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Brian W
Atlanta GA USA
Posts: 1050
Joined: 2004
The Fight for the ‘14th Colony,’ Nova Scotia
1/17/2021 7:27:19 PM
I subscribed to Military History magazine and found this article interesting.
For those Americans who haven't read it or know about it, you'll find if fascinating.

The Fight for the ‘14th Colony,’ Nova Scotia
[Read More]

How serious do Canadians entertain the possibility that they might've lost a province?

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"I expect to pass through life but once. If, therefore, there can be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow-being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again." - William Penn
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11529
Joined: 2009
The Fight for the ‘14th Colony,’ Nova Scotia
1/18/2021 9:21:58 AM
Brian, it is true that there was some support for the revolution. As the article said, the population of Nova Scotia comprised thousands of New Englanders.

These "planters" had coveted the good farmland in NS for decades prior to the rebellion. The Protestant New Englanders encouraged the British to eliminate the French fact in Nova Scotia and were very supportive of the Acadian expulsion in 1755. In fact, it was New England militia who surrounded the churches on a Sunday morning in June to effect the round-up of Acadians. The wanted the Acadian farms.

That is a digression. But it is also true that the British founded and expanded the port of Halifax because of the presence of the French at Fortress Louisbourg on present day Cape Breton Island.

The British fleet was stationed there and I think that it would have been difficult for the American rebels to have staged a full invasion without an intervention by the RN. And so, they resorted to raids by privateers. And I think that those actions were like shooting themselves in the foot.

The New Englanders in Nova Scotia were not just "planters". They were also wealthy business men who saw the revolution as bad for business and trade. The success of pirates or privateers served to make the business class angry and unsupportive of a war.

Cheers,

George
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11529
Joined: 2009
The Fight for the ‘14th Colony,’ Nova Scotia
1/18/2021 10:19:18 AM
The British were not above exacting retribution for attempts by the New England rebels to attack Nova Scotian territory. New England raiders had successfully raided Nova Scotia towns sailing out of Machias, Maine. The New Englanders had seized and defeated two British ships that had landed at Machias in 1775.

They followed that up with a raid on St. John.

The British were not happy and they sent a squadron to Falmouth (current day, Portland, Maine) and burned it to the ground.

The Yankee raiders retaliated and I would assess that the privateers and raiders had the upper hand in the first two years of the revolution.

As mentioned in my previous post, these raids upon ports and the destruction of fisheries, hardened the residents against the revolution. The raids were costing the business people and the British, a lot of money. As well, privateers has seized over 200 British vessels.

By 1779, the British had taken over part of the Maine coast. By this stage of the war, the Continental navy was more capable and a large effort to oust the British was mounted with about 18 Continental vessels carrying soldiers headed for Penobscot Bay to meet the British forces. They were met by the RN and destroyed but not until after laying siege to the British fort. Paul Revere was in on that raid though I do not know in what capacity. The naval battle of Penobscot was a disaster for the Continental navy.

EDIT: Perhaps calling it a navy is overstated. There seemed to be a level of rebel state autonomy in some military actions. I don't know how much of the Penobscot affair was initiated and funded in Massachusetts rather than the Continental Congress. I need more information on that.


I wanted to add that when the rebellion was getting under way, Nova Scotian sympathizers had contacted rebels in Massachusetts. They wanted in and met with Washington in 1776. But the general was preoccupied, trying to figure out where the British were going to sail. The rebels had tried to seize Québec in 1775 and had been sent packing so I think that Washington was cautious. The Nova Scotians were asking for assistance because they could not foment a revolution on their own, not with British troops and the RN established in Nova Scotia.

Washington did inform Congress of the willingness of some in Nova Scotia to join the revolution but without an actual armed rebellion in progress in that colony, he was not willing to send troops to fight there. According to the author of a Smithsonian article that I read, Washington felt that if he attacked Nova Scotia, he would be the aggressor. I am not sure how he rationalized those thoughts as he had been perfectly willing to attack Québec which was also not in rebellion.

[Read More]

I must say that I have been looking for a Canadian perspective on this subject but our history books usually only indicate that Nova Scotia rejected revolution. True but the subject is more nuanced than that.

Cheers,

George

Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 6206
Joined: 2006
The Fight for the ‘14th Colony,’ Nova Scotia
1/18/2021 11:24:51 AM
George, & Bri,

It's to bad the US didn't get Nova Scotia, we would have even more seafood, & more coast line! We already took most of the Pacific Coast line.from Canada, Alaska's pan handle!? Getting Nova Scotia would have satisfied the imperialism of the US?!

Only kidding!

D
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11529
Joined: 2009
The Fight for the ‘14th Colony,’ Nova Scotia
1/18/2021 11:57:31 AM
Why Dave, you were fortunate to have kept Maine after the War of 1812? So leave poor NS to us.

Cheers,

George
Brian W
Atlanta GA USA
Posts: 1050
Joined: 2004
The Fight for the ‘14th Colony,’ Nova Scotia
1/18/2021 8:29:15 PM
That's a really interesting Smithsonian article. Also, that Franklin owned land in Nova Scotia and

Quote:
“There is no Canada at this point,” explains historian Margaret Conrad, professor emeritus at the University of New Brunswick. “There is British North America.”


I had no idea there were that many New Englanders living in Nova Scotia and that Canada invited them of offset the French.
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"I expect to pass through life but once. If, therefore, there can be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow-being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again." - William Penn
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11529
Joined: 2009
The Fight for the ‘14th Colony,’ Nova Scotia
1/19/2021 10:44:53 AM
Quote:
That's a really interesting Smithsonian article. Also, that Franklin owned land in Nova Scotia and

Quote:
“There is no Canada at this point,” explains historian Margaret Conrad, professor emeritus at the University of New Brunswick. “There is British North America.”


I had no idea there were that many New Englanders living in Nova Scotia and that Canada invited them of offset the French.



Quote:
That's a really interesting Smithsonian article. Also, that Franklin owned land in Nova Scotia and

Quote:
“There is no Canada at this point,” explains historian Margaret Conrad, professor emeritus at the University of New Brunswick. “There is British North America.”


I had no idea there were that many New Englanders living in Nova Scotia and that Canada invited them of offset the French.



Yes, Canada as a nation dates back to Confederation in 1867. It is true then that the colonies that did not rebel included Quebec, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

However I don't believe that Margaret Conrad meant that the word, "Canada" as a geographical reference was not used. It was. But it wasn't until 1791 that the British divided the colony of Québec into the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada.

Jacques Cartier, the French explorer designated all lands above the St. Lawrence River as Canada. He even named the St. Lawrence River, "La Rivière du Canada". He got the name from the indigenous people that he met but they used Canada in reference to a single native village at Stadacona, now Québec City. Cartier thought that Kanata (Canada) referred to all the lands controlled by the chief of that village. His name was Donnaconna.

The French government referred to their colony as New France but the colonists called it Canada. By the early 1700's, French-Canadian explorers and fur traders were active in what is now the US mid-west and south to Louisiana. They called all of it, "Canada".

The British colonies that did not rebel valued their independence. The country of Canada that confederated in 1867 did not do so as the result of war. Canada was the result of negotiations taking place in a number of conferences as the United Province of Canada attempted to convince the others that they had to unite for economic reasons and reasons of defence. It was all very business like.

The US civil war was raging as discussions took place and the proponents of Confederation had to convince the eastern colonies that a union was to their benefit. Nova Scotia was a particularly hard sell. It had long developed ties with New England and prior to Confederation, enjoyed the benefits of free trade with the US under a Reciprocity treaty.

I won't go into all the details but when NS did decide to join it was because of the promise of the extension of in inter-colonial rail line to the colony. The NS government voted for Confederation despite massive protests among the people. There was a two year, peaceful revolt to have the agreement to unite rescinded. Nova Scotians flew their flag at half mast.

As I ramble on here, I would just like to bring this back to the US rebellion. Nova Scotia did have a lot of New Englanders living in that colony which also included what we now know as New Brunswick. But we need to understand that the population was spread out and comprised of several different ethnic groups. Those groups were not all mixed together. They gathered in ethnic enclaves so there was no truly shared identity.

In 1776, Nova Scotia consisted of villages and outports with different ethnic identities.

So when the New England Planters moved north, they tended to concentrate on the lands facing the Bay of Fundy. When they tried to settle on the Chignecto Isthmus, they came into conflict with Yorkshire English people who were loyal to the crown. There was a German and Swiss collection of immigrants near the ship building port of Lunenburg and they were often attacked by New England raiders and had had conflict with the French speaking Acadians who had been allowed to return after the expulsion.

Pennsylvania-Dutch settled on the west side of the Bay of Fundy in what would become New Brunswick and they expanded up the Petticodiac River to what is today the city of Moncton in New Brunswick.

Returning Acadians resettled in the north east of the colony near the Quebec border. That is now New Brunswick and their ancestors are there to this day.

Perhaps obviously, Scots highlanders were emigrating to Nova Scotia in larger numbers beginning about 1770. They had been coming to NS since the mid 1600's. Many also made their way south to the Carolinas and many would fight as Loyalists during the rebellion. The Scots did settle all over the colony of NS. Scottish regiments came to NS to train and then fight in the Revolution. Many stayed and settled after the war. Gaelic is still spoken in the northern part of NS which is Cape Breton and there is a college up there that instructs in the Gaelic language.

EDIT: There are only a few in NS whose first language is Gaelic. However, there has been a resurgence in interest among the youth who wish to learn the language of their ancestors, hence, the college that I mentioned. Street signs are written in English and Gaelic in parts of Cape Breton.

I am trying to say that while the New Englanders were in the majority of the population of 20,000, they were not well represented in all areas of the colony of Nova Scotia in 1776 and they had to deal with Loyalist sentiments if they were going to rebel. Lastly, the NS government would aggressively pursue dissenters including members of the government who fled to the US to join the revolution. (Eddy and Allan).

Cheers,

George
Brian W
Atlanta GA USA
Posts: 1050
Joined: 2004
The Fight for the ‘14th Colony,’ Nova Scotia
1/19/2021 4:54:52 PM
Thanks George for the wonderful information. I hadn't known about the interesting history of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.


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"I expect to pass through life but once. If, therefore, there can be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow-being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again." - William Penn
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11529
Joined: 2009
The Fight for the ‘14th Colony,’ Nova Scotia
1/19/2021 5:25:24 PM
You're welcome Brian. Great map. I would recommend a car trip around the coast of Cape Breton Island, travelling along the Cabot Trail. There are some jaw dropping views to the ocean down below. I mentioned the Scottish culture in Cape Breton but the north-east part of it is Acadian country. They are all fully bilingual and switch back and forth to English as needed.

I love it down there. My grandfather and grandmother were Scots who emigrated to Nova Scotia in the early 1900's. They farmed on the Mira River but eventually settled in Ontario for work.



Cheers,

George
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 6206
Joined: 2006
The Fight for the ‘14th Colony,’ Nova Scotia
1/25/2021 9:09:04 AM
George,

What's the speed limit on that road! And do they have guard rails? Also any mortal accidents? Have you driven it before??

As far as me driving it? No & no!!!!

Stay safe, stay off that Nova Scotia road!!
D

BTW does the RN still use Halifax as a port???
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11529
Joined: 2009
The Fight for the ‘14th Colony,’ Nova Scotia
1/25/2021 10:35:35 AM
Dave it's a well maintained and paved highway. You won't be entering a third world gravel track. Speed limit is up to 80 kph which is about 50 mph.

Just watch for moose. There are lots of them in Cape Breton.



Here's a guard rail for you. It isn't the only one.



I have driven the whole route. It is actually a coastal circle route that is mostly within Cape Breton Highlands National Park. While on the highway, places have been built so that you can stop and take a photo.

Like this one





So there are hiking trails, campgrounds, fishing , ocean beaches etc.





That's my boost for the Nova Scotia economy. Oh, you want the best lobster in world. Plenty of restaurants serving that Cape Breton delicacy and other seafoods, along the highway.

I had a wonderful lobster supper in Cheticamp which is Acadian country.

Cheers,

George
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11529
Joined: 2009
The Fight for the ‘14th Colony,’ Nova Scotia
1/30/2021 11:49:46 AM
Quote:
BTW does the RN still use Halifax as a port???


I missed this one MD. Halifax is a great harbour and well protected. That is why the British wanted it and were willing to fight the Mi'kmaq people for it. Those people had hunted and fished there for thousands of years.

RN vessels were mostly interested in the Bay of Fundy side of Nova Scotia in the early days of colonization but with the advent of the French and Indian wars, the RN wanted to be stationed closer to the French Fortress of Louisbourg which is on Cape Breton Island. (Ile Royale when it was French).

Halifax was designated as the capital of Nova Scotia in 1749 and so the RN presence there ramped up. In 1757, the British established a RN dockyard to service RN vessels. This included dry docks (graving yards) and coaling stations.

A RN squadron was based there earlier, in 1740, so that the RN could keep tabs on North America and the West Indies. Halifax was a busy city with sailors and businesses dedicated to serving the RN. Even the Admiral in charge of the squadron lived in Halifax.

The residents of Halifax, it has been noted, had great faith and pride in being part of the British Empire. That is one of the reasons that I feel that Nova Scotia was not likely to have joined the American revolution. Halifax was also the port of entry whenever members of the royal family came over and the city would buzz with excitement when these events were announced as forthcoming.

Canadian Forces Base Halifax (CFB Halifax) is the primary harbour of the RCN Atlantic fleet.

Even though Canada had achieved Dominion status in 1867, it still relied upon the RN to provide protection if needed. Canada did not have a navy in 1867. And so the RN stayed.

But the 20th century forced a greater focus on Europe and the British army regulars left Canada in 1906. The RN drifted slowly away from that time.

The RCN dates from 1910 but the Royal Navy Dockyards in Halifax were sold to Canada in 1907. That harbour was a critical point of assembly for convoys and military vessels of many countries in WW1 and WWII.

CFB Halifax and the facilities have been upgraded many times but the old dockyard and surviving facilities were designated a National Historic site in 1923.

HMS Zealous in Halifax harbour


HMS Duncan in Halifax harbour (circa 1865)



HMS Corwallis, cruiser, 1914 in Halifax harbour




The oldest military cemetery in Canada is the Royal Navy Burying Ground in Halifax. It was the cemetery for the RN naval hospital at Halifax. The grave markers indicate the burial of RN sailors treated at the hospital while in Halifax. There are about 400 graves with no records available in Canada to tell us who is buried where. There are 89 grave markers still upright in the old burying ground.

However, causes of death were recorded at the hospital. The top four most common causes of death, in order, were:

Disease
Falling from the topmast
Drowning
Naval battles.

There are more burial sites for those lost in the French and Indian Wars, American Revolution and the War of 1812.

Now a museum site:




Cheers,

George

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