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

“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 … Read more

Plan of the Peninsula upon which the Town of Halifax is situated, showing the Harbour and Naval-Yard and several Works constructed for their defence

“Part of the Township of Dartmouth”

The above map Reoriented and colorized.

“Plan of the Peninsula upon which the Town of Halifax is situated, showing the Harbour and Naval-Yard and several Works constructed for their defence”, Charles Baskowitz, 1784. https://archives.novascotia.ca/maps/archives/?ID=170

Petition of inhabitants of Dartmouth concerning the inconvenience of not having regularly appointed town officers

Petition of John Skerry, 28 February 1833

51 names are contained within this petition including the memorialist, John Skerry. I took a stab at what I could pick out, a few names.

“The Petition of the undersigned inhabitants of Dartmouth, humbly sheweth.

That your petitioners experience great inconvenience in consequence of Town officers not being regularly appointed and in such a manner as to afford general satisfaction.

That your petitioners conceive that if your Honorable House were to grant to the Township of Dartmouth the privilege of holding Town Meetings for the purpose of appointing officers, that the cause of complaint would no longer exist.

That your petitioners hope your Honorable House will be pleased to take the premises into your gracious consideration and grant such relief as your Honorable House in its wisdom may deem fit, and your Petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.”

Dartmouth, February 27th 1833.
John Skerry, Peter Donaldson, Joseph Moore, John Tuttle (?)

John Tapper, William Bowers, Micheal Murphy, Denis Doyle, (??), …. Lyle, Henry Allen, (??), Henry Smith, Thomas Davie, Peter Manning, (??0 John Davis, Patrick (?), (?) Murphy, Richard Arnold, George (?), James Durham, (??), David (?), Michel Darmody (?), John Magher, William Reeves, (?) Warren (?), (??), Thomas Medley, Andrew (?), Thomas McKenzie, Robert Jackson (?), Thomas (?)

Robert Jackson, Patrick Connor, (??), James Coleman, Edward (?), John Gillies, Josiah Ash, Oliver (?), James (?), George Turner, Joseph (?), (??), Michael Murray (?), (?) Elliot, Issac Noble, John (?), William (?)

“Petition of inhabitants of Dartmouth concerning the inconvenience of not having regularly appointed town officers”, https://archives.novascotia.ca/assembly/archives/?ID=5579&Page=200835492, https://archives.novascotia.ca/assembly/archives/?ID=5579&Page=200835493, https://archives.novascotia.ca/assembly/archives/?ID=5579&Page=200835494

Place Names and Places of Nova Scotia (in Dartmouth Township)

dart-township-1865 map

“Whereas some uncertainty exists as regards the limits of the Township of Dartmouth… Be it therefore enacted by the Lieutenant Governor, Council and Assembly, that the lines of the Township of Dartmouth shall be established and settled as follows, beginning on the Eastern side of Bedford Basin at the head of Pace’s cove at low … Read more

Census, Township of Dartmouth, 1861


Dartmouth: 1478 Males, 1668 Females, Total population 3,155. Number of families: 559, 492 Married, 1057 Single, 119 Widows. Deaf: M: 2, Blind: M: 2, F: 1. Cannot Read Above 15 years of Age: M: 214, F: 246 Cannot Write Above 15 years of Age: M: 228, F: 287 [Black] persons included in population: 197 [Indigenous … Read more

Nova Scotia in 1862: papers relating to the two great exhibitions in London of that year

“List of Contributors: … P. McNab, Dartmouth – barley and oats.” “On the east side of the harbor is situated the town of Dartmouth, settled in 1750. The town is well situated, and is admirably adapted to the employment of ship-building. It is connected with the city by steamboats.” “Prior to 1719 (at which time … Read more

History of Halifax City

“The [Indigenous people] had appeared in the neighborhood of the town for several weeks, but intelligence had been received that they had commenced hostilities, by the capture of twenty persons at Canso… On the last day of September they made an attack on the sawmill at Dartmouth, then under the charge of Major Gilman. Six … Read more

History of Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, the Sable Islands, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, the Bermudas, Newfoundland, &c., &c.

“The territorial distribution of the Nova Scotia government is – 1. Eastern division, 2. Middle; 3. Western; 4. Halifax; 5. Cape Breton; there are ten counties, some of which are again subdivided into districts and townships for the more convenient administration of justice. The only counties divided into districts are, Halifax into three, viz. Halifax, Colchester, and Pictou; and Sydney into Lower and Upper.

The townships are not all of equal extent, nor of equal number in each county, viz. in Halifax there are Halifax, Dartmouth, Preston, and Lawrence Town (in Halifax District)…”

“Halifax division, containing part of the county of the same name, and the townships of Haliax, Dartmouth, Preston and Lawrence Town, is thus presented in the last census:

Dartmouth: 960 mouths, 504 acres, 74 Wheat bushels, 921 other grain bushels, 8480 potatoes bushels, 301 hay tons, 111 horses, 195 horned cattle, 162 sheep, 130 swine.

“The naval capital of British North America, Halifax, has been before described, and Dartmouth requires no separate account”

Martin, Robert Montgomery, 1803?-1868. History of Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, the Sable Islands, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, the Bermudas, Newfoundland, &c., &c.. London: Whittaker & co., 1837. https://hdl.handle.net/2027/hvd.hwgbuk

The town proprietors of the New England Colonies: a study of their development, organization, activities and controversies, 1620-1770

The term “proprietor” was used in two distinct senses in the American colonies. In order fully to understand the nature and the scope of the present study, therefore, it is necessary at the outset to distinguish these two usages. “The more familiar usage of the word “proprietor” is with reference to the proprietary provinces. The … Read more

Military operations in eastern Maine and Nova Scotia during the revolution, chiefly compiled from the journals and letters of Colonel John Allan

“In the autumn of 1852, the compiler with a few friends made an excursion to the Schoodie Lakes to enjoy a few weeks in hunting and fishing in that region. Here a part of the Passamaquoddy tribe has for centuries made its home, and it was while recording by fire-light in a tent the recollections … Read more

The Rhode Island emigration to Nova Scotia

“Rhode Islanders emigrating to Nova Scotia? How is that? …Ah Yes! They must have been a group of Tories… No! The colony of which I speak left the parent stock when all were alike loyal to the sovereign of Great Britain – indeed at just the juncture when it was the proudest boast of every New Englander that he was a British subject.

Jan. 11, 1759, Governor Lawrence sent forth from the Council Chamber at Halifax, a second proclamation:

“By his Excellency Charles Lawrence, Esq., Captain General and Governor-in-chief, in and over his Majesty’s Province of Nova Scotia, or Acadia, in America, Vice Admiral of the same etc. etc.

“Whereas since the issuing of the proclamation dated the 12th., day of Oct. 1758, relative to settling the vacant lands in this Province, I have been informed by Thomas Hancock, Esq., Agent for the affairs of Nova Scotia, at Boston, that sundry applications have been made to him in consequence thereof, by persons who are desirous of settling the said lands, and of knowing what particular encouragement the Government will give them, whether any allowance of provisions will be given at their first settlement, what quantity of land will be given to each person, what quit rents they are to pay, what the constitution of Government is, whether any, and what taxes are to be paid, and whether they will be allowed the free exercise of religion? I have therefore thought fit, with the advice of his Majesty’s Council, to issue this proclamation, hereby declaring, in answer to the said enquiries, that by his Majesty’s Royal instructions, I am empowered to make grants on the following proportions:

That townships are to consist of one hundred thousand acres of land, that they do include the best and most profitable land, and also that they do comprehend such rivers as may be at or near such settlement and to extend as far up into the Country as conveniently may be, taking in a necessary part of the sea-coast. That the quantities of land granted will be in proportion to the abilities of the planter to settle, cultivate, and enclose, the same. That one hundred acres of wild wood land will be allowed to every person, being master or mistress of a family, for himself or herself, and fifty acres for every white or black man, woman, or child, of which such person’s family shall consist at the actual time of making the grant, subject to the payment of a quit rent of one shilling sterling per annum for every fifty acres; such quit rent to commence at the expiration of ten years from the date of each grant, and to be paid for his Majesty’s use to his receiver General, at Halifax, or to his Deputy on the spot.

“That the grantees will be obliged by their said grants to plant, cultivate, improve or enclose, one third part of their lands within the space of ten years, another third within the space of twenty years and the remaining third within the space of thirty years, from the date of their grants. That no one person can posses more than one thousand acres by grant, on his or their own name.

“That every grantee, upon giving proof that he or she has fulfilled the terms and conditions of his or her grants, shall be entitled to another grant in the proportion and upon the conditions above mentioned. That the Government of Nova Scotia is constituted like those in neighboring Colonies; the Legislature consisting of a Governor, Council and House of Assembly, and every township, as soon as it shall consist of fifty families, will be entitled to send two Representatives to the General Assembly. The Courts of Justice are also constituted in like manner with those of the Massachusetts, Connecticut and other Northern Colonies. That as to the article of religion full liberty of conscience, both of his Majesty’s royal instructions and a late act of the General Assembly of this Province, is secured to persons of all persuasions, Papists excepted, as may more fully appear by the following abstract of the said act, viz:-

‘Protestants dissenting from the Church of England, whether they be Calvinists, Lutherans, Quakers or under what denomination soever, shall have free liberty of conscience, and may erect and build Meeting Houses for public worship, and may choose and elect Ministers for the carrying on divine service, and administration of the sacrament, according to their several opinions, and all contracts made between their Ministers and congregationalists for the support of their Ministry, are hereby declared valid, and shall have their full force and effect according to the tenor and conditions thereof, and all such Dissenters shall be excused from any rates or taxes to be made or levied for the support of the Established Church of England.’

“That no taxes have hitherto been laid upon his Majesty’s subjects within this province, nor are there any fees of office taken upon issuing the grants of land.

“That I am not authorized to issue any bounty of provisions; and I do hereby declare that I am ready to lay out the lands and make grants immediately under the conditions above described, and to receive and transmit to the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, in order that the same may be laid before his Majesty for approbation, such further proposals as may be offered by any body of people, for settling an entire township under other conditions that they may conceive more advantageous to the undertakers.

“That forts are established in the neighborhood of the lands proposed to be settled, and garrisoned by his Majesty’s troops, with a view of giving all manner of aid and protection to the settlers, if hereafter there should be need.

Given in the council Chamber at Halifax, this 11th., day of January, 1759, in the 32nd year of His Majesty’s reign.
(Signed) Charles Lawrence.”

“The significance of this document in one respect must have struck the attention of all who are Rhode Islanders in spirit; refer to its lofty sentiments with regard to liberty of conscience.”

Huling, Ray Greene, 1847-1915. The Rhode Island Emigration to Nova Scotia. [Providence, R.I.?: s.n., 1889. https://hdl.handle.net/2027/aeu.ark:/13960/t3nv9vv03

The Great Awakening in Nova Scotia, 1776-1809

“In the year 1799 the Bishop of Nova Scotia reported to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts that the Province was being troubled by “an enthusiastic and dangerous spirit” among the sect called “Newlights”, whose religion seemed to be a “strange jumble of New England Independency and Behmenism.” Through the … Read more

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