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Description found in Archives
Place of creation
Scope and content
The surviving records of the Parliament for Upper Canada consist of a few bound copies of the Journals for the Legislative Council, with Appendices; some Resolutions, order papers and drafts of Bills for the Legislative Assembly; and a complete set of the Acts engrossed on parchment. To appreciate these records in the context of their creation, reference may be had to testimony regarding records accumulated by the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly and the Clerk of the Legislative Council given to the Select Committee inquiring into Judicial and Parliamentary records, the Report of which was printed as Appendix KK to the Journal for 1846.
Textual records The finding aid consists of shelf lists for the B 1, B 2, and B 3 series. MSS0818 90 (Electronic)
Biography / Administrative history
The Constitutional Act of 1791 provided for the establishment of a Parliament in the new province of Upper Canada. The members of the Legislative Council were appointed by the Lieutenant Governor while members of the House of Assembly were elected. The first elections were held in 1792. Throughout the period 1792-1840, candidates and voters were required to be twenty-one and British subjects by birth or naturalization. Clergymen and members of the Legislative Council were not eligible to vote. By the Act of Union of 1840, the Parliament of Upper Canada was replaced in 1841 by that of the new united Province of Canada.
The conduct of elections was the responsibility of the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery, whose records are found in RG 5, B 25. Few poll books are known to have survived there or elsewhere.
Many of the records created and accumulated by Parliament and its officers have perished in fires, most notably the petitions presented to the legislature. The preservation of manuscript and printed copies of Parliamentary records by officials elsewhere creates the illusion of dispersal and survival. Copies of Address, minutes, proceedings, resolutions and other documents were supplied routinely to the governor's office, where the Civil Secretary ensured that these texts were forwarded to London for the information of imperial authorities, and kept on file for future reference. He was also responsible for preparing the formal texts of the governor's speeches to Parliament, for presentation and for printing, and for keeping reference copies.
A variety of documents relating to the business of Parliament are found among the Civil Secretary's correspondence in the Upper Canada Sundries (RG 5, A 1). Some speeches of and Addresses to the Lieutenant Governor are found in RG 5, B 3. Oaths of allegiance sworn by members of both Houses are found in RG 1, E 11.
1. Upper Canada. Parliament - Acts, 1792-1840.
2. Upper Canada. Legislative Council - Journals, 1815-1816, 1825-1828, 1840.
3. Upper Canada. Legislative Assembly - Records, 1806-1839.
4. Upper Canada. Legislative Assembly - Resolutions, 1806-1839.
5. Upper Canada. Legislative Assembly - Bills, 1806-1839.
6. Upper Canada - Politics and government, 1792-1840.
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