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John Brittain, Description of the Settlements in the Provinces of Nova Scotia & New Brunswick, 1784-1785

1 volume

John Brittain's Description of the Settlements in the Provinces of Nova Scotia & New Brunswick, 1784-1785, provides a detailed account of various settlements throughout the two Canadian provinces, paying particular attention to geography and natural resources.

John Brittain's Description of the Settlements in the Provinces of Nova Scotia & New Brunswick, 1784-1785, provides a detailed account of various settlements throughout the two Canadian provinces, paying particular attention to geography and natural resources. Pages 1-72 cover Nova Scotia, pages 73-101 cover New Brunswick, and pages 103-106 contain an index to places mentioned within the volume. The account is comprised of Brittain's personal observations, letters from prominent residents within the provinces, and tables showing exports of fish and lumber from various ports. Brittain concentrated primarily on natural resources, with a specific focus on bodies of water and the quality and type of lumber available in each area, but went into further detail about some of the larger settlements and their founders, who were often former British soldiers. The volume provides a clear, thorough description of northeastern Canada just after the American Revolution, and encourages its commercial advantages for future settlers.

Collection

John Frizell orderly book, 1761-1779

1 volume

This orderly book, kept by John Frizell a quartermaster sergeant in the British army, accounts for the general and regimental orders for the 77th Royal British Regiment stationed near Halifax from June 22 to October 1, 1761.

This orderly book accounts for the daily general and regimental orders for the 77th Royal British Regiment stationed near Halifax from June 22 to October 1, 1761.

Entries begin with the daily password (parole) and countersign followed by officers chosen for duty and the text of the official orders (60 pages). Passwords were typically either names of British royalty or names of towns in England (Bristol, Bath, Yarmouth, Worchester etc.). Many orders were directed not just to the soldiers but to the citizens of the area. A reoccurring order forbade the settlers from providing liquor to soldiers or to let soldiers drink in their tents or huts (p. 7). This policy, however, was often not followed. Other orders concerned that day's "working party." The party was commonly required to retrieve wood from the lumber yard, get provisions from the store, distribute goods to the other men, stand guard, and travel. The orders also included logistical details such as the rations of beer per man per week; each member got 2 quarts per day for 6 pence each week (page 48).

The volume's last 160 pages contain Frizell's personal accounts of his settlements at Dedham and Port Royal (Port Annapolis) between 1762 and 1766. Many entries are copies of orders and contracts for making shoes, along with inventories of food and wood. Pages 78-79 contain drafts of advertisements for a night school targeted at "those who cannot attend during the day." The ad states that "A school will be opened by John Frizell att his dwelling at Norton New precinct at any time where will be taught reading wrighting and siffering and something of geometry of Required and the Mensuration of triangles &c. &c. &c." This page also contains a bar of music for singing a psalm that "Note[s] mi is an F."

The book appears to have been used for the secondary purposes of working out math problems and practicing penmanship. Many pages, including the bottom of some orderly pages and in between copies of letters, have scripture quotations written in an elegant hand. These also fill much of the back half of the book.

Other interesting items include a letter to his mother, offering a rare bit of personal information (p. 136); a recipe for black ink (p. 139), and a short essay on using fixed stars in navigation with an explanation of the movements of the seven planets (p. 140). Portions of many pages are torn out; these were likely blank scraps used for practice writing and math exercises.