Blowers, Sampson Salter

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Blowers, Sampson Salter

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Sampson Salter Blowers (1742-1743) was the Chief Justice of Nova Scotia from 1787 to 1832. A Loyalist, Blowers was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and relocated to Halifax, N.S., after the Revolutionary War had ended in 1783.

In 1763, Blowers graduated from Harvard alongside his friend and fellow Loyalist Johnathan Bliss. He was admitted to the bar in 1766, and in 1770 he became a barrister in the Massachusetts Superior Court. He received notoriety and criticism for his Loyalist views, and left the colony in 1774 when revolution seemed immanent. After a brief stay in England, he returned to America, where he worked in the British-controlled cities of Newport, R.I., and New York. Meanwhile, his name appeared in the Massachusetts Banishment Act of 1778, which forbade him and other Loyalists from ever returning to the state.

Blowers was among the more than 29,000 Loyalists evacuated from New York in 1783, a few months before the British troops withdrew. He and his family resettled in Halifax, N.S., where he would advance rapidly through the ranks of the judicial system. In 1784, not wanting to relocate his family again, he turned down the position of attorney general for the newly created province of New Brunswick, but was appointed attorney general of Nova Scotia that same year. In 1787, he was appointed Chief Justice of Nova Scotia—a position he retained until his retirement in 1832. He died on 25 October 1842, seven months after his 100th birthday.

Blowers married Sarah Kent in Boston in 1774. They had no children but adopted Sarah Ann Anderson, who later married William Blowers Bliss, the son of Blowers’ friend Jonathan Bliss and later puisne judge for the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.

In his will, Blowers provided for his wife and left small legacies to his sisters, nieces, and nephews, but the bulk of his estate went to Sarah Ann, his adopted daughter.


1742 (birth) to 1774: Boston, Massachusetts.
1774 to 1777: England
1777 to 1781: Lived mostly in Newport, R.I., with brief stays in Boston, Halifax, and England.
1781 to 1783: Lived in British-controlled New York, working in the British Vice-Admiralty Court.
1783 to 1842 (death): Lived mostly in Halifax, N.S., and frequently summered at his farm in Windsor, N.S.

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Bliss, William Blowers (1795 - 1874)

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William Blowers Bliss married Sampson Blowers' adopted daughter, Sarah.

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Bliss family (Saint John) (Branch begins in 1742)

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In 1763, Sampson Blowers graduated from Harvard alongside his friend Jonathan Bliss, with whom he would maintain a friendship even after emigration.

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