6 NOVA SCOTIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
act of the British Parliament in 1732, houses, lands, Negroes and real estate had been made liable for sale as assets to satisfy the claims of their owners' creditors.
Slaves were brought into Nova Scotia at an early period.' The prevalent impression that they were first introduced into the province by the Loyalists has no foundation in fact. That any were brought to the earliest English capital, Annapolis, or to Canseau, a point of much importance, is uncertain, as no records kept by the earliest Episcopal chaplain at the former place are to be found : as to the presence of slaves at Halifax a year or two after its settlement there can be no question. A letter written at Halifax in September, 1759, of which copies have been preserved in several families, contains an interesting reference to their employment. The writer was Malachy Salter, Esq., a Halifax merchant. and the person addressed was his wife, then visiting relatives at Boston. Mr. Salter, from New England and previously engaged in the fisheries, had visited Chebucto harbor five years before Cornwailis had arrived to rob it of its attractive Indian name ; and soon after the advent of the original English settlers in 1749 he had established himself in business in the new town,' where he became one of its first representatives in the colonial legislature, and the leading manager of the affairs of the Protestant Dissenting congregation, of which St. Matthew's Presbyterian church is the present
t In the census of the French in Acidic. prepared by M. de lieu:1es in 1636, there occurs at the end of the list of settlers at Cape Sable the name •• La Llbertf, It neigre." This negro was in all probability- an escaped slave who had found his way thither from one of the English colonies. Extracts from this census of M. de Meulles, the Intendant of New France, who at this time visited Acadia, arc given by Murdoch in his History, vol. t, pp. IM-172. Ironical as the term may appear, slaves were sometimes called'• Liberty" in the Southern States.
s Dr. T. B. Akins, in •' Collations of the Nova Scotia Historical Society." Vol. S. p. 2335. In 1759 Mr. Salter was a magistrate and member of the House of Assembly. His residence then, or a very little later, was at the corner of Salter and Barrington stints, in the dwelling afterwards owned by the Hon. lVm. Lawson, and later by John Esson, Esq.