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Description found in Archives

Sir James Edward Alexander fonds [textual record, cartographic material, graphic material]. 



Place of creation

No place, unknown, or undetermined

0.3 cm of textual records (12 p.).
3 maps.
91 drawings pen and black ink.
5 watercolours.
3 prints.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of notes on the means of determining the boundaries of British North America by Sir James Edward Alexander, K.L.S., of the 14th Regiment. Included are maps of the disputed territories: the Maine-New Brunswick boundary and the Oregon territory. The three maps are titled: "The Disputed Territory on the N.E. Boundary of the U. States" (map of the Maine-New Brunswick border), "The Oregon Territory in dispute between Gt. Britain and the U. States" and a copy of "Part of De L'isle's Map of Canada published at Paris, 1783". The notes are dated 21st July 1842 at Point Frederick, Kingston. Fonds also consists of drawings, watercolours and prints by Alexander nearly all of outdoor scenes including other officers, local people, buildings and numerous places; an obtiuary portrait of Alexander; and a poem eulogizing him.

Graphic (art)
90: Open
Textual records
90: Open
90: Open
Archival reference no.
Former archival reference no.

Terms of use

Graphic material: No restrictions on use or reproduction. Copyright expired. Credit: National Archives of Canada.

Graphic material: Some item level descriptions available in the MINISIS database. (Electronic)

Biography / Administrative history

Sir James Edward Alexander was born October 16 in Stirling, Scotland. After entering the British army, he joined the 14th (The Buckinghamshire) Regiment of Foot on 18 June 1830. On 24 April 1838, he was put on half pay but appears to have been put on full service once again by 1840 as he was commissioned captain on 11 September of that year. He was knighted ca. 1841 and was appointed to the staff of the Commander-in-Chief of the forces in Canada. The 14th Regiment of Foot itself arrived in Quebec on 2 June 1841 and remained in Canada until 1845. Alexander appears to have lived in Kingston for some time as he made application for the conveyance of his family to Colonel Everar on 7 February 1842. In 1844, a survey under the direction of Sir James Edward Alexander was conducted for a proposed military road in New Brunswick through Lutes Mountain near Moncton.

Alexander toured North America before his military service in Canada, recording his impressions in Transatlantic Sketches, comprising visits to the most interesting scenes in North and South America and the West Indies with notes on Negro slavery and Canadian emigration (2 vols., London, 1833). He also wrote of his Canadian travels in L'Acadie; or seven years' exploration in British North America (2 vols., London, 1849), and in the first volume of Passages in the life of a soldier or, military service in the east and west (2 vols., London, 1857). He also contributed material to Sir Richard Bonnycastle's Canada as it was, is, and may be (1852) and he edited William Agar Adamson's Salmon Fishing in Canada (London, 1860) based on the hobby of William Agar Adamson on the Saguenay and Moisie Rivers. He spent several years in Canada and died in Scotland.

Additional information

Graphic material acquired at the Montreal Book Auction.

Subject heading

1. Great Britain. Army - Officers, 1842.
2. Boundary disputes, 1842.
3. Boundary disputes - Maps, 1842.
4. Maine Boundary Dispute, 1842.
5. Maine - Boundaries - Canada, 1842.
6. Canada - Boundaries - Maine, 1842.
7. Oregon Question, 1842.
8. British Columbia - Boundaries - Northwestern States, 1842.
9. Northwestern States - Boundaries - British Columbia, 1842.


Other system control no.

Related control no.

1. 1977-022 PIC
2. 1982-030 PIC
3. 1992-491 X DAP
4. 120-080191-1