The LotteryRead Now
In the mid-1760s, Samuel Holland, a surveyor from the Netherlands who had emigrated to England, was tasked with making sense geographically of the new British territories in North America and surveying St John’s Island was among his first assignments. Using a few assistants and Mi’kmaq guides, Holland surveyed the Island using measurements and guesswork, creating the now famous Holland map of the 67 lots on the Island. With a nod to his British employers, Holland renamed many locations after English notables, effectively replacing existing Mi’kmaq names for these places and contributing to the erasing of Mi’kmaq presence in these areas. Since there was considerable interest among nobles and former military officials in acquiring land on the Island, Britain adopted a lottery system to allocate the lots to a few score well-placed men. Among the conditions of the grants were settlement requirements and paying quit rent. And while none of the landlords met all the grant conditions, efforts by settlers in the first half of the 19th century to overturn these grants so they could own the land they cultivated were unsuccessful.