PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND, Canada, an insular province of the Dominion, and the smallest in area and population, in the southern part of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, separated east to west from Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick by the curving Northumberland Strait, from 10 to 30 miles wide. The greatest length of Prince Edward Island on a curve is about 150 miles, breadth varying from 4 to 34 miles, area, 2,184 square miles; it is the smallest province of the Dominion. The capital is Charlottetown (q.v.) which is connected by rail with all the princi pal points of the island. Other towns are Suni merside, Georgetown and Souris.
Topography, Physical Features and Nat ural The coast-line presents a re markable succession of large bays and pro jecting headlands. Of the latter the most prominent are North Cape on the northwest, West Cape on the southwest and East Cape on the northeast; the lareest bays are those of Richmond on the northwest, Egmont and Be deque on the southwest, Hillsborough on the south and Cardigan on the cast. The surface undulates gently, nowhere rising so high as to become mountainous, or sinking so low as to form a monotonous flat. The soil consists gen erally of a light reddish loam, sometimes ap proaching to a strong clay, but more frequently of a light and sandy texture. The prevailing rock is a Triassic reddish sandstone. The island is well watered by numerous streams and springs. At one time the whole island was densely covered with beech, maple, fir and other trees, and it is still well wooded, only about two-thirds of the area having been cleared. There are no minerals of any importance. The fisheries are valuable • the total value of the catch was $933,682. The most valuable item is the lobster, followed by the mackerel, cod, her ring and hake.
Climate.— The climate is much milder than that of the adjoining continent, and the air, gen erally free from the fogs which spread along the shores of Cape Breton and Nova Scotia, is remarkably salubrious. During the greater part of July, August and September the thermometer during the hotter hours of the day seldom varies more than from 75° to F.
Agriculture.— The island is eminently agri cultural and pastoral. Of its total area of 1,397,991 acres, very little is unsuitable for cultivation, but little more than half the area is under cultivation for field crops. The prin cipal products are oats, wheat, potatoes, turnips, apples, etc. In 1916 7,413,000 bushels of oats were raised, of a value of $4,522,000; 578,000 bushels of wheat of a value of $879,000; 6,386, 000 bushels of potatoes, of a value of $3,321, 000; and 338,000 tons of hay and clover of a value of $3,907,000. Good breeds of horses, cattle, sheep and swine are reared, and dairy farming has become a thriving industry; large quantities of cream, butter and cheese being manufactured, the dairy products in 1916 being valued at $593,659. A recent and flourishing industry is the breeding in captivity of the silver black fox.
Manufactures and Commerce.— The manu factures are chiefly confined to linen and flan nels for domestic use; there are also several tanneries, boot and shoe factories, manufac tures of tobacco, condensed milk, pork-packing establishments and some shipbuilding. The ex
ports for the year to 31 March 1917 were valued at $589,218, and the exports at $838,647.
Shipping and Communications.— In 1916 the shipping of the province was 130 sailing and 28 steamships, aggregating 11,518 tons, the ton nage of the steamers being 3,495. The Prince Edward Island Railroad, built by the Dominion government, connects the principal points of the island and has a length of 276 miles and a car ferry service gives connection with the main land. Telephonic communication extends throughout the island, which is also traversed in all directions by good coachroads.
Government.— The province is administered by a lieutenant-governor nominated by the Crown, who appoints an executive council of eight members, with a legislative assembly of 30 members, half elected on a property qualifica tion, and half on a popular franchise. The province was admitted into the Dominion of Canada in 1873, is represented in the Dominion House of Commons by four members, and has four representatives in the Senate.
Education and Religion.—Adopted in 1851 the free school system is administered by a gov ernment superintendent and council. In 1916 18,362 pupils were enrolled in 476 schools con ducted by 595 teachers, and $244,572 were ex pended for education. The membership of the principal religious denominations in 1916 was, Roman Catholics, 41,994; Presbyterians, 27,507; Methodists, 12,209; Anglicans, 4,939; Baptists, 5,905.
History.— Sebastian Cabot is supposed to have sighted Prince Edward Island after dis covering Newfoundland in 1497, but with more likelihood the honor is also assigned to Jacques Cartier (1634). It appears on Champlain's map under the name of Saint John and it was later included by the French in their vast and undefined territory of New France, and in 1663 was granted on a feudal tenure to a Sieur Doublet, a French naval officer. Little progress was made in settling the island till after the Peace of Utrecht in 1715, when its fertility at tracted numbers of settlers from Cape Breton. It was taken by the British in 1745; restored by the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle; again fell into British possession after the capture of Louis bourg in 1757, and its inhabitants shared in the Acadian expulsion. It became a dependency of Nova Scotia, was partitioned among a small body of proprietors in 1767 and was erected into a separate province in 1769. In 1862 re sponsible government was conceded. In 1873 the island was admitted into the Dominion of Canada, and in 1875 a scheme of land purchase expropriated the Proprietors. Pop. (1901) 103, 259; (1911) 93,727, of which 98.37 per cent were Canadian born. The density per square mile, 42.91, is the highest among the provinces of the Dominions ; but the population is declining. Consult Campbell,