Canada in records from colonial missionaries, 1722-1952

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Canadian records in the USPG archive, 1722-1952

Canadian records in the USPG archive, 1722-1952

The records are a treasure trove of local history, particularly social history, including primary and Sunday school education, the American Loyalists, [Maroons], Indians, immigration and emigration
Wallace BrowUniversity of New Brunswick

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The Canadian letters of these missionaries describe the country as they saw it

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'They went forth into that uncharted wilderness, not for the precious pelts nor the glittering gold, but for human souls' . These papers chart the development of the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel from its early days in Canada until its decline there. The majority of the reports included here are in fact narrative accounts submitted by members of the clergy working in various locations across Canada. This collection is an amalgamation of the following smaller collections from the USPG C series records relating to Canada to c.1860: Newfoundland; New Brunswick and Fredericton; Quebec and Montreal; Upper Canada and Toronto; Nova Scotia; and general papers, 1749-1864, including miscellaneous materials relating to various dioceses and to the merger with the Upper Canada Clergy Society in 1840. The USPG E series Reports for Canada from 1901-1952 are also included. Some central figures do stand-out as having more influence on the Society than most others; the Reverends John Clinch, F. H. Carrington, Aubrey G. Spencer, George J. Mountain, and Jehoshaphat Mountain are viewed as providing particularly valuable contributions to the Society. The Scovil family of ministers and the Venerable George Coster also receive a number of mentions. Wars and other such events don't receive much coverage in these papers; however, writings relating to the foundation of Canada's first schools, churches and universities do feature alongside information on epidemics and the living conditions in Canada during this period.


Canada in records from colonial missionaries, 1722-1952...

Containing 57,004 pages belonging to 91 documents housed in 10 volumes...

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USPG C series records relating to Newfoundland to c.1860

This grouping of correspondence covers the years from 1787 until 1880, its focus is mostly upon the various reverends who...

USPG C series records relating to New Brunswick to c.1860

These items cover the years 1783 to 1857, with the highest volume of correspondence written from St John, Fredericton, St...

USPG C series records relating to Fredericton to c.1860

Covering the years 1844 to 1860, these papers include both manuscript correspondence and printed content. Focal points include finances, schooling,...

USPG C series records relating to Quebec to c.1860

These papers cover the years from 1793 until 1860, the majority of the correspondence is focused upon the construction of...


  • A map of the principle settlements in Upper Canada provides some clues as to how Canada was first settled. The C Series Records for Upper Canada also seem to include plans to build a Cornwall Canal.
  • The narratives in the C Series correspondence for Nova Scotia reveal how uncertain the colonists were about whether to settle in Nova Scotia or not.
  • The E Series reports describe missionary life in Canada during World War One. They also include statistics, and photographs taken during peacetime.
  • The C Series records from Newfoundland include an article and some papers upon the minister and friend of Edward Jenner, who introduced the Smallpox vaccine to Canada.
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