Sunday 21 April 2013

Authentic Letters from Upper Canada

Finished April 21
Authentic Letters from Upper Canada including an Account of Canadian Field Sports by Thomas William Magrath: the whole edited by The Rev. Thomas Radcliff: illustrated by Samuel Lover and Introduced by James John Talman.
[No image as book cover is plain green cloth]
This collection of letters dates from 1832 and 1833, and was originally published in 1833. This edition, with the introduction by Talman was published in 1952.
The letters originate from two families, the Magraths, a family of 8 plus one servant that immigrated to Canada from Ireland in 1827, and the Radcliffes, a party of 13 including servants that immigrated in 1832. Both groups were from the wealthier class of Irish, being able to afford more costs associated with starting out in a new country than most. Two of the twenty letters are from a servant girl in the Radcliffe party, but her name was changed by the editor. The editor was the elder Radcliffe who remained in Ireland. The letters provide detailed information on costs, the conditions of the time, and the activities undertaken by those who came to Upper Canada. They also describe the quick growth taking place at the time in the new communities, with the Radcliffes clearing their own land near the planned settlement of Adelaide in Middlesex County, and it being quite populated less than a year later. With letters from several men, one woman and a servant, this is an interesting snapshot of the times.


  1. I don't know this one at all! I've read all the Strickland family books, but this one sounds like a good addition to that set. I'm reading The History of Emily Montague right now, a fictional look at early Canada, but it is slow going.

  2. It's from the library Melwyk, so you should be able to ILL it if yours doesn't have it.