From 1821 to 1835 he was to serve as one of the firewards appointed by the Halifax Quarter Sessions to direct those fighting the flames and to decide on demolitions to stop the spread of fire.
By the end of hostilities between Britain and the United States in 1815, Samuel had become accustomed to conducting business in a wartime economy.
Lieutenant Governor Dalhousie [Ramsay*] selected Samuel Cunard and Michael Tobin to assist penniless immigrants arriving from Europe and Newfoundland at Halifax, and in the autumn of 1817 gave them £100, which they used largely to transport newcomers to districts in the province where they could find work or obtain board on farms for the winter in return for their labour.
To help Haligonians on the verge of starvation Tobin and Cunard opened a soup kitchen which distributed 100 gallons of soup daily.
Ignoring the stipulation of his appointment that he “give up every other occupation,” from the 1780s to 1812 Abraham slowly acquired property in the north suburbs near the dockyard, some of which he rented.
He was careful to obtain water rights for all lots fronting the harbour in order to build wharves.
Although probably hampered by lack of capital Samuel decided to diversify and expand the Cunard business.
From his position with the Royal Engineers he had become acquainted with army and navy officials and the company was soon known for prompt assistance to the admirals and generals and for obtaining needed supplies; it was paid generously with money or favours.Samuel Cunard’s father was a descendant of German Quakers who had immigrated to Pennsylvania in the 17th century.His mother’s family had immigrated from Ireland to South Carolina in 1773 and to Nova Scotia with the loyalists a decade later.In 1783 Abraham Cunard came with the British forces to Halifax where he was employed as a foreman carpenter in the army. 1799 Edward Augustus*, Duke of Kent, commander-in-chief in British North America, appointed Abraham master carpenter to the Contingent Department of the Royal Engineers at the Halifax garrison; he continued to work for the army until his retirement on 22 Oct. Abraham Cunard did not limit his career to his official duties.During the French revolution and the Napoleonic era the British army and navy greatly expanded their facilities at Halifax, creating a need for more houses, wharves, and commercial premises.In the winter of 1820 Cunard, Tobin, and John Starr administered a soup house at an expense of 50.