Place:Prince Edward Island, Canada


NamePrince Edward Island
Alt namesPEsource: Wikipedia (postal abbreviation)
PEIsource: Wikipedia (former abbreviation)
P.E.I.source: Wikipedia (former abbreviation)
P.E. Islandsource: Wikipedia (former abbreviation)
Isle Saint-Jeansource: Wikipedia
Isle St. Johnsource: Webster's Geographical Dictionary (1984)
Ile-St-Jeansource: Webster's Geographical Dictionary (1984)
St. Jean Ilesource: Times Atlas of World History (1993) p 354
St. John's Islandsource: former name
Saint John's Islandsource: former name
Province d' Île-du-Prince-Édouardsource: NIMA, GEOnet Names Server (1996-1998)
Île du Prince-Édouardsource: NIMA, GEOnet Names Server (1996-1998)
Coordinates46.333°N 63.5°W
Located inCanada     (1873 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Prince Edward Island (PEI; ) is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada. It is the smallest province in terms of land area and population, but the most densely populated. The island has several nicknames: "Garden of the Gulf", "Birthplace of Confederation" and "Cradle of Confederation". Its capital and largest city is Charlottetown. It is one of the three Maritime provinces and one of the four Atlantic provinces.

Part of the traditional lands of the Miꞌkmaq, it was colonized by the French in 1604 as part of the colony of Acadia. The island was ceded to the British at the conclusion of the French and Indian War in 1763 and became part of the colony of Nova Scotia, and in 1769 the island became its own British colony. Prince Edward Island hosted the Charlottetown Conference in 1864 to discuss a union of the Maritime provinces; however, the conference became the first in a series of meetings which led to Canadian Confederation in 1867. Prince Edward Island initially balked at Confederation but, facing bankruptcy from the Land Question and construction of a railroad, joined as Canada's seventh province in 1873.

According to Statistics Canada, the province of Prince Edward Island had 158,717 residents in 2019. The backbone of the island economy is farming; it produces 25% of Canada's potatoes. Other important industries include the fisheries, tourism, aerospace, bio-science, IT, and renewable energy. As Prince Edward Island is one of Canada's older settlements, its population still reflects some of the earliest settlers, with Canadien, Scottish, Irish, and English surnames being dominant.

Prince Edward Island is located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, about north of Halifax and east of Quebec City, and has a land area of . The main island is in size. It is the 104th-largest island in the world and Canada's 23rd-largest island.



the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Since before the influx of Europeans, the Mi'kmaq First Nations have inhabited Prince Edward Island as part of the region of Mi'kma'ki. They named the Island Epekwitk, meaning 'cradled on the waves'; Europeans represented the pronunciation as Abegweit. Another name is Minegoo. The Mi'kmaq's legend is that the island was formed by the Great Spirit placing on the Blue Waters some dark red crescent-shaped clay.[1] There are two Mi'kmaq First Nation communities on Epekwitk today.

French colony

In 1534, Jacques Cartier was the first European to see the island.[2] In 1604, the Kingdom of France laid claim to the lands of the Maritimes under the discovery doctrine, including Prince Edward Island, establishing the French colony of Acadia. The island was named Île Saint-Jean (St. John's Island) by the French. The Mi'kmaq never recognized the claim but welcomed the French as trading partners and allies.

During the 18th century, the French were engaged in a series of conflicts with the Kingdom of Great Britain and its colonies. Several battles between the two belligerents occurred on Prince Edward Island during this period. Following the British capture of Louisbourg during the War of the Austrian Succession, New Englanders launched an attack on Île Saint-Jean (now Prince Edward Island); with a British detachment landed at Port-la-Joye. The island's capital had a garrison of 20 French soldiers under the command of Joseph du Pont Duvivier. The troops fled the settlement, and the New Englanders burned the settlement to the ground. Duvivier and the twenty men retreated up the Northeast River (Hillsborough River), pursued by the New Englanders until the French troops were reinforced with the arrival of the Acadian militia and the Mi'kmaq. The French troops and their allies were able to drive the New Englanders to their boats. Nine New Englanders were killed, wounded or made prisoner. The New Englanders took six Acadian hostages, who would be executed if the Acadians or Mi'kmaq rebelled against New England control.[3] The New England troops left for Louisbourg. Duvivier and his 20 troops left for Quebec. After the fall of Louisbourg, the resident French population of Île Royale (now Cape Breton Island) were deported to France, with the remaining Acadians of Île Saint-Jean living under the threat of deportation for the remainder of the war.

New Englanders had a force of 200 soldiers stationed at Port-La-Joye, as well as two warships boarding supplies for its journey of Louisbourg. To regain Acadia, Ramezay was sent from Quebec to the region to join forces with the Duc d'Anville expedition. Upon arriving at Chignecto, he sent Boishebert to Île Saint-Jean to ascertain the size of the New England force. After Boishebert returned, Ramezay sent Joseph-Michel Legardeur de Croisille et de Montesson along with over 500 men, 200 of whom were Mi'kmaq, to Port-La-Joye. In July 1746, the battle happened near York River. Montesson and his troops killed forty New Englanders and captured the rest. Montesson was commended for having distinguished himself in his first independent command. Hostilities between the British and French were ended in 1748 with the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748.

Roughly one thousand Acadians lived on the island prior to the Acadian Exodus from Nova Scotia. The population grew to nearly 5,000 the late 1740s and early 1750s, as Acadians from Nova Scotia fled to the island during the Acadian Exodus, and the subsequent British-ordered expulsions beginning in 1755.

Hostilities between British and French colonial forces resumed in 1754, although formal declarations of war were not issued until 1756. After French forces were defeated at the siege of Louisbourg, the British performed a military campaign on Ile Saint-Jean (now Prince Edward Island) to secure the island. The campaign was led by Colonel Andrew Rollo under orders from General Jeffery Amherst. The following campaigns saw the deportation of most Acadians from the island. Many Acadians died in the expulsion en route to France; on December 13, 1758, the transport ship Duke William sank and 364 died. A day earlier the Violet sank and 280 died; several days later sank with 213 on board. The French formally ceded the island, and most of New France to the British in the Treaty of Paris of 1763.

British colony

Initially named St. John's Island by the British, the island was administered as part of the colony of Nova Scotia, until it was split into a separate colony in 1769. In the mid-1760s, a survey team led by Samuel Holland divided the Island into 67 lots. On July 1, 1767, these properties were allocated to supporters of King George III by means of a lottery. Ownership of the land remained in the hands of landlords in England, angering Island settlers who were unable to gain title to land on which they worked and lived. Significant rent charges (to absentee landlords) created further anger. The land had been given to the absentee landlords with a number of conditions attached regarding upkeep and settlement terms; many of these conditions were not satisfied. Islanders spent decades trying to convince the Crown to confiscate the lots, however the descendants of the original owners were generally well connected to the British government and refused to give up the land.

After the island was detached from Nova Scotia to become a separate colony, Walter Patterson was appointed the first British governor of St. John's Island in 1769. Assuming the office in 1770, he had a controversial career during which land title disputes and factional conflict slowed the initial attempts to populate and develop the island under a feudal system. In an attempt to attract settlers from Ireland, in one of his first acts (1770) Patterson led the island's colonial assembly to rename the island "New Ireland", but the British Government promptly vetoed this as it exceeded the authority vested in the colonial government; only the Privy Council in London could change the name of a colony.

During the American Revolutionary War Charlottetown was raided in 1775 by a pair of American-employed privateers. Two armed schooners, Franklin and Hancock, from Beverly, Massachusetts, made prisoner of the attorney-general at Charlottetown, on advice given them by some Pictou residents after they had taken eight fishing vessels in the Gut of Canso.

During and after the American Revolutionary War, from 1776 to 1783, the colony's efforts to attract exiled Loyalist refugees from the rebellious American colonies met with some success. Walter Patterson's brother, John Patterson, one of the original grantees of land on the island, was a temporarily exiled Loyalist and led efforts to persuade others to come. Governor Patterson dismissal in 1787, and his recall to London in 1789 dampened his brother's efforts, leading John to focus on his interests in the United States. Edmund Fanning, also a Loyalist exiled by the Revolution, took over as the second governor, serving until 1804. His tenure was more successful than Patterson's. A large influx of Scottish Highlanders in the late 1700s also resulted in St. John's Island having the highest proportion of Scottish immigrants in Canada. This led to a higher proportion of Scottish Gaelic speakers and thriving culture surviving on the island than in Scotland itself, as the settlers could more easily avoid English influence overseas.

On 29 November 1798, during Fanning's administration, the British government granted approval to change the colony's name from St. John's Island to Prince Edward Island to distinguish it from areas with similar names in what is now Atlantic Canada, such as the cities of Saint John in New Brunswick and St. John's in Newfoundland. The colony's new name honoured the fourth son of King George III, Prince Edward Augustus, the Duke of Kent (1767–1820), who subsequently led the British military forces on the continent as Commander-in-Chief, North America (1799–1800), with his headquarters in Halifax.

In 1853, the Island government passed the Land Purchase Act which empowered them to purchase lands from those owners who were willing to sell, and then resell the land to settlers for low prices. This scheme collapsed when the Island ran short of money to continue with the purchases. Many of these lands also were fertile, and were some of the key factors to sustaining Prince Edward Island's economy.


In September 1864, Prince Edward Island hosted the Charlottetown Conference, which was the first meeting in the process leading to the Quebec Resolutions and the creation of Canada in 1867. Prince Edward Island did not find the terms of union favourable and balked at joining in 1867, choosing to remain a colony of the United Kingdom. In the late 1860s, the colony examined various options, including the possibility of becoming a discrete dominion unto itself, as well as entertaining delegations from the United States, who were interested in Prince Edward Island joining the United States.

In 1871, the colony began construction of the Prince Edward Island Railway (PEIR) and, frustrated by Great Britain's Colonial Office, began negotiations with the United States. In 1873, Canadian Prime Minister John A. Macdonald, anxious to thwart American expansionism and facing the distraction of the Pacific Scandal, negotiated for Prince Edward Island to join Canada. The Dominion Government of Canada assumed the colony's extensive railway debts and agreed to finance a buy-out of the last of the colony's absentee landlords to free the island of leasehold tenure and from any new immigrants entering the island (accomplished through the passage of the Land Purchase Act, 1875). Prince Edward Island entered Confederation on July 1, 1873.

As a result of having hosted the inaugural meeting of Confederation, the Charlottetown Conference, Prince Edward Island presents itself as the "Birthplace of Confederation" and this is commemorated through several buildings, a ferry vessel, and the Confederation Bridge (constructed 1993 to 1997). The most prominent building in the province honouring this event is the Confederation Centre of the Arts, presented as a gift to Prince Edward Islanders by the 10 provincial governments and the Federal Government upon the centenary of the Charlottetown Conference, where it stands in Charlottetown as a national monument to the "Fathers of Confederation". The centre is one of the 22 National Historic Sites of Canada located in Prince Edward Island.

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