To the Editor;
I am writing to share my comments about an article in the series written in a partnership between McCulloch House Museum & Genealogy Society and the Pictou Advocate, Tree roots run deep (Part 3) - Rev. Daniel Cock, by Carol MacKay. It was published in the June 16, 2021, edition of the Pictou Advocate.
I was glad Carol MacKay disclosed the fact that Rev. Daniel Cock was a slave owner because slavery has seldom been mentioned in the stories I’ve read in the Pictou Advocate about local history, even though I know that this horrendous practice existed here. She wrote that a parishioner had “gifted him with two slaves - a mother and her daughter.” She also wrote that this became very controversial with a contemporary of his, Rev. James MacGregor, but that “that is another story.”
I disagree that it’s another story and I’m disturbed that the fact that he owned people didn’t seem to alter Carol MacKay’s impression of his character. In the last paragraph she favourably quoted Israel Longworth from a History of Colchester County, N.S., circa 1886 in which he heaped praise on Rev. Daniel Cock. Unless Rev. Cock immediately freed the mother and her daughter and respectfully helped them to make a new life for themselves, I would strongly disagree with this description of his character.
I think the way people talk about slavery today is very important because it affects society’s view of history and of what is seen as acceptable today.