Blupete's History of Nova Scotia

Key Events in the History of Nova Scotia: 1778.


§January 23rd: Marriot Arbuthnot, who had arrived in Nova Scotia in November of 1775 to take over as the Commissioner of the Navy Yard, and who, since April of 1776 was the lieutenant-governor was promoted as rear-admiral and called back to England; he departed in August.
§In the north end of Halifax peninsula, "as a more advanced and commanding landward defence for the vulnerable Naval Yard, and to some extent for the town," Fort Needham was built under the supervision of Captain William Spry.
§February 6th: A treaty is formally entered into between France and the United States whereby the French officially recognize American independence and become allied with them. Two of the terms, which foreshadowed the Monroe doctrine, were that France was to lay no claims to Nova Scotia or Canada.
§February, 1778: By statute (18 Geo. 3, cap. 12) Parliament frees the colonies from taxation, they are not to be taxed unless by the consent of their own representatives; this statute has come to be known as the Magna Charta of British America.
§March 23rd, Mon: "A sloop arrives ... brings news that a 64 gun ship is arrived at Halifax, from England, to supersede Sir George Collier." (Perkins Diary.)
§March 30th, Mon: "... news from Boston ... General Howe and his army were prisoners ..." (Perkins' Diary.)
§April 19th, Sun: "... The brig Cabbot, Capt. Dodd, and the schooner Arbuthnot, Capt. Dalton, come into the Harbour. I receive a letter from Mr. Secretary Bulkley advising that he has sent by the said Brig, 57 Muskets, etc., a box of balls, and bbl. powder, and 200 flints, for the Militia of this place." (Perkins' Diary.)
§May 11th, 1778: Pitt dies.
§June: A party of "armed ruffians" from an American privateer ransacked McNutt's home on McNutt Island at Shelburne and carried away everything of value.
§June 24th, Wed: "... An eclipse of the sun about 11 o'clock. To appearance 2/3rds of the sun was Darkened, the air turned very Cool and looks Melancholy, and a Little Dark." (Perkins' Diary.)
§July 14th, Tue: "Extraordinary Drought. All the Vegetables seem to be perishing." (Perkins' Diary.)
§July 18th, Sat: "It rains a little. Some news of privateers on the shore. Several boats and shallops in from the westward. ... [There are] reports a French war is Declared, and that a large French fleet is sailed for America. Part of it designed for Halifax, and part supposed for Quebec, which put the people at Halifax in Consternation." (Perkins' Diary.)
§August 17th, 1778: Richard Hughes becomes the lieutenant governor.
§August: Vice Admiral John Byron (sometimes called "Foul Weather Jack"; 1723-86), the grandfather of the romantic poet, who had been at Louisbourg to assist in the demolition of the fortress in 1760, sailed into Halifax Harbour aboard his flag ship, the 90 gun, Princess Royal together with his squadron of ships. They were in search of the French fleet under Comte d'Estaing. (The following year, 6th July, Byron with his 21 ships met up with d'Estaing and his 25 ships off the coast of Grenada in the West Indies where they did battle; it was a draw.)
"... Admiral Byron is arrived at Halifax, having his fleet dispersed in a gale of wind ... 11 Sail of the Line, some of them it is said returned to England ... the Admiral and the Colloden are arrived at Halifax, and the French fleet now riding at Sandy Hook." (Perkins' Diary.)

§The Roman Catholic Relief Act, 1778, was passed by the British parliament by which Roman Catholics were given the same rights in England as everyone else. (This move was to bring on the Gordon Riots of 1780.)
§Voltaire dies.

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