Series FC 3213 L55 019 and FC 3213 L55 020 - Rev. John Smithurst Correspondence

Transcript 1850 Aug 17 - Letter from Ross Transcript 1849 Sept 17 - Letter from Black Transcript 1849 July 24 - Letter from Mason Transcript 1849 July 10 - Letter from Hunter Transcript 1840 July 9 - Letter from Budd Transcript 1850 Feb 15 - Letter from Cowley Transcript 1842 Mar 23 - Letter from Cockran Transcript 1848 May 1 - Letter from D. Finlayson Transcript 1851 May 28 - Letter from Settee Transcript 1848 Sept 21 - Letter from Mason Transcript 1849 July 30 - Letter from Gear Transcript 1849 July 20 - Letter from Ballenden Transcript 1847 Jan 21 - Letter from Saxton Transcript 1849 June 4 - Letter from Gear Transcript 1850 Jan 10 - Letter from Mason Transcript prior to 1844 - Letter from Bird Transcript 1845 Sept 9 - Letter from Hunter Transcript 1849 Jan 14 - Letter from Garrioch Transcript 1851 May 20 - Letter from Lane Transcript 1849 Oct 1 - Letter from Mason Transcript 1846 July 6 - Letter from Thomas Transcript 1849 July 15 - Letter from Budd Transcript 1848 May 26 - Letter from Gear Transcript 1844 May 8 - Letter from Aillud Transcript 1840 June 10 - Letter from Bird to Cockran Transcript 1844 Sept 5 - Letter from Hargrave Transcript 1843 Mar 27 - Letter from Keith Transcript 1848 Apr 24 - Letter from Black Transcript 1846 Feb 1 - Letter from Budd Transcript 1849 Sept 21 - Letter from Cowley Transcript 1845 May 21 - Letter from Settee Transcript 1851 June 4 - Letter from Cockran Transcript 1845 Jan 7 - Letter from Budd Transcript 1842 Dec 30 - Letter from Budd Transcript 1841 Sept 1 - Letter from Cowie Transcript 1847 July 13 - Letter from Hunter Transcript 1845 Dec 27 - Letter from D. Finlayson to Smithurst Scan 1842 Alsop pg1&4 Scan 1842 Alsop pg2&3 Scan 1842 March Cockran pg1&4 Scan 1842 March Cockran pg2&3 Scan 1845 Budd pg1&4 Scan 1845 Budd pg2&3 Scan 1845 D. Finlayson pg1&4 Scan 1845 D. Finlayson pg2&3 Scan 1846 Budd pg1&4 Scan 1846 Budd pg2&3 Transcript 1841 Feb 22 & 25 - Alsop & Wasse 1 Transcript 1841 Feb 25 - Letter from Hugill 1 Transcript 1841 Apr 12 - Letter from Cockran 1 Transcript 1841 May 31 - Letter from Reddall 1 Transcript 1842 Apr 21 - Letter from Cockran 1 Transcript 1843 Feb 23 - Alsop and Wasse to Smithurst 1 Transcript 1843 May 27 - Letter from Chichester 1 Transcript 1844 Jun 28 - Letter from Budd 1 Transcript 1845 Feb 26 - Letter from Buckley 1 Transcript 1845 Apr 12 - Letter from Cockran Transcript 1846 Feb 7 - Letter from Alsop Transcript 1846 Feb 16 - Letter from Saxton Transcript 1847 Jan & Apr - Letter from Smith Transcript 1847 Mar 29 - Letter from Davies Transcript 1847 Apr 30 - Letter from Finlayson Transcript 1847 May 31 - Letter from Smith Transcript 1848 Jan 31 - Letter from Smith Transcript 1848 Apr 11 - Letter from Smith Transcript 1848 Jul 25 - Letter from Gear Transcript ca 1847 - Letter from Christie Jr Transcript 1846 Mar 19 - Letter from Christie Jr 1 Transcript 1849 May 8 - Letter from Saxton Transcript 1849 Sept 13 - Letter from Lane Transcript 1850 Jan 31 - Letter from Smith Transcript 1850 Sept 24 - Letter from Lane Transcript 1851 Jan 28 - Letter from James Transcript 1851 Feb 21 - Letter from Saxton Transcript 1851 Feb 27 - Letter from Buckley Transcript 1851 May 12 - Letter from Johnson Transcript 1851 Jun 2 - Letter from Lane Transcript 1852 Feb 23 - Letter from Smith Transcript 1852 July 8 - Extract from the Register Transcript 1857 Jan 5 - Letter from Gear Transcript 1857 April and May - Letter from Taylor Transcript 1857 Oct 20 - Elora Congregation Transcript 1857 Oct 22 - Report to Bishop Strachan Transcript 1857 Nov 3 - Letter from Smithurst Transcript 1862 Nov 19 - Letter from Geddes Transcript 1873 Jul 23 - Letter from Thomson Transcript 1873 Jul 29 - Letter from Bethune Transcript 1873 Apr 12 - Letter from Bethune Transcript 1859 May 11 - Letter from Robinson Transcript 1857 Nov 8 - Letter from Strachan Transcript 1842 Feb 17 - Letter from Alsop Transcript 1845 Oct 4 - Letter from Finlayson Transcript 1850 Nov 21 - Letter from Smith Transcript 1851 Oct 21 - Letter from Smith Transcript 1850 Nov 28 - Letter from Lane Transcript 1843 Jul 13 - Letter from the Corbetts Transcript 1846 Apr 25 - Letter from Strachan Transcript 1855 Dec 20 - Letter from Hogg 1 Transcript 1855 Dec 31 - Letter from Dewar Transcript 1856 Jan 11 - Letter from Dewar
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Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Rev. John Smithurst Correspondence

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  • Textual record

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FC 3213 L55 019 and FC 3213 L55 020

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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Date(s)

  • 1838 - 1862 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

Approximately 124 manuscript letters and miscellaneous documents, as well as 25 postal covers.

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The bulk of this collection of correspondence was written between 1838 and 1862, and addressed to Reverend John Smithurst, “Indian Settlement, Red River, North America.” The “Indian Settlement” was the home of Chief Peguis and his people, the Saulteaux, located at Netley Creek, a branch of the Red River south of Lake Winnipeg. Following his resignation in 1851, Rev. Smithurst immigrated to Canada West and settled in Elora and then Minto in what is now Ontario.

Rev. Smithurst was an Anglican missionary sent by the Church Missionary Society from England to Rupert’s Land to convert the First Nations and Metis peoples of the area known broadly as the Red River Settlement; modern-day Winnipeg, Manitoba encompasses many sites that made up the settlement. Ministering to the “Indians” and “Half-Breeds,” Rev. Smithurst was one of the handful of missionaries west of Canada during a period of social and political unrest, economic upheaval, starvation, disease, racism and classism. Rev. Smithurst was in contact with many influential people of the time, including Henry Budd and James Settee, the first Indigenous men to be ordained by the Anglican church in North America; Reverend William Cockran; Reverend Ezekiel Gilbert Gear, chaplain at Fort Snelling in modern-day Minnesota; Reverend William Mason, Rossville Mission Press printer; David Anderson, first bishop of Rupert’s Land; and Duncan Finlayson, governor of Assiniboia.

In the correspondence within this collection, missionaries privately share personal frustrations with their efforts to “civilize” and convert Indigenous peoples, while struggling to survive the landscape and navigate social conflicts.

Acquired with Rev. Smithurst's letters, and included here, are several miscellaneous letters, as well as correspondence for the Reverend C.E. Thomson, who succeeded Rev. Smithurst at the Elora parish, and correspondence for the Reverend Adam Townley, step-father to Rev. Thomson. Correspondents include: John Strachan, first bishop of Toronto; Alexander Neil Bethune, second bishop of Toronto; F.D. Fauquier, first bishop of Algoma; and George Whitaker, first provost of Trinity College in Toronto.

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Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

2010.019 Box 3 & 2010.020 Box 4. The collection is housed in Bruce Peel Special Collections, located in the Rutherford South building on the University of Alberta north campus in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Bruce Peel Special Collections is part of the University of Alberta Libraries.

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The Rev. John Smithurst Correspondence collection is available to students, staff, and the general public for use within the library’s supervised reading room upon presentation of valid photo identification (e.g., ONEcard, driver’s license, passport, or citizenship card with photo).

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Finding aid written by Catherine Little, 2016. Transcriptions revised and completed by Catherine Little, 2016. New transcriptions and entries added to the finding aid by Cori Sanderson, 2018.

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