Papers : 1762-1798.

Call Number: HIL-MICL FC LFR .S5F3P3
Category: Family
Creator: Simcoe Family.
Description: 8 microfilm textual records () ; 35 mm
            John Graves Simcoe (1752-1806) was born at Cotterstock, England, the son of the naval officer, Captain John Simcoe, RN. After his father's death on the Quebec expedition in 1759, the family moved to Exeter where John Graves began his early education, followed by studies at Eton and Oxford. In 1770, he obtained a commission in the 35th Regiment, and later purchased a captaincy in the 40th Regiment in which he served during the early years of the American Revolution. In 1777 he assumed command of the Queen's Rangers with the provincial rank of major, raised the corps to full strength, attained the rank of lieutenant-colonel in 1778, then colonel in 1781, and led one of the most successful Loyalist units until he was invalided home in 1781. For the next ten years he lived quietly with his wife Elizabeth Posthuma (Gwillim) Simcoe (1762-1850) and their children at the new family estate of Wolford Lodge.  

In 1791 he was appointed Lieutenant Governor of the new Province of Upper Canada and continued in this capacity until ill health forced his return to England on leave of absence in 1796. He accepted the governorship of Santo Domingo in 1796 but resigned both appointments for health reasons in 1798.

During his tenure in Canada he formed the second, Queen's Rangers, with the expectation of using them in a grand scheme for the promotion of settlement. However, until they were disbanded in 1802, they were used mainly as road builders in an effort to improve communications and to encourage settlement. Simcoe actively promoted settlement by making land easy to obtain. He was an energetic governor and one who came to appreciate the interests and the aspirations of the settlers.

            The microfilm copy of the Simcoe Papers, that was purchased for the Loyalist Collection from the Archives of Ontario during the 1980s, has been superseded by a more recent edition of the microfilm, and a new finding aid has been prepared.  The content description which follows, and the microfilm shelf list that has been created for the older microfilm edition in the Loyalist Collection, represents only a portion of the complete collection as it now exists in the Archives of Ontario. However, while the film in the Loyalist Collection is limited in content, it is still useful, especially when it is used in conjunction with the other two sources of Simcoe material which are available in the Loyalist Collection.

Reels 1-3. The Simcoe Letter Books, which are 39 in number, 1791-1796, are found on the first three reels of microfilm.

Reel 4. The letter books are followed by: Simcoe-Hunt correspondence, 1792-1794; Burgess-Simcoe correspondence, 1793-1795; biographical notes on a number of individuals, including many Indians; and 11 diaries, 1791-1796.

Reel 5. The reel begins with documents relating to Indian affairs, 1762-1784. This material is followed by records relating to Indian and military affairs, 1762-1792.

Reel 6. Includes correspondence and other documents, 1792-1793.

Reel 7. Concerns Indian affairs, the Six Nations, Indian nations located in the United States, and the military situation between Canada and the United States, especially around Detroit, 1794.

Reel 8. Contains an unidentified diary, 1793; and Simcoe correspondence, 1795.

Originals: The original records are held by the Archives of Ontario.
Archival Ref. No.: AO MS 517.
Finding Aids:
            A microfilm shelf list has been prepared to provide access to the microfilm reels of the Simcoe Papers in the Loyalist Collection.

This microfilm shelf list is available in print with the Loyalist Collection Finding Aids.

A copy of the new Inventory of the Simcoe Family Papers in the Archives of Ontario is available in print.

Electronic Finding Aid Record: simcoefamily.pdf
Notes: Researchers are advised that a second series of Simcoe Papers is available in the Loyalist Collection and is shelved at MIC-Loyalist FC LFR .S5J6P3. The John Graves Simcoe Letter Book: 1791-1793, is also available in the Loyalist Collection, and is shelved at MIC-Loyalist FC LFR .S5J6L4.
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