File MS-2-340 - Personal archives of Joseph Howe

Preface and first two chapters of History of the Struggle for Responsible Government

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Personal archives of Joseph Howe

General material designation

  • Textual record

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description


Reference code


Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1846 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

29 pages

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Joseph Howe was a distinguished Nova Scotia politician, civil servant, and journalist. Born 13 December 1804 in Halifax to John and Mary Howe, he was an avid reader who was primarily self-educated. In 1828 he married Catherine McNab with whom he had ten children.

Before entering politics, Howe was a well-known Nova Scotia journalist whose career began in 1827 when he purchased the Weekly Chronicle with a partner and renamed it the Acadian. Shortly thereafter he bought the Novascotian and began writing columns and articles about Nova Scotia, often dedicated to local political happenings. In 1835 Howe was charged with libel for printing a letter harshly criticizing the government but was acquitted when he successfully defended the freedom of the press. Although he sold the Novascotian in 1841 to concentrate on a full-time political career he later returned to journalism for a time in the mid-1940s.

By 1836 Howe had decided to enter the political arena and ran for Halifax in the General Election of that year. His win marked the beginning of a long career as a politician and civil servant which would last almost consecutively until his death in Halifax on 1 June 1873. Howe maintained a dedication to Nova Scotia government reform throughout his career and is remembered for his eloquence and persuasiveness, his objections to confederation, and his attempts to develop a railway system within the region. Between 1836 and 1863 he represented Halifax, Cumberland, Windsor, and then Hants provincially. He also served as Speaker of the House of Assembly; part of the Executive Council in a coalition government; Provincial Secretary and Clerk of Council; Chairman of the Railway Commission; Provincial Secretary; and Premier. He then served as Imperial Fisheries Commissioner before representing Hants as a Member of Parliament from 1867 until he resigned in 1873. In Ottawa he served as President of the Privy Council and Secretary of State for the Provinces before returning to Nova Scotia where he served as Lieutenant Governor until his death.

Custodial history

Materials were accessioned by the Archives in 1978. Custodial history is unknown.

Scope and content

Item is a proposed outline for a work on the struggle for responsible government in Nova Scotia and a related manuscript containing the preface and the first two chapters of History of the Struggle for Responsible Government.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

There are no access restrictions on these materials. All materials are open for research.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Materials do not circulate and must be used in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room. Contact departmental staff for guidance on reproduction.

Finding aids

Associated materials

See the Joseph Howe fonds at the Nova Scotia Archives. For related materials see also the Morse Collection, MS-6-18.

Related materials


Further accruals are not expected.

General note

Preferred citation: Identification of Item, Joseph Howe fonds, MS-2-340, Box [box number], Folder [folder number], Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions

Rules for Archival Description



Level of detail


Dates of creation, revision and deletion


Language of description

  • English

Script of description


Accession area