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Westcountrymen in PEI

Books

Westcountrymen in PEI

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Westcountrymen in PEI

40.00

Title: Westcountrymen in Prince Edward's Isle
Author(s): Basil Greenhill & Ann Giffard
Publisher: David & Charles. University of Toronto Press. Toronto: 1967
Description: Octavo. 248 pp. Illustrated. Bound in red cloth with gilt titles on the spine. Illustrated dust jacket. The book examines 19th century migration between England and PEI. In the introduction, the authors write; "Three years after the Battle of Waterloo, people from Devon settled in Prince Edward Island. The community developed as a result of their arrival and the continuing connection with Britain which they maintained...For the rest of the nineteenth century the settlement on the Island affected events in North Devon. So the narrative goes backwards and forwards across the unquiet ocean, like the merchant sailing ships which carried alike the cargoes of timber, which were the reason for the whole enterprise, and the men and women to whom the New World gave the chance of new life."

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This classic, first-of-its-kind study of merchant shipping sheds light on the manner in which the rapid development of shipbuilding in Prince Edward Island played a significant part in Canada's early history. James Yeo, once a village labourer in his native Cornwall, came to the colony and quickly amassed a fortune from shipbuilding and the shipping trade. His rough-and-ready business deals spawned his mercurial rise to prominence in the colony. (His home, Port Hill, is now  a shipbuilding museum.) This book originated from an idea by Ann Giffard and was jointly executed by this husband-and-wife team. It connects the burgeoning expansion of shipbuilding in the colonies with the settlers' hometown in Devon, and explains why, when Britain was cut off from supplies of wood in Europe, shipbuilding suddenly took hold in Canada. It is a unique study that shows local history is an important window into the interconnected world of economic development.