Today I have a guest post at Highlighting Historical Romance on Caroline Warfield‘s website.
Here is a taste. You can read the entire post at her website HERE.
Part of the story in my upcoming release The Assistant takes place in Nova Scotia in the year 1800. A reader accustomed to the comforts and luxuries of London might wonder why I would be so heartless as to send my characters across a stormy ocean to such a remote and forbidding colony, but Nova Scotia was more central to the Empire than a mere map might suggest.
In 1800, the colony of Nova Scotia was beginning to come into its own. The capital city, Halifax, is situated on a large hillside nestled next to a year-round ice-free harbour, large enough to house an entire fleet of ships. Coupled with the untold wealth of timber from nearby New Brunswick, Halifax Harbour was a key strategic outpost allowing British control of the Atlantic seaboard. North America’s first naval dockyards had been opened in the harbour in 1758, and many of the ships that sailed under the Union Jack were constructed there and took their maiden voyages from Halifax.
But natural resources were not that Nova Scotia had to offer to the Empire. It had people too—well-educated and loyal people. During and after the American Revolution in 1776, families from the Thirteen Colonies who were loyal to the crown fled to British-held lands both north (to what is now Canada) and south (to what is now Florida and parts of Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi). My husband’s family traces its lineage to such Loyalists, although in Upper Canada (present-day Ontario) rather than the Maritimes. Wherever the Loyalists went, they took with them their institutions, including universities.
In 1776, King’s College in New York City was forced to halt operations for eight years. During that time the library was looted and the university’s building was commandeered by both the British and American forces for use as a military hospital. When the school was taken over by the patriots, the Loyalists founders fled to Windsor, Nova Scotia, and re-established the college there under the same name. King’s College, Windsor, was established as a permanent institution in 1789, and it was there that my hero, Edward Gardiner, received his education.
And the old King’s in New York? After the revolution it was revived and renamed and is now located at Broadway and 116th Street, New York City. These days, it is known as Columbia University.