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88   NOVA SCOTIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

already been quoted. Of several marriages of colored people recorded in the registers of St. Paul's, and the Protestant Dissenting church, Halifax, and of the parish churches at Annapolis and elsewhere, a few at least were those of slaves.

In some other quarters there seems to have been a lack of regard on the part of masters for the marriage bond in relation to their slaves. A recent writer on slavery in North Carolina says : " The intermarriage of slaves was a matter of little ceremony. The masters of the contracting parties must first consent to the union. That being arranged, the groom sought his bride, offered her some toy, as a brass ring, and if his gifts were accepted the marriage was considered as made. If the couple separated the present was always to he returned. Such separation occurred often, in particular in the absence of children, and quite independently, in many instances, of the wish of the panics".' In the British provinces as elsewhere usage held the children to be the property of the owner of the mother, and interference between the parents by owners seldom took place, but a somewhat amusing story told by Judge Morse of Amherst, of the courtship of a slave of Samuel Gay of Cumberland, and it Sylvev", an attractive young slave belonging to Colonel Henry- Purdy of Fort Lawrence, gives some countenance to the suspicion that in Nova Scotia as in some other places slave marriages were not always matters of much ceremony.' And it does not appear that when two slaves owned by Miss Polly Polhemus, a daughter of John Polhemus, one of the Loyalist captains at Annapolis, arranged an exchange of partners, Miss Polhemus or any outside party interfered with the compact ; and so one of these worthies continued to drive the carriage of his mistress from her residence

t Johns Hopkins '• University Studies", Series xis., p. 225.

2 A son of this couple, a much respected old man, died at Amherst about sixteen years ago.


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