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Description found in Archives
1841-1874, predominant 1859-1867
Place of creation
4 microfilm reels.
Scope and content
The principal surviving documents from the Parliament of Canada are sessional records of the Legislative Council, 1854-1866 in series C 1. Only the Acts of 1852 and 1855-1857 survive in series C 6. Very few sessional records of the Legislative Assembly survive to form series C 2, C 3 and C 8. A far larger mass of account books and vouchers, principally for the Legislative Assembly, survived to form series C 4, C 5, and C 7. The records of debates found as series C 9 are taken from sources outside of Parliament.
Series C 1 is available only in exceptio
nal circumstances. Researchers should use the printed statutes and Journals (available in microform). Only photography is allowed for parchments, bound volumes, or other fragile documents.
Microfilm reel P-56
Microfilm reel RG 14 P-57
Microfilm reel P-54
Microfilm reel P-57
Microfilm reel P-55
Textual records The finding aid is a shelf list of the contents of the records of the Parliament of the Province of Canada. MSS0818 90 (Electronic)
Biography / Administrative history
The Parliament of the united Province of Canada succeeded the Parliaments of Upper and Lower Canada. Until 1856, the Legislative Council was appointive; thereafter, both Houses were elective. J.O. Coté's Political Appointments and Elections in the Province of Canada... (Ottawa, 1866) provides detailed information on elections and by-elections to both Houses, offices held by individuals and the dates of Parliamentary sessions.
The range of records created or accumulated by the legislature is indicated by the testimony of the Clerk of the Legislative Council and the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly given to the Select Committee inquiring into Judicial and Parliamentry records, the Report of which is printed as Appendix KK to the Journal for 1846. The extremely fragmentary survival of records in thecustody of Parliament itself, the mixing with them of records preserved by other agencies, and the disruption of their order makes the drawing of conclusions about records-creation and records-keeping practices of the legislature particularly difficult.
The conduct of elections was the responsibility of the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery, an office frequently held in plurality by the Civil and Provincial Secretaries. Election records are found in RG 4, B 72 for Canada East and RG 5, B 25 for Canada West. Few poll books are known to have survived with them, or elsewhere.
Many of the records created and accumulated by Parliament and its officers have perished in fires. The great number of surviving post-1854 petitions presented to the Legislative Council demonstrate the magnitude of that loss. The preservation of manuscript and printed copies of Parliamentary records by officials elsewhere creates the illusion of dispersal and survival. Copies of addresses, minutes, proceedings, resolutions and other documents were routinely supplied 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 fair copies of the governor's Speeches and Messages, for presentation and for printing.
A variety of documents relating to or derived from the business of Parliament may be found amongst the Civil Secretay's correspondence (RG 7, series G 14, G 18 and G 20), or the Provincial Secretary's numbered files (RG 4, C 1 and RG 5, C 1). Duplicate minutes of the Legislative Council for 1849-1851 are found in MG 40, A 1. Proclamations summoning, proroguing and dissolving Parliament, preserved by the Provincial Secretary, are found in RG 4, B 7. Oaths of allegiance are found in RG 1, E 11. Registers were kept by several officials to record the passage of Bills into Acts; two survive in RG 1, E 12. Those compiled by Gustavus William Wicksteed while Law Clerk in the House of Assembly survived with his personal papers (see MG 24, B 57).
Availability of other formats note
1. Bills, Legislative - Canada, 1852, 1855-1857, [1841-1864], "Mirror of Parliament", 1846, 1859-1860.
2. Canada. Legislature. Legislative Council - Publication of proceedings, 1841, 1843, 1857, [1841-1866] Samuel Thompson, 1846, 1859-1860.
3. Canada. Legislature. Legislative Council - Committees, [1841-1866] "declaration and receipt", [1842-1866]
4. Speeches, addresses, etc., Canadian, [1841-1866] "Journals", [1841-1866]
5. Governmental investigations - Canada, [1841-1866], 1859-1868 Canada. Legislature. Legislative Council. Committee on Contested Elections, [1841-1874]
6. Petitions - Canada, [1841-1866] Canada. Legislature. Legislative Assembly. Standing Committee on Contingent Accounts, 1859-1867.
7. Elections - Canada, [1841-1866] Canada. Legislature. Legislative Assembly. Standing Committee on Emigration and Colonization, 1792-1864.
8. Canada - History - 1841-1867, 1841-1866 Canada. Library of Parliament, [1849-1866]
9. Canada. Legislature. Legislative Assembly - Publication of p67, [1841-1864] Canada. Legislature. Legislative Assembly, [1841-1866]
10. Canada - Emigration and immigration - Government policy, [1792-1864] Canada. Legislature. Legislative Council, [1841-1867]
11. Canada - Colonization - [1792-1864]
12. Upper Canada - Emigration and immigration - Government policy, [1792-1864]
13. Upper Canada - Colonization, [1792-1864]
14. Lower Canada - Emigration and immigration - Government policy, [1792-1864]
15. Lower Canada - Colonization, [1792-1864]
16. Scrapbooks - Canada, [1854-1867]
17. Canada. Legislature. Legislative Assembly - Salaries, etc., 1842-1866, [1849-1866]
18. Canada - Officials and employees - Salaries, etc., [1849-1866]
19. Canada. Legislature. Legislative Assembly - Pensions, [1849-1866]
20. Public buildings - Canada - Maintenance and repair, [1849-1866]
21. Insurance policies - Canada, [1849-1866]
22. Politics and government. Canada
23. Politique et gouvernement . Canada
24. Parliament Buildings (Ottawa, Ont.) .
25. Édifices du Parlement (Ottawa, Ont.)
Other system control no.
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