1899 Guelph Mayor Manuscript Letter to a Historian, Touching on Genealogy, Guelph History and Much More

1899 Guelph Mayor Manuscript Letter to a Historian, Touching on Genealogy, Guelph History and Much More

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On offer is a manuscript letter, written and signed by Canadian lawyer and one-time Mayor of Guelph, Ontario, Henry W. (Bill) Peterson (1833-1913) to Sara Mickle (1853-1930).

Dated May 9, 1899 in Guelph, Ontario, Peterson writes to Mickle in response to her letter, in which she was working on some sort of genealogy project connected to Guelph. Peterson offers Mickle suggestions regarding her project and repeatedly references her Great Grandfather, Scottish poet and translator, William Julius Mickle (Meikle) (referring to him only as "The Poet"). An excerpt follows:

"...You ought to have some reminiscences of your worthy Grandfather in the way of a Portrait of his distinguished ancestors - The Poet. Could you not have this and of the descendants - say the 4 Generations - The Poet, your Grandfather Mickle, Your father. And...yourself..."

The letter goes on to provide Mickle with some history on Guelph, including an "anecdote about Lord Elgin" and Mickle's Grandfather, Rebellion losses, discussion about Guelph landmarks and architecture, and talk of a flag connected to Upper Canada College, which Mickle must have asked about in her letter to Peterson, and more. A letter chock full of early Ontario historical content. 


"H.W. "Bill" Peterson was born in Delaware in 1831, later settling in  Waterloo and then Guelph with his parents when his father was appointed as Registrar of Wellington County.  After graduation from law school in Toronto, he served as a barrister in partnership with Andrew Lemon.  He played many roles during his long career in Guelph, including County Crown Attorney, Board of Education Trustee, town councillor and Mayor of Guelph in 1863.  

He built a stately residence south of the river called Ulmenwald (now demolished) where he and his wife Emma Grange (daughter of Sherrif Grange) raised six children.  Peterson and his wife later had the distinction of being on the first Parliamentary divorces in post-Confederation Canada.   He died in 1913." (Source: GUELPH HERITAGE website)

MICKLE, Sara (Sarah), was a local local historian and heritage preservationist. Born in Guelph and moved to Toronto in 1879. She was seventh of thirteen children and never married. Her greatest passion throughout her life was the preservation of Canada's past. Sara Mickle is the author of "Colborne Lodge" and "The owner of Colborne Lodge" in Women's Canadian Hist. Soc. of Toronto.

Autograph letter signed. 8 pages with 3 blank, 8 x 10 inches flat, folded to 5 x 8 inches on linen paper (was folded to 4 x 5 inches to fit envelope also provided). Envelope 5-1/8 x 4-1/2 inches addressed to Miss Sara Mickle included.

Please don't hesitate to contact us for more information or to request photos. (Kindly include the SKU, listed on this page above the price, in your e-mail so we can more easily answer your questions.)

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