James E. Brown, MP, collection of Mike Pearson and Louis St. Laurent PM’s series of 15 signed letters from 1954 to 1972 plus 9 ephemera
Date Published: 1954 to 1972
Edition: 1st Edition
Binding: No binding
This collection of a series letters and ephemera show a strong and long respected political and personal association with two leading Canadian Prime Ministers. Quite an interesting story being told with these letters to J.E. Brown over 18 years. Pearson and St. Laurent letters are now scarce to marketing, a rare collection.
James Elisha Brown [1913-1974] MP, was a Liberal member of the House of Commons of Canada for over 12 years. Brown was born in St. Marys, Ontario and became a lawyer after graduating from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1941. He was first elected at the Brantford riding in the 1953 general election and served a term in the 22nd Canadian Parliament. In 1955, he placed a motion on the Order Paper in 1955, urging that government consider extending the right to vote to all First Nations Canadians over the age of 21, who were ordinarily resident on a reservation. In 1967, Brown introduced a private member's bill in the House of Commons, launching a successful campaign to lower the voting age to 18, from 21. In 1963, Brown chaired a Canadian delegation to the United Nations. He also served as president of the World Federalist Movement-Canada in Ottawa. Another private member's bill he sponsored in 1969 advocated changing the name of “Dominion Day” (July 1st) to Canada Day. James Brown later was a Judge in Simcoe, Ontario.
Pearson and St. Laurent PM’s series of 14 signed letters to J.E. Brown, MP (8 from Lester Pearson, 1 from Maryam Pearson, 6 from Louis St. Laurent, (some of which have original mailing envelopes included).
(May 12, 1954) 7 x 4 inches, with light fold in centre. On "Office of the Prime Minister" letterhead. Letter from Louis St. Laurent on the occasion of Mr. James Elisha Brown's birthday, signed with inscription ("Dear Mr. Brown:").
(August 18, 1954) 8.5 x 11 inches, with two light folds. On "Office of the Prime Minister" letterhead. Letter from Louis St. Laurent responding to a letter sent by Mr. Brown on Aug. 13, 1954. Letter outlines St. Laurent's response to the matters discussed therein, and talking about his vacation schedule. Flat-signed. Letter includes original mailing envelope, stamped with St. Laurent's signature and a free frank stamp.
(January 16, 1956) 8.5 x 11 inches, with two light folds and some minor wear/creasing in upper-left corner. On "Office of the Prime Minister" letterhead. Letter from Louis St. Laurent responding to an editorial Mr. Brown sent to his office, and briefly mentioning recent reports he had received pertaining to the same matter. Flat-signed.
(September 30, 1957) 7 x 4 inches, with light fold in centre. On "Leader of the Opposition" letterhead. Letter from Louis St. Laurent responding to well-wishes from Mr. Brown, presumably in reference to St. Laurent's decision to step down from his role of Leader of the Opposition on June 21, 1957. Flat-signed.
(November 9, 1959) 8.5 x 11 inches, with two light folds. On "Leader of the Opposition" letterhead. Letter from Lester B. Pearson responding to a letter sent by Mr. Brown on Nov. 6, 1959, regarding the latter's optimism in government. Pearson references that the Liberal Opposition of that time has more work to do before it can garner national support. Flat-signed as "Mike Pearson".
(May 6, 1960) 7 x 4 inches, with light fold in centre. On "Leader of the Opposition" letterhead. Letter from Lester B. Pearson on the occasion of Mr. Brown's birthday, signed with inscription ("Dear Jim"). Flat-signed as "Mike Pearson".
(August 3, 1960) 8.5 x 11 inches, with two light folds. On "Leader of the Opposition" letterhead. Letter from Lester B. Pearson responding to a letter sent by Mr. Brown, expressing confidence in Pearson's work. Pearson mentions wanting to leave the "internment camp" he and other Liberals are currently in. Flat-signed as "Mike Pearson".
(January 18, 1962) 8.5 x 11 inches, with two light folds and light tanning/minor creasing in lower-right corner. Important letter from Lester B. Pearson responding to a "very kind, indeed, very generous" letter sent by Mr. Brown on Dec. 31, 1961. Pearson expresses joy at Mr. Brown's letter and requests his help in the next federal campaign, to once again run for a role as MP (in his Brantford riding), while also noting Brown's health. Mr. Brown would go on to run and win the riding on June 18, 1962. Flat-signed as "Mike Pearson".
(February 6, 1963) 8.5 x 11 inches, with two light folds. Letter from Lester B. Pearson asking Mr. Brown to bring greetings to the Annual Meeting of the Brandford Liberal Association on Feb. 8, 1963. Pearson mentions the previous federal campaign and summarizes various initiatives, with respect to combatting then-current Prime Minister John Diefenbaker's government spending. Pearson also expresses confidence in the Opposition's campaign and the residents of Brantford to lead the Liberals to victory. Flat-signed as "Mike Pearson".
(August 30, 1963) 8.5 x 11 inches, with two light folds. On "Prime Minister" letterhead. Letter from Lester B. Pearson responding to a letter sent by Mr. Brown on Aug. 24, 1963, regarding "pension matters". Pearson says he will consider the matters mentioned and discuss them when Mr. Brown returns to Ottawa. Flat-signed as "L.B. Pearson".
(February 5, 1965) 7 x 4 inches, with light fold in centre and very light creasing on left side. Letter from Lester B. Pearson to Mr. Brown, saying he missed a visit from the latter and bringing well-wishes to both Mr. Brown and a "Jack Brown". Initialed as "L.M."
(November 10, 1965) 7 x 4 inches, double-sided, with one light fold in centre. On "24 Sussex Drive" letterhead. Handwritten letter from Maryam Pearson (wife of Lester) outlining her comments to Helen Elizabeth Eddy (nee Brown) about the 1965 federal election, in which the Liberal Party gained more seats, but fell short of winning a majority. Interestingly, Mrs. Pearson refers to the election as being a "great disappointment" for both her and her husband, referring to seats being lost in the Western Territories as something she "doesn't understand". Mrs. Pearson concludes by expressing hope to meet soon in Ottawa. Flat-signed as "Maryam Pearson". Letter includes original mailing envelope, with 24 Sussex Drive branding.
(May 30, 1967) 9 x 13 inches, with foxing/waving on top edge of letter. On "St-Laurent, Monast, Desmeules & Walters" letterhead. Letter from Louis St. Laurent responding to a note from Mr. Brown regarding St. Laurent's appearance on the CBC television show "Front Page Challenge" on May 22, 1967. St. Laurent mentions being asked to appear on the program, and the reactions it garnered from his friends and associates. St. Laurent also mentions memories of the "years I spent in Ottawa and of the good friends like yourself and Mrs. Brown". Signed "Louis St. Laurent".
(January 5, 1968) 6 x 7-1/4 inches. Letter from Louis St. Laurent responding to from Mr. Brown regarding Christmas greetings and well wishes.
(November 2, 1972) 8.5 x 11 inches, with two light folds. On "International Development Research Centre" letterhead. Letter from Lester B. Pearson to Mr. Brown, responding to a request the latter made to have Pearson accept a "World Hero Award" from the World Federalists of Brantford organization. Pearson mentions that he is unable to accept the award due to "doctor's orders", and thanks both of them for writing. Pearson also mentions the inclusion of a "copy of the letter" he sent to the head of the organization (in which Pearson expresses regret that he cannot accept the award, saying he has been ordered by his doctor to rest for the indeterminate future), which is also included.
• 3 photos of Brown, St. Laurent and others at an event together
• 1 Press group photo including Brown and others: Group picture with light staining/glue residue on back. Description attached to frame reads as follows: 1963 @ Inverness, home of Ron & Muriel Macdonald, near Brantford. (L-R) Cathleen Brown (later ????), Muriel Macdonald, Hon. Ron Macdonald, Maryam Pearson (Mrs. LBP), MP Jim Brown, Elizabeth Brown, The Right Honourable Lester B. Pearson. Ron Macdonald was leader of the government in the Senate at the time.
• 1 Telegram dated Sept. 9, 1965. 8-1/2 11 inches. To Brown regarding attending a meeting in Ottawa to listen and discuss political campaign matters.
• 2 invitations for both Mr. and Mrs. Brown from Pearson's office (may be signed by Maryam for the 1967 Centennial celebrations),
• 2 Christmas cards with a handwritten greeting by St. Laurent
Lester Bowles "Mike" Pearson was a Canadian scholar, statesman, diplomat, and politician who served as the 14th prime minister of Canada from 1963 to 1968. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957 for organizing the United Nations Emergency Force to resolve the Suez Canal Crisis, which earned him attention worldwide. Pearson instituted a new national flag, the Maple Leaf flag, after a national debate known as the Great Canadian flag debate. He also instituted the 40-hour work week, two weeks vacation time, and a new minimum wage for workers in federally-regulated areas.
Maryon Pearson was best known for her sharp-tongued wit. A reputation as an outspoken figure who freely spoke her mind and had little use for the demure and quiet image fostered by many wives of previous prime ministers.
Louis Stephen St. Laurent was a Canadian lawyer and politician who served as the 12th prime minister of Canada from 1948 to 1957 and Canada's second French Canadian prime minister, after Wilfrid Laurier. Robert Gordon Robertson, wrote, "St Laurent's administrations from 1949 to 1956 probably gave Canada the most consistently good, financially responsible, trouble-free government the country has had in its entire history. St. Laurent was ranked #4 on a survey of the first 20 prime ministers.
Collection on consignment with LDRB.
Very Good. Item #8703