Dalhousie Law Journal


Bulmer D.C. Harvey, librarian, Benjamin Russell, social reformer, prohibition, Nova Scotia, legal history, John Thomas Bulmer, Dalhousie Law School


There is a small secondary literature on Bulmer. D.C. Harvey provides an authoritative account of his career as Provincial Librarian, while Bulmer's friend Benjamin Russell concentrates on his legal career in a biographical tribute published three decades after his death.4 Aside from passing references to his devotion to the cause of prohibition, however, no one has investigated Bulmer's career as a social reformer. An over-emphasis on Bulmer's admittedly extraordinary personality has prevented a full appreciation of the complexity of this multi-faceted individual; and this gap in turn has tended to obscure an important chapter in Nova Scotian social history. This account of John Thomas Bulmer is thus offered not just to revive the memory of one associated with the creation of Dalhousie Law School, but because it enables us to explore a strand of social radicalism associated with the response to Nova Scotia's industrial revolution.

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