The petitions, reports, and resolutions are part of the documents created by the Council in their legislative capacity as the upper house of Nova Scotia's bicameral legislature. Included are addresses and speeches by various Lieutenant Governors to the Council and the House of Assembly, as well as the responses of the bodies; the Lieutenant Governor's responses to addresses made by members of the House of Assembly and Council; committee reports such as on non-attendance of members; letters such as from particular townships (such as Cumberland, Horton, Liverpool, Truro, Newport, and Sydney); provincial accounts and expenditures: estimates and approvals of provincial government expenses; payments made to individuals for public service, audits of public account; acts: lists of acts passed by the General Assembly, discussion of acts to regulate trade, and petitions such as from inhabitants, merchants and local officials. General subject areas included in the record are politics, economics, colonial administration, the history of Nova Scotia, the War of 1812, transportation, agriculture, privateering, currency, lumber industry, public finance, religion, mining, education, trade, fisheries, ships, shipping, and seafaring.
Individual documents which are part of the record concern the reserving of timber lands for the production of masts for the Royal Navy; bounties on fish; discussions of a postal system and support for education (including Dalhousie College and Pictou Academy); enumeration of schools in the province; construction of a new legislative building; an address from the House of Assembly to the Prince of Wales regarding border disputes with the United States; details of the distribution of relief money to those impacted by the War of 1812 in Upper Canada; and the Lieutenant Governor’s concern over smallpox outbreaks among the poor in Nova Scotia and their vaccination.
Examples of petitions include memorials from cod fisherman regarding setting of nets; the keeper of the lighthouse at Sambro; merchants complaining about import duties; inhabitants of King’s County against the construction of a bridge over the Cornwallis River; a number of memorials from the Chamber of Commerce of Halifax on topics such as the whale fishery; and from the Magistrates of Halifax requesting the implementation of a police force. Committee reports in response to petitions are often included.
Documents are arranged generally, but not strictly, in chronological order and each document is numbered.
Other unrelated title microfilmed by the Nova Scotia Archives with this collection:
Also as part of this record is a ship expense book from Miscellaneous Documents 1748-1780; (volume 285). This outlines accounts for outfitting four vessels (the brig John, snow Lord Stanley, brig Nancy, and sloop Sir James Wallace) employed in government service from March 1777 to 1780. Items recorded in the ledger book include supply lists, tradesmen's bills, wages paid to sailors, cargo lists with markings, and an account of prize goods.