Title and statement of responsibility area
Sidney Smith fonds
General material designation
- Textual record
Other title information
Title statements of responsibility
- Source of title proper: Title based on the creator of the fonds
Level of description
Edition statement of responsibility
Class of material specific details area
Statement of scale (cartographic)
Statement of projection (cartographic)
Statement of coordinates (cartographic)
Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
- Sidney Smith
Physical description area
5 cm of textual records
Publisher's series area
Title proper of publisher's series
Parallel titles of publisher's series
Other title information of publisher's series
Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series
Numbering within publisher's series
Note on publisher's series
Archival description area
Name of creator
Sidney Smith was born October 16, 1823 at Port Hope, Upper Canada, to John David Smith and Augusta Louisa Smith. John David Smith sat in the House of Assembly of Upper Canada of Durham from 1828 to 1830. Sidney Smith was the grandson of Elias Smith. Elias was a successful merchant and trader, who left New York to settle in Upper Canada and who founded Port Hope in 1792. Sidney Smith studied law in the office of his brother, John Shuter Smith, and was admitted to the bar in 1844. Smith married Mary Ann Bennett of Cobourg, Upper Canada, on January 21, 1845. He continued to practice law throughout his life, first in Cobourg and later acted as solicitor for the Commercial Bank of the Midland District, the Bank of Montreal, the Midland Railway of Canada, the town of Cobourg, and then in Peterborough. In 1853 he was elected a municipal councilor for both Cobourg and the township of Hamilton, and was the warden for Northumberland and Durham. In 1854, Smith was elected as a Reformer to the Legislative Assembly for Northumberland West and was re-elected in 1857. From February 2, 1858 until the government's defeat on the Militia Bill in May 1862, Smith was the postmaster general in the cabinet of John A. Macdonald and George-Etienne Cartier and was also a member of the Board of Railway Commissioners. Also in 1858, Smith introduced the Upper Canada Jurors' Act and carried it through the assembly. Smith's most notable accomplishment while in office occurred in 1859 when he concluded arrangements with the United States, Britain, France, Belgium, and Prussia for mail services to Canada and the United States. By 1860, he gained abolition of Sunday labour in the Post Offices of Canada West. Smith was defeated in the general election of 1861 by James Cockburn but he was elected to the Legislative Council for Trent in the same year and was able to retain his portfolio of postmaster general. In 1863, he resigned his seat in the Upper House, sought election to the assembly of the constituency of Victoria, was defeated and resigned from politics permanently. He returned to full-time law practice in Peterborough and also served in the militia as captain of the Peterborough Infantry Company No. 2. In 1866 he was appointed inspector of registry offices for Canada West, and continued in that position for the province of Ontario after Confederation. Sidney Smith died September 27, 1889 in Cobourg, Ontario.
The items in the fonds remained in the possession of descendants of Sydney Smith, including the Honourable Chief Justice S. Bruce Smith, grandson of Sidney Smith. They were donated to the Trent University Archives by Professor Denis Smith, a great grandson of Sidney Smith, in 1964.
Scope and content
The fonds consists of textual records including articles of clerkship (September 19, 1839), indenture (January 25, 1851), requisitions and petitions (February 2,1860 - August 7, 1863), and correspondence. The fonds also includes transcripts on miscellaneous family historical items and two articles from the Globe, July 6 and 7, 1859, on the Ploughboy incident in Lake Huron.
Immediate source of acquisition
The fonds was donated by S.G. Denis Smith, Professor at Trent University in February 1964.
The fonds has been arranged into two series comprised of transcripts and articles, and original materials. Both of the series have been organized chronologically.
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Other materials relating to Sidney Smith can be found at the Library and Archives Canada (MG 24) and at the Provincial Archives of Manitoba.
transcripts of articles
a) Peterborough Examiner reprint 20 Oct, 1864
b) Sketches of Celebrated Canadian, by Henry J.Morgan, 1862
c) an account of the "Bluestone" house in Port Hope
d) Globe reprint of 1859
e) Globe articles, 5-6 July, 1859, on Ploughboy accident in Lake Huron
f) genealogical information on Elias Smith and his descendants
g) transcript from Poole's History of Peterborough 1867 dealing with volunteer fire company membership
a) articles of Clerkship of Sidney Smith, 19 Sept, 1839
b) indenture of J.S. Smith and Sidney Smith, 25 Jan 1851
c) Trent Division Catholic campaign literature,1860?
d) requisition (on Smith's return from overseas "postal" mission, 2 Feb 1860)
e) letter from W.H. Draper, friendly and newsy, 9Dec 1862
f) petitions requesting Smith not to move to Peterborough, 7 Aug 1863; two petitions
g) letter from Arthur Maclean relating to thepetitions, 26 Sept, 1863