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Nowhere to run: Drastic Decline in Nova Scotian First Nations Populations as a Direct Consequence of European Land Encroachment and Resource Depletion

The greatest issue that presents itself when considering the impact of increasing levels of settlement in Nova scotia at the end of the long 18th century is that apart from Cape Breton there was no backcountry for displaced first nations to retreat to. Nova Scotia is essentially an island, only maintaining peninsular status for as long as it remains connected to the mainland by the Isthmus of Chignecto. That being said Nova Scotia can be looked upon in much the same way as any other island, which is to say it has limited space and by consequence limited inland resources. The costal resources may have off set some of these issues, but that really requires accesses to traditional fishing grounds. The problem was that the accessibility and relative abundance that had drawn the first nations people also drew European settlers to these places. An example of this would be the Le Have river inlet, once home to Mi’k Maq and Acadians, by the late 1760’s the British settlement of Lunenburg was fully established and drawing resources that formally were at the disposal of the Le Have Mi’kmaq. Read the rest of this entry

Black Loyalists in Nova Scotia

Between 1783 and 1785, more than 3000 Black persons came to Nova Scotia as a direct result of the American Revolution.  With the establishment of tobacco, indigo, and rice plantations in the southern states, plantation owners required more labourers to work in the fields, and carry out other jobs. In order to reduce costs for themselves and their estate, these owners used slave labour. Initially, the owners attempted to enslave local natives, but with little success, decided to opt for mostly African slaves instead.

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Für den britischen König: German Settlers, the M’ikmaq and Lunenburg county

May 28th 1753

In the company of 92 Regulars and 66 rangers in a fleet of 14 transport vessels escorted by Captian Cobb’s sloop York .  1453 German settlers set out for Mirliguesch bay to occupy the new settlement to be named Lunenburg in honor of King George II as he was the Duke of Brunschweig-Lüneburg. It was fortunate for the Germans that there had recently been a peace brokered between the Local M’ikmaq and the British, this was not to say the M’ikmaq were hugely enthusiastic about the settlement. In fact a letter between Governor Hopson and the Board of trade dated the 25th of May 1753 that indicates no less than 300 M’ikmaq that were at the ready to act in opposition of the new settlement. The letter goes on to state that regardless of this (and probably due to the recent peace) the settlement would move ahead as scheduled. Read the rest of this entry