Изображения страниц

8. PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND. (130 × 34 miles.)

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

1. This small but fertile island, with deeply-indented coasts, is situated in the Gulf of S. Lawrence, separated from Nova Scotia by Northumberland Strait. It is divided into three counties. The chief industries are shipbuilding, fishing, an dagriculture. In winter the mails are carried over the ice, for navigation is wholly obstructed from December to April.

Annual imports and exports, each about $1,500,000.

2. Government since 1770-Lieutenant-Governor; Executive Council, 9; Legislative Council, 13; Legislative Assembly, 30. The island Legislature petitioned to enter the Dominion early in 1873.

3. Towns.-CHARLOTTETOWN (700), on the N. of the island, three miles from the entrance of its fine harbour, has a pleasant situation, fine buildings, and great trade. The other towns are very small.

[blocks in formation]

The Dominion is a Confederation, each province having its own Legislature. Its government, as well as that of each province, is modelled on that of Great Britain. The GovernorGeneral answers to the Queen, the Executive Council to the Cabinet, the Senate to the House of Lords, and the Legislative Assembly (called House of Commons), to our House of Commons. The House of Commons is elected for five years. The number of members is apportioned according to population, and provision is made for increasing the number on this basis, so that the trouble of Reform Bills will be avoided. Laws require the assent of the three branches of the Legislature "the three estates of the realm." The House of Commons has the exclusive power of the purse. Matters of

justice, trade, customs, war, or postage are regulated by the Central Government at OTTAWA, other things by the local Governments. The Senate is appointed by the Queen.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

The different colonies are subsidised from the Dominion revenue. Education is liberally attended to.

The colony that has not yet joined the Dominion is NEWFOUNDLAND. (350 x 300; average breadth, 130.)

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

1. This island, larger than Ireland, has very indented shores. By far the larger part, in the centre and west, is covered with lakes and barren rocky wastes, for ever uncultivable. Nearly the whole population is gathered round S. Johns, in the peninsula of Avalon. The Strait of Belle Isle is 12 miles across, and Cape Breton is 60 miles off. The two Atlantic Cables which unite Europe and America, and form a grand evidence of British endurance, land at Trinity Bay; starting point, Valentia Bay, in Ireland. The North Atlantic plateau, on which the cable is laid, extends nearly on the arc of a great circle from Newfoundland to Europe. The climate is very severe, owing partly to the influence of the Arctic Currents, which bring icebergs along the shores.

The meeting of this current with the Gulf Stream produces the fogs for which Newfoundland and its codfish-producing banks are noted. The Great Bank, the most important fishing-ground in the world, is 600 X 200 miles, and has from 150 to 500 feet of water. The fishing is mainly carried on by English, French, and Americans. The French have three small islands in the Gulf-viz., S. Pierre, Langley, and Miquelon, on which to dry and prepare the fish.

2. The industry is fishing. The exports, fish and fish produce, e.g., dried cod, cod-liver-oil, seal-oil, seal-skins, &c. 3. Trade.-Annual exports, $6,000,000; annual imports, $450,000.

The great markets for the fish are the Romanist countries of S. Europe and the W. Indies.

4. Government (since 1855), includes Labrador from Anse Sablon to the entrance of Hudson Strait, and is administered by-Governor; Executive Council, 6; Legislative Council, 10; Legislative Assembly, 30.

5. Towns.-S. JOHNS (27,000), is the nearest American port to Europe, being only 1920 miles from Ireland. Great trade. Formerly built of wood, now of brick. A fire in 1844 destroyed $4,000,000 worth of property. Other towns, Harbor Grace and Carbonnear. The island is a Bishop's See of the English Colonial Church. The Bishop has a coadjutor.


1497. Canada is said to have been discovered by Sebastian Cabot in 1497, about ten years after Diaz had discovered the Cape of Storms (Good Hope), and one year before the Portuguese landed at Calicut in India. Reign of Henry VII.-Perkin Warbeck in Ireland.

1525-35. The country was first colonised by the French under Jacques Cartier, and taken possession of in the name of his king. The name Canada is said to be from an Indian word meaning a collection of huts.

1608. Quebec was founded, and French settlements were gradually extended, outposts being established at Niagara, Detroit, &c. Numerous wars arose between the English settlers in the New England States and the French in Canada, in which each side passed through many varieties of fortune and committed untold cruelties, until at length the victory of

1759. General Wolfe over Montcalm on the Heights of Abraham, near Quebec, sealed Canada to England.

1763. At the Peace of Paris, Canada was finally ceded to England, its population then being about 70,000. Under the treaty the French were to retain their own language and law, except criminal law, which was to conform to English usage. The following are the most important subsequent events :

1775-83-1812-14. Wars with the United States. In both these

the Canadians showed themselves markedly loyal to the British Crown.

1837-38. Rebellion in Lower Canada among the French habitans, put down by the loyal inhabitants. The Parliament House at Montreal was burnt, and the ruins called in derision "Elgin Marbles."

1840. The provinces were united into one, and the rebellion was varnished over by a new constitution. But as Toronto, Quebec, and Montreal had each claims to be the capital, the Queen decided that the government should be carried on from Bytown, than a log village, now the magnificent town of Ottawa.

1860. The Prince of Wales visited the colony and was most loyally received, with one or two exceptions.

1861-2. The Canadas were eager to join England in a contest with the States for outraging the British flag by taking Messrs Mason and Slidell, Confederate commissioners, from the Trent. England "waited for the answer" to her ultimatum. The men were given up.

1867. DOMINION formed. Since joined by other colonies. 1872. The Emperor of Germany decided the boundary between Vancouver Island and United States against the English claims.

The following is a brief summary of the provincial history :-
Nova Scotia.

1497. Discovered by the Cabots.

1548. Colonised by the French, and called ACADIA.

1605. Port Royal, now Annapolis, founded.

1627. Taken by English. James I. granted it to Sir William Alexander, and, for the sake of encouraging emigration thither, instituted the order" Baronets of Nova Scotia."

1632. Restored to France, and again in 1667.

1714. Ceded to England at Peace of Utrecht.

1748. Lord Halifax settled a regiment of disbanded troops near the town which bears his name.

1873. Joined Dominion.

New Brunswick.-Discovered about the same time as Nova Scotia. First settled by French, and called New France.

1763. Ceded to England at Peace of Paris.

1783. Troops disbanded in New England States settled here. From 1763 to 1785 it was annexed to Acadia.

1785. Made a separate colony.

1794. Commissioners on the side of England and United States attempted to settle the boundary between the colony and Maine with

out success.

1835. The boundary dispute referred to Leopold I., King of the Belgians for arbitration, but the American Congress refused to accept his award.

1840. Boundary finally settled by Lord Ashburton.

British Columbia and Vancouver Island formed part of the Hudson Bay Company's Territory until

1858, when their license was revoked owing to the influx of goldseekers into the country, which rendered it necessary for the British Government to take steps to render life and property secure. at first governed absolutely by the Queen.

1863. A Legislative Council established.

It was

1866. Vancouver Island, which since 1859 had been a separate colony, incorporated with Columbia.

1870. Joined the Dominion.

Vancouver Island, named after Captain George Vancouver, who entered the Strait of Juan de Fuca in 1792.

1778. Some British merchants effected a settlement at Walker Sound. 1846. Secured to Britain by treaty.

1849. A lease of the island granted to Hudson Bay Co. for ten years. 1859. Separate colony.

1860. Joined British Columbia. Newfoundland.

1497. Discovered by the Cabots.

1500. French, Spaniards, and Portuguese visited its fisheries. Sir W. Raleigh made an unsuccessful attempt to colonise it. Lord Baltimore ultimately effected a settlement on the peninsula of Avalon, so called because he thought Christianity was then first introduced into the New World, as the monkish legend says it was by the preaching of Joseph of Arimathea at Glastonbury, then called Avalon. For long it was the subject of rivalries and feuds between French and English fishermen.

Prince Edward Island, named from Edward, Duke of Kent, father of Queen Victoria. Discovered and settled by French.

1745. Captured by English, but restored.

1756-63. During the Seven Years' War, the greater part of its inhabitants were compelled to leave-(cf. Evangeline"). 1763. Finally ceded to England. 1873. Joined the Dominion.

Doubtless a great future is in store for the Dominion. As an integral portion or federated member of the British Empire, it may work out its destiny nobly. But, separated from the mother country, it is difficult to understand how it would be able to maintain its independence by the side of the ambitious territory-grasping States. In matters of fishery rights, boundaries, navigation of lakes, and recently in the award of the Emperor of Germany (1872), which gives S. Juan to the United States, and declares that the boundary passes along the Haro Channel, the Dominion may probably consider that her interests have been sacrificed by a strong power for the sake of peace, but, had she been independent, worse conditions might have been imposed.


1. Post-Office.-The postage throughout the Dominion is, since 1871, under one management, and at a nearly uniform rate of 3 cents. per oz. There are about 4000 post-offices, which manage all kinds of postage, as in England. Telegrams cost 1s. for ten words. Post-office orders can be sent to any part of the Dominion, or Great Britain, or the United States, at very cheap rates.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »