A Blupete Biography Page

Dates & Events During Cunard's Life
Samuel Cunard

§Samuel Cunard's Father comes to Nova Scotia as a Loyalist and settles at Halifax.
§Samuel Cunard's sister, Mary, is born.
§Samuel Cunard is born.
§Samuel's brother, William, is born.
§Susan Duffus, Samuel's wife, born.
§Samuel's brother, Edward, is born.
§Samuel's brother, Joseph, is born.
§Samuel's brother, John, is born.
§11 September, The corner stone of Government House at Halifax was laid by Sir John Wentworth. This Georgian stone house, Government House stands and is in use today, the pride of Halifax.
§The very first nation wide census is carried out in Great Britain. Looks like there was also a count in Nova Scotia in this year, 1801. At Halifax there are about 1200 families and a 1,000 houses. The total count at Halifax was 6627: 6334, Whites; 293, Blacks. The population of Cape Breton was 2513. The major concentrations were at Sydney (801), Louisburg (192) and Arichat 1520).
§March, A resolution is passed by the House granting fifty pounds to anyone keeping a packet in service between Liverpool (Nova Scotia) and Halifax for a year.
§The wealth of Nova Scotia was being exported at the turn of the century using wooden sailing ships which were built by her people. "It was estimated that fifty vessels, ranging from 100 to 1000 tons each, would sail from the district this year. Some carried timber to the mother country -- others, fish, oil, cattle and lumber, to the West Indies and to Newfoundland." (Murdoch.)
§King's opens at Windsor.
§July 2nd, A petition is received at Halifax for Jas. Ratchford and Jas. Noble Shannon, asking for a continuance of the £50 grant to help them maintain their packet service between Parrsborough and Windsor.
§Nova Scotia continued to export timber and gypsum. In addition, not surprising given all the granite she possesses, Nova Scotia was also exporting grindstones to the states. Fish and oil was sent abroad. Agricultural "skill and attention," however, was lacking. (Murdoch.)
§The Code Napoleon, that "Draconian work" and leveler of all class distinctions is promulgated in 1804.
§In 1805, Trevithick adapts the Watt engine to a vehicle, and the locomotive comes into being. By the middle of the century a network of railways had spread all over Europe. (Watt, in fact, described the steam locomotive in his patent dated 1784.)
§December 13th, Joe Howe is born.
§Samuel's brother, Henry, is born.
§October 21st, Nelson's victory at Trafalgar, by it both the French and Spanish navies were annihilated; and, the danger of any invasion of England pretty much melted away.
§"28 Dec'r. The committee of supply voted £12,000 for civil list, £6,000 for roads and bridges, £2,000 agriculture, £3,000 fisheries, £2,500 for the new Government House, £500 bounties to seamen to enlist in H. M. service, conditioned that no inhabitant or fisherman be impressed." (Murdoch.)
§Robert Fulton's Clermont proves the practicality of steam power for river craft.
§August 31st, Halifax, "This morning the two seaman, who were taken from on board the Frigate Chesapeake in conformity to the sentence passed upon them last week, was inflicted, one of them undergoing the flogging thro the fleet died at nine o'clock the other was hanged on board the Halifax Sloop-of-war." (John Liddell, a merchant at Halifax, in his diary.)
§Retiring from his job at the Naval Dockyard, Abraham Cunard, together with his son, Samuel, goes into business, Cunard & Son.
§British Navy, world wide: "In October, 1804, there were in commission 103 ships of the line, 24 fifty-gun vessels, 135 frigates, and 398 sloops -- total 660. In March, 1806, there were 721 ships in commission, of which 128 were of the line. On January 1, 1808, there were 795 in commission, 144 being ships of the line. Many of these were taken from the French ..." (John Ashton.)
§New army uniforms made their appearance at Halifax: "... cocked hats, pigtails, breeches and gaiters disappeared, and in their place troops wore shakos, short haircuts, red tunics, and trousers." (Porter.)
§In support of a Spanish rising, in July, Arthur Wellesley (later to become known as the Duke of Wellington) leads the first small British force of 9000 men into the Peninsula of Spain; a gate into the hostile fortress of Napoleonic Europe. This was the first time that British troops were to fight in Europe, since 1793, the beginning of the Napoleonic wars. Britain, up to 1808, fought the French on the seas and by sending money to her European allies.
§September 18th, The six mutinous seamen of the Columbine are "hung in gibbets on Mauger's beach."
§Horse racing is carried on by the officers of the garrison; the Rockingham Club holds diners. As the artist, Benjamin Robert Haydon (1786-1846) wrote in his autobiography: "Wherever the British settle, wherever they colonise, they carry and will ever carry trial by jury, horse-racing and portrait-painting."
§October 23rd, The 50th anniversary of the reign of King George the 3rd, His Jubilee, was celebrated at Halifax with "great ceremony."
§November 23rd, Monday, Edward Jordan is hung on the beach near Freshwater Bridge; "hung in chains" on Black Rock Point. Jordon was convicted of piracy and murder on board the Three Sisters, September 13th, 1809.
§July, The Bank of England at London fails followed by another in Exeter and a third in Salisbury. Merchants started to refuse bank notes in payment and the want of confidence was spreading rapidly. "In August another London bank failed, this time one of the old-established houses, bringing down a number of country banks in its train. ... The war, the commercial embargoes, the heavy taxes, the new machinery, and the paper money were all blamed for the distress of the people." (Spater .)
§With his father, George III, seriously ill, the Duke of Wales (1762-1830) took over as the Prince Regent. On his father's death, in 1820, the Prince Regent became George IV.
§The Bill allowing £15,000 to be spent on roads and bridges was passed by the house, but returned by the Council. Same old problem, the rural areas, well represented in the house, want roads; and the Council, the members of which represent the interests of those in Halifax, do not.
§August 13th, "The corner stone of the Provincial Building was laid yesterday by His Excellency Sir Geo. Prevost." (Liddell.)
§"On 16 October, General Sir John Coape Sherbrooke, K.B., arrived with his lady and family at Halifax, after 37 days passage from Portsmouth, in H.M.S. Manilla [36 guns]. At 10, A.M., Lady Sherbrooke and her sister landed, and went to Government House. His excellency landed at 11, at the king's slip, and was sworn in at the Council chamber." (Murdoch.)
§"At this time, government and all other bills drawn on England could not be disposed of at less than 15 to 20 per cent." (Murdoch.)
§War of 1812, United States v. Great Britain. On 18 June, 1812, President Madison and the American Congress declared war on Britain. It was a war, historians will agree, that was caused by the British orders in council forbidding neutral trade with French-occupied Europe and the British impressment of sailors on American ships.
§Notwithstanding that there were naval battles going on, off the eastern coast, the Nova Scotian sailing vessels, the traders, were making their runs to the eastern coast of the United States, and, apparently, were being welcomed there.
§"It was at this time the custom for the admiral to leave Halifax in the latter end of November or in the beginning of December, and, with the whole of the squadron, to proceed to the Bermudas, where he usually remained until the beginning of June, in the ensuing year." (Murdoch.)
§During the early 1800s the major centers of boat building were to be found at Pictou, Lunenburg, Yarmouth, Cornwallis and Liverpool. The tonnage built dramatically rose in the years 1811 and 1812, the impetus likely being the privateering opportunities created by the War of 1812.
§Great Britain and the United States have been, at this point, in January of 1813, six months at war: Nova Scotia is British territory.
§"13 Jan'y. 21 American prizes were condemned in the vice admiralty court at Halifax." (Murdoch.) And, by order of the Court of Vice Admiralty, on 7 April, at 12:00 noon, some 30 odd "ships and vessels, with their cargoes" were sold by auction at Halifax.
§April 27th, American forces raid York (Toronto) looting and burning buildings, including the governor's house and the provincial legislative building.
§May 5th, "The February packet has not arrived in Halifax, although it reached Bermuda at least a month ago. It is of great detriment to His Majesty's service and to the inhabitants of Nova Scotia having no communication with England during the winter. Sir George Prevost's (now in charge in Upper Canada) dispatches are still awaiting transport."
§June 6th, "Arrived [at Halifax] HMS Shannon Capt Broke with the US Frigate Chesapeake Capt Lawrence her prize." (John Liddell.)
§June 27th, "The American privateer Young Teazer, having been chased into Mahone Bay, one of the crew blew her up, six only out of thirty-six saved; another account says six out of one hundred." (Haliburton.)
§17 September, Admiral Sir John Borlase (1753-1822) brings his fleet into Halifax after an eight days voyage from the Chesapeake. This was a large and heavily armed British fleet, in addition to the large crews these sailing vessels had aboard battalions of marines.
§Commerce in the colony continues, it seems to be based on the export of boards, planks, staves, dry fish, smoked herrings and fish oil.
§November, The 18 gun, H.M.S. Sloop, Atalante, on coming into Halifax Harbour ran up on "The Sisters" off the eastern ledge off Sambro Island. Though she sunk within minutes, all hands were able to get off and brought safely into Halifax Harbour.
§August, The British sack Washington and attempt to do the same at Baltimore. The land force was under the direction of Major-general Robert Ross (who died in the effort and was buried at Halifax).
§August, The British, under Sherbrooke, sailed from Halifax and take Castine, Maine.
§December 24th, Treaty of Ghent signed and with it, the war with the United States came to an end.
§February 4th, Samuel and Susan are married.
§March 3rd, Treaty of Ghent (it had been signed December 24th, 1814) was published in a Halifax newspaper.
§June 18th, The Battle of Waterloo. Not until August did the citizens of Halifax get any details of the battle.
§In a further chapter in the history of the "Corn Laws" (they had been around in one form or another since the Middle Ages) the British parliament passed the Act of 1815 which imposed, -- much to the satisfaction of British farmland owners -- a ban on all corn imports, this with a view to getting the home prices up.
§Halifax Steamboat Co. incorporated by statute.
§The Cunards obtain their first Royal Mail contract to carry the mail to Bermuda.
§Samuel's son, Edward (Ned), is born.
§The strength of the navy fell from 100,000 in 1815 to 35,000 in 1816.
§In February, there was established a scheduled run, twice a week, by stage-coach, Windsor/Halifax.
§The Cunards extend their Royal Mail contract to run mail to Boston.
§June 27th, 1816, Sir John Sherbrooke embarked for Canada.
§In England, "gold was declared to be the sole standard and full legal tender, and a new coin, known as the sovereign ... was put into circulation."
§Construction begins on Erie Canal, designed to connect the Great Lakes and the Hudson River (and thus the Atlantic Ocean).
§October 24th, Earl of Dalhousie and his family arrive at Halifax in H.M. frigate Forth. That autumn Dalhousie was sworn in as Lieutenant Governor.
§Due to the discoveries of Volta, there comes into being the Voltaic battery.
§Samuel's daughter, Margaret Ann, is born.
§Alexander Keith comes to Nova Scotia seeking his fortune.
§On 27 May the Regent in London declared that Halifax and Saint John were to be free ports. On August 13th, at Halifax the Lieutenant Governor proclaimed it to be a free port.
§An act passed "to prohibit corporate bodies issuing paper money, -- [and] an act for £15,000 in province notes, of £5, £2, and £1."
§February 11th, The Eleventh Assembly of the Nova Scotia Legislature convened. It met, for the first time, at the new legislative chambers, one made of stone, Province House, which had been nine years in the building and situated at the center of the Town of Halifax.
§July: The American steam ship Savannah crosses the Atlantic in 26 days.
§November 11th, Naval Hospital, near Dockyard, Halifax, destroyed by fire.
§ Halifax Insurance Co. incorporated by statute.
§Sam's father and mother, Abraham and Margaret retire to a farm purchased at Rawdon.
§January 29, 1820: George III died, George IV (1762-1830) takes the throne, due to his father's derangement he had been the Prince Regent since 1810. A proclamation was made at Halifax on 7th of April.
§During February, England issues gold ingots ("Ricardos"), freely exchangeable with its paper money. By the following year (1821) England was fully on the gold exchange.
§June 1st, 1820, Sir James Kempt, after a 42 day passage from England, arrived at Halifax and, next day, is sworn in as Lieutenant Governor.
§On Friday, the 9 June, Bishop Burke, attended by his clergy, laid the corner stone of the present St. Mary's cathedral in Halifax."
§Wednesday, September 6th: "A fair and cattle show were held on Camp Hill, on the Halifax Common ... The judges of the cattle were John Albro, William Young, John Starr, Peter McNab, and Frederick Major." Sir James Kempt attended and distributed money prizes.
§In referring to Yellow fever, or Yellow Jack and how it would run through a ship's crew reference need be but made to the 26-gun Tamar which arrived at Halifax from Jamaica with scarcely enough men to bring her into harbour; her captain, Arthur Snow, and 75 of her crew having died during the voyage."
§ By an act of the legislature, the province issues notes to the extent of £20,000 in denominations of £2 and £1."
§January 20th, "The harbour of Halifax frozen over almost to the light house, the ice of sufficient solidity to bear sleighs, skaters, &c. and continued so for several days." The navigation was completely stopped for several weeks.
§Samuel's daughter, Sarah Jane, is born.
§Samuel's mother, Margaret dies.
§Cunard becomes the president of the Sun Fire Company.
§Passenger service was established using a steamer between Dover and Calais, which, in favourable weather, reduced the travelling time across the channel to three or four hours.
§The full unfavorable effects of the war coming to an end made themselves felt, the country was "thoroughly paralyzed." The garrisons and the fleets were reduced and the circumstances of all those that serviced them were correspondingly reduced; businesses stagnated; and the value of real estate went down.
§Halifax: On account of the fire hazard, wooden buildings are subject to height restrictions.
§Wax (candle light) and not gas is being burnt for illumination.
§Samuel's daughter, Anne Elizabeth, is born.
§November, Samuel's brother, William, dies in the wreck of the Wyton off Cape North, Cape Breton Island.
§New industries were envisioned: railway, gas, steamship, iron, and coal; companies were being organized for them all, most legitimate, not all. London was now experiencing a bull market which ran from summer 1824 to autumn 1825. Speculators elbowed in with dreams for sale; a credit crunch and, in turn, an economic disaster followed.
§Samuel's father, Abraham dies.
§The company's name is changed to S. Cunard & Co.
§By an act of the legislature, a company was incorporated for the making of the Shubenacadie canal. Samuel Cunard was to be its vice-president.
§Samuel's son, William, is born.
§There was a bank crisis in England which came in November. "Over sixty country banks and six London houses failed."
§The Halifax Banking Company is Incorporated by Samuel Cunard and Enos Collins and others.
§A voyage was made by sea from Falmouth to Calcutta in 103 days, 64 of which were under steam.
§Annapolis Iron Co. incorporated by Statute.
§A China tea clipper, the Countess of Harcourt arrives`at Halifax with 6,517 chests of tea unloaded at their agent's dock, Cunard's Wharf.
§The steam boat, St. John, was "running between St. John, Eastport, Digby and Annapolis."
§Iron mining and smelting took place at Moose River, by the Annapolis Basin; the "pig iron" was being brought to Halifax.
§June 4th: Arrived at Pictou, the brig, Margaret Pelkington. She was "loaded to the gunnels with mining experts and machinery, including the knocked down components of steam hoisting and pumping engines." By September, the "first coal was raised from a newly opened, 212-ft pit. On 7 December a 20-horsepower steam engine, probably the first in Canada, started to pump water and hoist coal at the mine; its 75-ft stack became a local landmark."
§Measles, small pox and typhus are brought into the communities as a result of passenger vessels. During the first ten months of 1827 there was 811 deaths at Halifax attributed to small pox.
§The first allied peace keeping mission, with Admiral Sir Edward Codrington in charge, sailed into Navarino Bay, Turkey, and, on the 20th of October, 1827, the Battle of Navarino ensued, which, while lasting only four hours, took the lives of 8,000 Turks and Egyptians; the allies lost only 178 men; this was to be the last of the great sea battles between the square sailed fighting ships.
§November 15th, it was determined that in the future the "Falmouth [England] packet would proceed to Halifax direct, with the mails."
§Samuel's daughter, Isabella, is born.
§Samuel's daughter, Elizabeth, is born.
§February 2nd, Susan Cunard, Sam's wife, days after she gave birth, dies.
§Samuel's brother, Thomas, dies.
§In London an exhibition specifically devoted to machinery is held. "The export of machinery except under license was forbidden until 1843 ..."
§"A stage coach commences to run between Halifax and Annapolis, three times a week." (Haliburton.)
§ The present day Citadel, the fourth fortification since Halifax's founding in 1749, on a hill in the middle of Halifax, first begins to take shape.
§Joseph Howe publishes at Halifax Haliburton's History of Nova Scotia.
§January 1st, The Sir Charles Ogle started her runs between Halifax and Dartmouth. She was built at Dartmouth at Alexander's yard; its keel having been laid on April 18, 1829. It was named after the admiral in charge at Halifax. It takes the credit of being the first steamship built in Nova Scotia. She served for 60 years being retired in 1890.
§George IV dies and William IV, the popular "Sailor-King" takes the throne.
§The election in Nova Scotia in 1830, known as "The Brandy Election," has been marked as "the beginning of the end for the oligarchy in post-Loyalist Nova Scotia." (Cuthbertson.)
§Samuel Morse, a Massachusetts portrait painter, devised a workable code.
§August 31st, The steamship, Royal William first arrives at Halifax, docking at Cunard's Wharf.
§November 28th, Seal Island Lighthouse begins operation.
§December 31st, Bank of Nova Scotia organized at Merchants' Exchange Coffee House.
§May 30th, Halifax receives word of the passing at London of the Reform Bill with great rejoicing. The changes brought about "formed the first breach in a time-honoured system, and that their tendency was to shift the balance of political power from the landed aristocracy to the industrial and commercial classes, which had been born of the far-reaching changes of the Industrial Revolution."
§June 20th, Maid of the Mist steamboat made first trip from St. John to Windsor, thereafter a weekly service.
§August 5th, Royal William sails for London from Pictou and arrives at Gravesend, England on September 16th.
§The Dartmouth Chocolate works was started up by Henry Yeomans Mott, in 1844 his son organized the company known as John P. Mott & Co., a pioneer chocolate maker.
§Nova Scotia grindstones become a major product for the American product: 10,300, in 1831; 30,671, in 1834.
§With the death of William IV on June 20, 1837, the young Queen Victoria took the English throne and the Victorian period began and lasted into the next century, a period that was marked by peace and prosperity.
§Halifax Whaling Co. Incorporated by statute. While other mercantile firms participated, the principle shareholders were the Cunard brothers.
§James Hall Nasmyth (1808-90) invents the steam hammer.
§Nova Scotia Whaling Co. Incorporated by statute.
§September 19th, Albion Mines Railroad, Nova Scotia's first steam railway, opened between Stellarton and Pictou Harbour, a distance of six miles. In Great Britain, by 1843 there was 2,000 miles; by 1848, 5,000. "The posting inns and postilions disappeared, and with them went the public mail-coach, and the heavy family coach" of the aristocratic households.
§The introduction of the penny post in England.
§Halifax Gas Light and Water Co. incorporated by statute.
§June 1st, Unicorn, first Cunard ship, arrives at Halifax.
§July 17th, The Britannia arrives at Halifax having made makes her maiden voyage from Liverpool, having left Liverpool on July 4th.
§September 1st, Samuel's daughter, Sarah Jane, marries Gilbert William Francklyn, a colonel in the 37th Reg.
§January, all four of Cunard's transatlantic steamers are in service, service to and from Europe, Boston and Halifax.
§An Act to abolish certain types of punishment: "Pillory, Cutting off the Ears and Whipping."
§January 11th, Gas lighting first used in Halifax.
§January 20th, Charles Dickens and his wife Catherine arrive at Halifax on the Cunard steamship, Britannia. After a short visit they went on to Boston in the company of Sam Cunard.
§Cunard suffers from cash flow problems. He sold off part of his large real estate holdings, including the farm at Rawdon which he had bought for his parents when they were alive, and including acreage on Prince Edward Island. It was at this time that a substantial loan was made by the Bank Of Nova Scotia, one that saved the Cunard Company.
§Cunard experiences the loss of one of his steamers, the Columbia. She went aground near Seal Island, Nova Scotia.
§Amos Seaman builds the 1st steam mill at Minudie (near Cumberland Basin).
§In this period, in Great Britain: "Four-fifths of the revenue came from the customs and excise."
§Andrew Downs (1811-1892) begins building his menagerie with five acres at Halifax, which, by 1863, grew into the 100 acre, "Downs' Zoological Gardens," the very first zoo in North America. (The New Regent Park Zoo, London was around in the 1820s.)
§Nova Scotia Electric Telegraph Co. incorporated by statute.
§Nova Scotia mostly imported her wanted goods from Great Britain (£331,000) and from the US (£309,000). Nova Scotia exported her goods back to Great Britain (£72,000) and the United States (£475,000). Also her exports (fish & lumber) were much desired in the West Indies: £202,000 to be compared to £29,000 which came in from the West Indies.
§By this year the Cunard schedule meant that Halifax had the best overseas communication in America with two steamers a week, one coming and one going alternately to Boston and New York.
§The Humbolt, a steamer owed by the New York and Havre Line, was wrecked off the mouth of Halifax Harbour.
§Samuel's brother, Edward, dies.
§The first undersea cable was laid between Calais and Dover. Reuters News Service was founded in this year.
§September 1st, first postage stamps went on sale in Nova Scotia.
§September 12th, first telegraphic message sent from Halifax to Quebec.
§The Great Exhibition was held at Hyde Park.
§By an act of the legislature Cornwallis Steam Saw Mill and Manufacturing was incorporated.
§The American Commodore, Matthew Perry, brought his fleet of ships into the port of Yedo (Japan). Two of his ships were steam driven, a completely new invention to the Japanese.
§June 13th, Work begins with a sod turning at Richmond on the Halifax-Windsor-Truro railroad line.
§February, The first of the British troops who were to fight in the Crimean War sailed, in Cunard liners converted to troop carriers, from England for Malta.
§A mixture of liquid hydrocarbons, resulting from the distillation of petroleum as may be obtained from coal and bituminous shale, is discovered by a Nova Scotian, Abraham Gesner; it in short time became extensively used as a lamp-oil. On June 27th, 1854, Gesner receives his patent on the product from U.S. patent Office.
§February 8th, The first section of Halifax-Windsor-Truro railway line opened.
§September, The Russian fort at Sevastopol falls to the allies bringing an end to the Crimean War. A peace treaty was signed in Paris on March 30, 1856.
§British legislation is brought in to allow for incorporated companies, limited liability. Earlier, in 1844, a registry of joint stock companies was set up; but the shareholders liability was not limited to the invested capital of the shareholder up to 1856.
§Henry Bessemer, an Englishman, receives his patent for his process of converting pig-iron into steel.
§June 3rd, Windsor branch of the Nova Scotia Railroad opened.
§December 15th, Halifax to Truro railroad opened.
§January 1st, The decimal system of accounting became law in Nova Scotia. The law passed in order to provide uniform currency for Canada. The denominations were to be the dollar/cent. Pounds, shillings, and pence were no longer accepted as an alternative method of accounting.
§Steamships of wood with paddle wheels which came into being early in the century, by this year, 1860, had been replaced by steel hulls with screw propulsion. Indeed, it was in this year that the British launched their first iron-hulled war ship, the Warrier. "... the transition from sail to steam, from wood to iron and shot to shell ..." "The race between ordnance and armour plate had begun."
§January 12th, Disastrous fire on George and Prince Streets and Bedford Row, Halifax. This was the third big fire in downtown Halifax: 1857, 1859 & 1861. D. C. Harvey observed that this was to change the look considerably not just because major building had burnt to the ground but it led to the use of brick and stone thereafter in the building of new buildings.
§Samuel's daughter, Anne Elizabeth, dies.
§John Forbes, a native Nova Scotian invents the "spring skates" and the Starr Manufacturing Company of Dartmouth goes into production.
§Nova Scotia Ice Company incorporated.
§Halifax Skating Rink Company incorporated.
§May 2nd, Merchants' Bank of Halifax opened (later Royal Bank of Canada).
§April 28th, Samuel Cunard dies.
§The first telegraph line is laid across the ocean floor from England to America. A new cable ship was employed, the largest ship afloat, the Great Eastern. Actually, the first cable was laid in 1858, but it did not work due to insulation problems.
§"... in 1865 the steam tonnage added to Lloyd's register for the first time exceeded that of sailing ships." Woodward continued in a footnote and points out that sailing vessels still hauled a lot of cargo. "Steam has ousted sail for passenger and mail traffic, but sail could compete successfully in the carriage of bulky commodities (including coal for steamships) over long distances."

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