A Loyalist Plantation

On the losing end of America’s War for Independence, Brigadier General Timothy Ruggles came to Nova Scotia and, together with a host of family members, hired hands, house servants and enslaved workers, he undertook an ambitious plan. He wanted to build a prosperous estate like the one he’d been forced to leave behind in western Massachusetts.

This whetstone was found in the cellar remains of Ruggles’s “mansion house” on North Mountain in the Annapolis Valley. Look at the blade marks. Did the housekeeper use it to sharpen her knives? Did a slave carry it in his pocket? Objects like this are of particular interest to Nova Scotia Museum archaeology staff as we seek to uncover the daily lives of loyalist-era slaves.

Object type: 
whetstone, partial
Object #: 
Collection name: 
Date (age/made): 
late 18th century
6.5 cm in length; 3.2 cm in width; 1.5 cm in thickness