History enthusiasts will marvel at the chance to take a detailed look at the controversial military activities of Col. John Gorham from 1747-1750.
The Nova Scotia Archives recently acquired the account book used by Col.
Gorham of Barnstable, Massachusetts to record his financial transactions in Nova Scotia. It has been digitized and is now available on the Nova Scotia Archives website.
“The Gorham Account Book is a highly significant original document,” said John Reid, Department of History, Saint Mary’s University. “It sheds new light on a turbulent era in Nova Scotia’s past.”
A controversial character in a complicated time, Col. Gorham recruited, organized and led Gorham’s Rangers, a small military unit that patrolled the province’s coastline by boat to enforce British authority during the Seven Years’ War. The account book shows how the rangers did business with the Acadians, but also how they attacked their communities and fought with the Mi’kmaq.
“Col. Gorham’s account book offers the chance to look at a little known period of Nova Scotia history which helps tell the story of a conflict that happened close to home,” said Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Tony Ince. “I thank the Board of Trustees of the Public Archives of Nova Scotia and the staff at the Nova Scotia Archives for continuing to build on the province’s documented history, and for making more of it available online.”
The account book contains 178 pages of poorly written lists, along with ink stains and dirt smudges. The details regarding preparations for expeditions give names, wages and locations of the rangers, along with the cost of merchandise and provisions including clothing, weapons, tools, and plenty of rum and molasses.
To view Col. John Gorham’s account book, go to http://novascotia.ca/nsarm/virtual/gorham/ .