Melville Prison and Deadman’s Island

American and French Prisoners of War in Halifax 1794-1816

by Brian Cuthbertson

The first book on the little known story of Melville Prison and Deadman's Island.

A small island in Halifax's beautiful Northwest Arm was the site for a British military prison from 1794 to 1816. More than 10,000 French, Spanish and American seamen, privateers and soldiers passed through the prison during its 22-year existence.

Of these, 270 died on Melville Island from 1803 to 1815 and were buried in unmarked graves on the adjoining Deadman's Island, now designated a national historic site.

This book tells this little known story for the first time. Author Brian Cuthbertson focuses on the experiences of the American prisoners. Their
treatment will be of particular interest to readers familiar with the recent experiences of prisoners in US military prisons.

About the Author

BRIAN CUTHBERTSON is a leading historian of Nova Scotia. He has worked as an archivist for the Public Archives of Nova Scotia, is the former published and editor of the Nova Scotia Historical Review and is the former Head of Heritage for Nova Scotia. He has been writing on Nova Scotia history since he first published a biography in 1978 of Richard John Uniacke, entitled The Old Attorney General. Since his retirement in 1995 he has devoted much of his time to research and writing, and is the author of several books on Nova Scotia history, including illustrated histories of the towns of Lunenburg and Wolfville, John Cabot and the Voyage of the Matthew, Johnny Bluenose at the Polls: Epic Nova Scotian Election Battles 1758-1848, and The Halifax Citadel: Portrait of a Military Fortress.

Subjects (BISAC)


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