The Geography of Haliburton’s Nova Scotia

“Across the harbour from Halifax were the settlements of Dartmouth and Preston, already economically dominated by the capital. Dartmouth had been settled in 1784 by twenty families from Nantucket. The men had been engaged in whaling, as had the men of Barrington, but the enterprise had suffered a financial disaster in 1792, and most of the original inhabitants had moved to Milford in South Wales. Preston had been settled in 1784 by Loyalists, disbanded soldiers, and freed Negro slaves. Only the Loyalists had remained. The Negroes were industrious, gaining a living by supplying butter, eggs, and poultry to Halifax, but most of them had taken advantage of the offer in 1791, extended by the British government, to resettle them in the newly purchased Colony of Sierra Leone. Of the other group of settlers Haliburton notes that “the disbanded soldiers were prone to idleness and intemperance, and when they had exhausted his Majesty’s bounty of provisions, they sold their lands and quitted the settlement.”

Rimmington, Gerald T. “The Geography of Haliburton’s Nova Scotia” Dalhousie Review, Volume 48, Number 4, 1969