Date Published: 1873 - 1887
Edition: 1st Edition
Binding: No binding & soft cover
HISTORICAL & IMPORTANT EARLY ONTARIO LOCAL HISTORY COLLECTION
The collection includes two holograph letters and one 64 page diary all items covering a time period from 1873 to 1887
These Bruce family members were very successful Scottish emigrants in 1842 to Upper Canada (Markham area) in business, farming, milling (Bruce's Mill). They were all very active politically as evidenced by the content, authors and other people referred to.
3 Collection Items detailed:
#1 -1873 George Bruce letter from Senator David Reesor
April 1, 1873 Letter from Senator David Reesor to George Bruce about purchasing Bruce’s [Cheese] Factory.
BRUCE, George (1803-1875) & REESOR, Senator David (1823-1902)
2 page holograph letter with envelope. Letter; 10-7/8 x 8-5/8 inches flat, folded to 5-3/8 x 8-5/8 with embossed red "the Senate Canada" red logo on front page. Envelope: 5-1/2 x 3 inches with embossed red "the Senate Canada" red logo on flap.
The letter from Reesor is 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. 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]).
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).
#2 -1881 Robert Bruce 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.
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.
Robert Bruce (1820-1894) Miller, Reeve of Markham in 1884 to 1886 and Mayor of Markham 1887 to 1888. 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.
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
#3 - 1886/87 Holograph Diary of Alexander D. Bruce
BRUCE, Alexander Duncan (1868-1956)
Alexander D. Bruce was a miller in Carrick Mills, Ontario, Grain Merchant, Mayor of Markham, Author, Historian, and 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)
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. Very good+ condition.
Alex D. Bruce's most interesting and historically important 64 page diary comments are 'political" comments given his family’s involvement in Liberal politics for a long time which obviously interest him at 19 years of age.
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.
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 19 years old.
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.
Very Good. Item #7877