Nova Scotia and Cape Breton, Original Correspondence (CO 217)
Available reels: 33
- Nova Scotia and Cape Breton, Original Correspondence (CO 217)
MG 11 CO 217 Nova Scotia A
MG 11 CO 217 Cape Breton A
- Document source
- Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada
The Nova Scotia Legislature, consisting of the lieutenant governor and the House of Assembly, is the legislative branch of the provincial government. It's the oldest of its kind in Canada, having first sat in 1758. Starting that year, the legislature consisted of the governor (later a lieutenant governor), the appointed Nova Scotia Council (upper chamber) and the elected House of Assembly (lower chamber). The council had both executive and legislative functions. In 1838, the council was replaced by an executive council with the executive function and a legislative council with the upper chamber legislative function. In 1928, the legislative council was abolished. The legislature was the site of the first responsible government in a colony belonging to the British Empire, beginning in 1848.
Cape Breton Island became part of the colony of Nova Scotia in 1763, but it remained largely undeveloped until 1784, when it became a separate colony created for Loyalist refugees. The Loyalists were soon taken over by an influx of Scottish immigrants, peppered with a few hundred returning Acadians initially driven out during the Seven Years' War, and the Scottish occupied most of the available arable land along the seacoasts and around Bras d'Or Lake. In 1820, the island was finally reunited with Nova Scotia after more than 35 turbulent years of separate status.
This collection consists of correspondence, despatches and enclosures from the governors, lieutenant-governors, administrators and other public officials of Nova Scotia and Cape Breton during the 18th and 19th centuries.