Blupete's History of Nova Scotia

Key Events in the History of Nova Scotia: 1808.


§January: A committee at Halifax, composed of members of both the House and the Council consider "the expediency of erecting a lighthouse near Canso."
§January 27th: The government of Nova Scotia declares it will reward £3.10 to any person who gives information which leads to the apprehension of any deserter from the army or navy.
§British Navy, world wide: "In October, 1804, there were in commission 103 ships of the line, 24 fifty-gun vessels, 135 frigates, and 398 sloops -- total 660. In March, 1806, there were 721 ships in commission, of which 128 were of the line. On January 1, 1808, there were 795 in commission, 144 being ships of the line. Many of these were taken from the French ..." (John Ashton.)
§Thursday, April 7th, 1808, Sir George Prevost arrived at Halifax bringing with him 3,000 soldiers, consisting of three Regiments, one of which, the 101st, on Wednesday, the 11th of April, marched off to Annapolis. He brought with him his commission signed by Castlereagh making him the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia replacing Wentworth. Prevost served in this post until 1811.
§As for Government House, Prevost was to write: "... an edifice out of all proportion to the situation ..." As for the defences at Halifax, "Ruin and desolation."
§New army uniforms made their appearance at Halifax: "... cocked hats, pigtails, breeches and gaiters disappeared, and in their place troops wore shakos, short haircuts, red tunics, and trousers." [Porter, Overture to Victoria (Toronto: Longmans, Green, 1961.]
§There seem to be a dramatic increase in trade; greater volumes of fish out, and flour in.
§Prevost sent a spy to the U.S. This spy was John Howe, whose son Joe was to become in later years one of Nova Scotia's most famous politicians. John Howe was to go to Washington, Norfolk and New York. (Six years later Washington was to be sacked by the British.)
§Prevost recommends the provincial schooner, the Hunter, be replaced with a "coppered schooner," one to be hired by annual contract.
§April 24th: The Halifax Fire Insurance Company, the first and oldest Canadian fire insurance company, opened for business.
§May 30th: Prevost writes Castlereagh to advise that he has managed to get the House, not without difficulty, to vote a pension to Sir John Wentworth of £500 per annum during his lifetime, "according to His Majesty's instructions."
§June 16: Vice-President of the U.S., Aaron Burr came to Halifax under the assumed name of Edwards. Burr soon made himself known to Prevost and Vice-Admiral, Sir John Borlase Warren, and after having discussions with them, Burr departed for England with a letter of introduction dated 17 June from Prevost to Lord Castlereagh.
§July 7, Lord Castlereagh writes Prevost "to hold the troops he had accompanied to North America in readiness for distance service." Prevost prepares to capture Martinique.
§December 6th: Prevost sails with his troops for the Barbados; he arrives 23 days later, December 29th. Dr. Croke is sworn in to temporarily replace Prevost.
§In support of a Spanish rising, in July, Arthur Wellesley (later to become known as the Duke of Wellington) leads the first small British force of 9000 men into the Peninsula of Spain; a gate into the hostile fortress of Napoleonic Europe. This was the first time that British troops were to fight in Europe, since 1793, the beginning of the Napoleonic wars. Britain, up to 1808, fought the French on the seas and by sending money to her European allies.
§The lawful import of slaves ends in the United States.
§Congreve rocket: "A kind of rocket for used in war, invented in 1808 by Col. Sir William Congreve (1772-1828)." (OED.)

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