Nova Scotia Archives

African Nova Scotians in the Age of Slavery and Abolition

"A list of settlers victual'd at this place [Halifax] between the eighteenth day of May & fourth day of June 1750..."

Cato (no. 290) and Jack (no. 291) were among the seventeen free black people living in Halifax to whom the government distributed food in the late spring of 1750. The victualled population was 2367 persons. Slave rations were the responsibility of the slaveholder, not the government.

The slave population is not listed. However, 418 slaves — about 18 per cent of the population — are known from the original 'mess book' to have accompanied Governor Cornwallis to Chebucto in June 1749. It should be noted that the mess book used the bureaucratic term "servants" rather than "slaves" and did not list their names. Any actual servants, like the rest of the free population, would have been listed by name.

Date: 28 November 1750

Reference: Isaac Deschamps  Nova Scotia Archives  MG 1 volume 258 number 12 (microfilm 14912)

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