History of Nova Scotia
with special attention given to
Transportation and Communications

Chapter 1
Before 31 December 1699

All human knowledge — everything ever drawn, composed, painted, or written — will be stored in one digital space available to the entire planet, with powerful search engines providing efficient, cheap access.
  — William Thorsell, in The Globe and Mail, 5 February 2000
Mr.  Thorsell is chairman of the editorial board of The Globe and Mail and a member of the World Economic Forum's global issues advisory group.

    Special Topics:

#   The Northwest Angle of Nova Scotia
#   Massachusetts Boundaries, 1691

1398 June 2

600th Anniversary

On 2 June 1998, the Nova Scotia Legislature unanimously adopted


Whereas, according to legend, Prince Henry Sinclair, in 1398, set sail from the Orkney Islands with 12 ships and 300 crew; and

Whereas on June 2, 1398, Prince Henry Sinclair and crew landed in Guysborough; and

Whereas this week, Sinclair Societies and Scottish clans are celebrating the arrival of Prince Henry in the New World;

Therefore be it resolved that this House extend congratulations to the Sinclair Society and wish them every success in their quest to authenticate the arrival of Prince Henry in North America.

Complete Hansard report

This is the earliest event in the history of Nova Scotia that can be dated to a specific single day (according to legend).  The Resolution refers to "Guysborough," located on the west side of the Strait of Canso, which separates the Nova Scotia mainland from Cape Breton Island.

Born in Scotland in about 1345 A.D. Henry Sinclair became Earl of Rosslyn and the surrounding lands as well as Prince of Orkney, Duke of Oldenburg (Denmark), and Premier Earl of Norway.  In 1398 he led an expedition to explore Nova Scotia and Massachusetts.  This was 90 years before Columbus "discovered America"!  Prince Henry Sinclair was the subject of historian Frederick J. Pohl's Atlantic Crossings Before Columbus, which was published in 1961.  Not all historians agreed with Pohl, but he made a highly convincing case that this blond, sea-going Scot, born at Rosslyn Castle near Edinburgh in 1345, not only wandered about mainland Nova Scotia in 1398, but also lived among the Micmacs long enough to be remembered through centuries as the man-god Glooscap...
Source: The Westford Knight

1497 June 24

Cabots Reach Cape Breton

Italian-born navigators John and Sebastian Cabot departed from Bristol, England, on 2 May 1497, and set sail to follow Columbus' route to what he thought was Asia.  The Cabot expedition reached land on 24 June 1497, likely at Cape Breton Island.
[National Post, 2 May 2000]

John Cabot made his first voyage from Bristol in search of a westerly route to India in 1497.  He made a landfall on the eastern coast of North America, but whether on Labrador, Newfoundland, or Nova Scotia is uncertain.  No actual settlement immediately followed the voyages of the Cabots.
Source: Nova Scotia history

Nova Scotia historic plaque
commemorating John Cabot


1497 - 1800

Brief Outline of Nova Scotia History
1497 - 1800

Vikings may have been the first Europeans to explore Nova Scotia, but the first recorded exploration was made in 1497 by English explorer John Cabot. French claims were established by Giovanni da Verrazzano in 1524 and by Jacques Cartier ten years later.

In 1604 Pierre du Gua Sieur de Monts, Samuel de Champlain, and Baron de Poutrincourt established a colony at Port Royal, but in 1607 the colony was abandoned. Poutrincourt returned in 1610 and established the first successful settlement of Europeans in what is now Canada.

In 1621 King James I of England changed the area's name from Acadia to Nova Scotia. Eight years later groups of Scots settled at Charlesfort, near Port Royal, and at Rosemar, on Cape Breton Island.

Throughout the 17th century (the 1600s) the English and French battled over control of Nova Scotia. The Peace of Utrecht in 1713 confirmed British control of Acadia, although the French retained Cape Breton Island and Prince Edward Island.

During King George's War in 1744, the French and British again battled over Nova Scotia. The British decided to make Nova Scotia British by bringing in more settlers. Halifax was founded as a fishing port and naval station, and other towns were planned. During the French and Indian War (1754-1763), the French settlement of Fort Beausejour fell under an American attack, and Fort Gaspereau fell to the British. After the war Governor Charles Lawrence ordered more than 6000 Acadians deported to the American colonies, but about 2000 escaped.

By 1763 Cape Breton Island, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick were joined to Nova Scotia, although Prince Edward Island was separated from Nova Scotia in 1769 and Cape Breton Island and New Brunswick were detached in 1784. Cape Breton Island was reannexed in 1820...

By Thomas Greiner, Muenchnerstrasse 50, Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany

The term "Acadia" was used for the first time in 1524 by the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano. When he came upon the region of present-day Washington, D.C., during the month of April, the vegetation appeared so luxuriant that he named the area "Arcadia" after the region of ancient Greece renowned for its innocence and contentment. Today the region visited by Verrazzano is called Delmarva because it encompasses parts of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. The 'r' was dropped in the 17th century and the name Acadia was used to designate the territory covered by the Maritime provinces of today.
Acadian History

Caught between opposing policies, the Acadian population endured a troubled history and looked on powerlessly as others made decisions. By right of conquest, Acadia had been English since 1613, but in practice it was still French, since no English settlers arrived before 1629. The two colonial powers of Europe paid little attention to Acadia until the end of the 1620s, when renewed interest foreshadowed the turbulent years that lay ahead for the inhabitants of this coveted territory...
Acadian History

1550 - 1700

General Outline of the History
of North America's Atlantic Coast
1550 - 1700

In the early 1600s, the Atlantic Seaboard of North America was about to become more crowded.  In 1608 the French would establish Quebec.  The Pilgrims would land at Plymouth Rock in 1620.

In 1626 the Dutch would put down in a place now known as Manhattan.

Settlement of what was to become the United States and Canada would continue to pick up speed: John Winthrop founded Boston in 1630; Samuel Champlain set up Trois-Rivieres, Canada, in 1634.  South Carolina would be settled in 1663.  William Penn established Pennsylvania in 1681.

The Spanish still claimed much of North America, but the Atlantic Seaboard was being preempted by others.

Spanish power had declined rapidly after 1550.  Her armies were defeated by the French, and a revolt by the Netherlands — secretly aided by England — had drained Spain of strength.  By the late 1500s, English "sea dogs" such as John Hawkins and Francis Drake were seizing Spanish ships wherever they met them.

Queen Elizabeth sent the plunder to the Tower of London, to be "restored to King Philip III."  Needless to say, it never got back to Spain, and the Queen herself went down to the Thames to knight Drake on the deck of his ship.  He had made the first English voyage around the world (1557 to 1580) and had returned laden to the gunwales with spoils taken from Spanish ships.

The raids, of course, angered Spanish King Philip, and he was made angrier by the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, Elizabeth's Catholic rival for the English throne.  He assembled a massive fleet of ships and in 1588 sent them to overthrow Elizabeth, take her island and restore Catholicism there.  But the Spanish Armada was defeated, some say by luck, some say by skill, some say by the chance happenings of a storm.  Indeed, the ships that managed to escape British guns were driven ashore and broken up by a terrific storm.

The defeat of the armada successfully defended the British isles, but it did more: It opened the seas to British shipping, and North America to British colonization.

Until then, England hadn't made much of an attempt at colonization.  It was busy building a strong state at home — and, besides, there was more profit in letting the Spanish do the work, than plundering the treasure fleet.  Still, Queen Elizabeth had given a charter to Sir Humphrey Gilbert in 1578, giving him the right to "inhabit and possess all remote and heathen lands not in the actual possession of any Christian princes."  Gilbert was lost at sea after an abortive attempt to found a colony on the coast of Newfoundland.

His half-brother, Sir Walter Raleigh, inherited the charter.  In 1585 he sent more than 100 men under Captain Ralph Lane to Roanoke Island, off the coast of North Carolina.  Raleigh named the land Virginia... After James I came to the English throne, Raleigh was accused of plotting against the king, and was eventually executed. But Raleigh's investors decided to try again at colonizing North America...

Remembering Our Acadian Heritage
Lafayette, Louisiana Daily Advertiser, 29 September 1994


Earliest Map of Nova Scotia

1558: Earliest map of Nova Scotia
Diego Homem, chart of North America and the Atlantic from Queen Mary's Atlas, 1558
Source: http://www.vineyard.net/vineyard/history/allen/N_Am_1558.jpg

The earliest approximately correct map of Nova Scotia is that of a Portugese, Diego Homem, and bears date of 1558.  The Portugese were not very successful in their colonizing efforts, but they did succeed in colonizing with cattle and swine the dreadful sandbank of Sable Island, off the southeast coast of Nova Scotia — a deed for which in later years many a shipwrecked seaman has had cause to remember them with gratitude.  In such names as Blomidon, Minas, Bay of Fundy (Baya Fondo), and others, the Portugese have left on these coasts the memory of their explorations.
Source: Page 201 of The Canadian Guide Book: The Tourist's and Sportsman's Guide to Eastern Canada and Newfoundland... by Charles G.D. Roberts, Professor of English Literature at King's College, Windsor, Nova Scotia; 378 pages, published by D. Appleton, New York, 1891.
1558: Earliest map of Nova Scotia
from page 201 of "The Canadian Guide Book..." by Charles G.D. Roberts, 1891
Source: Early Canadiana Online http://www.canadiana.org/
page 201   http://www.canadiana.org/ECO/mtq?id=1c89ddcf4f&display=56228+0279


Henry IV becomes King of France

Henry IV (1553-1610) was King of France from 1589 to 1610 and, as Henry III, of Navarre from 1572 to 1610.  In 1604 Henry IV gave a commission to Pierre du Gua, sieur de Monts, appointing him viceroy of the territory in North America lying between the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the mouth of the Hudson River.  On 8 May 1604 (NS), de Monts arrived at the mouth of the LaHave River on the coast of Nova Scotia.  A few days later he sailed up the Bay of Fundy and into the Annapolis Basin.  Henry IV was assassinated in May 1610 and was succeeded by his son Louis XIII, age nine.

1598 - 1603

Marooned on Sable Island

Marquis de la Roche in an abortive attempt to colonize New France, on sighting Sable Island, dropped off 40 men from his small crowded boat with a view of going back to get them once his smaller crew had located a more likely spot in New France.  A storm blew up and de la Roche, in a very wrecked condition, arrived back in France. Five years later, finally, somebody in France thought to go check, and, during September, 1603, 17 wretched survivors were found and returned to France.
Peter Landry's chronology of Nova Scotia history

Charles G.D. Roberts' description
of the men marooned for five years on Sable Island

Unique and interesting, though a most disastrous failure, was the colonizing enterprise of Marquis de la Roche in 1598.  The location of this attempt was Sable Island, which is more interesting to read about than to visit.

Sable Island is a bank of sand, deposited by the swirl of meeting ocean currents.  It lies 90 miles [about 140 km] southeast of Nova Scotia, and is the center of fogs and fiercest storms.  Its shape is roughly that of a crescent, 22 miles [about 35 km] by 2 miles [about 3 km] wide and a shallow pool divides it from end to end.  Its position is shifting gradually eastward, and the dreadful wrecks of which it is from time to time the scene have won it the name of "charnel-house of North America."

De la Roche, being made the Viceroy of Canada and Acadie, set sail for hius new dominions with a ship-load of convicts for colonists.  Approaching the Acadian coasts he conceived, in his prudence, the plan of landing his dangerous charges upon Sable Island, till he might go and prepare for them, on the mainland, a place of safety.  The forty convicts, selected from the chief prisons of France, were landed through the uproar of the surf, and the ship made haste away from the perilous shore.

But she did not come back!  De la Roche reached Acadie (Nova Scotia), chose a site for his settlement, and set out for the island to fetch his expectant colonists.  But a great gale swept him back to France and drove him upon the Breton coast, wher the Duke de Mercoeur, at that time warring against the king, seized him, cast him into prison, and held him close for five years.

Meanwhile those left on the island were delighted enough.  They were free, and began to forget the scourge and chain.  Beside the unstable hummocks and hills of sand they found a shallow lake of fresh water, the shores of which were covered luxuriantly with long grass, and lentils, and vines of vetch.  Lurking in any and every portion of the grassy plain were little cup-like hollows, generally filled with clear water.  Every such pool, like the lake, was alive with ducks and other water-fowl, among which the joyous convicts created consternation.  There were wild cattle also, trooping and lowing among the sand-hills or feeding belly-deep in the rank water-grasses; while herds of wild hogs, introduced years before by the Portugese, disputed the shallow pools with the mallard and teal.

The weather for awhile kept fine, and the winds comparatively temperate, and the sojourners held a carnival of liberty and indolence.  But this was not for long, and as the skies grew harsher their plight grew harder.  As the weeks slipped into months they grew first impatient, then solicitous, then despairing.  Their provisions fell low, and at last the truth was staring them in the face — they were deserted.

From the shipwrecks along the shore they built themselves at first a rude shelter, which the increasing cold and storms soon drove them to perfect with their most cunning skill.  As their stores diminished, they looked on greedily and glared at each other with jealous eyes.  Soon quarrels broke out with but little provocation, and were settled by the knife with such fatal frequency that the members of the colony shrank apace.

As they had been provided with no means of lighting fires, they soon had to live on the raw flesh of the wild cattle, and little by little they learned the lesson, and began to relish such fare.  Little by little, too, as their garments fell to pieces, they replaced them with skins of the seals that swarmed about the beach; and their hut they lined with hides from the cattle they had slaughtered.

As the months became years their deadly contests ceased, but exposure, and frost, and hunger, and disease kept thinning their ranks.  They occupied themselves in pursuing the seal for its skin, the walrus for its ivory.  They had gathered a great store of sealskins, ivory, and hides, but now only twelve men remained to possess these riches.  Their beards had grown to their waists, their skins were like the furs that covered them, their nails were like birds' claws, their eyes gleamed with a sort of shy ferocity through the long, matted tangle of hair.

At last, from out of his prison, De la Roche got word to the king, telling him of their miserable fortune, and a ship was at once sent out to rescue them.

Source: Pages 201-203 of The Canadian Guide Book: The Tourist's and Sportsman's Guide to Eastern Canada and Newfoundland... by Charles G.D. Roberts, Professor of English Literature at King's College, Windsor, Nova Scotia; 378 pages, published by D. Appleton, New York, 1891.
Early Canadiana Online http://www.canadiana.org/
page 201   http://www.canadiana.org/ECO/mtq?id=1c89ddcf4f&display=56228+0279
page 202   http://www.canadiana.org/ECO/mtq?id=1c89ddcf4f&display=56228+0280
page 203   http://www.canadiana.org/ECO/mtq?id=1c89ddcf4f&display=56228+0281

1603 March 24   (OS)

Death of Queen Elizabeth I

On this day, Queen Elizabeth I of England died after a reign which began 15 Jan 1559 (OS).

King James VI/I

May 1603

Born in Edinburgh Castle on 19 July 1566, James was the only son of Mary, Queen of Scots and her second husband, Lord Darnley.  He was less than a year old when he saw his mother for the last time, and thirteen months old when, in August 1567, he was crowned King James VI of Scotland in Stirling after her forced abdication.  He was crowned as King James I of England in May 1603.  A member of the Scottish House of Stuart, he ruled over Scotland alone (1567-1603) and then over England as well (1603-25).  He was the first sovereign ever to reign over the whole of the British Isles.  On 24 March 1603 Elizabeth I of England died childless, and James VI inherited the crown of England by virtue of his descent from Elizabeth's aunt Margaret, who had married James IV of Scotland. James VI thus became also James I of England, and ruled over the two countries until 1625.

History of the Scottish Crown

House of Stuart (Stewart)

James, I of England and VI of Scotland


Second Oldest European Settlement
in North America

Port Royal
(now Lower Granville, Annapolis County, Nova Scotia)

In 1604 King Henry IV of France gave a commission to Pierre du Gua, Sieur de Monts, appointing him viceroy of the territory lying between the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the mouth of the Hudson River. De Monts arrived at the mouth of the LaHave River on the coast of Nova Scotia and he then sailed up the Bay of Fundy and into the sheet of water which is now known as the Annapolis Basin. Here, near what is now the town of Annapolis, a site was chosen for a settlement and de Monts gave the name of Port-Royal to the place. Leaving some of his companions there he sailed along the northern shore of the Bay of Fundy, entered the St. John River and later made his winter quarters at the mouth of the St. Croix River. The companions whom he left at Port-Royal returned to France.

The following year de Monts and the survivors of his party at St. Croix returned to Port-Royal. This was the beginning of European settlement in Canada, and the colony thus established is the oldest European settlement in North America with the exception of St. Augustine in Florida. The colony was temporarily abandoned in 1607, but in 1610 the French returned and remained in undisturbed possession until 1613, when a freebooter from Virginia named Argall made a descent upon the colony and totally destroyed it.


...Now sieur de Monts, having the authority and power mentioned, and being well equipped and accompanied, left France in the year 1604, just a hundred years after the discovery of this country, and went to live upon the Coast of Norembegue among the Eteminquoys people, upon a small Island, which he called sainte Croix. But misfortune overtook him there, for he lost a great many of his people by sickness.

Leaving there the following year, forced by necessity, he changed his dwelling place to Port Royal, towards the East Southeast, some twenty-six leagues [about 130 km] away, in Acadie or the Souriquoys country. Here he remained only two years, for the associated merchants, seeing that their outlay exceeded their receipts, no longer cared to continue the experiment. So they all had to return to France, leaving nothing as a monument of their adventure, except two dwellings entirely empty, that of sainte Croix, and that of Port Royal; and bringing no greater spoils back with them, than the Topography and description of the Seas, Capes, Coasts, and Rivers, which they had traversed. These are all the chief results of our efforts up to the years 1610 and 1611...

Source: Letter dated May 26, 1614, written in Latin by Father Pierre Biard, to the Very Reverend Father Claude Aquaviva, General of the Society of Jesus, at Rome
The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents Travels and Explorations of the Jesuit Missionaries in New France, 1610-1791

A wealthy Huguenot and a favorite of Henry IV, Pierre du Gua, sieur de Monts was the holder of a trade monopoly in New France and the patron of Samuel de Champlain. In 1604-5 he and Champlain explored the coast of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and New England as far south as Cape Cod.  In 1605 he established the first French colony in Canada at Port Royal (now Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia). Leaving it in Champlain's care, he returned to France but sent ships in 1607 and 1608 to aid the colonists.

Henry IV's 1608 Commission to Sieur de Monts
7 January 1608 (NS)

...Sieur de Monts, for the purpose of defraying the expenses of the expedition, obtained letters from his majesty for one year, by which all persons were forbidden to traffic in pelts with the savages, on penalties stated in the following commission:

Henry by the Grace of God King of France and Navarre, to our beloved and faithful counselors, the officers of our admiralty in Normandy, Brittany, and Guienne, bailiffs, marshals, provosts, judges, or their lieutenants, and to each one of them, according to his authority, throughout the extent of their powers, jurisdictions, and precincts, greeting:

Acting upon the information which has been given us by those who have returned from New France, respecting the good quality and fertility of the lands of that country, and the disposition of the people to accept the knowledge of God, We have resolved to continue the settlement previously undertaken there, in order that our subjects may go there to trade without hindrance. And in view of the proposition to us of Sieur de Monts, gentleman in ordinary of our chamber, and our lieutenant-general in that country, to make a settlement, on condition of our giving him means and supplies for sustaining the expense of it, it has pleased us to promise and assure him that none of our subjects but himself shall be permitted to trade in pelts and other merchandise, for the period of one year only, in the lands, regions, harbors, rivers, and highways throughout the extent of his jurisdiction: this we desire to have fulfilled. For these causes and other considerations impelling us thereto, we command and decree that each one of you, throughout the extent of your powers, jurisdictions, and precincts, shall act in our stead and carry out our will in distinctly prohibiting and forbidding all merchants, masters, and captains of vessels, also sailors and others of our subjects, of whatever rank and profession, to fit out any vessels in which to go themselves or send others in order to engage in trade or barter in pelts and other things with the savages of New France, to visit, trade, or communicate with them during the space of one year, within the jurisdiction of Sieur de Monts, on penalty of disobedience, and the entire confiscation of their vessels, supplies, arms, and merchandise for the benefit of Sieur de Monts; and, in order that the punishment of their disobedience may be assured, you will allow, as we have and do allow, the aforesaid Sieur de Monts or his lieutenants to seize, apprehend, and arrest all violators of our present prohibition and order, also their vessels, merchandise, arms, supplies, and victuals, in order to take and deliver them up to the hands of justice, so that action may be taken not only against the persons, but also the property of the offenders, as the case shall require...

Given at Paris the seventh day of January, in the year of grace sixteen hundred and eight, and the nineteenth of our reign. Signed, HENRY...

Modern History Sourcebook

Additional references:
Nova Scotia Biographies: Pierre Du Gua de Monts

Pierre du Guast, Sieur de Monts (1560?-1630?)


Source of the name “Fundy”

The origin of the word "Fundy" is believed to be traceable to 16th century Spanish and Portuguese mariners.  Their use of the word "Rio Fondo" (meaning deep river) on early imprecise maps was thought to refer to the Bay.  By the time of Champlain's maps, Fundy was fairly accurately portrayed and now named Bay Francoise...
Early Perspectives on the Fundy Environment

1606 November 14

The Order of Good Times Founded

...The Order of Good Times is the oldest social club in North America, having been first formed at Port Royal in Annapolis County on November 14, 1606...
— Hon. Murray Scott, the Speaker of the Nova Scotia Legislature
proposing Resolution Number 1111, 11 May 2001
Complete Hansard report

1610 May

Louis XIII becomes King of France

Louis XIII (1601-1643) succeeded to the throne of France in May 1610 at the age of nine years and eight months, upon the assassination of his father Henry IV.  On 14 May 1643, Louis XIII died and was succeeded by Louis XIV, age five years.  Between them, Louis XIII and Louis XIV ruled France as absolute monarchs from 1610 until 1715, a span of 105 years.

1621 September 10

Nova Scotia Granted to Sir William Alexander

In 1605 at Port Royal (now Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia) the French founded their first successful colony in North America.  Later they named all their Atlantic possessions Acadie, or Acadia.  In 1613 English colonists from Virginia captured Port Royale, and in 1621 Acadia was renamed Nova Scotia by William Alexander, who had been granted the territory by James VI/I on September 10, 1621.  His attempts to colonize the region were a failure, but his royal charter gave Nova Scotia its name, coat-of-arms, and flag.

In 1632 the colony was ceded to the French under the Treaty of St-Germain-en-Laye.  Port-Royale was refounded — at Annapolis Royal, close to its former site — and Acadian colonization proceeded through the Annapolis Valley to the Chignecto Isthmus, although quarrels among the Acadians prompted Oliver Cromwell to dispatch an occupying force in 1654.

Charles II restored Nova Scotia to the French in the Treaty of Breda 1667, but in 1713 the mainland was awarded to the British under the Treaty of Utrecht.  The French controlled the Ile Saint-Jean (Prince Edward Island) and Ile Royale (Cape Breton Island).

The flag of Nova Scotia is a white flag with a blue St. Andrew's Cross (Saltier) dividing the field in four, while in the centre is the double-tressured lion of Scotland, the ruddy lion rampant in gold.  It traces its origin to the Charter of New Scotland granted in 1621 to Sir William Alexander (afterwards the Earl of Stirling) by King James VI of Scotland and I of England.  In this Charter the name, Nova Scotia, (which is the Latin form for New Scotland) first appeared in contradistinction to Acadia or the Acadie of the French.  The Flag itself is derived from the Royal Coat of Arms granted to Nova Scotia in 1625 by King Charles I of England, the son and successor of James VI.

The Ancient Arms of Nova Scotia is the oldest and grandest in all the Commonwealth countries overseas.  It was granted to the Royal Province of Nova Scotia in 1625 by King Charles I in support of the first British colonial effort on the Canadian mainland.  The Arms were borne by the Baronets of Nova Scotia.  The Scottish statesman Sir William Alexander established the British territorial claims which were later realized.

Nova Scotia's Flag by Alistair B. Fraser
Other references:

Sir William Alexander monument Victoria Park, Halifax

1625 March 28   (OS)

King Charles I

On this day began the reign of Charles I, King of England, Scotland, and Ireland.


Edinburgh Castle

The Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle, in Scotland, legally is part of Nova Scotia in Canada.  Charles I declared it to be Nova Scotia territory so that Nova Scotian baronets might receive their lands there.  The decree has never been revoked.
Facts About Scotland

In America in the early 1600s there was a New England, a New France, and a New Spain.  When old sea dogs regaled King James VI/I with tales of the New World, Sir William Alexander of Menstrie listened.  He noted New England, New France and New Spain.  He also noted there was no New Scotland.  Sir William, an enterprising Scot, attracted the attention of King James (VI of Scotland and I of England), who held court regularly at nearby Stirling, when he proposed that it might encourage development of a New Scotland if His Majesty were to offer a new order of baronets.  The King liked the idea.  After all, his creation of the Baronets of England in 1611 and the Baronets of Ireland in 1619 had raised £225,000 for the Crown.

At Windsor Castle on September 10, 1621 King James signed a grant in favour of Sir William Alexander covering all of the lands "between our Colonies of New England and Newfoundland, to be known as New Scotland" (Nova Scotia in Latin), an area larger than Great Britain and France combined.

The New Scotland grant consisted approximately of what we now know as the Maritime Provinces, with the Gaspe Peninsula and much of eastern Maine.  On October 18, 1624 the King announced his intention of creating a new order of baronets to Scottish "knichts and gentlemen of cheife respect for ther birth, place, or fortounes".  James VI/I died on March 27, 1625 but his heir, Charles I, lost no time in implementing his father's plan.  By the end of 1625, the first 22 Baronets of Nova Scotia were created and, as inducements to settlement of his new colony of Nova Scotia, Sir William offered tracts of land totalling 11,520 acres "to all such principal knichts & esquires as will be pleased to be undertakers of the said plantations & who will promise to set forth 6 men, artificers or laborers, sufficiently armed, apparelled & victualled for 2 yrs." Baronets could receive their patents in Edinburgh rather than London, and an area of Edinburgh Castle was declared Nova Scotian territory for this purpose.  In return, they had to pay Sir William 1000 merks for his "past charges in discoverie of the said country."

Grants of land were made until the end of 1639, by which time 122 baronetcies had been created, 113 of whom were granted lands in Nova Scotia.  The Order continued until 1707, by which time 329 baronetcies were made.

Sir William Alexander, Earl of Stirling and Viscount of Canada, who was born at Menstrie Castle in 1567, and is often referred to as the "Founder of Nova Scotia," died bankrupt in London in 1644.  His embalmed body is interred in the family vault in the High Kirk of Stirling.

In October 1953, Nova Scotia's Premier Angus Macdonald unveiled a plaque at Edinburgh Castle to commemorate Sir William Alexander and the Baronets of Nova Scotia.  When Menstrie Castle was scheduled for demolition in 1956, it was donations from Scots in Nova Scotia and other parts of the world that financed its restoration, and a wall of one of the Nova Scotia Commemoration Rooms is covered with shields portraying the arms of 109 Baronets of Nova Scotia, surrounding a portrait of King James VI of Scotland and I of England.

In 2000, there are still about 100 Baronets of Nova Scotia in existence, many of them descendants of ancestors who once owned land there — land which they never set foot on.  In Halifax's Victoria Park a cairn dedicated to Sir William Alexander stands at one end, with a statue of Robert Burns at the other end.

Baronets of Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia was divided into provinces, each sub-divided into dioceses.  Each diocese was divided into three counties, then each county into ten Baronies of over 10,000 acres each.  King James I, died on March 27th, 1625 but his son and heir, Charles I, quickly accepted the moneymaking plan.  Any man with 3,000 Merks could now have a Baronet in Nova Scotia.  One third of this fee went to William Alexander for exploration, while the remainder was to supply soldiers of the Crown in the new territory.

A section of Edinburgh Castle was declared Nova Scotia territory for the sale of the Baronets, but response was slow.  By 1626, when Sir William became the Secretary of State for Scotland, only 28 Baronets were sold.  His problems continued when the French discovered the plan in 1627 and began to actively dispute Nova Scotia's settlement.  Sir William Alexander's son led a group to colonize and reinforce the area in 1629, but in the same year, Charles I ceded the territory to France.

By 1631, Sir William was forced to abandon the territory at considerable financial loss.  Later, William was titled Earl of Stirling and Viscount of Canada, but he never really recovered from the Nova Scotia settlement disaster.  He died a poor man in London, in 1644.  Ironically, the Baronets continued to be sold until 1707 and even though they no longer conveyed any land, a total of 329 were dispersed over the years...

Sir William Alexander of Menstries, Earl of Stirling (c.1567 - 1644)

Should you go to Edinburgh and visit the castle, look to the right as you enter.  You will see a plaque placed there by the late Angus L. Macdonald, Premier of Nova Scotia.  On that site, James I of England, also known as James VI of Scotland... by royal declaration made that piece of ground a part of Nova Scotia — New Scotland — in order that he could present the Charter to Sir William Alexander of Menstrie on Nova Scotian soil.
—Senator John Buchanan
Hansard — Debates of the Senate, Ottawa, 19 June 1996

21 June 1636

New Scotland (Nova Scotia) was founded in the early 1600s by Sir William Alexander of Menstrie, Scotland.  It included territory now known as Atlantic Canada and Anticosti Island.  Sir William Alexander funded and settled the colony by a system of Baronets of Nova Scotia, a hereditary title used to this day (the 21st century).  On June 21, 1636, Browne of Neale, was created Baronet of Nova Scotia and granted lands on Anticosti Island.  Patrick Broun of Colstoun was also created a Baronet of Nova Scotia in 1686.  Sir John Francis Archibald Browne was the 12th Baronet of Nova Scotia; also, the 6th Baron of Kilmaine. 
Clan Brown: Baronets of Nova Scotia

Cairn in Victoria Park, Halifax

Each Baronet paid 1000 merks (Scottish marks) for his Barony and 2000 merks to maintain six soldiers in the colony for two years.  Under Scots Law, Baronets "take sasine" by receiving symbolic "earth and stone" on the actual land.  Part of Edinburgh Castle was deemed granted to Sir William as part of Nova Scotia.  The Baronets were installed with "earth and stone" there while standing in Nova Scotia.  Each received a badge on an orange ribbon, worn about the neck.

Baronet of Nova Scotia is a hereditary title.  They enjoy the privilege of wearing the arms of Nova Scotia as a badge, are addressed as Sir, and place Bt. or Bart. after their names.

Three years after Hon. Angus L. Macdonald, then Premier of Nova Scotia, unveiled a plaque at Edinburgh Castle (1953) commemorating Sir William Alexander and Baronets of Nova Scotia, Menstrie Castle (Sir William's birthplace) was scheduled for demolition.  Attempts to bring Menstrie Castle to Halifax failed when Scots pleaded that it remain in Scotland.  Scots, many in Nova Scotia, financed restoration of Menstrie Castle and established the Nova Scotia Commemoration Room there.  23 stones from a staircase, of which the Victoria Park cairn is constructed, are all Halifax obtained of the Castle.

Founding of New Scotland

Sir William Alexander monument Victoria Park, Halifax

References — Nova Scotia baronets

Medals of the World
United Kingdom: Baronets of Nova Scotia — orange-tawny; all other Baronets — orange-tawny with blue edges.  Instituted by James VI/I in 1624 for Baronets of Nova Scotia...

Donald MacKay, First Lord Reay, was knighted Baronet of Nova Scotia when he acquired Anticosti Island (then part of Nova Scotia).  Baronet of Nova Scotia is a hereditary title; Hugh William Mackay, 14th Lord Reay, present Chief of MacKay, is 14th Baronet of Nova Scotia.

Sir Gilbert Pickering, Baronet of Nova Scotia

John Cunyngham of Caprington and Lambrughton was, in 1669, created a Baronet of Nova Scotia.  In 1707, James Dick of Prestonfield was created a Baronet of Nova Scotia...

In 1628, Sir Archibald Acheson, Esq., was created Baronet of Nova Scotia...

Kenneth Mackenzie, eighth Baron of Gairloch, was created a baronet of Nova Scotia in 1700.

The name Malcolm means a devotee of St Columba, and four Scottish Kings carried this name.  Malcolumb is recorded in a charter of 1094.  John Malcolm of Balbedie, Lochore and Innertiel was appointed Chamberlain of Fife in 1641.  His eldest son was created a Nova Scotia baronet in 1665...

Baronet of Pitsligo and Monymusk, Aberdeenshire
Creation: Nova Scotia, 30 March 1626
Sir William Daniel Stuart-Forbes,
13th Baronet of Pitsligo and Monymusk — Succeeded to the title in 1985

Gilbert Eliot of Minto was created a baronet of Nova Scotia by King William III in 1700.


The 5th Earl of Lauderdale was John Maitland who was a Senator of the College of Justice with the title of Lord Ravelrig 1689-1710 and was also created a Baronet of Nova Scotia in 1680.  He died on August 30, 1710.
The Maitlands of Lauderdale

Sinclair Family Discussion List Archive <sinclair@matrix.net>
...The Augustan Society http://www.augustansociety.org/ has a reprint of something called Scots Empire written and illustrated by R. Mingo Sweeney, (heavy emphasis on illustrated).  Each page has a paragraph on it with a large illustration, crest, seal, etc. taking up the rest of the page.  25 pages that includes an early map, list of NS Baronets beginning with Sir.  Robert Gordon of Gordonstown May 28 1625 and ending with Dec 17 1636 so the list stops before we find the name of John Sutherland Sinclair who succeed to the earldom of Caithness Jan 1891 and lived in Lakota, Noth Dakota... There are 96 Baronets listed for a time period of 13 years.  They are called Baronets of places such as Elphinstone, Langton, Lundie, Clancairny, Skelmorly, Auchinbreck, Ardnamurchan, etc...

Captain The Chevalier R Mingo Sweeney, Member
International Commission for Orders of Chivalry

Sweeney, R. Mingo <rsweeney@hotmail.com>

Capt. Richard Mingo-Sweeney of Nova Scotia

R. Mingo-Sweeney FAS (Fellow of the Augustan Society)

...The chief of the clan Colquhoun, a baronet of Scotland and Nova Scotia, created in 1704, and of Great Britain in 1786; Colquhoun of Killermont and Gardcadden; Colquhoun of Ardenconnel; and Colquhoun of Glenmillan.  There was likewise Colquhoun of Tilliquhoun, a baronet of Scotland and Nova Scotia (1625), but this family is extinct... The eldest son, Sir John, was created a baronet of Nova Scotia by patent dated last day of August 1625.

History of Edinburgh Castle (recommended)

Edinburgh Castle webcam

Edinburgh Castle is the second most-visited ancient monument in Britain, after the Tower of London...

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh's Royal Mile

Edinburgh Castle

The Esplanade

1632 - 1670

Chaos in Nova Scotia

Germain Doucet came to Acadia (Nova Scotia) in 1632 with Commander Isaac de Razilly by order of Cardinal Richelieu, Minister of State to King Louis XIII. They came to re-occupy the colony after the St. Germain-en-Laye Treaty of March 29, 1632.

According to author Andrew Hill Clark in Acadia: The Geography Of Early Nova Scotia to 1760 (page 91): "Razilly... sailed from France on July 4, 1632 in L'Esperance a Dieu, shepherding two transports, and disembarked some three hundred people (mostly men) and a variety of livestock, seeds, tools, implements, arms, munitions, and other supplies at LaHeve (at the mouth of LaHave River in present Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia) on September 8."

Razilly was a cousin of Richelieu and a royal councillor.  One of the leaders of The Company of New France, he was designated Lieutenant-General of all the parts of New France called "Canada" and the Governor of "Acadia"...


On a document signed July 14, 1640, Germain Doucet was at Port Royal and Captain of the Army of Pentagoet as well as the right-hand man of the Governor of Acadia (Charles de menou d'Aulnay de Charnizay).  After the death of the Governor in 1650, Germain was the Commander at the fort of Port Royal and Deputy Guardian of the Governor's children.

On August 16, 1654, when 500 Bostonian soldiers under the command of Robert Sedgewick attacked the fort of Port Royal, Germain found it wise to give up without a struggle as he had only 100 men to oppose them.  All military personnel were repatriated back to France.  Germain left his brother-in-law, Jacques Bourgeois, surgeon, as Lieutenant of Port Royal and as a witness to see that the conditions of the treaty were carried out.  He returned to France in 1654...


Having been given the order to attack the colony of New Holland (New York), Robert Sedgewick pillaged most of the Acadian settlements between July and September 1654.  This conquest of a rather dubious nature plunged Acadia (Nova Scotia) into an uncertainty which lasted several years.  From 1654 to 1670 both France and England exercised their authority in the region.  Versailles continued to distribute land grants as well as fishing and hunting rights, whereas England conceded the conquered territory — once again named Nova Scotia as it had been in the days of William Alexander — to William Crowne, Charles de La Tour, and Thomas Temple.  La Tour profited little from the grant.  Temple, who was later appointed governor of Nova Scotia, made virtually no attempt to enhance his section of the territory and found himself constantly in the midst of disputes pitting him against his associates and his rivals, such as Emmanuel Le Borgne.  Civil war in England helped the expansion of the fishery in New England.  Companies from England used Massachusetts as a base for the fishery in Newfoundland and for trade with the West Indies...
Acadian History

On July 4, 1654, Major Robert Sedgewick left Boston with 500 men on three warships and a ketch.  On July 14, the expedition attacked Fort Saint-Jean.  La Tour defended the fort for 3 days with 70 men and 12 cannons.  He capitulated on July 17.  Sedgewick demolished Fort Saint-Jean, killed the garrison and took a value of 10,000 Louis in goods. Nicolas Denys later blamed Le Borgne for this defeat. Le Borgne had refused supplies and ammunition to La Tour and secretly corresponded with the English, encouraging them to attack.

La Tour was taken prisoner and Sedgewick turned his attention to Port-Royal, arriving there on July 31.  Germain Doucet, dit Laverdure commanded the garrison in the absence of La Tour.  He has but 120 men to defend the colony.  The English came ashore with 300 men.  After a siege of two weeks, the French surrendered...

Second English Occupation, 1654


For a more detailed account of these events, see
History of Nova Scotia, Book #1: Acadia
Part 1, Early Settlement & Baronial Battles: 1605-90
Chapter 8 — The Battling Barons of Acadia
by Peter Landry

1643 May 14   (NS)

Louis XIV becomes King of France

On 14 May 1643, Louis XIII died and was succeeded by Louis XIV (1638-1715) at the age of five years.  Louis XIV was king of France for 72 years, 1642-1715, the longest reign in modern European history.

1645 April 13

D'Aulnay Hangs La Tour's Men

d'Aulnay Hangs La Tour's Men, 13 April 1645
d'Aulnay Hangs La Tour's Men, Mme la Tour watches
13 April 1645
Painting by Adam Sheriff Scott
Source:  http://www.nelson.com/nelson/school/discovery/images/evenimag/pre1760/daulnay.gif

For an account of this event, see:
History of Nova Scotia Book #1: Acadia, by Peter Landry
Part 1, Early Settlement & Baronial Battles: 1605-90
Chapter 8 — The Battling Barons of Acadia

1649 January 30   (OS)
1649 February 9   (NS)

Execution of King Charles I

1651 February 25   (NS)

New Governor

On this day, Charles La Tour was made governor of Acadia (present-day Nova Scotia and New Brunswick).
[Halifax Daily News, 25 February 2000]

Nova Scotia Biographies: Charles La Tour (1595-c.1665)

Francoise Marie Jacquelin, Lady La Tour

1653 December 16   (OS)
1653 December 26   (NS)

Oliver Cromwell

On this day, Oliver Cromwell was declared Lord Protector of the Commonwealth, or republic, of England, Scotland, and Ireland.  In England and its colonies, this was the time between kings, after the execution of King Charles I in January 1649 and before the restoration of King Charles II in May 1660.

Who was Oliver Cromwell?

Oliver Cromwell

Oliver Cromwell: Lord Protector of England

Oliver Cromwell

Quotations from Oliver Cromwell

1660 May 29   (OS)
1660 June 8   (NS)

Restoration of Charles II

On 1 January 1651, the Scots crowned Charles II at Scone (this turned out to be the last such Coronation at Scone).  This was a time of more or less continual war between Scotland and England, and Charles II spent the next nine years in exile.  Then in 1660 he was invited back to London and on 29 May 1660 (OS), he was restored to his father's throne as King of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

History of the Scottish Crown

House of Stuart (Stewart)


Treaty of Breda

The Treaty of Breda, signed by France and England in 1667, marked the return of Acadia to its place among the French colonies.  Thomas Temple, the English administrator of Acadia (Nova Scotia) from 1650 to 1660, created so many difficulties before handing the territory over to the French that Hector d'Andigne de Grandfontaine, the new governor appointed by France, was not able to take possession of the colony until 1670.

Accompanied by about 30 soldiers and 60 settlers, Grandfontaine now found himself faced with the enormous task of having to restore French authority among 400-odd settlers who had been living independently for several years.  He was hampered by the fact that Louis XIV had decided not to make any "outlay" for his colonies in North America at a time when the colony needed support more than ever.  It was too late for Acadia to be reintegrated by a colonial administration that had spent considerable sums in the 1660s but whose policies were totally oriented towards Europe by 1670.  Grandfontaine was also obliged to prevent the English in the Anglo-American colonies (Massachusetts, Virginia...) from trading and fishing in French territory.

It would appear that neither Grandfontaine nor his successors were able to achieve the objectives which were essential to French control of Acadia.  In the colonial context of North America, Acadia was of marginal significance.  Positioned between two rival colonies, the territory along the Bay of Fundy was the subject of dispute on several occasions and the scene of numerous military engagements.  Successive governors — Joybert de Soulanges, de Chambly, and Leneuf de La Valliere — all faced similar military and administrative problems which demonstrated the weakness of the Acadian colony.

After the Treaty of Breda, Acadia became a royal colony, which meant that the French crown took over the financial and administrative responsibilities, since neither private nor public companies had been successful in developing the colonies in North America.  From an administrative point of view, the governor of New France had jurisdiction over Acadia but, in practice, the administrators on the Bay of Fundy preferred to deal directly with France.  The isolation and communication difficulties, and specific internal problems, forced officials in Acadia to follow a very different course of action than those in New France.

Given their meagre resources, the authorities in Acadia could do no more than pursue a laissez-faire policy with regard to the fishery and the fur trade.  There were no ships to guard the coastline of the colony, consequently fisherman from Boston and Salem were able to continue operating as if nothing had changed.

Acadian History

Nowadays, when we in North America routinely view television pictures — live, at thirty frames a second, in full colour with sound — from Europe (or most anywhere in the world) less than one second after the events being reported, it is difficult to realize what those words "the isolation and communication difficulties" (above) mean.

Communication between an administrator in Nova Scotia and the authorities in Paris was slow beyond our comprehension.  There was no such thing as telephone communication; not even telegraph.

All communication had to be by way of a message written on paper, or, occasionally, carried in the memory of a traveller.  A message sent from Nova Scotia to France — or the other way round — would bring a reply only after the passage of months — five or six months at best, and eight or ten months most of the time.

1685 February 6   (OS)
1685 February 16   (NS)

James VII/II

On this day, King Charles II died, and was succeeded by James Stuart as James VII (of Scotland) and II (of England).  James Stuart was born in London on 14 October 1633 (OS) 24 October 1633 (NS).  He was the third son of King Charles I and of his wife, Princess Henrietta Maria of France.  At the death of his brother Charles II on 6 February 1685 (OS), James succeeded as king.  He was crowned privately according to the rites of the Catholic Church, 22 April 1685 (OS) 2 May 1685 (NS), at Whitehall Palace, and publicly according to the rites of the Church of England, 23 April 1685 3 May 1685 (NS), at Westminster Abbey.  Scotland played a largely passive role in the revolution of 1688 until news of events in England and James' flight were followed by the collapse of the Scottish administration in late December.  A mob drove the Jesuits from Holyrood, sacked the Chapel Royal and desecrated the royal tombs.  Constitutionally, however, James remained king until 4 April 1689, when the Convention of Estates voted that he had forfeited the crown and offered the throne jointly to William and Mary.  The Scottish Catholics, led by Viscount Dundee, fought for James at the battle of Killiecrankie in 1689 and won, but Dundee died in the battle and the leaderless Jacobite challenge disintegrated.  Defeated by William II/III at the Battle of the Boyne on 1 July 1690, James spent the rest of his life in exile in France.  He was succeeded on the throne by his Protestant daughter Mary II in conjunction with her Dutch husband, William of Orange.  James died 6 September 1701 (OS) 17 September 1701 (NS) in France.

History of the Scottish Crown

House of Stuart (Stewart)

James VII and II

James II and VII

James VII

James VII and II Stuart, King of Scotland and England

1689 May 11   (NS)

Mary II and William II/III

Mary was the daughter of James VII/II by his first wife, and was educated in Protestant doctrine, which she retained when her father became converted to Catholicism.  She married William of Orange, ruler of the Netherlands, in 1677.  After deposing James VII/II on 4 April 1689, the Scottish Convention of Estates voted to offer the crown to William and Mary.  They were proclaimed on 11 April 1689 and accepted the crown on 11 May 1689.  William of Orange (part of what is now known as the Netherlands) had a double connection with the royal house of Stuart, for he was the son of Princess Mary, daughter of Charles I, and he married his cousin, another Princess Mary, the daughter of James VII/II (by his Protestant first wife Anne Hyde).  He was on good terms with his uncles, Charles II and James, visiting them and corresponding regularly with them, but he became increasingly concerned about James VII's Catholicism and so he was prepared to accept the British invitation to displace his father-in-law, James VII.

History of the Scottish Crown

House of Stuart (Stewart)

William II and III (1689-1702) and Mary II (1689-94)

Mary II



Massachusetts Boundaries

included what we now know as Maine and Nova Scotia

As early as 1652 the government of Massachusetts claimed, under its charter, jurisdiction over the territory now known as the State of Maine and although this claim was resisted for a time by the inhabitants of Maine they submitted to it in 1658.

In 1676, under proceedings instituted by the enemies of Massachusetts in England, the jurisdiction of Massachusetts over Maine and New Hampshire was annulled, and these provinces were restored to the heirs of Gorges and Mason.  In 1678 Massachusetts acquired from Ferdinando Gorges, grandson and rightful heir of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, title to the whole province, from the Piscataqua to the Sagadahoc, for twleve hundred and fifty pounds.

But the right of Massachusetts was not finally settled until the charter of 1691, which not only included the Province of Maine, but the more distant Provinces of Sagadahoc and Nova Scotia.

The separation of Maine from Massachusetts was a lengthy political process, which began in 1785, and finally became legally complete on 15 March 1820.  However, there were a few loose ends which remained a source of some minor conflicts between the governments of Maine and Massachusetts until 1853.

Source: The Maine Book by Henry E. Dunnack, Augusta, Maine, 1920

The Charter of Massachusetts Bay
October 17th, 1691

Massachusetts, Maine, and Nova Scotia

WILLIAM & MARY by the grace of God King and Queene of England Scotland France and Ireland Defenders of the Faith &c To all to whome these presents shall come Greeting Whereas his late Majesty King James the First Our Royall Predecessor by his Letters Patents vnder the Greate Seale of England bearing date at Westminster the Third Day of November in the Eighteenth yeare of his Reigne did Give and Grant vnto the Councill established at Plymouth in the County of Devon for the Planting Ruleing Ordering and Govcrning of New England in America and to their Successors and Assignes all that part of America lying and being in Breadth from Forty Degrees of Northerlv Latitude from the Equinoctiall Line to the Forty Eighth Degree of the said Northerly Latitude Inclusively, and in length of and within all the Breadth aforesaid throughout all the Main Lands from Sea to Sea together alsoe with all the firme Lands Soiles Grounds Havens Ports Rivers Waters Fishings Mines and Mineralls as well Royall Mines of Gold and Silver as other Mines and Mineralls Pretious Stones Quarries and all and singular other Comodities Jurisdiccons Royalties Privileges Franchises and Prehen1inences both within the said Tract of Land vpon the Main and alsoe within the Islands and Seas adjoyning...

And whereas severall persons employed as Agents in behalfe of Our said Collony of the Massachusetts Bay in New England have made their humble application unto Us that Wee would be graciously pleased by Our Royall Charter to Incorporate Our Subjects in Our said Collony...

And alsoe to the end Our good Subjects within Our Collony of New Plymouth in New England aforesaid may be brought under such a forme of Government as may put them in a better Condition of defenceof Wee doe by these presents for Us Our Heirs and Successors Will and Ordeyne that the Territories and Collonyes comonly called or known by the Names of the Collony of the Massachusetts Bay and Collony of New Plymouth the Province of Main the Territorie called Accadia or Nova Scotia and all that Tract of Land lying betweene the said Territoritorzes of Nova Scotia and the said Province of Main be Erected United and Incorporated... into one reall Province by the Name of Our Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England.

"the Territorie called Accadia or Nova Scotia"
then included the region we call New Brunswick.

And... Wee doe... grant unto... the Inhabitants of... the Massachusetts Bay and their Successors all that parte of New England in America lying and extending from the greate River commonly called Monomack alias Merrimack on the Northpart and from three Miles [about 5 km] Northward of the said River to the Atlantick or Western Sea or Ocean on the South part And all the Lands and Hereditaments whatsoever lying within the limitts aforesaid and extending as far as the Outermost Points or Promontories of Land called Cape Cod and Cape Mallabar North and South and in Latitude Breadth and in Length and Longitude of and within all the Breadth and Compass aforesaid throughout the Main Land there from the said Atlantick or Western Sea and Ocean on the East parte towards the South Sea or Westward as far as Our Collonyes of Rhode Island Connecticutt and the Marragansett [Narragansett] Countrey all alsoe all that part or portion of Main Land beginning at the Entrance of Pescataway Harbour and soe to pass upp the same into the River of Newickewannock and through the same into the furthest head thereof and from thence Northwestward till One Hundred and Twenty Miles [about 190 km] be finished and from Piscata way Harbour mouth aforesaid North-Eastward along the Sea Coast to Sagadehock and from the Period of One Hundred and Twenty Miles aforesaid to cross over Land to the One Hundred and Twenty Miles before reckoned up into the Land from Piscataway Harbour through Newickawannock River and also the North halfe of the Isles and [of Shoales together with the Isles of Cappawock and Nantukett near CapeCod aforesaid and alsoe [all] Lands and Hereditaments lying and being in the Countrey and Territory commonly called Accadia or Nova Scotia And all those Lands and Hereditaments lying and extending betweene the said Countrey or Territory of Nova Scotia and the said River of Sagadahock or any part thereof... and alsoe all Islands and Isletts Iying within tenn Leagues [about 50 km] directly opposite to the Main Land within the said bounds...

And Wee doe further... ordeyne that... there shall be one Governour One Leiutenant or Deputy Governour and One Secretary of Our said Province or Territory to be from time to time appointed and Commissionated by Us... and Eight and Twenty Assistants or Councillors to be advising and assisting to the Governour... for the time being as by these presents is hereafter directed and appointed which said Councillors or Assistants are to be Constituted Elected and Chosen in such forme and manner as hereafter in these presents is expressed And for the better Execution of Our Royall Pleasure and Grant in this behalfe Wee... Nominate... Simon Broadstreet John Richards Nathaniel Saltenstall Wait Winthrop John Phillipps James Russell Samuell Sewall Samuel Appleton Barthilomew Gedney John Hawthorn Elisha Hutchinson Robert Pike Jonathan Curwin John Jolliffe Adam Winthrop Richard Middlecot John Foster Peter Serjeant Joseph Lynd Samuell Hayman Stephen Mason Thomas Hinckley William Bradford John Walley Barnabas Lothrop Job Alcott Samuell Daniell and Silvanus Davis Esquiers the first and present Councillors or Assistants of Our said Province...and wee doe further... appoint... Isaac Addington Esquier to be Our first and present Secretary of Our said Province during Our Pleasure and our Will and Pleasure is that the Governour... shall have Authority from time to time at his discretion to assemble and call together the Councillors or Assistants... and that the said Governour with the said Assistants or Councillors or Seaven of them at the least shall and may from time to time hold and keep a Councill for the ordering and directing the Affaires of Our said Province and further Wee Will... that there shall... be convened... by the Governour... upon every last Wednesday in the Moneth of May every yeare for ever and at all such other times as the Governour... shall think fitt and appoint a great and Generall Court of Assembly Which... shall consist of the Governour and Councill or Assistants... and of such Freeholders... as shall be from time to time elected or deputed by the Major parte of the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of the respective Townes or Places who shall lve present at such Elections Each of the said Townes and Places being hereby impowered to Elect and Depute Two Persons and noe more to serve for and represent them respectively in the said Great and Generall Court... To which Great and Generall Court... Wee doe hereby... grant full power and authority from time to time to direct... what Number each County Towne and Place shall Elect and Depute to serve for and represent them respectively...Provided alwayes that noe Freeholder or other Person shall have a Vote in the Election of Members... who at the time of such Election shall not have an estate of Freehold in Land within Our said Province or Territory to the value of Forty Shillings per Annum at the least or other estate to the value of Forty pounds Sterling And that every Person who shall be soe elected shall before he sitt or Act in the said Great and General Court... take the Oaths mentioned in an Act of Parliament made in the first yeare of Our Reigne Entituled an Act for abrogateing of the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy and appointing other Oaths and thereby appointed to be taken instead of the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy and shall make Repeat and Subscribe the Declaration mentioned in the said Act... and that the Governour for the time being shall have full power and Authority from time to time as he shall Judge necessary to adjourne Prorogue and dissolve all Great and Generall Courts... met and convened as aforesaid And... Wee doe... Ordeyne that yearly once in every yeare... the aforesaid Number of Eight and Twenty Councillors or Assistants shall be by the Generall Court... newly chosen that is to say Eighteen at least of the Inhabitants of or Proprietors of Lands within the Territory formerly called the Collony of the Massachusetts Bay and four at the least of the Inhabitants of or Proprietors of Lands within the Territory formerly called New Plymouth and three at the least of the Inhabitants of or Proprietors of Land within the Territory formerly called the Province of Rain and one at the least of the Inhabitants of or Proprietors of Land within the Territory lying between the River of Sagadahoc and Nova Scotia... [The General Court may remove assistants from office, and may also fill vacancies caused by removal or death.] And Wee doe further... Ordeyne that it shall and may be lawfull for the said Governour with the advice and consent of the Councill or Assistants from time to time to nominate and appoint Judges Commissioners of Oyer and Tcrminer Sheriffs Provosts Marshalls Justices of the Peace and other Officers to Our Councill and Courts of Justice belonging... and for the greater Ease and Encouragement of Our Loveing Subjects In habiting our said Province... and of such as shall come to Inhabit there We doe... Ordaine that for ever hereafter there shall be a liberty of Conscience allowed in the Worshipp of God to all Christians (Except Papists) Inhabiting... within our said Province... [Courts for the trial of both civil and criminal cases may be established by the General Court, reserving to the governor and assistants matters of probate and administration.]and whereas Wee judge it necessary that all our Subjects should have liberty to Appeale to us... in Cases that may deserve the same Wee doe... Ordaine that incase either party shall not rest satisfied with the Judgement or Sentence of any Judicatories or Courts within our said Province... in any Personall Action wherein the matter in difference doth exceed the value of three hundred Pounds Sterling that then he or they may appeale to us... in our... Privy Councill... and we doe further... grant to the said Governor and the great and Generall Court... full power and Authority from time to time to make... all manner of wholesome and reasonable Orders Laws Statutes and Ordinances Directions and Instructions either with penalties or without (soe as the same be not repugnant or contrary to the Lawes of this our Realme of England) as they shall Judge to be for the good and welfare of our said Province....And for the Government and Ordering thereof and of the People Inhabiting... the same and for the necessary support andDefence of the Government thereof [and also] full power and Authority to name and settle Annually all Civill Officers within the said Province such Officers Excepted the Election and Constitution of whome wee have by these presents reserved to us... or to the Governor... and to Settforth the severall Duties Powers and Lymitts of every such Officer... and the forms of such Oathes not repugnant to the Lawes and Statutes of this ourRealme of England as shall be respectively Administred unto them for the Execution of their severall Offices and places...

Grants of land by the General Court, within the limits of the former colonies of Massachusetts Bay and New Plymouth, and the Province of Maine, excepting the region north and east of the Sagadahoc, to be valid without further royal approval.

The governor shall direct the defense of the province, and may exercise martial law in case of necessity... Provided alwayes... That the said Governur shall not at any time hereafter by vertue of any power hereby granted or hereafter to be granted to him Transport any of the Inhabitants of Our said Province... or oblige them to march out of the Limitts of the same without their Free and voluntary consent or the Consent of the Great and Generall Court... nor grant Commissions for exercising the Law Martiall upon any the Inhabitants of Our said Province... without the Advice and Consent of the Councill or Assistants of the same... Provided alwaies... that nothing herein shall extend or be taken to... allow the Exercise of any Admirall Court Jurisdiction Power or Authority but that the same be and is hereby reserved to Us... and shall from time to time be... exercised by vertue of Commissions to be yssued under the Great Seale of England or under the Seale of the High Admirall or the Commissioners for executing the Office of High Admiral of England.... And lastly for the better provideing and furnishing of Masts for Our Royall Navy Wee doe hereby reserve to Us... all Trees of the Diameter of Twenty Four Inches [60 cm] and upwards of Twelve Inches [30 cm] from the ground growing upon any soyle or Tract of Land within Our said Province... not heretofore granted to any private persons And Wee doe restraine and forbid all persons whatsoever from felling cutting or destroying any such Trees without the Royall Lycence of Us... first had and obteyned upon penalty of Forfeiting One Hundred Pounds sterling unto Ous [Us]... for every such Tree so felled cutt or destroyed...

Source: The Second Charter Of Massachusetts, October 17th, 1691

Large Trees Reserved for Royal Navy for Masts

17 October 1691

We forbid all persons whatsoever from felling any such Trees

Penalty: £100 per tree

This prohibition applied throughout
the territory now known as Massachusetts,
Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.

...for the better provideing and furnishing of Masts for Our Royall Navy Wee doe hereby reserve to Our Heires and Successors all Trees of the Diameter of Twenty Four Inches [60 cm] and upwards of Twelve Inches [30 cm] from the ground growing vpon any soyle or Tract of Land within Our said Province or Territory not heretofore granted to any private persons And Wee doe restrains and forbid all persons whatsoever from felling cutting or destroying any such Trees without the Royall Lycence of Our Heires and Successors first had and obteyned vpon penalty of Forfeiting One Hundred Pounds sterling vnto Ous Our Heires and Successors for every such Tree soe felled cult or destroyed without such Lycence...

Source: The Second Charter Of Massachusetts, October 17th, 1691


The Northwest Angle of Nova Scotia

Exactly where is this infamous Northwest Angle of Nova Scotia,
which determined the location of the International Boundary?

Where was the Northwest Angle of Nova Scotia?  That is now a forgotten question, but it sorely vexed two generations of diplomats, molded the early history of Aroostook, and dragged two great nations to the verge of war.  Its answer determined the location of much of the boundary of Maine and whether thousands of people should be American or Canadians by birth.  It was a prime factor in the famous northeastern boundary controversy which culminated in the equally famous Webster-Ashburton Treaty between the United States and Great Britain in 1842.

The Border Dispute, How the Maine-New Brunswick border was finalized

The foundations of that controversy were laid in the very beginnings of the English colonies in America.  As early as 1621 James I of England granted to his Scotch favorite, Sir William Alexander, the province of Nova Scotia, which included the present provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and most of the Gaspe Peninsula now belonging to Quebec.  The western boundary of this grant was to follow the River St. Croix from its mouth to its most westerly source, and thence by a line running northward until it intersected a tributary of the St. Lawrence.

Later, when Charles II granted the province of Sagadahoc to his brother, James, Duke of York, he designated the western boundary of Nova Scotia as the eastern boundary of Sagadahoc.

Subsequently Massachusetts claimed the ancient province of Sagadahoc under the terms of the Royal Charter of 1691 although Nova Scotia disputed the claim.  This dispute was settled after the conquest of Canada, when the British government confirmed the original line of the Alexander grant as the boundary between the rival provinces.  At the same time, the southern boundary of Quebec, where that province bordered on Massachusetts and Nova Scotia, was established "along the highlands which divide the rivers that empty themselves into the said River St. Lawrence which fall into the sea, and also along the north coast of the Bay des Chaleurs and the coast of the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Cape Rosiers..." thus definitely fixing on paper the boundaries of the three provinces.

Incidentally, it located the Northwest Angle of Nova Scotia at the point where the north line from the source of the St. Croix intersected the line along the "Highlands."

The treaty of peace between the United States and Great Britain at the close of the Revolution recognized these provincial boundaries of Massachusetts and made them a part of the international boundary.  The article in the treaty defining boundaries described that concerning the district of Maine thus:

From the northwest angle of Nova Scotia, viz.: that angle which is formed by a line drawn due north from the source of the St. Croix River to the Highlands.  which divide those rivers that empty themselves into the St. Lawrence from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean, to the northwesternmost head of the Connecticut River...east by a line to be drawn along the middle of the St. Croix from its mouth in the Bay of Fundy to its source, and from its source directly north to the aforesaid Highlands, which divide the rivers that fall into the Atlantic Ocean from those that fall into the River St. Lawrence.

This description seems sufficiently definite that the boundary might be surveyed and marked without controversy, yet controversies arose serious enough to call out troops and bring the two countries to the very brink of bloodshed.

There were three major stumbling blocks; no one knew which river was the true St. Croix; the territory claimed by the United States cut off direct communication between Nova Scotia and Quebec; and when the country was explored and mapped, no point could be found on the face of the earth to which the treaty description of the Northwest Angle of Nova Scotia exactly applied.

Sieur de Monts and his French colonists spent the winter of 1604-05 on a small island near the mouth of a river that flowed into Passamaquoddy Bay, and to both the bay and the island he gave the name St. Croix.  The colony proved a failure, and the colonists moved to Port Royal, but the name of the river was perpetuated on maps of the region drawn by Champlain.  However, the country remained a wilderness; repeatedly changed ownership from French to English and back again; and, with the march of years, although the name was remembered, the location was forgotten.

The first step taken by the two governments toward marking the international boundary was the appointment in 1786 of a joint commission to "decide what river is the St. Croix intended in the treaty," describe the river, and locate its mouth and source.  This commission found that there were three considerable rivers flowing into Passamaquoddy Bay — the Cobscook, the Schoodic, and the Magaguadavic.  The United States claimed that the river the farthest east, the Magaguadavic, was the river sought, while the British agent contented in favor of the Schoodic.

Much conflicting evidence was presented, but all doubt was dispelled by the discovery on the island at the mouth of the Schoodic, now known as Dochet or St. Croix Island, of cellar holes and other evidences of human occupation which corresponded exactly with a plan that Champlain had drawn of DeMonts' settlement at St. Croix.  Thus it was proved that the Schoodic was the true St. Croix of De Monts and Champlain, of Sir William Alexander's grant of Nova Scotia, and of the Treaty of 1783.

The next question to decide was whether the Princeton or the Vanceboro branch of the Schoodic was the main St. Croix, the British agent claiming the former and the American agent the later.  The commissioners decided in favor of the Vanceboro branch, and located the source of the river where the present north line begins.  Thus the boundary was established from the mouth of the St. Croix to its source, and it would seem that some progress had been made toward locating the Northwest Angle of Nova Scotia.

But the next controversy that arose wore a much more serious aspect.  The natural line of communication between the settlements along the Bay of Fundy and those in the St. Lawrence Valley is up the St. John to the Madawaska, thence up that river to Lake Temiscouata, thence across Lake Temiscouata and over a height of the land by a portage to a small river flowing into the St. Lawrence.  This was the route used by the Indians for years without number, then by the French, and after the fall of Canada by the English themselves.  Not only was it the only practical route between St. John and Quebec before the days of turnpikes and railroads, but when the St. Lawrence was icebound in Winter, it was absolutely the only line of communication through British territory from Quebec to St. John, and thence to Halifax and Europe.

As long as Massachusetts remained a British possession, it made little difference to what province the upper valley of the St. John belonged, but when Massachusetts became part of an independent nation, it also became a matter of paramount importance to Great Britain to control the entire length of this key line of communication between her provinces.  Before the end of the eighteenth century, military posts had been established at Grand Falls and at Presque Isle on the St. John, post houses had been built at convenient distances along the way, and scattered settlements had sprung up even on the Madawaska.

The peace Treaty of 1783, as commonly understood at the time, made the Madawaska and upper St. John region a part of the United States, thus, from the Canadian standpoint, seating a foreign country squarely across an essential line of communication.  In time of peace, the royal mails might pass through international courtesy; but in time of war, communication could be maintained by force alone.

Scarcely had the terms of the treaty become generally known before Lord Dorchester, governor-general of British North America, perceived the importance of preserving to his government the line of communication, and a little later he advanced the opinion that the "Highlands were to be sought south of Grand Falls rather than north of that place.  However, it is evident that both American and British leaders were agreed prior to the War of 1812 that the Northwest Angle of Nova Scotia was far to the north at the St. Lawrence watershed.  Even Governor Carleton of New Brunswick and Ward Chipman, for many years the British agent during the boundary controversy, held that opinion.

The British commissioners who negotiated the Treaty of Ghent at the close of the War of 1812 must also have held this belief, for they proposed that the United States should cede to Great Britain the territory north of the St. John in return for land elsewhere or its equivalent.  The American commissioners, among whom was John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts, took the ground that they had "no authority to cede any part of the United States," and there the matter rested for the time being.

The Treaty of Ghent did provide, however, for the appointment of two commissioners who should ascertain the exact location of the Northwest Angle of Nova Scotia and of the northwesternmost source of the Connecticut River; and should survey, mark and map the boundary between the source of the St. Croix and the River Iroquois.  If the commissioners should disagree, the whole question was to be referred to some friendly sovereign or state for arbitration.

President Madison appointed Cornelius P. Van Ness as one of the commissioners, and King George IV appointed Thomas Barclay as the other.  One of the first acts of the commission was to authorize a joint survey of the line running north from the source of the St. Croix.  The line was to begin "near a yellow birch tree hooped with iron and marked "ST and JH, 1797," and extend to the highlands that formed the southern boundary of the St. Lawrence watershed.  The commissioners were also to explore the different highlands between that line and the headwaters of the Connecticut.

This survey brought to light two facts that had an important bearing on the controversy.  First, the river basins of the St. John and the St. Lawrence were not separated by a continuous range of Mountains, or "Highlands," as was supposed; and, second, there was no place on the north line that answered exactly to the treaty description of the Northwest Angle of Nova Scotia.  That is, there was no ridge which divided the waters falling into the St. Lawrence from those falling into the Atlantic.  This was because the line crossed the headwaters of the Restigouche River, which emptied into the Bay of Chaleur.  Thus, there was a point on the line that separated waters falling into the St. Lawrence from waters falling into the Bay of Chaleur, which is an arm of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and another point that parted waters flowing into the Bay of Chaleur from waters falling into the Bay of Fundy, an arm of the Atlantic, but no point that completely fulfilled the description of the treaty.

Ward Chipman, the British agent, and his advisors were quick to see the advantage that they might gain from this technical flaw in the treaty, and they made the most of it.  Since the Northwest Angle of Nova Scotia could not be found north of the St. John, they reasons, it must be south of that river.  Moreover, since the St. John did not flow into the Atlantic but into the Bay of Fundy, the treaty markers must have meant by the term "Highlands" the watersheds that separated the basins of the St. John and the Penobscot.  They further argued that, while there were no "Highlands" where the north line intersected the St. Lawrence watershed, there was a very prominent highland on that line south of the St. John namely Mars Hill, central Maine at or near the southern limits of the St. John basin.  Thus they set up the claim that Mars Hill was the Northwest Angle of Nova Scotia, and that the whole basin of the St. John, including of course the coveted line of communication, belonged to Great Britain.

The Americans claimed that the intent of the men who made the treaty of 1783 was to leave the boundary between Massachusetts on the one hand and Nova Scotia and Quebec on the other just where it had been before the Revolution; that, prior to the conquest of Canada, both Massachusetts and Nova Scotia had extended to the St. Lawrence, separated by a boundary that followed the St. Croix from its mouth to its source and thence north to the St. Lawrence; that when the southern boundary of Quebec was established it included only land that drained into the St. Lawrence, and left the entire St. John Valley west of the old line still in Massachusetts; that, when the treaty was made, little was known concerning the topography of the area, everyone supposed that the Restigouche was a very small river, and that the map that the treaty makers used showed the headwaters of the river far to the east of the line due north from the source of the St. Croix; and that to the best knowledge and in the intent of both the British and the American commissioners, the Northwest Angle of Nova Scotia was at the height of land south of the St. Lawrence.

The commissioners could not agree.  Barclay adopted the extreme British view that the Northwest Angle was located at Mars Hill, while Van Ness took the American view that the angle was some eighty miles [about 130 km] north of the St. John near the headwaters of the Metis, a small branch of the St. Lawrence.  Surveys had been made; the issues had been clearly defined; otherwise the labor of the commissioners seemed barren of results.

After a delay of several years the two countries proceeded in accordance with the terms of the Treaty of Ghent and referred the dispute to a friendly sovereign, William, King of Netherlands.  Albert Gallatin, one of the foremost statesmen of the day, assisted by William Pitt Preble of Maine, prepared the case for the United States.  The king prefaced his decision by stating that, in his judgment, neither party had presented conclusive evidence to substantiate its claim, and that, in justice, he could not decide in favor of one nation without prejudice to the interests of the other.  Accordingly he offered a compromise, which, like most compromises, satisfied nobody.

He decided that the international boundary should follow a north line from the source of the St. Croix River to a point where it intersected the channel of the St. John, thence up the middle of the channel of the St. John to the mouth of the St. Francis, thence up the middle of the St. Francis to its source, thence due west to the highlands which separated the basins of the St. John and the St. Lawrence, and thence along those highlands to the source of the Connecticut.

King William rendered his decision in January, 1831.  Great Britain had won her long-coveted line of communication and accepted the award, but the United States, influenced by the uncompromising attitude of the State of Maine against the cession of a single foot of her territory, rejected it.  Again matters rested just where they had been for fifteen years.  The rejection, however, was unfortunate for Maine, for the king's decision gave her much more territory than did the final settlement, and developments had already begun within the disputed area that kept the state in a turmoil for a dozen years, and that nearly rushed her people headlong into war.

Source: Trying to Locate The Boundary Line
Chapter Four of Aroostook: The First Sixty Years
a history in fifteen chapters by Clarence A. Day, which was first published serially in the Fort Fairfield Review, Fort Fairfield, Maine, beginning 26 December 1951 and concluding on 27 February 1957.  The electronic version was produced for the Internet by the Northern Maine Development Commission, and uploaded to the Web in July 2000.

The Wayback Machine
has archived copies of this document:
Aroostook: The First Sixty Years
Chapter IV: Trying to Locate The Boundary Line

Archived: 2001 March 03  

Archived: 2001 April 22  

Archived: 2002 June 17  

Archived: 2003 January 5  

Archived: 2003 August 29  

The north west angle of Nova-Scotia...

ARTICLE 2nd: And that all disputes which might arise in future on the subject of the boundaries of the said United States may be prevented, it is hereby agreed and declared, that the following are and shall be their boundaries, viz. From the north west angle of Nova-Scotia, viz, that angle which is formed by a line drawn due north from the source of Saint-Croix river to the Highlands...
Source: Library of Congress, Documents from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, 1774-1789

Disputed Boundary

When, in 1783, the St. Croix River was fixed upon as the boundary between Maine and New Brunswick, it became a disputed question as to what was the true St. Croix.  The Americans claimed that it was the river now known as the Magaguadavic, much farther to the eastward; but after much searching the dispute was laid to rest, and the British claim established, by the discovery of the remains of Champlain's settlement, on Doncet's Island, above St. Andrews.
Source: Page 182 of The Canadian Guide Book: The Tourist's and Sportsman's Guide to Eastern Canada and Newfoundland... by Charles G.D. Roberts, Professor of English Literature at King's College, Windsor, Nova Scotia; 378 pages, published by D. Appleton, New York, 1891.
Disputed boundary
from page 182 of "The Canadian Guide Book..." by Charles G.D. Roberts, 1891
Source: Early Canadiana Online http://www.canadiana.org/
page 182   http://www.canadiana.org/ECO/mtq?id=45bfdda42a&display=56228+0250

Canada & the United States Border Disputes

Bibilography of the Disputed Boundary
between Nova Scotia/New Brunswick and Massachusetts/Maine

Baldwin, J.R.
"The Ashburton-Webster Boundary Settlement," Canadian Historical Association, 1938

Burrage, Henry F.
Maine in the Northeastern Boundary Controversy, Portland, Maine, 1919

Classen, H. George
Thrust and Counter-Thrust: The Genesis of the Canada-United States Boundary, Don Mills, Ontario, 1965

Corey, Albert B.
The Crisis of 1830-1842 in Canadian-American Relations, New Haven, Connecticut, 1941

Clarence A. Day
Aroostook: The First Sixty Years, Fort Fairfield, Maine

Fox, Dixon R., ed.
Harper's Atlas of American History, New York, 1920

Ganong, William F.
"A monograph of the Evolution of the Boundaries of the Province of New Brunswick," Royal Society of Canada, Proceedings, 2nd series, II, pages 295-358

Irish, Maria M.
"The Northeastern Boundary of Maine," Journal of American History, XVI (1922), pages 311-322

Jones, Howard
To the Webster-Ashburton Treaty: A Study in Anglo-American Relations, 1783-1843, University of North Carolina Press, 1977

Keenleyside, Hugh L. and Gerald S. Brown
Canada and the United States, New York, 1952

Kerr, D.G.G., ed.
Historical Atlas of Canada, revised edition, Toronto, 1966

LeDuc, Thomas
"The Maine Boundary and the Northeast Boundary Controversy," American Historical Review, LIII (October, 1947), pages 30-41

MacNutt, W. Stewart
New Brunswick: A History, 1784-1867, Toronto, 1963

Martin, Lawrence and Samuel F. Bemis
"Franklin's Red-Line Map Was a Mitchell." New England Quarterly, X (March, 1937), pages 105-111

Mills, Dudley A.
"British Diplomacy and Canada: The Ashburton Treaty, " United Empire, N.S. II (October, 1911), pages 682-712

Moore, John Bassett
History and Digest of the International Arbitrations to Which the United States Has Been a Party, Washington, D.C., 1898

Paullin, Charles O., ed.
Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States, New York, 1932

Sprague, John Francis
"The North Eastern Boundary Controversy, 1783-1842," in Lewis C. Hatch Maine: A History, New York, 1919

Washburn, Israel, Jr.
"The North-Eastern Boundary," Maine Historical Society, Collections and Proceedings, VIII (1881), pages 1-107

Source: Northern Maine Development Commission

and other sources

1694 December 28   (OS)

Death of Mary II

On this day, Mary II, Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland since 1689, died of smallpox leaving her husband, William III, to reign on his own.
[National Post, 28 December 2000]

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