A Brief History of Cape Breton Island - written in 1912
The beginning of this twentieth century the eyes of the world have been directed towards Cape Breton, as a result of the important developments which have taken place in the coal, rail and steel industries in the vicinity of the Sydneys. Not only from an industrial, but from many- other points of view, is the island worthy of careful study Situated at the extreme outpost of the American continent. Cape Breton has the heritage of a history of absorbing interest, indissolubly connected, as it is, with the triumph of British arms in the New World and the gradual growth of the Great Dominion. Vestiges still remaining bear witness to its early struggles and its wars. Louisburg, no less than the Plains of Abraham, must forever figure in the story of that heroic struggle which resulted in the establishment of Anglo-Saxon supremacy in North America. Since the final overthrow of French dominion. Cape Breton has enjoyed a period of profound peace, during which its - people have tilled the soil, followed the sea, and dug the mine, acquiring many noble and enduring qualities in the stern school of toil and hardship. Its enormous deposits of coal constitute Cape Breton's best possession. Mined and exported with profit for years, their full value was not realized until the formation of the Dominion Coal Company led to the present great and increasing output. With coal at tidewater, and limestone in abundance, it needed only the discovery of the easily-mined and cheap'-shipped iron ore of Bell Island,, to make Cape Breton the seat of a prosperous iron and steel-making industry. The chief iron-producing districts of this continent are far inland ; hence the industry is burdened by arbitrary and heavy freight charges. Water transportation, a natural highway of commerce, solves for- ever the question of freights, inasmuch as it is open to universal competition. Herein is Cape Breton's supremacy'. This is the impregnable position which insures the prosperity and the greatness of its commercial life. As its industries flourish, its commerce must increase. Cape Breton has, in these stirring times, begun a new warfare. It is not to devastate and to destroy, but to create and build up. To-day the greatest bravery is shown, not by armies in deadly conflict, but by the heroic and invincible hosts of labor in the fields of peace.
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