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PUBLISHED UNDER A RESOLUTION OF THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
PASSED MARCH 15, 1865.
THOMAS B. A KINS, D. C. L.,
THE TRANSLATIONS FROM THE FRENCH BY BENJ. CURREN, D.C.L.
HALIFAX, N. S.,
The House of Assembly of Nova Scotia, on the 30th April, 1857, on the motion of the Honorable Joseph Howe, adopted the following resolution:
" That His Excellency the Governor be respectfully request"ed to cause the ancient records and documents illustrative “ of the history and progress of society in this province, to “ be examined, preserved and arranged, either " for reference “or publication, as the legislature may hereafter determine, "and that this house will provide for the same.”
In the following year the Lieutenant Governor was authorized by the Assembly to "procure from the state paper office, “ in England, as recommended in the report of the Commis“sioner of Records, copies of any dispatches or documents “ that may be found necessary to complete our files." In 1859, 4th April, by another vote of the house, he was empowered to procure from the government of Canada, copies of such papers in the archives of Quebec as related to the early history of Acadia.
In 1864 the work was so far advanced that upwards of 200 volumes of manuscripts had been selected, arranged, catalogued and bound,-comprehending copious selections from the colonial documents in the state paper office in London, and from those at Quebec, orginally obtained from the archives of Paris.
In 1865 the Assembly referred the annual report of the Commissioner of Records to the Honorable S. L. Shannon, J. Bourinot, and A. G. Archibald. This committee recommended the publication of a “volume of public documents " to be selected by the Commissioner of Records, provided “the selections be contained in a single octavo volume of
“ moderate size," and " that such publication be proceeded “ with without delay.” This report was adopted by the house on the 15th March, 1865.
In preparing this volume, I have selected, as the portions of our archives which possess the greatest historicalvalue :—the documents relating to the Acadian French inhabitants and their removal from Nova Scotia,—to the encroachments of the French authorities of Canada on the territories of Nova Scotia,—to the siege of Fort Beausejour in 1755, and the war on this continent, which terminated in the downfall of the French power in America,--the papers connected with the settlement of Halifax in 1749, and the first British colonization of the province,—and, lastly, the official correspondence preparatory to the establishment of a Representative Government, in the
The expulsion of the French Acadians from Nova Scotia is an important event in the history of British America, and has lately derived peculiar interest from the frequent reference made to it by modern writers. Although much has been written on the subject, yet, until lately, it has undergone little actual investigation, and in consequence, the necessity for their removal has not been clearly perceived, and the motives which led to its enforcement have been often misunderstood. I have, therefore, carefully selected all documents in possession of the government of this province that could in any way throw light on the history and conduct of the French inhabitants of Nova Scotia, from their first coming under British rule, until their final removal from the country.
The exact spelling of original letters and papers has been preserved as far as possible.
I have appended a few biographical notes which may be found useful.
There are yet many documents of value and interest among our archives worthy of publication.
T. B. A. JANUARY, 1869.