1. Consider why farmers or fishermen (or anyone with labor-intensive, low paying jobs) of the mid 19th century would be tempted to work in the Nova Scotian gold fields.  Develop a one-scene play in which you are explaining to your family why you need to try your luck mining at one of the newly discovered gold fields.  (Example: The time is late summer, 1861.  The harvest is not finished.  You are living on a small subsistence farm and you know very little about mining…)

2. Reflect on why the Honourable Joseph Howe quickly reached the conclusion that the gold diggings at Tangier are “utterly valueless.” If he had visited Tangier five or six years later, do you think his report would be the same? Write a one-page report to the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia summarizing your impressions after inspecting the gold districts of Mooseland, Tangier and Goldenville in 1866. Consult Joseph Howe’s letters or newspaper articles of July, 1860 to use as a model.

3. Imagine you are a boy or girl growing up in Renfrew or one of the other booming gold mining communities of the 19th century.  Write at least five entries in your diary or sketch a series of drawings depicting what life was like for you and others in a gold mining community at that time.
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Dian Day, Susan Sellers, Rita Wilson

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