Sampson Salter Blowers – Loyalist


Sampson Salter Blowers (March 10, 1742 – October 25, 1842) was a noted North American lawyer and jurist.

He was born in Boston, the son of John Blowers and Sarah Salter, but was raised by his maternal grandfather, Sampson Salter, after the death of his parents. He was educated in Boston and at Harvard College, then went on to study law. Blowers is probably most noted as one of the defence attorneys representing the soldiers accused after the Boston Massacre, along with such notables as John Adams and Josiah Quincy Jr.

In 1774, he married Sarah Kent, and went to England with her later that year. He returned to Newport, Rhode Island in 1778; he was arrested after travelling to Boston to visit his sick wife. He was later released and returned to Newport as a judge in the vice admiralty court.

In 1783, he went to Halifax, Nova Scotia. The following year, he was appointed attorney general for New Brunswick but refused the post, not wanting to relocate his family. Later that year, he was named attorney general for Nova Scotia. In 1785, he was elected to the Nova Scotia House of Assembly for Halifax County and was chosen to be speaker for the assembly. In 1788, he was named to Nova Scotia’s Council. In his later years, he served as Chief Justice of Nova Scotia for 36 years, from 1797 to 1832. Blowers was also judge in the vice admiralty court from 1821 to 1833. Because Blowers put the onus on slave owners to prove that they had a legal right to purchase slaves, slavery died out in Nova Scotia early in the 19th century. He was a member of the board of governors for King’s College in Windsor, Nova Scotia.

Blowers died in Halifax in 1842 soon after he broke his hip in a fall. Most of his estate went to his adopted daughter, Sarah Ann Anderson, who had married William Blowers Bliss.