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Canadian Historic Sites: Occasional Papers in Archaeology and History No. 14

The British Indian Department and the Frontier in North America, 1755-1830

by Robert S. Allen


Primary Sources, Unpublished

The most productive sources of information for the study of the British Indian, Department in North America are the Manuscript and Record Groups in the Public Archives of Canada.

MG11 contains the voluminous Colonial Office Papers. CO42 includes original correspondence and enclosures from the governors, lieutenant governors, and administrators of Quebec, Lower Canada, Upper Canada and the Upper Provinces of Canada. The series covers the period from 1700 to 1909 and includes some interdepartmental correspondence and miscellaneous communications. Volumes used have been cited throughout the endnotes.

MG12 Contains the War Office Papers, which were used sparingly here, However, WO1, Vol. 14, the correspondence between Dorchester and Simcoe in 1794, and WO28, Vol. 10, Indian Department: Letters and Papers, 1775-1782, were of some use.

MG19 includes Fur Trade and Indians, 1763-1867, and in particular, the Claus Papers, Vols. 1-19, were of interest.

MG21 contains the Haldimand Papers, Series B, which were of inestimable value for the chapter concerned with the American Revolution on the frontier. Volumes consulted include:

B38 — Letters from Lord George Germaine and others to Carleton, 1776-79

B39 — Letters from Sir Guy Carleton, 1776-78, Vols. 1 and 2

B42 — Letters from Haldimand to Germaine and the Treasury, 1777-79

B45 — Letters from English ministers, 1782-84

B50 — Letters from English ministers, 1777-84

B54 — Letters to English ministers, 1778-82, Vol. 1

B55 — Letters to the ministry, 1780-82, Vol. 2

B56 — Letters to the ministers, 1782-84, Vol. 3

B57-2 — Register of letters to the ministry, 1780-84

B96-1, B96-2 — Correspondence with officers commanding at Michilimackinac and Niagara, 1777-83 (2 parts)

B99 — Letters and papers relating to the upper posts, 1778-82

B100, 8-101-2, 8102-3, B103-4 — Letters from officers commanding at Niagara, 1777-84

B104 — Correspondence with officers at Niagara, 1777-84

MG24, A6, Peter Hunter Papers

In addition to the several Manuscript Groups, Record Groups Band 19 were of considerable value.

RG8, C series, the military and naval records accumulated by the British forces in Canada, were consulted, Vols. 247-71 relate to the Indians of North America from 1767 to 1859.

RG10 includes Indian Affairs.

Vol. 4-8, 11-12 — Journals of William and Guy Johnson, 1755-72, 1779-80

Vol. 9 — Correspondence of Sir William Johnson, 1756-72

Vols. 8-21 — Records of the Office of the Superintendent General, 1791-1828

Vols. 140-74 — Requisitions for presents required by officers of the Indian Department, 1782-1853

Vols. 587-89 — General orders to Sir John Johnson, 1814-30

The Burton Historical Collection, (Detroit Public Library) contains a number of private papers which provided a wealth of information, for this study. Of particular interest were:
George Ironside Papers, Letterbook No. 5
William Woodbridge Papers, Fort Malden, 1815
Silas Farmer Papers, Lewis Cass Letter, 1819

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