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Series consists of records created and/or maintained by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada. The series includes: correspondence received in Upper Canada, 1792-1841; Lieutenant Governor's internal letter books, 1805-1841; letter books of correspondence with the British Treasury, 1793-1834; and Civil Secretary's letter books, 1799-1840.
Copyright belongs to the Crown.
In order to protect the fragile originals, many records in this series have been microfilmed and the originals withdrawn from circulation. The microfilm must be used for consultation and copying rather than the originals. Further details are provided in the relevant sub-series and sub-sub-series descriptions.
Instrument de recherche
Finding aids that relate to the contents of specific sub-series and sub-sub-series are described in the entries for those lower levels. See also the finding aids cited in the fonds-level description. Although they were prepared many years ago according to an arrangement schema which has been superseded, those finding aids continue to have descriptive value for records in this series. (Papier)
Biographie / Histoire administrative
From the date of his swearing the oath of office, each Governor exercised the civil powers delegated to him by a Commission from the Monarch, in accordance with the accompanying Royal Instructions and such supplementary instructions as were received formally or through despatches from the Colonial Office. From 1786 until Confederation, the Governor-in-Chief of Quebec or Lower Canada held Commissions authorizing him to administer the other provinces of British North America, but in fact the Lieutenant Governors appointed to administer those provinces exercised the office of governor and fulfilled the Royal Instructions for their respective jurisdictions.
The Governor or Lieutenant Governor of each colony in British North America may be seen to have maintained three levels of communication, which are reflected in the structure of the record-keeping systems in their offices. At the first level were despatches exchanged with the Colonial Office (for which see the description of despatches in the Correspondence with the Colonial Office series, elsewhere within this fonds). At the second level were despatches exchanged with fellow governors and senior officials who might be categorized as colleagues. The entry books demonstrate substantial variations in place and time as to who was considered a colleague. At both levels, the despatches were prepared for the governor's signature (though rarely in his own hand). At the third level were letters addressed to and received from subordinates (for which see the description of the Secretaries' correspondence in the Civil Secretary's correspondence received sub-series in the Office of the Governor-in-Chief of the Province of Canada series, elsewhere within this fonds). Responsibility for preparing and signing correspondence at this level was delegated to the Private, Civil or Military Secretaries. Great consistency is evident in the segregation of despatches prepared in the Governor's name (first and second levels) from letters prepared at his orders but signed by his Secretaries (third level).
As a representative of the Crown in and for the colonies of British North America, each Governor or Lieutenant Governor undertook certain responsibilities for external relations and was obliged to maintain a close degree of co-operation with the British Minister at Washington. Filing practices demonstrate that the despatches were considered as communications with colleagues. The same may be said of correspondence with the Commander of the Forces.
Lieutenant Governors and administrators of Upper Canada between 1792 and 1841 include: John Graves Simcoe, Lieutenant-Governor, 8 July 1792; left the country 20 July 1796. Peter Russell, Administrator, 20 July 1796 - 17 August 1799; Peter Hunter, Lieutenant-Governor, 17 August 1799; died 21 August 1805. Alexander Grant, Administrator, 11 September 1805 - 25 August 1806. Francis Gore, Lieutenant-Governor, August 1806; went to England on leave 8 October 1811; remained in England but continued to participate in the conduct of the affairs of Upper Canada; returned 21 September 1815. Isaac Brock (knighted in 1812), Administrator, 9 October 1811; killed 13 October 1812. Roger Hale Sheaffe, Administrator, 20 October 1812 - 19 June 1813; Baron Francis de Rottenburg, Administrator, 19 June - 13 December 1813; Sir Gordon Drummond, Administrator, 13 December 1813 - 25 April 1815; Sir George Murray, Provisional Lieutenant-Governor, 25 April - 30 June 1815; Sir Frederick P. Robinson, Provisional Lieutenant-Governor, 1 July - 21 September 1815; Francis Gore, resumed government, 21 September 1815; left the country, 11 June 1817. Samuel Smith, Administrator, 11 June 1817 - 13 August 1818; Sir Peregrine Maitland, Lieutenant-Governor, 13 August 1818 - 4 November 1828. Maitland acted as Administrator of Lower Canada following the death of the Duke of Richmond. During his absence from Upper Canada, 8 March - 30 June 1820, Samuel Smith acted as Administrator. Sir John Colborne, Lieutenant-Governor, 4 November 1828; resigned and relieved, 25 January 1836. Sir Francis Bond Head, Lieutenant-Governor, 25 January 1836 - 23 March 1838; Sir George Arthur, Lieutenant-Governor, 23 March 1838 - 10 February 1841. RG7 General Inventory
The term letter book has been used generally to describe volumes in which the text of documents was recorded. Entry book is the more correct generic term for such volumes, when all manner of documents are recorded therein; letter book should be reserved for volumes in which only correspondence was recorded.
The index to an entry book can facilitate access to records outside the series in which it is located and to which it immediately relates. Incoming correspondence can be traced and identified through the dates and other clues provided in the replies.
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