Nova Scotia Archives

Acadian Heartland

Records of the Deportation and Le Grand Dérangement, 1714-1768




THE ACADIAN FRENCH.129




THE ACADIAN FRENCH
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      [An interesting paper could be prepared on the different attempts made in this Province to write its history previous to the publication of Haliburton's work in 1829. At least four attempts were made. The first by Judge Monk, the second by Dr. Andrew Brown, the third by ———, and the fourth by Rev. William Cochran. Some were completed, all of them were in an advanced state of preparation, but none of them got through the press.
 

      The Rev. Andrew Brown, D.D., was Born in Biggar, in Lanarkshire, and graduated at the University of Edinburgh. In 1787 he accepted a call from St. Matthew's Church, in this city, and remained here up to 1795. After leaving Halifax he was presented to the parish of Lochmaben, Dumfrieshire, and soon after was translated to the New Greyfriars Church Edinburgh, from which he was promoted to the Old Church in the same city. In 1801 he succeeded Dr. Blair as professor of rhetoric and belle-letters. He died in 1834. He was a man of great intellectual vigor, and it is said of him while in Nova Scotia he outstripped all others in genius and acquirements.  
      While in the Province he must have given considerable time and labor to the preparation of a history – as his efforts cover a period between 1790 and 1815, and are quite extensive. All, or at least a part, of his papers were found in a small shop in Scotland, where they were used in wrapping up cheese and butter. They were purchased by an agent of the British Museum – a Mr. Grosart – for a small sum, and deposited in the National Collection in London. Some of them are originals belonging to the Province, and all are of value — as in most instances they were prepared by eye-witnesses and actors of the events they describe.  
      The transcripts were made by W. B. Tobin, Esq., of London, at the instance of the Nova Scotia Record Commission. Mr. Tobin's services, heretofore, have been very valuable, and no man is in a better position to serve the Province.]  

HON. BROOK WATSON TO REV. DR. BROWN.
 

London, 1st July, 1791.      
 

REV. SIR, —
 
      I have been favored with your letter bearing date ye 13th November last, wherein you inform me of your having been employed for some years in collecting materials for compilating a History of Nova Scotia, and that conceiving from my knowledge of the country which commenced at an early period of my life, and my connections with it continued up to the present time, I should be able to aid your en-