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BRITISH NORTH AMERICA.

BOOK I.

NOVA SCOTIA.

CHAPTER I.

GEOGRAPHICAL POSITION-AREA-EARLY HISTORY, &c.

Nova Scotia Proper, connected with the south-east part of the continent of North-America, by a narrow isthmus, (eight miles wide,) is situate between the parallels of 439 and 46° of north latitude, and the meridian 61° and 67° west longitude : it is bounded on the north by the Strait of Northumberland, which separates it from Prince Edward's Isle ; and on the north-east by the Gut of Canseau, which divides it from the island of Cape Breton; on the south and south-east by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by the Bay of Fundy, and on the north-west by New Brunswick. In length it is about 280 miles, stretching from south-west to north-east, but of unequal breadth, varying from fifty miles at Black Rock Pier, to 104

NOVA SCOTIA.

B

miles at Bristol, and embracing a superficies of 15,617 square miles, or 9,994,880 acres.

GENERAL HISTORY. — Although the territory, known under the title of Nova Scotia, was probably first visited by the Cabots in their voyage of discovery in 1497, (and the ancient authorities state such to be the case,) the earliest authentic account we possess of its European colonization was by the Marquis de la Roche, who by the orders of Henry IV. sailed from France in 1598, with a number of convicts from the prisons, whom he landed on the small and barren island of Sable, situate about fifty leagues to the south-east of Cape Breton, and thirtyfive of Canseau, about ten leagues in circumference, and interspersed with sand-hills, briar-plots, and fresh-water ponds.

After cruising some time on the coast, the Marquis was compelled by stress of weather to return to France, leaving on Sable Isle the forty unfortunate convicts, who had been landed on this barren spot; where after seven years' hardships twelve only were found alive, in a most wretched and emaciated state, on the French monarch having sent Chetodol, the pilot of the Marquis de la Roche, to look after and bring them back to France.

The next visitation of Nova Scotia (or, as the French called it Acadia ) was by De Monts and his followers, and some Jesuits, in 1604, who essayed for eight years to form settlements in Port Royal,

1 This name was given to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and part of the State of Maine.

GENERAL HISTORY.

3

St. Croix, &c., but were finally expelled from the country by the English governor and colonists of Virginia, who claimed the country by right of the discovery of Sebastian Cabot, and considered the French colonists of De Monts as encroachers or intruders on the charter granted to the Plymouth Company, in 1606, and which extended to the 45° of north latitude; the right of occupancy being then considered invalid, and the doctrine admitted

A time it was to all be it known,

When all a man sailed by or saw, was his own."

Eight years elapsed after the forcible expulsion of the French colonists from Port Royal and other parts of Acadia, before the English begun to think of settling on the peninsula, but in 1621 Sir William Alexander applied for and obtained from James I. a grant of the whole country, which he proposed to colonize on an extensive scale; it was named in the patent Nova Scotia, and comprised within the east side of a line drawn in the north direction from the River St. Croix to the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Within about a year after the sealing of his patent, Sir William Alexander despatched a number of emigrants to take possession of his grant, who, after wintering in Newfoundland, arrived in 1623 at Nova Scotia, where they found many French settlers, the descendants of those who had remained at Port Royal and other places, to whom were added adventurers from the St. Lawrence and Frances ; under these circumstances the English emigrants

thought it prudent not to attempt to take possession of the country, and they returned to England.

It was at this time that the Nova Scotia baronets were created by Charles I. ; they were to contribute their aid to the settlement, upon the consideration of each having allotted to him a liberal portion of land; their number was not to exceed 150; they were to be endowed with ample privileges, and preeminence to all knights called Equites Aurati, but none of them were to be baronets of Nova Scotia, or of Scotland, till they had fulfilled the conditions prescribed by His Majesty, and obtained a certificate of performance from the governor of the colony. The patents were ratified in parliament.

On the war breaking out between England and France, efforts were made by Sir William Alexander and his friends to drive the French from Nova Scotia, but for several years all the efforts of De la Tour (to whom Sir William Alexander had assigned or leased his grant) and others were ineffectual until Oliver Cromwell, who contributed so much to raise the glory of the British name, sent Major Sedgewick with an armed force, in 1654, and Nova Scotia, for the third time, fell into the possession of the Eng. lish, nominally at least. Port Royal being taken by Sedgewick's troops, while French settlers were established in different parts of the country; however, finally subdued, and the protector Cromwell granted the claims of Charles La Tour as heir to his father, who received the colony from Sir William Alexander. Cromwell thought fit to associate with La Tour, Thomas (afterwards Sir Thomas)

these were,

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