Date Published: 1879
Letter size 4-7/8 x 4-7/8 inches flat, was folded. Hand-written 1879 letter from Samuel Dawson of Dawson Brothers, Montreal booksellers on their letterhead to Henry J. Morgan, Ottawa. Dated May 1, 1879. Included is a FREE frank envelope which contained the letter.
Letter contents refers to a couple of books Dawson thought had been sent to Morgan but were not and he was stating they would now be. Interesting that 2 copies of one of the books was Bibliotheca canadensis (1867) written by Morgan. Also interesting that Dawson is sending the letter with a FREE frank. Of further interest is this event regarding Dawson... the Liberal government of Alexander Mackenzie prepared a new bill, for the framing of which the minister of agriculture, Luc Letellier* de Saint-Just, relied on the advice of booksellers such as Dawson. The Act respecting copyrights (1875) protected the rights of authors and publishers and it received the approval of the British book trade and the Colonial Office, which was the only way copyright legislation in Canada could be successful in the 19th century.
Samuel Edward Dawson was a businessman, publisher, author, and civil servant. During his 30 years as a bookseller, Samuel Dawson had involved himself in other business ventures. Dawson emerged as an expert on international and Canadian copyright. Dawson had a reputation as a respected bookman through his prominence in trade organizations. He served as first vice-president of the Canadian Booksellers’ Association. John Joseph Caldwell Abbott appointed him queen’s printer on 7 Nov. 1891 with the rank of deputy minister.
Henry J. Morgan was a civil servant, author, and editor working most of his career as keeper of the public record for the secretary of state in Ottawa. His Bibliotheca canadensis (1867), a bibliography of literary, historical, and political writings from 1763 to 1867, remains a valuable reference work on Canadian literature, broadly defined to embrace the popular, the official, and the little known. One of his most significant achievements there was the assembling and cataloguing of state records, an effort that helped lay the foundation for the later development of a national archives. He retired from the government in 1895 and devoted the remainder of his life to writing.