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A History of the County of Yarmouth, N.S.
Chapter VI. Progress of the work of Settlement. Committee appointed by Council. Rules for their guidance

THE formal Township grants of 1759 and 1760 having lien through, it would appear that the Council refused to receive any further applications for grants of the whole; but that, instead, they appointed a committee under special regulations, to provide for settlers as they arrived; a principle that was acted upon until the year 1767; when, there being a sufficient number of interested parties on the spot, a formal grant was once more made, which is the one under which the Township is now held. After eighteen months had elapsed, and nothing had been done, on the 25th September, 1761

THE COUNCIL APPOINTED A COMMITTEE for dividing the forfeited lands in the Township of Yarmouth, and for admitting settlers into the said Township under the regulations established in Council on the fifteenth day of August last.” The committee named were John Crawley, William Pring, Eichard Lodge, Ebenezer Moulton, Joseph Eundel, James Fillis and Stephen Moulton. There is some reason to think that those men were in Halifax at the time; probably arranging for settlement. Be that as it may, several are the names of men who never saw Yarmouth. Some of them may have known that they would not he here; for in less than a month the Council advised that Mr. Josiah Beal, Mr. Ephraim Cook, and Mr. Samuel Oats, should be added to the Committee: and, as a matter of fact, the last three named, together with Mr. Crawley, were the only men who ever served on the committee. The

REGULATIONS FOR ADMITTING SETTLERS referred to in the minute appointing the committee were these:—

“Farmers having families consisting of more than seven persons in a family, stock, and ability sufficient, to have one share and a half.

“Farmers having families of six and under, and stock, to have one share.

“Farmers single, above twenty-one years of age, to have half a share.

“A return to be made to the Commander-in-Chief, of persons so admitted, with their age, number in family, stock and ability, hy the first opportunity after each admission.

“And all other persons are to be admitted by the said Committee upon receiving orders from the Commander-in-Chief or others authorized by “him, giving directions therefor.

“No minors to be admitted but hy express directions from the Commander-in-Chief.

“That Fishermen, Ship Carpenters and other professions belonging to the sea, be admitted as well as farmers.”

The Committee did nothing in 1761, beyond arranging the details of their work. In doing so they were evidently of opinion that the future Town should be on what has always since been known as Bunker’s Island; and, as far as they could, they provided that it should be so, by restricting the size of each lot to one acre.

They held their first meeting on June the 15th, 1763, on which occasion they published their plan of proceeding. They invited all persons already “pitched and settled,” as well as “all others intending to settle,” to make application to them for land. This shows that up till this point, each of the settlers was but a Squatter,—a fact which afterwards gave rise to very unpleasant difficulties,—and that he needed to have the land upon which he had settled to be confirmed by this Committee, and laid out by their surveyor. Their attention was evidently chiefly directed to a judicious arrangement of the water lots, not only because they were those already occupied, but also as being the most valuable, and requiring the greatest care. They reserved all the Islands in the rivers for the use of the Fishermen; and discretion for themselves to modify their general plan. I have here inserted as being at once the oldest public Township record, and a kind of literary curiosity, an exact copy first, of the first meeting of the Committee; and secondly, a copy of the first certificate of proprietorship granted by the Committee. All that follow are substantially the same.

Persuant to the orders and Directions Given to us from the Government as a Commitey to Regelate The Setlement of this town of Yearmonth at Councel holden at Halifax on monday the 18 of Oetoher 1762 And in obe-diance to the truste Reposed in ns as a Commitey Having heard the ReQnstes mad by Divers persons Allredey pitched and setled as well as many others Hoo have mad there applicaton to us for Rights of Land haveing Duly considered the mater we Have thought fit for the Good and well heing of the town that the Land he devided in the fust Devishens as folioweth fustly That Each Lot of Land ajoyneing the harbour or River called teboge shall frunt Eightey Rods and Run so far Back as to containe one hundred acors and all so the Lands at Capersu harbour in the same manner if found eonveanent by Com-mety when Laid out (excepting the Land Lyeing on Capersu harbour ahove the Iseland or Penensula that is now setled on which is to be laid in Acor Lots) & beginning at the lot on which Phenias Durgey is setled on the fust Lot ajoyning said Durgey Ranging northerly

The furst meeting of the Commetee Rec’d & Recorded June the 15th 1763.

Along the harbors head to the fresh River to Seled Landers is lot the fust Lot a joining To Phineus Durgey to frunt fortey Rods and all the Rest from there Round to the had of Land Leying on the south side of the falls called by the name of the salt pond fall to frunt sixty Rods Excepting said Landers Lot & the Land Granted to John Charles for a mill Lot the Lots that frunt sixty Rods are to Run back so far as to contain sixty accorsif thay can conyenantly or otherwise as shall Be found convenent by that commetey as shall Lay them out & the poynt on the north side of Capersu harbour to Be Laid in acor Lots & a small peneula next a joining on the a four said pensular now setled on at said Capersu Lying southeast on said harbour to be Laid out in &eors And the neck of Land at tebogue harbour on which Binjman Darling now Lives on to be laid out in Acer Lots & a hundred acers of Land to be Laid out in acer Lots tbat Layes in a neck a joining teboge Rever Between the two Lots now posessed by Samuel adinton & Samuel wood and the Cape of Land caled and known By the name of Capersu had or neck on the north side of the harbour to where it is cut of by the water through The beach to be Reserved for a Com on to Convean said Harbour and the marsh Lands on the south of the Efour said harbour a joining to the Efour said pensulas to Be Reserved for a. Com on as shall be found Conveant by The Commitey that Layes out the same in Confirmmation Here of we have here-unto set our hands this ninth Day of June & in the year of our Lord 1763 John Crawley.

Capersue in yearmouth July the 2 1763 Then Laid out unto andrew Durkey one hundred acers of Land Lying on the North westerly side of the Salt pond Beginning at a spruch tree marked A D Running south fifteen Degres weste Eighty Rods then North seventy Degres west two hundred and two Rods then North fifteen Degres Easte Eightey Rods then South Seventy Degrees Easte two hundred and two Rods to the furst mentioned bound Excluding necery Roads—Run out by Patrick Go wen Survar by order of the Commettee John Crawley Josiah Beal, Ephraim Cooke

The furst Return re’d August the 12 at 9 Of the Clok in the four Noon year 1763 & RecordedIn In page 14


Samuel Oats

The person named William Pring, may have been in Yarmouth in 1762; hut, if so, he was here only a very short time. He left Nova Scotia for Great Britain in the Spring of 1763; his property, part of which was a share of the Island known as Crawley’s, was made over by consent of Council to a Mr. Lorrey. With regard to Mr. Richard' Lodge, nothing more is known than the interesting fact that on the recommendation of Messrs. Rundel, Crawley, and Young, on the 29th of June, 1761, twenty days after the first arrival, he was made a Justice of the Peace. He was therefore the first in the Yarmouth Commission; an office the dutie^ of which he never discharged.

It was doubtless necessary to have some Justices in .the Township. Accordingly, on September the 25th of 1761 the Council “advised that Mr. John Crawley, Mr. William “Pring, and Mr. Stephen Moulton he appointed Justices; and that Mr. Waters and Mr. William Young be appointed Deputy Surveyors; Patrick Gowen, before named, being the first incumbent of the office of Surveyor.

Ephraim Cooke, one of the Committee and the first Registrar of Deeds, is entitled to some notice. He was a seafaring man who had lost one of his legs ; and a few still living can recall the days when their childish fancy identified him with the Captain Cook who sailed round the world. He was not one of the first thirteen of 1761; but he was here before any of them; and, as far as we know, he was the first Englishman who set foot on this County. He was the pioneer of the Yarmouth fishing trade, and he knew these shores for seasons before the year of settlement, having been one of those who came to fish and then return to their New England homes at the end of the season. As the youngest of three sons, he was kept at home (Kingston, Mass.), to work on the farm. In 1755 he accompanied his father, who was a Captain of Militia, and, while building a fort, a log fell and broke his leg, necessitating amputation below the knee. He could farm no longer, and afterwards he became a Surveyor. But he preferred the sea; and it is as shoresman and storekeeper in his future father-in-law’s fishing vessel that we first meet with him in the spring of 1761, before the arrival of any intending settlers. He first camped on Tinkham’s Island; then at Cook’s harbour, where he had a better beach to cure the fish. He busied himself at homo in Kingston during the winter of 1761 in getting out the frame of a house, which was of oak, part of which can yet be identified. Being lame, he required a horse for drawing the fish to and from the flakes; and as water was distant from his camping place, he procured a stout canoe, in which he fixed a barrel; and by these expedients he supplemented the loss of his limb. He gradually became a man of considerable influence in the Township. He had a vessel of about 35 or 40 tons, all of oak, in the fishing trade, of which we may describe him as the founder. In her he employed seven or eight men, who, on the well now obsolete mode of payment, were “supplied” from his store. We have already noted that he was the first Registrar; afterwards, he was appointed the first Captain of Militia for both sides of the Chebogue River; in addition to which he held a commission as Justice of the Peace. He died in the year 1821, leaving behind him a good substance, a large family, and a fair fame.

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