Journal of Titus Smith

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Journal of Titus Smith

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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Date(s)

  • 1801-1802 (Creation)
    Creator
    Smith, Titus

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Physical description

3 cm of textual records

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(1768-1850)

Biographical history

Titus Smith (Junior) was born in Granby, Mass. on 4 September 1768. His family, being Sandemanian pacifists, were obliged to flee from the violence of the American Revolution to Halifax, N.S. in 1783. Smith eventually settled in Dutch Village (which later became a western suburb of Halifax), where he made his living as a farmer and occasional land surveyor. He conducted botanical experiments on his farm, successfully adapting a variety of seeds to the province's harsh climate. In 1801, Smith was commissioned by the Lieutenant Governor to undertake the first exhaustive study of Nova Scotia's interior. Smith undertook three treks into the province's interior between 1801and 1802, and submitted his findings in journals which provided a highly detailed account of Nova Scotia's forests, rivers, geological features, and wildlife. The text of the journals was accompanied by Smith's sketches of the plants he encountered and one of the first reliable general maps of the province. Smith's great abilities were immediately recognized, and for the rest of his life he was frequently consulted on matters relating to botany, natural, history, agriculture, and the correct use of natural resources. He served as secretary of the province's Central Board of Agriculture from 1841 until his death, and was appointed an overseer of roads on four occassions. Smith helped to found the Halifax Mechanic's Institute, and lectured frequently before it. He contributed regular articles to several provincial newspapers, edited the Halifax newspaper Colonial Farmer, and wrote the text for highly-regarded book Wild flowers of Nova Scotia.. Smith's writings and lectures, in which he urged respect for divine providence and the rhythms of nature, won him a reputation as the "Rural Philisopher of the Dutch Village". Smith married Sarah Wisdom of Halifax in 1803. The couple had fourteen children. In the autumn of 1849, Titus Smith was stricken with jaundice and never recovered, dying on 4 January 1850 in Dutch Village.

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Scope and content

Series forms part of Nova Scotia Commissioner of Crown Lands fonds and consists of the journal Titus Smith kept while surveying Nova Scotia. Journal also provides lists of plants, grasses, shrubs, trees, and general observations about nature. Titus Smith toured the province in 1801-1802, on order of the government, to report on the suitability of lands for settlement.

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RG 1, Vol. 380b. use microfilm reel 15441

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Available on microfilm.

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