State. A law has been passed, he says, to raise fresh militia troops, and he has been endeavouring to arm the people, but he has just been informed from Annapolis and King’s counties that the people in general refuse to be enrolled. Though Governor Campbell ‘s report to Lord Hillsborough in 1770 had stated that he did not discover in the people of Nova Scotia any of that “licentious principle” with which the neighbouring colonies were infected, it is a well known fact that in Cumberland, in 1776, the greatest disaffection towards England did prevail. That it would have been perfectly natural if the people of the midland counties of Nova Scotia had sympathized with New England in her protest against the abuse of power on the part of the British Government from which she had long suffered must be freely admitted, that among the inhabitants of Annapolis, King’s, and Hants such sympathy was outwardly shown, remains yet to be proved.

It is a well known fact that the King’s Orange Rangers, a Loyalist corps raised in Orange County, New York, through the efforts of Lieut.-Col. John Bayard in 1776 and ’77, in October, 1778, were sent to reinforce the King’s troops in Nova Scotia, and that until the disbandment of the corps in 1783 they were employed chiefly in garrison duty in Halifax. The statement of the writer of the manuscript in question is that in King’s County symptoms of rebellion strongly showed themselves, one of these being that certain King’s County people were even preparing to raise a liberty pole. This seditious spirit in King’s being reported to the government at Halifax by Major Samuel Starr, a detachment of the Orange Rangers stationed at Eastern Battery, Halifax, was ordered to Cornwallis, under command of Major Samuel Vetch Bayard.”


“JAMES Fillis AVERY, M. D. Dr. James Fillis Avery, son of Cap.t. Samuel and Mary (Fillis) Avery, was born in Horton, May 22, 1794, and for three years studied medicine with Dr. Almon in Halifax. He then went to Edinburgh, where he graduated in 1821. After graduation he spent six months in the Hospital of the Royal Guard at Paris, under the superintendence of the noted Baron Larrey, the first Napoleon’s principal medical adviser. Dr. Avery practised medicine in Halifax and also founded there, in George Street, the noted drug firm, which for many years he personally conducted. From this firm, in time, sprang the firms of Messrs. Brown Brothers, and Brown and “Webb. In later life he retired from business, and for some time travelled in Europe. He was an early governor of Dalhousie College, was an elder in St. Matthew’s Presbyterian Church, on Pleasant Street, and was interested in many philanthropic institutions. Among the business enterprises that he took substantial interest in was the Shubenacadie Canal, from Dartmouth to the Bay of Fundy. The first (and probably only) vessel that ever went through that canal, it is said, was called for him. The Avery. For many years, until his death. Dr. Avery’s residence was on South Street, adjoining that of Mr. George Herbert Starr, who had married his niece, Rebecca (Allison) Sawers. Dr. Avery died unmarried, universally respected, Nov. 28, 1887, and was buried near his parents at Grand Pre.

ALFRED CHIPMAN COGSWELL, D. D. S. Alfred Chipman Cogswell, son of Winckworth Allen and Caroline Eliza (Barnaby) Cogswell, was born in Upper Dyke village, Cornwallis, July 17, 1834. He married, Oct. 8, 1858, Sarah A., dau. of Col. Oliver and Sarah A. Parker, born in Bangor, Me., Oct. 10,1830, and had two sons. His residence for many years was in Halifax and in Dartmouth. Dr. Cogswell studied for two years at Acadia College, and then on account of ill health abandoned his college course. His studies in dentistry were later pursued in Portland, Me., and his first practice was in Wakefield, Mass. In 1859 he removed to Halifax, N. S., where he formed a partnership with Dr. Lawrence B. Van Buskirk. Some years later he graduated as D. D. S. at the College of Dentistry in Philadelphia. For many years Dr. Cogswell was a successful and skillful practitioner in Halifax, where he was also an elder in St. Matthew’s Presbyterian Church. The younger of his sons, Arthur W., in 1884 received the degree of M. D., and was appointed Surgeon of the Halifax Provincial and City Hospital.

HON. THOMAS ANDREW STRANGE DeWOLF, M. E. G. Hon. Thomas Andrew Strange DeWolf, M. P. P., M. E. C, fourth son of Judge Elisha and Margaret (Ratchford) DeWolf, born April 19, 1795, married December 30, 1817, or March 26, 1818, his first cousin, Nancy, daughter of Col. James and Mary (Crane) Ratchford, born June 1, 1798. Mr. DeWolf represented the County of Kings from 1837 until 1848. He was made a member of H. M.(first) Executive Council, February 10, 1838, and was subsequently Collector of Customs. When a qualification bill authorizing the election of non-resident members was introduced in the legislature as a government measure, he resigned from the Executive Council. He died at “Wolfville, September 21, 1878 ; his widow died at Dartmouth, March 10, 1883. Hon. T. A. S. DeWolf had fourteen children, the most important of whom was James Ratchford DeWolf, M. D., L. R. C. S. E. and L. M., of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh.

THE REV. ABEAM SPURR HUNT, M. A. Eev. Abram Spurr Hunt, though not a native of King’s County, was for many years, as Rev. Edward Manning’s immediate successor, pastor of the Cornwallis First Baptist Church. He was born at Clements, Annapolis county, April 7, 1814, grad. at Acadia in 1844 (its second class), and on the 10th of Nov. of that year, was ordained over the newly formed Baptist Church at Dartmouth, N. S. In 1844 also, he married Catharine Johnstone, eldest surviving daughter of Lewis Johnston, M. D., and niece of Hon. Judge James William Johnstone, and in 1846, removed to Wolfville, where for a winter he studied theology under the Rev. Dr. Crawley. In 1847 he became assistant pastor to Rev. Edward Manning at Cornwallis, and in 1851, at Mr. Manning’s death, succeeded to the pastorate. Until 1867 he continued pastor of the Cornwallis Church, his ministry being in every sense a successful one. His field of labour, however, was so wide and his duties so arduous that at last he was obliged to seek an easier parish. When he determined to remove from Cornwallis, the Dartmouth Church recalled him, and to that Church he continued to minister till his death, which occurred, October 23, 1877. In 1870 he was also made Superintendent of Education for the Province, and the duties of this office he also discharged until his death. Mr. Hunt’s children were: Eliza Theresa, married as his 2nd wife, to the Hon. Judge Alfred William Savary, of Annapolis, so well known as a jurist and historian (see among other writings, the Calnek-Savary “History of Annapolis,” and the “Savary Family”); Lewis Gibson, M. D., D. C. L., of London, England ; James Johnstone, D. C. L., Barrister of Halifax; Aubrey Spurr; Ella Maud, m. to the Rev. Arthur Crawley Chute, D. D., Professor in Acadia University ; Rev. Ralph M., a clergyman, who died young, deeply lamented. Mrs. Abram Spurr Hunt, a woman of high breeding and exalted Christian character, survived her husband between seventeen and eighteen years. She died in Dartmouth, Halifax, May 29, 1895.

MAJOR GEORGE ELEANA MORTON Major George Eleana Morton was one of King’s County’s most excellent and enterprising sons. He was a son of Hon. John and Anne (Cogswell) Morton, was born at Upper Dyke village, Cornwallis, March 25, 1811, and was one of the pupils of the Rev. William Forsyth. Going to Halifax at about eighteen years of age he entered a drug store on Granville Street, which business he afterward purchased. In 1852 he erected the stone building at the corner of Granville and George Streets, long known as “Morton’s Comer,” where for many years he conducted a wholesale and retail drug business, at that time the largest in the province. He was the first business man in Halifax to send out a commercial traveller. About 1870 he closed his drug business and opened a book and periodical store, and a lending library of current literature. He retired from business in 1888, and died as the result of an accident, Mar. 12, 1892, and was buried in Dartmouth. Mr. Morton was a man of great intelligence, and of distinctly literary tastes, and his contributions to the press, both in prose and verse, were numerous. In 1852 he published, in conjunction with Miss Mary J. Katzmann, The Provincial, a monthly magazine. Later he published a satirical magazine called Banter. In 1875 he wrote and published the first “Guide to Halifax,” and in 1883, a “Guide to Cape Breton.” His newspaper articles appeared chiefly in the Guardian, the British Colonist, and other newspapers. He was unusually well read in English literature, and his writings contain many quotations from classical authors. He was an accomplished letter writer, and for many years kept up an interesting correspondence with friends abroad, especially with his cousin. Dr. Charles Cogswell. He was one of the original members of the N. S. Historical Society, and was always actively interested in the work of that Society. In religion he was a Presbyterian, his membership being in St. Matthew’s Church. In politics a Conservative, he was for many years a personal friend of Messrs. Johnstone, Tupper, Parker, Holmes, Marshall, and other Conservative leaders. He was an ardent supporter of confederation, and had great faith in the future of the Dominion. Nov. 23, 1859, he was appointed 1st Lieut, in the 2nd Queen’s Halifax Regt. ; Sept. 23, 1862, he was appointed Captain. On the reorganization of the militia by the Dominion Government he was retired with the rank of Major. He was one of the promoters of the N. S. Telegraph Company, was original shareholder of the N. S. Sugar Refinery, and shortly after the discovery of gold in 1860, became interested in gold-mining. He held mining claims at Waverly, Montagu, Elmsdale, and Lawrencetown. George Elkana Morton married in Halifax, in March, 1849, Martha Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Christian Conrad Casper and Martha (Prescott) Katzmann, bom Apr. 2, 1823, died Apr. 6, 1899. He had children: Annie, born Dec. 13, 1850, died Mar. 29, 1855; Charles Cogswell, born Aug. 14, 1852, married Apr. 27, 1905, Winifred, daughter of Leonard and Lucy Leadley, of Dartmouth, N.S., and now resides in Kentville. For the Katzmann Family, see the Prescott Family Sketch.”

“Of the Bishop families of Horton many members have occupied positions of trust and many have attained prominence in the communities where they lived. Such have been … Watson Bishop, of Dartmouth, N. S., Superintendent of Water Works for that town”

“THE KEMPTON FAMILY The Rev. Samuel Bradford Kempton, D. D., now of Dartmouth, N. S., but for many years the honoured third pastor of the Cornwallis First Baptist Church, in succession to the Rev. Abram Spurr Hunt, is the son of Stephen and Olivia Harlowe (Locke) Kempton, and was b. at Milton, Queen’s county, Nov. 2, 1834. He received his early education at Milton Academy, and in 1857 entered Horton Academy. In 1862 he graduated, B. A., at Acadia University. He then spent a year at Acadia under the instruction of Rev. John Mockett Cramp, D. D., in post-graduate work. In 1833 he was ordained pastor of Third Horton Baptist Church, and in 1867 became pastor of the First Cornwallis Baptist Church. In that position he remained until 1893, when he removed to Dartmouth, as pastor of the Dartmouth Baptist Church. Dr. Kempton received his M. A., from Acadia University in 1872, and the honorary degree of D. D. in 1894. Prom 1878 to 1907 he was one of the governors of Acadia, and in 1882 was appointed a member of the Senate of the University. His ministry at Cornwallis was laborious and faithful, he had six preaching stations and was obliged to travel many miles every week. He married in Horton, Oct. 1, 1867, Eliza Allison, dau. of Abraham and Nancy Rebecca (Allison) Seaman, and had two children : Rev. Austin Tremaise, b. Feb. 6, 1870, m. June 7,1893, Charlotte H. Freeman; William Bradford, b. May 29, 1885, d. July 17, 1893. Of these sons, Rev. Austin Tremaise Kempton graduated at Acadia University in 1891, and received his M. A. in course in 1894. He was ordained to the Baptist ministry at Milton, Queen’s county, N. S., in 1891, later studied at Newton Theological Seminary, and has since held pastorates in Sharon, Boston, Pitchburg and Lunenburg, Mass. He has also been a successful lecturer, his lectures on the “Acadian Country” having done much to make the charms of King’s County known throughout New England.

Of one, at least, of the Orpin grantees, and the family from which he sprang, a writer in the Halifax Herald of January 25, 1899, gave the following interesting account: Among the enterprising pioneers who first came to this part of the country to make of the wilderness a fruitful field, was Joseph Moore Orpin and his wife, Anna Johnson Orpin. Mr. Orpin ‘s father, Edward Orpin, was one of the founders of the city of Halifax. He first took up land on the Dartmouth side of the harbor, and employed men to subdue and clear it of a forest of trees and a heavy crop of stone.

One day while he was on his way with a lad, sixteen years old, named Etherton, carrying dinner to the men working on his land, he was surprised and captured by the [Mi’kmaq]. They compelled silence and began their march with their captives in the direction of Shubenacadie. They had not gone far when one of the [Mi’kmaq] gave the boy a heavy blow, felling him to the ground. Instantly his crown was scalped and he was left for dead. After travelling some distance, Mr. Orpin found that one of his shoes was unbuckled. He stopped and pointed it out to the [Mi’kmaq] walking behind him. As he stooped down to buckle it the [Mi’kmaq] stepped ahead of him. Orpin saw his chance, caught up a hemlock knot, and as quick as lightning gave the [indigenous man] a blow which brought him to the ground. He had confidence in his own fleetness of foot. Instantly he was flying for liberty.

As soon as the [Mi’kmaq] in advance discovered the trick, and recovered from their surprise, they gave him chase. But Orpin was too fleet for them. He escaped and reached home in safety. Strange to relate the boy returned to the city soaked from head to foot in his own blood. The doctors of the city did what they could to heal his scalp wound. They succeeded only in part. Directed by them a silversmith made a silver plate, which the young fellow wore over his unhealed wound. After a time he returned to England.

In the same year Mr. Orpin had still another adventure with the [indigenous] neighbors of the young colony. On this occasion, too, he was on his way to the place where his men were at work, carrying them their dinners. Again he was seized by the skulking [Mi’kmaq] , and hurried away toward Shubenacadie. After reaching one of the lakes, the [Mi’kmaq] stopped to take a meal. For a special treat, Mr. Orpin was carrying a bottle of rum to his men with their dinners. At the lake the [Mi’kmaq] drank the whole of it, and it made them helplessly drunk. This was good fortune for the captive. He reached Halifax again with the scalp safe on his head. This last experience made him more cautious for a long time. The stony ground in Dartmouth, and his trouble with the [Mi’kmaq], induced him to give up his Dartmouth lot and commence anew on the Halifax side of the harbor. Some years later, he went to the North West Arm. He never returned. Diligent and thorough search was made for him; but he could not be found. The belief at the time was the [Mi’kmaq] caught him again and took secret revenge on him in torturing him to death at their leisure.”

“…the Katzmann family of Halifax county demands notice. Lieut. Christian Conrad Casper Katzmann, b. in Eimbeck, Hanover, Prussia, Aug. 18, 1780, came to Annapolis Royal, N. S., as ensign (he is also called adjutant, 3rd Battalion) of H. M. 60th Regt. He m. (1) in Annapolis Royal (by Rev. John Millidge), June 11, 1818, Eliza Georgina Fraser (who had a sister, Mrs. Robinson, and a brother, James Fraser, Jr., Postmaster at Augusta, Georgia), who d. shortly before April 5, 1819. He m. (2), April 6, 1822, by Bishop Inglis, Martha, dau. of John and Catharine (Cleverley) Prescott, of Maroon Hall, Preston, Halifax county, and retiring from the army, bought Maroon Hall. His children by his 2nd marriage were Martha Elizabeth, b. April 2,1823, m. to George Eleana Morton ; Mary Jane (the authoress), b. Jan. 15, 1828, m. to William Lawson, of Halifax; Anna Prescott, b. Sept. 25, 1832, d. unm.. May 31, 1876. Lieut. Katzmann and his family are buried in Dartmouth, N.S. Mr. and Mrs. John Prescott are probably buried at Preston.”

“THE PYKE FAMILY The Pyke family in King’s County is descended from John Pyke, who came to Halifax with Governor Cornwallis in 1749, it is said as his private secretary, and was killed by Indians in Dartmouth, in August of the next year. His wife was Anne Scroope, b. in 1716, her grandfather or his brother, it is believed, being a baronet in Lincolnshire. Precisely how long before he came to Halifax John Pyke married, it is impossible to say, but his son (and only child, so far as is known), John George, was born in England in 1743. After her first husband’s death, Anne (Scroope) Pyke was married to Richard Wenman, another of the company that came with the Cornwallis fleet, and to her second husband she bore three daughters: Susanna, married to Hon. Benjamin Green, Treasurer of the Province; a daughter m. to Captain Howe, of the Army; another daughter m. to Captain Pringle of the army. Mrs. Anne Wenman died May 21, 1792 ; her husband, Richard Wenman, was buried Sept. 30, 1781.”

Eaton, Arthur Wentworth Hamilton. The history of Kings County, Nova Scotia, heart of the Acadian land. Salem, Mass., The Salem press company, 1910. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

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