Start the presses! The first bilingual published document in Canada.

AuthorMcDonald, David S.
PositionSketches of Parliaments and Parliamentarians - John Bushell and the Halifax Gazette, A Cartel for the exchange of deserters

John Bushell, the owner of the first printing press in what was to become Canada, is well remembered for publishing the first newspaper in the land. However, he also has the distinction of publishing what is believed to be the first bilingual document in the country's history. In this article, the author explains the story behind this unique and historic government document.

In September 1751 Bartholomew Green Jr sailed on the Endeavor from Boston to Halifax. He took his wooden press and type supplies with him. Unfortunately, he died less than a month later. News of his death reached his former partner, John Bushell, who soon after sailed for Halifax and established the first printing press in what was to become Canada. On March 23, 1752, Bushell published the first issue of the Halifax Gazette on Green's press, which was the first newspaper published in Canada.

Aside from his newspaper, Bushell was sometimes asked to print government documents needed by the public. One such document was an agreement between the Governor of Quebec, Ange Duquesne de Menneville, and the Governor of Nova Scotia, Peregrine Thomas Hopson.

In 1752, after years of war, there was an unsteady peace between the French and English. Hopson recognized the value of the Acadians as the...

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