Fonds 75-005 - William Paterson fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

William Paterson fonds

General material designation

    Parallel title

    Other title information

    Title statements of responsibility

    Title notes

    Level of description


    Reference code


    Edition area

    Edition statement

    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


    • 1854-1914 (Creation)
      Paterson, William

    Physical description area

    Physical description

    1 m of textual records
    20 photographs
    6 maps

    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


    Biographical history

    William Paterson, minister of customs for Canada (1897-1911), was born in Hamilton, Upper Canada, on September 19, 1839, the son of James and Martha Paterson, of Aberdeen, Scotland. His parents died from cholera in 1849, and he was adopted by the Reverend Dr. Ferrier, a Presbyterian minister. He was educated at Hamilton and at Caledonia, Haldimand county, Upper Canada, and he went into business in Brantford, Upper Canada. There he established himself in 1863 as a manufacturer of biscuits and confectionery, and built up a successful business. In the same year he married Lucy Olive Davies, daughter of T.C. Davies of Brantford, Canada West. From 1872 to 1896 he represented South Brant in the Canadian House of Commons; and during the latter part of the period he became one of the leaders of the Liberal party in the House. In 1896 he was defeated for South Brant, but was returned for North Grey, and was appointed controller of customs, and in 1897 Minister of Customs, in the Laurier Administration. This Department he administered continuously, until the defeat of the Laurier Government in 1911, sitting successively for North Grey (1896-1900), North Wentworth (1900-1904), and Brant (1904-1911). In 1902 he was delegate to the Imperial Conference; and in 1911 he was one of the ministers who negotiated the abortive reciprocity agreement at Washington. He died at Picton, Ontario, on March 18, 1914. (taken from "The Macmillan Dictionary of Canadian Biography," fourth edition. 1978.)

    Custodial history

    This fonds was owned by and in the custody of Malcolm Montgomery, Q.C., before it was donated to the Trent University Archives.

    Scope and content

    This fonds consists of personal and political correspondence of William Paterson including personal correspondence of his wife, Lucy, and other family members; political papers, including petitions, copies of timber licenses and material on the Six Nations First Nation Reserve; notes and drafts of some of Paterson's speeches; and other records including receipts, dinner invitations, family photographs, scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings and loose clippings, and geological survey maps.

    Notes area

    Physical condition

    Immediate source of acquisition

    The fonds was donated by Malcolm Montgomery, Q.C.


    Language of material

      Script of material

        Location of originals

        Availability of other formats

        Restrictions on access


        Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

        Finding aids

        Associated materials

        Associated materials on the political life of William Paterson are located at the Archives of Ontario.

        Related materials


        General note


        Box 1


        1: Lucy Paterson, correspondence - from her husband William to her son Charles Gordon Paterson. Letter from William 12 July 1896 in Ottawa re: his thoughts on being in the Cabinet. Also, letter from William 5 May 1895 Ottawa. Letters from Charles, from Toronto, Buffalo, San Rafael, California; 27 letters, n.d.; 21 Jan 1893 - 14 Sept 1908; about family matters, university etc.

        2: Letters to Mrs. Paterson from family and friends including: Ella G. Charlton, Ottawa, 3 letters, 30 July 1891- 5 June 1984; Rob Cochrane, Toronto, 3 letters, 8 Nov 1998- 8 Jan 1902; Lucy Davies (niece), River Falls, Wisconsin, 4 letters, 10 Sept 1890 - 17 Nov 1892; Jane Ferrier, Salem Cottage, Caledonia, Ontario, 9 letters (one incomplete), n.d. Jan - Aug (no year); June 1883 - 18 Feb 1909; E.W. Olsted (sister), Hartford and Cleveland, 6 letters, 8 Feb 1887 - 4 Nov 1896 content mainly about family and personal matters.

        3: Letters to Lucy Paterson from relatives in Scotland and from her daughter Helen. Fanny M. Paterson (cousin), Amatola, Aberdeen, 10 letters, 10 Sept 1895 - 24 Nov 1909 re: family matters, with comments on the situation in South Africa. Helen (daughter), Brantford, 4 letters, 9 April - no year; 26 May 1898 - 14 Feb 1908. Rev. H.A. Paterson (Uncle Harry), Stonehouse, near Glasgow, 12 letters, nd. 14 Dec 1894 - 28 April 1900. James Paterson (cousin), Aberdeen 3 letters, 24 Nov. 1906 - 6 Sept 1907. Jessie Paterson (cousin) Amatola, Aberdeen, 5 letters 22 May 1896 - 4 Sept 1907. Maggie Paterson (cousin) Berryhill House, by Stonehaven and Aberdeen, 5 Dec 1894 - 10 Dec 1899. Four letters, grouped together by Mrs. Paterson under the heading "Welcome to Scotland and Farewell" from Uncle Henry, Stonehouse, 4 July 1895; Fanny, Torpgius Aberdeenshire, 10 July 1895; Maggie, Aberdeen and Spring Bank, Inverness, 11 July and 25 July 1895.

        4: Correspondence from various members of Lucy's family, from friends and from a few politicians. There are 69 letters from 56 different correspondents, 1859-1911. Includes: a letter from W.L. Mackenzie King, Berlin, Ontario 8 June 1909, thanking Mrs. Paterson for her"encouragement and assistance"; a letter from Wilfrid Laurier, Ottawa, 6 Jan 1907 re: his brother's death; a letter from Henri G. Joly de Lotbiniere, Victoria B.C., 15 Sept 1904 on the death of his wife. Family letters include one from Lucy's brother Charles Davies, River Falls, Wisconsin, 31 March 1896; two from John Davies, Williamsfield and Hartford, Connecticut, 17 July 1859 and 2 Sept 1860 and letters from other brothers, a sister (Libbie) and cousins in the United States and Scotland. There are 2 letters from her daughter, Anne E. Paterson, Picton, 1 Sept 1908 and 9 Sept 1909. There is also a letter from --- Hutchinson, written from Simla, India 27 Nov 1895.

        Box 2


        1: Charles Gordon Paterson, correspondence. Correspondence mainly to his mother, Lucy, and other family members. Includes letters from: Jane Ferrier, Salem Cottage, Caledonia 14 March (no year), 1 letter; Annie E. Paterson, his sister, Brantford, Jan. to July, no year, 27 Jan 1894 16 March 1896, six letters; Rev. Henry A. Paterson, Stonehouse, Lanarkshire, 1896, 1 letter; Lucy Paterson, his mother, Brantford and while traveling, 1887 - 1986, 33 letters; Aunt Mary ---, "West End" 4 March, no year, 1 letter. The content of the letters is largely re: family matters but Lucy comments occasionally on political figures and events.

        2: Annie E. Paterson, correspondence. there are 4 letters, n.d.; 1986 - 1904, including one from Rob Cocharne, Toronto, 6 Nov, 1904 on the occasion of Annie's engagement; one from her Aunt, S.B. Davies, n.d. one from cousin Allan, Amatola, Aberdeen 25 Feb 1896; and one from her uncle Rev Henry A. Paterson, Stonehouse, Lanarkshire, 10 April 1896, congratulating her on her success in exams. Miscellaneous correspondence. Letters to Mrs. T. Davies, Lucy Paterson's mother, from Charles Davies, Monmouth 1 March 1863, commenting on the American Civil War and food prices; and from her cousin Annie Walker, St. Andrew's New Brunswick, 11 Jan 1863. Letter to James Paterson from his brother William Paterson, Brantford, accompanied by a letter to Mrs. Ferrier from William. Both are written on the same sheet of paper and dated 11 Sept 1854.

        Box 3


        1: William Paterson, personal and family correspondence, 19 letters, 1860-1908. Includes 4 letters from Fanny M. Paterson, Aberdeen, 1900-1908, containing family news and comments about the situation in South Africa; 2 from her cousin, C. Fraser, Philippolis, South Africa, 1893 - 1895; 2 letters from his son, William Ferrier Paterson, 1878 - 1882; and one from his son Charles Paterson, 1903; also letters from Rev. Henry A. Paterson; Stonehouse, Lanarkshire, and other members of his family, as well as a few from friends.

        2: William Paterson, correspondence from his wife Lucy, 11 letters, 1878 - 1880; 1908, mostly concerning family matters.

        3: William Paterson, political correspondence. Letters and telegrams commenting on the Liberal victory in the 1896 election, and on Paterson's personal defeat in South Brant. 62 items, 24-29 June 1896; from Wilfrid Laurier and other Liberals, W.S. Fielding, J. Israel Tarte, William Mulloch and others: journalists, merchants etc. Also a letter from Fielding, 4 June 1902.

        4: William Paterson, political correspondence 1880-1909. 9 letters, dealing with a variety of topics: the price list of New York Biscuit Company; superannuation of civil servants; duties on books (1894) and boilers 1894 etc. Correspondents include Oliver Mowat, 29 April 1880. In addition there are 15 pieces of correspondence relating to the West Indian Trade Commission March - Sept 1910. Also correspondence between S. William Belcher, Cork Ireland and Paterson re: the "All for Ireland League", 6 letters June - July 1910.

        5: William Paterson, political papers. Copies of documents relating to applications for license to cut timber on Dominion Lands in Manitoba by Alfred Watts, Brantford, including correspondence between Watts and the Department of the Interior, and licenses issued to Watts. 18 Jan 1880 - 20 Feb 1883, 46 pages.

        6: Copy of "Return to an Address of the House of Commons dated 1 March 1882", 14 March 1882, and related documents including copies of Timber Licenses, leases and grants of mill sites and statement of number of acres granted in "the disputed territory west of the meridian of the east end of Hunter's Island". Leases etc. date from 22 July 1875 to 15 Sept 1881. 60 pages.

        Box 4


        1: Copies of extracts from Return of Session of 1884 re: Timber licenses, with note from Routine and Records Office, 9 June 1886. Includes correspondence between Robert Henry, Brantford, and the Department of the Interior relating to timber limits on the North Fork of the North Saskatchewan; near Prince Albert; and on the Battle River, 16 May 1882 - 22 Feb. 1883, 9 pages.

        2: Papers relating to the Six Nations Indians Reserve, including: copy of a statement of grievances sent to the Superintendent General of Indian Affairs and relating in particular to tittle to the lands of the Grand River Reservation, addressed to William Paterson and signed by warriors and chiefs of the Six Nations, with a copy of the original grant and a report of trustees appended, 9 March 1894, 14 pages; letter from F.O. Loft, Toronto, to Paterson requesting a copy of report of Indian Affairs, 21 March 1894, 2 pages; letter from Josiah Hill, Oshweken Council House, to Paterson re: petition sent to Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, 31 March 1894, 1 page.; copy of Sessional Paper NO. 65, 2 May 1894, and Sessional Parer No. 65A 14 May 1894, being returns of amounts paid out of the Six Nations Indians' Fund to individual members and of amounts paid from the funds for payment of debts incurred by individual members, 1886-1894, 5 pages; letter from Robert Davies, sheriff, Cayuga, to William Paterson re: Isaac Davies of Onondaga, 21 May 1894, 2 pages, with letter from Isaac Davies to Hon. T.M. Daly, Minister of the Interior, re: petition, 4 Nov 1893, 1 page; typescript copy of petition of the Barnes family of Grand River Reservation, to the Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, dated 22 May 1894 at Tuscarora, Ontario, 5 pages.

        3: William Paterson, notes, drafts of speeches 1879-1911. Notebook in which Paterson refers to the National Policy, the gerrymander of 1882, timber sales, railways, the national debt, Manitoba separate schools, etc. Undated notes re: exports and imports, railways, duties on farm products, tariffs, balance of trade theory etc. Notes and drafts 1879 - 1911 re: tariffs, imports and exports, timber licenses, Dominion Parliament, taxation, etc.; draft speech given on his retirement from politics. 89 pages, plus notepad. Printed speeches re: the budget 1895 and 1896 an Unrestricted Reciprocity. Also notes, presumably not written by William Paterson, and chiefly of a religious nature.

        4: Petitions and articles, mostly of which relate to railways. Other topics include obscene literature, the insolvency act, banking, and the St. Lawrence Route. 22 items nd.; Jan - May 1880.

        5: Commission appointing Hon. William Paterson Minister of Customs for Canada, 29 June 1897. Facsimile of Remedial Bill, Manitoba 1896, with manuscript notes. Floor plan of Ontario Legislative Chamber, Feb 1896. Copies of letter to editor of the Morning Chronicle 1893, re export duties on saw logs. Handbill re: Reform policy of Tariff for Revenue.

        6: William Paterson, estate matters. Correspondence relating to the estate of William Whitaker the elder, of Brantford, and to payment of legacy to Alfred Ernest Whitaker, 6-9 Feb 1899. Copy of probate of last will and testament of William Whitaker, 4 Aug 1885. 8 pages. (William Paterson was named sole executor of the estate) Correspondence relating to the estate of Miss Jane Ferrier of Caledonia, Ontario, chiefly between William Paterson and James Chisholm, barrister, Hamilton, who acted as executors, 19 Oct 1909 - 29 June 1910. 27 items.

        Box 5

        1: William Paterson, various receipts, 21 Sept 1896 - March 1911, including receipt for fee on his commission as Controller of Customs 1897; for the writing of his will; for a world cruise; for various hotels, etc. Memo re: Canada Loan and Savings Company, 1880. 128 items.

        2: William Paterson, receipts 1896-1901, arranged by year.

        3: William Paterson, receipts 1902-1906.

        4: William Paterson, receipts 1907-1911.

        Box 6

        1: Various invitations received by Mr. and Mrs. Paterson while in England, March - May 1907, including honorary club memberships and various calling cards; and while in Washington in Jan 1911. Also a menu from S.S. City of Rome Oct 1895; programme for a dinner at the Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh, 26 July 1902; an envelope containing ferns from Baden-Baden, 26 Aug 1895. Passports issued to Mr. and Mrs. Paterson, and Annie, June 1902; and to William Paterson, June 1910. List of passport requirements of foreign countries.

        2: Various invitation, including some from several Governors General Dufferin, Lansdowne, Aberdeen Grey, Connaught; invitations to functions during the visit of the Prince of Wales to Quebec in July 1908; various "at home" cards. Invitations received in connection with the West Indies Commission, Jan - Feb 1910, from officials in Barbados etc. Letter informing Paterson that he had been made an honorary member of the Quebec Garrison Club, 27 Aug 1896. Various calling cards, programmes for official functions, complimentary railway passes, etc.

        3: Paterson family miscellania. Includes: "Copy of Return to the Writh of Election: 14 Nov 1900; several recipes; table showing quantities of grain imported from the United States 1872-1876; post cards (one re free trade tariff, printed; one marked "Autograph card - Sir E. Shackleton"); list of saloon passengers of S.S. Vancouver, June 1895, etc.

        4: Paterson family photographs, some of which are identified. 20 photographs.

        Box 7

        Debates of the House of Commons, speeches, report re Boundaries of the Province of Ontario, etc. with manuscript notations, 1878 - 1896.
        Votes and proceedings of the House of Commons 1887.
        Bill: An Act to amend the Municipal Act 1880.
        Voters Lists, City of Brantford 1879 and 1894; Township of Onondaga 1894. Statement of Imports and Exports 1870-1877, to 1878 by ms.

        Box 8

        Five scrapbooks containing a variety of clippings, including obituary notices and other articles printed at the time of William Paterson's death (18 March 1914); and a scrapbook given to William Ferrier Paterson by his mother, 31 Aug 1879, his thirteenth birthday.

        Folder 1: Clippings and newspapers, n.d.; 1872 - 1906, mostly of a political nature, or concerning William Paterson.

        Folder 2: Miscellaneous envelopes, addressed to William Paterson or Mrs. Paterson. Maps Cabinet - Drawer 1

        Geological survey maps, including:

        Map #1: Map of part of the East Coast of Hudson's Bay 1877

        Map #2: Map of Lake Winnipeg 1878

        Map #3: Map of Cape Breton 1879

        Map #4: Map of Burrard Inlet and Esquimalt Harbour 1879

        Map #5: Map of Canadian Pacific Railway routes in British Columbia 1879

        Map #6: Map of Northwest Territory including the Province of Manitoba to 1 March 1880 (2 copies)

        Alternative identifier(s)

        Standard number

        Standard number

        Access points

        Place access points

        Name access points

        Description record identifier

        Institution identifier

        Rules or conventions

        Language of description

          Script of description


            Accession area