Labrador is the continental part of the Canadian province called Newfoundland and Labrador. Jacques Cartier called Labrador, "The land God gave to Cain," in 1534. Historically, Labrador has been underdeveloped. Recently, however, much attention has been paid to the rich resources of Labrador (e.g. Voisey's Bay).

Interestingly, the provincial government of Quebec does not consider Labrador part of Newfoundland, and disputes the border. This dispute harkens back to 1906 when surveyors from Quebec claimed land being used by Labradorians. In 1909, Newfoundland (then an independent colony) tried to sell Labrador to Canada for 9 million dollars. They tried again in 1932 (for 110 million dollars). The borders between Quebec and Labrador were formally decided after Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949. Much later, Quebec Nationalists would regard this as a treasonous betrayal. Today, if you buy a map in Quebec you will see Labrador in the same color as Quebec, with a dotted line where the provincial boundary should be!

aside: the Webster 1913 definition is dated from an era when Newfoundland was a British colony.

Lab`ra*dor" (?), n.

A region of British America on the Atlantic coast, north of Newfoundland.

Labrador duck Zool., a sea duck (Camtolaimus Labradorius) allied to the eider ducks. It was formerly common on the coast of New England, but is now supposed to be extinct, no specimens having been reported since 1878. -- Labrador feldspar. See Labradorite. -- Labrador tea Bot., a name of two low, evergreen shrubs of the genus Ledum (L. palustre and L. latifolium), found in Northern Europe and America. They are used as tea in British America, and in Scandinavia as a substitute for hops.


© Webster 1913.

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