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History of Prince Edward Island   By: (1819?-1886)

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Entered according to Act of Parliament, in the year one thousand eight hundred and seventy five, by Duncan Campbell, in the office of the Minister of Agriculture and Statistics of the Dominion of Canada.


The principal aim of the Author has been to produce a History of Prince Edward Island, which might claim some degree of merit as to conciseness, accuracy, and impartiality, from the period it became a British possession until its recent union with the other confederated provinces of British North America. With the view to secure these ends, it was necessary that not only all available books and pamphlets relating to the island should be attentively perused, and the correctness of their statements tested; but that a vast mass of original papers, hitherto unpublished, should be carefully examined. Application having been made to His Excellency Lord Dufferin, through Sir Robert Hodgson, the Lieutenant governor of the island, permission was granted to examine all the numerical despatches. This task imposed an amount of labor which had not been anticipated, and which seemed incompatible with the production of so small a volume. The Author is aware that there lies in the French archives at Paris a large deposit of interesting matter bearing on the history of the Maritime Provinces, and it is to be hoped that it will soon be rendered accessible to the English reader.

It was necessary that a considerable portion of the work should deal with the Land Question. To its consideration the Author came in comparative ignorance of the entire subject, and therefore unprejudiced by ideas and associations of which it might be impossible for a native of the island entirely to divest himself. The soundness of the conclusions arrived at may be questioned; but it can be truly said that they have not been reached without deliberate consideration, and an anxious desire to arrive at the truth.

The Author desires to express his special obligations for valuable matter to His Honor Sir Robert Hodgson, the Honorable Judge Pope, Professor Caven, Mr. Henry Lawson, the Honorable Judge Hensley, the Honorable Mr. Haviland, Mr. John Ings, Hon. Francis Longworth, Mr. J. B. Cooper, Mr. Arthur DeW. Haszard, Mr. Donald Currie, the Reverend Mr. McNeill, Mr. T. B. Aitkins, of Halifax, Mr. John Ball, Mr. F. W. Hughes, the Reverend Dr. Jenkins, Mr. Charles DesBrisay, Mr. J. W. Morrison, and others too numerous to mention.

The Honorable Judge Pope possesses rare and most important documents connected with the island, without which it would have been impossible to produce a satisfactory narrative, and which he at once courteously placed at the temporary disposal of the Author, rendering further service by the remarkable extent and accuracy of his information.

The Author has also to thank the People of Prince Edward Island, especially, for the confidence reposed in him, as proved by the fact of his having received, in the course of a few weeks, orders for his then unpublished work to the number of more than two thousand seven hundred copies,—confidence which he hopes an unprejudiced perusal of the book may, to some extent, justify.

Charlottetown, October, 1875.



Geographical position of the Island—Early possession—Population in 1758—Cession by Treaty of Fontainebleau—Survey of Captain Holland—Holland’s description of the Island—Position of Town sites—Climate—The Earl of Egmont’s scheme of settlement—Proposed division of the Island—Memorials of Egmont—Decision of the British Government respecting Egmont’s Scheme


Determination of the Home Government to dispose of the whole Island—The manner in which it was effected—Conditions on which grants were made—Appointment of Walter Patterson as Governor—Novel duties imposed on him—Callbeck made prisoner by Americans—Arrival of Hessian Troops—Sale of Land in 1781—Agitation in consequence—Complaints against the Governor, and his tactics in defence—Governor superceded, and Colonel Fanning appointed—Disputes between them—Charges of immorality against Patterson—His departure from the Island

CHAPTER III... Continue reading book >>

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