the Patterson YearsRead Now
Walter Patterson was first appointed governor in 1769 when St John’s Island he and others successfully argued that it be separated from Nova Scotia. Patterson had a tumultuous tenure as governor, a position later downgraded to lieutenant governor. He returned to England in 1775 to deal with complaints about his actions, remaining there for five years. Back in Charlottetown in 1780, Patterson continued his scheming, including forcing forfeit of grants to landlords who had not met their obligations and then acquiring, along with his officials, huge tracts of this land at an advantageous price in lieu of wages owed. Patterson was responsible for passing in 1781 the Baptism of Slaves Act, preventing the automatic freeing of slaves upon baptism. He actively encouraged Loyalists to emigrate to the Island after the American revolution and granted them land, at least in part to protect himself after his questionable if not illegal seizure of lands from landlords. Unhappy with what they were hearing about the colony’s governing, the British government recalled Patterson to England in the last 1780s and replaced him with Edmund Faming as Lieutenant Governor.
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