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Edward Hale fonds (P036)

1829-1851. - 50 cm of textual records. - 5 photographs.

Administrative History - Biographical Sketch:

Born in Québec City, Edward Hale (1800-1875) was the second son of the Honourable John Hale and Elizabeth Frances Amherst. Edward Hale was interested in the development of the Eastern Townships and in 1834 he purchased a farm near Sherbrooke. He expanded his holdings, and at one time owned over 4,000 acres of land in addition to being a shareholder in the British American Land Company. Hale served with the Sherbrooke Volunteers during the Rebellions of 1837-38 and later was appointed to the Special Council. He held the position of representative for Sherbrooke in the Assembly of the Province of Canada from 1841 to 1847. While in the Assembly he became involved in the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railway scheme and served on the provisional committee to oversee the project. In 1866 he was named the chancellor of Bishop's College and in 1867 he became a member of Québec's Legislative Council.

On 10 March 1831 he married Eliza Cecilia Bowen, daughter of Edward Bowen, chief justice of the Superior Court of Lower Canada. They had seven children, one of whom, Edward John, married the granddaughter of Jonathan Sewel. In 1866 Edward Hale was appointed chancellor of the University of Bishop's College in recognition of his services to the Church of England in the Eastern Townships. In April 1875 he died at his son's residence in Québec City, and was buried in Sherbrooke.

(Source: Dictionary of Canadian Biography.)

Scope and Content:

The Edward Hale fonds deals with Hale's business and political activities and, to a lesser extent, his military activities. As a landowner and businessman, Hale had frequent incoming correspondence concerning loans, mortgages and the discounting of notes, mainly from people in the Sherbrooke area; correspondence with Alexander Tilloch Galt on the British American Land Company, the cotton factory in Sherbrooke and the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railway; and with Peter McGill on the establishment of a branch of the Bank of Montreal in the Eastern Townships.

As a political figure, Hale wrote letters to his wife, Eliza, concerning the activities of the Special Council, bills before the House of Assembly and patronage. While serving in the militia during the Rebellion of 1837, Hale also wrote letters to his wife about military activities, his travels, family affairs, etc. Letters to Eliza represent a significant portion of his correspondence.

Among Hale's many other correspondents were: Judge Edward Bowen, his uncle Edward Hale, Edward Lewis Montizambert, P. Hubbard, A. Simpson, Mathew Bell, John Davidson, George Beaumont, Mary Hale, Robert Maingy, David Orr and others.

In addition to the correspondence, the fonds contains receipts, accounts, notes, deeds of sale, lists of goods and properties, some poetry, various legal documents, photographs of the Hale children, wish cards, postcards of Montréal and newspapers clippings.