Date Published: 1844 to 1892
Edition: 1st Edition
Binding: No binding & soft cover
HISTORICAL & IMPORTANT EARLY ONTARIO FAMILY COLLECTION
The collection includes 21 items, specifically, two holograph Ontario diaries by Alexander D. Bruce, one 61 page diary (March 1884-April 15, 1885) one 64 page diary (Apr. 10, 1886, to Apr. 23, 1887, three holograph letters and 4 Cheese Factory related documents, Crofting Agreement dated Markham, 23 April 1844 plus 9 original photos of family members and one large photo copy of 15 other family members. These Bruce family members were very successful Scottish emigrants in 1842 to Upper Canada (Markham area) in business, farming, milling (Carrick Mills renamed later to Bruce's Mill). They were all very active politically as evidenced by the content, authors and other people referred to. Absolutely fascinating first hand political perspective from a local, to national perspective.
21 Collection Items detailed:
Alexander D. Bruce Holograph 2 Diaries author background:
BRUCE, Alexander Duncan (1868-1956)
Alexander D. Bruce was a miller at Carrick Mills, Ontario, Grain Merchant, Mayor of Markham, Author, Historian, long time Liberal political supporter / fund raiser and President of the Bethesda and Stouffville Telephone Company. He married Louise Eastwood (1857-1942). A.D. Bruce had six siblings (4 sisters and two brother). Some Bruce family background include in 1842 William Bruce (uncle) and his father Robert Bruce (1820-1894) bought the mill and renamed to Carrick Mills in honour of Robert the Bruce, Earl of Carrick (later named Bruce's Mill) and bought some adjoining property. His uncle's William and John were part of the militia that went to the Northwest Rebellion in 1885. A grain elevator was built in 1908 by Hiram Powers of Unionville, on the east side of the tracks opposite the train station. It was purchased by A. D. Bruce in 1909.
#1) 1884/85 Holograph Diary of Alexander D. Bruce
This holograph diary 6-1/2 x 8 inches, black soft cover, 61 pages (paginated) inside, neatly written in 1884 [March 1884 to April 15, 1885. Alexander D. Bruce "Sandy" was 16 / 17 years of age. Alex D. Bruce's most interesting and historically important 61 page diary comments include many 'political" comments given his family’s involvement in Liberal politics for a long time which obviously interest him at 16 & 17 years of age. Front cover almost separated, binding loose, hole in page 24 and half of page 40 & 41 missing 24, otherwise, good condition.
Alex D. Bruce’s political comments and or observations include comments on Sir John A. Macdonald bribery scandal, Mowat Banquet, Blake, and Father at County Council meetings. British in Khartoum (General Gordon Killed) and the Mahdi. The Russians, British, Afghans at war. Northwest Rebellion and the Bruce cousins at the front. Louis Riel. Trouble around Fort Carlton, and Frog Lake. There are in addition, the bulk of the diary made up of many many other "daily life" situations and events commented on such as a poem by Robert Bruce (1820-1894) sent to the Caledonian Literary Society.
A fascinating read and insight into local history of early life and rare political insights by a young Alexander D. Bruce from 1884/85 at 16 & 17 years old.
#2) 1886/87 Holograph Diary of Alexander D. Bruce
This holograph diary 4 x 6-1/2 inches, black soft cover, 64 pages (unpaginated) inside, neatly written in 1886 [Apr. 10, 1886, to 1887 [last date noted Apr. 23, 1887 on page 60]. Alexander D. Bruce "Sandy" was 18 & 19 years of age. Alex D. Bruce's most interesting and historically important 64 page diary comments include many 'political" comments given his family’s involvement in Liberal politics for a long time which obviously interest him at 18 & 19 years of age. Very good+ condition.
His political comments and or observations include Sir John A. Macdonald, Alexander Mackenzie, Hon. Edward Blake, Robert Bruce (his father) Mayor of Markham and the County Council meetings in Toronto Court House. There are in addition, the bulk of the diary made up of many many other "daily life" situations and events commented on such as his cousin William Bruce in a Shooting contest in Ottawa. Items noted below in the diaries relate to Canadian events that were happening at the time. For example, The Northwest Rebellion could easily have resulted in a Civil War in Canada between the French and the English (just after American Civil War).
A fascinating read and insight into local history of early life and rare political insights by a young Alexander D. Bruce from 1886/87 at 18 /19 years old.
#3) 1881 Robert Bruce Political letter from Sir James David Edgar
EDGAR, Sir James David (1841-1899) & BRUCE, Robert (1820-1894)
• 3 page holograph letter about 1881 York East politics with envelope. Letter; 9 x 6-7/8 inches flat, folded to 4-1/2 x 6-7/8 inches with embossed red "the Senate Canada" red logo on front page. Envelope: 5-1/2 x 3 inches. Both envelope and letter black with 1/4 inch black border and marked Private on first page of letter.
The letter is a most interesting political response from Edgar regarding losing the York East Liberal candidate in 1881 nomination to Alexander Mackenzie. Mackenzie would be moving from Lambton to East York to run for MP in that riding which he did, and succeeded. Most interesting insight into a Federal riding back room politics involving the past 2nd Prime Minister of Canada, MacKenzie and two very well know local Liberal participants in an important Federal Liberal nomination one of them, [Sir] James David Edgar. Clearly shows Robert Bruce (1820-1894) with strong Liberal political involvement. No wonder the letter was marked “private” and perhaps even why the black border stationary was used with usually indicated “death”.
Alexander Mackenzie, Canada’s 2nd Prime Minister from Nov.7, 1873 to Oct.8, 1878. Defeated in Dec. 1878 remained leader of the Liberal Party for another two years. Alexander Mackenzie moved to Toronto after his party’s defeat in 1878, and was elected the York East Liberal candidate in 1881 defeating David Edgar. MacKenzie was elected on June 20, 1882 in York East, which seat he would hold until his death.
Robert Bruce (1820-1894) He was the head of the Bruce family. He was a Miller, Politician, Reeve of Markham in 1884 to 1886 and Mayor of Markham 1887 to 1888, Political Fund Raiser, Writer and Businessman, (Money Lending/Mortgages) and a Cheese Factory, among other small businesses. Also Deputy Mayor and County Council in Toronto (York). Married Janet Dickson (1836-1882) in 1855. In 1842 William and Robert Bruce bought the mill and some adjoining property and changed the name of the mill to Carrick Mills (later renamed Bruce's Mill) in honour of their home in Scotland. Robert Bruce, a prominent citizen in the area, was obviously a very strong supporter and organizer to help elect Alexander MacKenzie in East York in 1882.
Sir James David Edgar (1841-1899) was a lawyer, journalist, author, politician, and businessman. It was to the field of politics that Edgar devoted most of his energies. George Brown gave him an important organizational role in the 1867 Reform Convention in Toronto, as secretary of a provisional central executive committee, and later helped him to find a constituency to run in. Over the next few years Edgar played a central role in the organization of the party. Between 1867 and 1876 he was secretary of the Ontario Reform Association. Although he was not in the house between 1874 and 1878, the years of Alexander Mackenzie’s administration, he was the Liberal leader’s chief political contact in Toronto. In 1881 he failed to get the Liberal nomination in York East and in the general election. In 1884 that the party finally found him a safe seat, Ontario West, which he would hold in the general elections of 1887, 1891, and 1896. During the 1880s, too, Edgar figured significantly in the development of party policy. He had been a “strong party man,” Laurier told the commons, a tribute which aptly summed up Edgar’s service to Canada.
George Badgerow (1841-1892) was the Ontario riding MPP representation in York East for seven years in the 4th Parliament June 5, 1879 – February 1, 1883 and 5th Parliament Feb. 27, to 1883 Nov. 15, 1886
#4) 1892 Letter from Robert Bruce (1820-1894) – from Glasgow Hotel back home to family re his visit to Liverpool – “greatest shipping port in the world”
• Robert Bruce describes hotel in Liverpool. He describes his ride on an omnibus (steam bus) travelling the length of the docks – for 2 pence he road 7 miles. He describes the journey by train to Glasgow in detail – “where is the coward that would not dare to fight for such a land” – Blackburn, Carlise, Kilmonack – arriving at half past nine P.M. He describes Glasgow – talks of next leg of the Journey
#5) 1872 & 1873 George Bruce 2 letters from Senator David Reesor and 4 other Cheese Factory related documents
• 2 page holograph letter 1872. Letter; 10-1/2 x 8-1/2 inches flat, folded to 2/34 x 5-1/4 inches
The letter is from Senator David Reesor to George Bruce about interest in Bruce’s Cheese Factory and pricing among other related things
• 2 page holograph letter April 1, 1873 with envelope. Letter; 10-7/8 x 8-5/8 inches flat, folded to 5-3/8 x 8-5/8
The letter from Senator David Reesor confirming the agreement for Ressor to buy George Bruce's [Cheese] factory and using this and Bruce's previous agreement letter to establish the formal "legal" agreement thereby avoiding paying a lawyer $10 to do so.
• Tender document for Union Cheese Factory - 1870 the one that Reesor buys a couple of years later.
• 1890 Telegram regarding cheese factory
• Deed of Land document 1903 for George Nobel the land the Cheese Factory sits on (as far as previous owner knows). There were two Cheese Factories apparently.
• Two letters from Imperial Produce to ADB around 1901 relating to cheese business.
George Bruce (1803-1875) emigrated to Markham UC area from Scotland with other family members in 1842. He later wrote a 135 page holograph diary in 1867 (Canada’s confederation year – Dominion of Canada) noting this about growing up in Monquitter, Scotland as well as relating to where he grew up and ancestors (Wilson, Mackie).
Senator David Reesor was a Liberal member of the Senate from 1867 to 1901 and one of Canada’s first Senators. His Uncle founded the Town of Stouffville. He was a businessman and he was an Editor of the Markham Economist and a Magistrate / Notary Public. David Reesor was also the 2nd Mayor of Markham in 1851, 1856-57 and 1859-60. (Previously Called Reesorville). Reesor’s settled the area in 1804. Reesor was also a Lieutenant-Colonel in the local militia. He died in Rosedale, Toronto in 1902. Emily McDougall his wife's father was one of fathers of Confederation (William McDougall [1822-1905]).
#6) Crofting Agreement dated Markham, 23 April 1844 between William Hendry and William Nigh.
• William Hendry was married to Christine Bruce (1808-1888) - Christine was part of the Bruce family that settled at Bruce’s Mill. The land in the deal was located near the Mill (adjacent property).
William Nigh to be allowed the use of land for the purpose of crofting or otherwise as he shall see fit – three acres of land situated upon Lot No 33 of the Fifth concession of Markham and lying to the West of the grist mill for the space of ten years – 1 pound 10 shillings/per year
2 pages – George Bruce’s (1803-1875) signature as a witness.
George Bruce (1803-1875) emigrated to Markham UC area from Scotland with other family members in 1842.
#7) Original Bruce's Family Photos (CC & CDVs) and 1 large copy photos of Bruce family
• William Bruce (1812-1891) Tin Type Circa 1858 Age 46
• Mary McRae Bruce (1803 – 1883) – CDV Circa 1853 Age 50 (Wife of GB BB1).
• Mary C. Bruce (1858 – 1927) – Cabinet Card, Age 25 (ADB’s Sister)
• John Bruce (1807 – 1898) CDV Circa 1862 Age 55 (Teacher).
• William Bruce’s House – 1911
• Robert Bruce (1820-1894) Picture taken in Ottawa circa 1880) with his Persian lamb coat and monocle.
• Alexander Duncan Bruce (1868-1956). Photo circa 1888.
• Mary Bruce & Annie Bruce Photo circa 1863.
• Louisa (Louie) Eastwood (1857-1942). Photo circa 1865. Alexander Duncan Bruce Wife - married in 1897.
• large copy of 15 photos of Bruce family
Very Good. Item #7877