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Island to Island: British Immigration to Prince Edward Island 1763-1870

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PARO Acc.3466/HF74.27.3.56
View of Charlottetown and harbour
The story of British immigration to Prince Edward Island began amid the great rivalry and conflict that raged between Britain and France throughout much of the 17th and 18th centuries. The wars and battles of these two countries stretched far beyond Europe touching the lands and territories of North America, where both countries sought to extend their sphere of influence and power. France was the first of the two countries to settle the Island. From the 1720s onwards French settlers established permanent residence, but French occupancy did not last long. By 1763 the British had defeated their rivals, and soon afterwards the former French lands and territories in North America were granted by treaty to the British. Over the next one hundred years St. John's Island (renamed Prince Edward Island in 1799) would see an influx of immigrants from all over the British Isles: Scottish, English and Irish settlers left their homeland in large numbers to follow the dream of a new and better life.

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