Kingston [Upper Canada]: 8 November 1803. Folio (ca. 32,5x20 cm). 1 p. (with three lines on verso). Brown ink on watermarked laid paper. Fold marks and minor separation on folds, paper age toned at extremities, but overall a very good letter.
An interesting document from one of the prominent loyalist families of the Upper Canada. This is a private letter from the first Anglican missionary in Upper Canada John Stuart to his son James Stuart, then a secretary of Lieutenant Governor of Lower Canada, and subsequently Attorney General and Chief Justice of Lower Canada.
Stuart’s main concern in the letter is the fate of his second daughter Mary (then 16 years old), who was to move to Montreal, so James as her older brother was to take care of her: “A sudden opportunity offers today to send Mary to Montreal, under the care of Mr. & Mrs. Hamilton, late Publicans in Queenstown <…> Of course she must remain with Mrs. Reid till she can with Conveniency and Propriety be delivered into Mrs. Mountain’s hands <…> I must depend wholly on you to have her moved to Quebec, when and how you find most expedient and proper <…> I happened to be almost without cash; but I have given her a couple of Half Joes, which will serve her Purpose, till you receive her. I need not say that her Expenditures at Quebec must be regulated by you. Therefore, whatever small Articles of Dress Mrs. Mountain recommends, you will procure and have them charged to me.”
John Stuart also mentions that his sons Charles and George (with his new wife) arrived “in good Health and Spirits.” It’s interesting to see Stuart’s notes about his new daughter-in-law (Lucy Brooks, whose father was to become a governor of Massachusetts in 1816): “She is very small, but I think he has made a judicious choice. The Family is respectable; and if I may judge by the Baggage (two Cart Loads) he must have made a pretty good Bargain in a worldly sense. Indeed, we have every reason to approve of his choice.”
The Reverend John Stuart was the first Anglican missionary in Upper Canada. He was raised and educated in Philadelphia, and came to Canada in 1781 as Chaplain to Sir John Johnson’s Royal Yorkers. He was a schoolmaster in Montreal in 1781-85; Missionary to the Mohawks at the Bay of Quinte and to the Whites in Kingston in 1785-1811; Bishop’s Official for Upper Canada in 1789-1811; Chaplain to the Legislative Council of Upper Canada in 1792-1807. He was the first school master in Upper Canada and he induced Lieutenant-Governor Hope to erect a school house in Kingston.
Sir James Stuart,1st Baronet of Oxford (1780-1853), an important figure in the law and politics of the Upper Canada. He was called to the bar in 1801, served as a secretary for Lieutenant Governor Sir Robert Shore Milnes, was a member of the Legislative Assembly of the Lower Canada for a number of terms in 1808-1816. He supported the Union of Upper and Lower Canada and served as Attorney General for the Lower Canada in 1825-1831. In 1838 he was appointed Chief Justice of Lower Canada; in 1839-1841 was a member of the Special Council to govern the province after the Lower Canada Rebellion.
Mary Stuart (1787-1812), seventh child and second daughter of the Revd. John Stuart and Jane Okill. Married in Kingston on 8 June 1807 the Hon. Charles Jones (1781-1840), M.L.C. Of Brockville, a businessman and politician of the Upper Canada.
George-Okill Stuart (1776-1862), and Anglican clergyman and educator, a Bishop’s Official for Upper Canada (1812-21), archdeacon of Upper Canada (1821-27), archdeacon of Kingston (1827-62), a member of the council for Trinity College (1851), the first dean for the district of Ontario (1862). In October 1803 he married Lucy (1775-1813), the daughter of John Brooks, later governor of Massachusetts (1816-1823).
Charles Stuart (1782-1816), Sheriff of the Midland District (1811?-1815).
For the detailed entries on different members of John Stuart’s family see: Young, A.H. The Revd. John Stuart, D.D., U.E.L. Of Kingston, U.C. And His Family: A Genealogical Study. Kingston, .
Price: $525.00 USD