Prize & Prejudice

1812 and Prize & Prejudice: Nova Scotia’s War of 1812

Special exhibit from the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic

Open until November 30, 2014

Originally open with the 1812 travelling exhibit from the Canadian War Museum, this special, original companion exhibit from the Maritime Museum has been held over until the end of November. Visitors can explore what effects the War of 1812 had on our province and how the cultures of many people were dramatically shaped.

An original companion exhibit produced by the Maritime Museum, Prize & Prejudice: Nova Scotia’s War of 1812, explores the cultural effects and legacies of the War of 1812 on the colony of Nova Scotia, which was then part of British North America. A key legacy has been the African Nova Scotian communities founded by Black Refugees escaping to freedom following the conflict.

From Jane Austen to the maritime causes of the War surrounding American claims for “Free Trade and Sailors’ Rights”, from the economic and cultural legacies of the Royal Navy blockade of the American coast, including privateering and prize courts, to the invasion of Maine, the conflict left long-lasting imprints on Nova Scotian identity and memory.

This was particularly the case for the African Nova Scotian community, with the arrival of more than 2,000 Black Refugees, fleeing slavery in the Cheasapeake Bay region with the assistance of the Royal Navy, in Nova Scotia from 1814 onwards.

Showcasing never before displayed original letters from Black Refugees in Nova Scotia writing back to their former slave masters, on loan from the United States National Archives, along with recent archaeology from “Refugee Hill” in Beechville, NS, Prize & Prejudice provides new insights into Black Refugee communities in Nova Scotia and their cultural identity.