In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Monday, September 14, 2009

McNutt's geography: Thos. Jefferys map of 1755

This is a detail from A new map of Nova Scotia and Cape Britain ... made by cartographer Thomas Jefferys in 1755 and published in London in 1760.At the time the map was made the Acadians were being forced out of Nova Scotia and dispersed to the four winds. The British were concerned to settle loyal subjects in their underpopulated colony of Nova Scotia. Soon after this map was made, migrants arrived from the Cape Cod region of Massachusetts and settled Cape Sable and Barrington to the south of McNutt's Island and Liverpool to the north. Rosway or Razoir Island -- two of the earlier names for McNutt's Island -- is shown here, at the mouth of a then-unnamed harbour.

The settlements were meager and consisted of Cape Cod fishermen and their families, who were often left to fend for themselves in a harsh and lonely place. There's no evidence that there was a settlement on this island then. But its cove was well known by New England fishermen as a safe harbour from storms, and a good place to anchor and repair their boats.

Note the presence of the Mikmak or Cape Sable Indians indicated on the map. There's no direct evidence yet of their presence here on the island but it could well have been a place of seasonal encampments, perhaps even as late as 1755.

Image is courtesy of NSARM.

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