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Annapolis River - Fourteenth Colony

An extension of New England

More on the Annapolis River:
Annapolis River:
Land of Evangeline

Apple Core:
Orchard blossoms in the valley

Fourteenth Colony:
An extension of New England

First Colony:
The beginning of European settlement in Canada

Grand Dérangement:
Deportation of the Acadians

For peat’s sake:
The ecology of peat bogs

Slippery business:
Eels and other catches of the Annapolis

Steal away:
Destination on the underground railway

Waste water is cleansed by the sun

When Great Britain took over Acadia in 1713, one of its first acts was to rename the territory ‘Nova Scotia’, meaning New Scotland. This was a reflection of a major British goal: to increase the British presence, and to decrease the influence of the French. Port-Royal became Annapolis Royal. The British then surveyed the land, reserving it for future British settlement.

As the conflict between the French and the British continued throughout the century, the British put into effect their plans to anglicize or make culturally English, Nova Scotia. In 1744, 2,000 colonists were settled at Halifax, which became the capital of the colony. Another 1,500 'foreign Protestants,' mostly Germans, were settled at Lunenburg.

After the Acadians were expelled, the British invited New Englanders to take over these prosperous farms in the Annapolis valley. In a proclamation issued in 1758, settlers were invited to claim the farms. The government paid their transportation costs, and granted 40 hectares of land to each family head, plus an additional 20 hectares for each additional family member.

Many New Englanders were happy to accept the government's offer. It had great appeal especially among the poorer farmers in heavily settled areas. Hundreds of fishers who wanted to be closer to the Grand Banks also moved to Nova Scotia at this time. By 1760, over half of Nova Scotia's population of 20,000 were former New Englanders. Indeed, there were so many New Englanders in the region of Nova Scotia at this time, that many people thought Nova Scotia would join the Americans when they rebelled against the British in 1775.

The colony remained loyal to Britain, however, and became one of the major destinations of the United Empire Loyalists fleeing from the newly created United States after 1783. With the influx of the Loyalists into Nova Scotia, the British character of the colony was assured.

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