Papers : 1767-1919.

Call Number: HIL-MICL FC LFR .J3P5P3
Category: Family
Creator: Jarvis-Powell Family.
Description: 5 microfilm textual records () ; 35 mm
            William Dummer Powell (1755-1834) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of John Powell, a well-to-do Boston merchant and Jane Grant, the daughter of a Newport, Rhode Island merchant. The name Dummer was the maiden name of William's paternal grandmother.  He was educated at the Boston Free Grammar School, an Anglican school at Tunbridge, Kent, England, and in Rotterdam. William Powell aspired to a business career, but as the likelihood of rebellion became more apparent his declared Loyalism led him to take up arms as a Volunteer with the British garrison in Boston. In October 1775, he married Anne Murray, the daughter of John Murray, and the couple sailed for England where William studied law at the Middle Temple.  He was called to the English bar in 1784, then practised law in Montreal until 1789 when Lord Dorchester appointed him as the first judge of the Court of Common Pleas for the District of Hesse and a member of the Land Board.   With this appointment the family moved to Detroit.   They were accompanied by Anne Powell, William's sister, who wrote an account of the journey.  In 1794, William Powell was appointed puisne judge of the Court of King's Bench of Upper Canada and moved to the Niagara area, later relocating to York (Toronto) in 1798.   Between 1795 and 1798, he carried on the work of Chief Justice, but it was not until Francis Gore became lieutenant governor in 1806 that Powell received the appointments and recognition that he believed were his due.   In 1808, he was appointed to the Executive Council, and in 1816 he was named speaker of the Legislative Council and elevated to the position of Chief Justice of Upper Canada.   He died at York in 1834. 

Samuel Peters Jarvis (1792-1857) was the son of William Jarvis and Hannah Owen Peters. William Jarvis served under John Graves Simcoe, Colonel of the Queen's Rangers in the American Revolution, and in 1792 was appointed provincial secretary and registrar of deeds for Upper Canada. Samuel Jarvis was born in 1792 at Newark, later renamed Niagara-on-the-Lake, but moved with the family to York (Toronto) in 1798. Along with other boys of his social class, he attended Rev. John Strachan's school in Cornwall, and later studied law. He was called to the Bar in 1815. During the War of 1812, he joined the 3rd Regiment of York Militia and served with Major-General Isaac Brock at Detroit and later at Queenston where the General was killed. He saw action at Stoney Creek and at the Battle of Lundy's Lane during the War of 1812, and again in the Rebellion of 1837. In 1814, he was appointed assistant secretary and registrar of the Province, as well as clerk of the Legislative Council, and in 1817, clerk of the Crown in Chancery. From 1837 until 1845, he held the office of Chief Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Upper Canada. Samuel Peters Jarvis was always hopeful of succeeding his father as provincial secretary, but his own personality and other circumstances worked against him and reduced his chances of acquiring the position. In 1817, he was involved in a duel with John Ridout, the son of the surveyor general, in which Ridout was killed. Jarvis was exonerated, but this and other incidents hurt his career. In October 1818, he married Mary Boyles Powell (1791-1884), the daughter of the Hon. William Dummer Powell, and they had a family of nine children, seven of whom survived him. A number of his descendants, and those of William Dummer Powell, played an important role in the business and public life of Upper Canada.

            The Jarvis-Powell Papers have been organized in two sections:

Section 1, contains items which have been arranged chronologically, numbered, and calendared with a brief content description for each item.

Section 2, has been divided into five categories. Each item has been annotated very briefly and assigned a number which runs consecutively throughout the section.

The Papers consists of the following: correspondence; land, legal, and genealogical records; diaries; maps; memoranda; and accounts. The Papers are, primarily, a record of correspondence and other documents concerning personal family matters. They reflect the attitudes and interests of one of the most prominent Loyalist families in the social and political world of nineteenth century Upper Canada.

While many of the records relate to the Powell family and others to the Jarvis family, because of the close relationship between the two families, the records have been integrated and treated as one collection. The letters are not so much concerned with the public lives of William Dummer Powell and Samuel Peters Jarvis as with the more personal concerns of a large extended family, but they do contain comment on, and reflect family involvement with, the events of the time.
Originals: The original records are held by the Archives of Ontario.
Archival Ref. No.: AO MS 787, MU 1532 - 1537.
Finding Aids:
            A Calendar of the Jarvis-Powell Papers is available in print. It contains the following: brief table of contents; introduction; genealogical chart of the Powell family; genealogical chart of the Jarvis family; chronologically arranged, annotated and numbered calendar for Section 1; numbered and annotated calendar, arranged by category of material, for Section 2; list of the subject headings for the Index to the Jarvis-Powell Papers; and the subject Index to the Papers.

A microfilm shelf list, which has been created by the author of the Loyalist Collection Inventory, is available in print.

Electronic Finding Aid Record: Jarvis-Powell Papers Shelf List.pdf
Calender of the Jarvis - Powell Papers 1767 - 1919.pdf
Notes: Researchers may wish to consult several other collections of Jarvis Family records which are available in the Loyalist Collection.

They are shelved as follows:
MIC Loyalist FC LPR .J3E3C4; MIC-Loyalist FC LPR .J3F3C6;
MIC-Loyalist FC LPR .J3F3P3; MIC-Loyalist FC LPR .J3M8P3;
MIC-Loyalist FC LPR .J3W5P3.

In addition, there are Jarvis Family Papers which are held by the National Archives of Canada and the Toronto Public Library that are not available in the Loyalist Collection.

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