1861 Manuscript Letter Discussing Dorchester, Ontario Land Values from Judge William Elliot

1861 Manuscript Letter Discussing Dorchester, Ontario Land Values from Judge William Elliot

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On offer is a unique handwritten and signed letter discussing 1860s  land values in Ontario, Canada written by Judge William Elliot (1817-1905) to Toronto barrister Henry Cawthra (1830-1904). 

Dated in London, April 26,1861, this letter includes the envelope with handwritten address. 

Absolutely wonderful content discussing land value in Dorchester, Ontario in the late 19th century. [Dealer's Note: Perhaps foreshadowing the real estate obsession that would hit the province more than a century later?!]. An excerpt follows:

"...Lots in Dorchester vary much in value. I act as agent for a party in N York who owns 100 acres in the 4 Concess. South Dorchr.  You inquire about Lot 15 [8?] Con S. Dorchr.  I think I could get from $10 to $15 per acre for his land throughout. It is nearly wild. All the improvs. at all events has been made by squatters.  I should think 13 [5cs???], or good Land thereabouts is worth $12 per acre. It is a fine part of the country - I have never seen better almost..."


Judge Elliot served as senior county judge for the County of Middlesex from 1869 until 1904 and died in 1905. He was a native of Newcastle-on-Tyne. His family settled near London in 1837 and he kept a journal diary on life on the farm. He was admitted to the Bar in Trinity Term, 1852.

Henry Cawthra Barrister-at-law. Born in Newmarket, Upper Canada and was the son of Joseph Cawthra. He studied at the University of Toronto, and was called to the bar in 1858. Born into an already wealthy family, he developed a connection with various lines of financial institutions. He was with Cawthra and Blake law firm. He was a large stockholder in the Bank of Toronto, and a director of that bank as well as the Consumers Gas Company and of the Canada Permanent Mortgage & Loan Company.

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