The Novascotian is remembered as the newspaper of Joseph HOWE and as the embodiment of its motto, "The free constitution which guards the British press." It began under George R. Young in 1824, as the Nova Scotian or Colonial Herald. Howe assumed control in 1827, and thereafter the weekly reflected both the intellectual awakening of Nova Scotia and Howe's evolving political thought. A letter published in the Novascotian in 1835 led to his famous libel trial; upon his acquittal, he announced, "The Press of Nova Scotia is free."

By 1840 his publication was the leading provincial newspaper, with 3000 subscribers. Howe's growing political involvement forced the newspaper's sale during the 1840s. Under the Annand family, it remained the voice of liberal reform. During WWI it reached a peak circulation of 20 000, as the weekly Nova Scotian, Nova Scotia's Farm and Home Journal. Its support of the Union Government in 1917, however, alienated its readers and it was discontinued in the mid-1920s.