Militia officer in Seven Years’ War. Recruited Nova Scotia settlers from New England (1758-61), Ireland (1761), and elsewhere; interested several prominent colonists, including Franklin, in the scheme. With his associates, received a grant of 1,745,000 acres in Nova Scotia (1765); most of this land was later escheated. Sympathized with American Revolution; left Nova Scotia and advocated American invasion of the province (1778-81). Later promoted the settlement of “New Ireland,” a region embracing eastern Maine and southern New Brunswick.
Son of Alexander and Jane McNutt. Probably born in Londonderry, Ireland; immigrated to America (before 1753) and settled near Staunton, Virginia. Never married.