Responsible Government in Prince Edward Island: A Triumph of Self-Government under the Crown

By W. Ross Livingston | Go to book overview

CHAPTER I
THE BEGINNING OF REFORM

THE LAND AND THE PROPRIETORS

Prince Edward Island, the smallest province of the Canadian Dominion, as well as the last of the original colonies to enter that union, lies in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence just north and west of the peninsula of Nova Scotia. Extremely fertile and productive it is known popularly as the "Garden of the Gulf," and in the history of the Canadian nation as the "Cradle of Confederation." One hundred forty miles is the total length of the island and its area is only two thousand one hundred eighty-four square miles. Yet it supports a population of eighty-eight thousand six hundred fifteen persons in relative comfort and prosperity. From the beginning of its history Prince Edward Island has been primarily an agricultural colony; fishing also has been important, and in recent years it has led the world in the development of the comparatively new industry of fur-farming.

The history of this British province goes back well into the eighteenth century. Settled first by the French it was a part of their empire in North America until the fateful year 1763, when it was finally added to the British possessions and incorporated as a part of the colony of Nova Scotia. Four years later ( 1767), just a century before the establishment of the first of the British Dominions, the government in London allotted all the land of this island to a group of sixty-seven Scotch proprietors who received it on condition that the grantee of each township should cause to be settled on the land so received at least one person for every two hundred acres of his holdings.1 But the proprietors disregarded the condition of the grant and neither improved the

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1
Duncan Campbell, History of Prince Edward Island ( Charlottetown, 1875) pp. 18 et seq.; See map Appendix No. 1.

-9-

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Responsible Government in Prince Edward Island: A Triumph of Self-Government under the Crown
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 1
  • EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION 3
  • Contents 5
  • Foreword 7
  • Chapter I - THE BEGINNING OF REFORM 9
  • Chapter II - RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT A TOOL OF PARTY POLITICS 19
  • Chapter III - THE POWER OF THE PURSE AND THE TRIUMPH OF PRINCIPLE 37
  • APPENDIX NO. 1. 85
  • APPENDIX NO. 2. 86
  • APPENDIX NO. 3. 91
  • APPENDIX NO. 4. 100
  • APPENDIX NO. 5. 108
  • APPENDIX NO. 6. 111
  • APPENDIX NO. 7. 117
  • APPENDIX NO. 8. 122
  • APPENDIX NO. 9. 125
  • Bibliography 130
  • Index 132
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