A History of Nova Scotia Page

Book #2: Settlement, Revolution & War. TOC
Part 1, "Pre-Revolutionary Settlement" TOC
Ch. 2 - The Situation Before The Third Wave (1760).

To be added to the native Indians that roamed Nova Scotia many years before European colonization, were the Acadians, the Germans, the Irish, the New Englanders, the Yorkshire men, and the Scots. The resultant mixture is one that has long made Nova Scotia a place of unique people. We have dealt in detail with the rise and fall of the Acadian population in The Lion & The Lily. It was in this first book that we dealt with the coming of the Germans, or the "Foreign Protestants." In the period with which we are about to deal, that between the ending of the Seven Years War and the beginning with the armed rebellion in the English colonies, 1776, during this sixteen year period, there came to the shores of Nova Scotia a third wave of settlers.1 The fourth wave, and one of the largest, was that which came in the immediate wake of the American Revolution which we deal with in a later part of this book. Also for an intended third book, we leave, as part of it, the fourth wave, that of the Scots which came to Nova Scotia during the first half of the 19th century. It is to be remembered that Scottish people made up part of the very earliest settlements in Nova Scotia and dealt with in the The Lion & The Lily. Then there were those who were on the Hector when she hauled into Pictou Harbor, on September 15th, 1773, an event with which we will deal in this part.

While France confirmed that Nova Scotia was to be England's by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 -- for a 36 year period beyond that date, not an Englishman, except for a couple of hundred soldiers, came to make his home in Nova Scotia. That Nova Scotia, as a practical matter, saw no immigration during the first half of the 18th century, can only be put down to simple neglect. This situation was to change dramatically when the capital city of Halifax was founded in 1749. The English followed up during the years 1750-53 when numbers of German/Swiss came to Nova Scotia. Then the English efforts to populate Nova Scotia, stopped. Dark war clouds were gathering on the horizon and Nova Scotia or rather its capital at Halifax, through to 1760, was to become a vast military encampment. Then the battle for America come to an end.

At the beginning of 1760, there was in Nova Scotia but three communities of people of any size. There was Halifax, Lunenburg and Annapolis Royal. I would estimate that the populations, respectively, were: 1300, 1500 and 200. These levels were soon to change especially that of Annapolis Royal.2 The population of Lunenburg started out in 1753 at about 1,500. In 1767, under the head of "Germans and other foreigners," the count was 1,946.3 While the population shot dramatically up during the great military gatherings there during the war years 1757-1760, the civilian population of Halifax had not moved up from what it had been in 1755, 1300.4 The garrison at Halifax, an establishment on which the Halifax merchants very much depended, was substantially reduced after the British military successes at Louisbourg (1758) and Quebec (1759).


[NEXT: Bk. 2, Pt. 1, Ch. 3 - "The Coming of the New England Planters (1760-1763)."]

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