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Letter books of the Civil Secretary to the Governor at Quebec

Available reels: 5

Document Record
Title Letter books of the Civil Secretary to the Governor at Quebec
Registres des lettres du secrétaire civil au gouverneur de Québec
Identifier lac_mikan_126287
RG 7 G 15 C
R178-93-5-E
Document source Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada
Language eng
Description Sub-sub-series consists of letter book copies of correspondence of the Civil Secretary of the Governor (later Governor-in-Chief) at Quebec addressed to the Chief Justice of Lower Canada, the Attorney General, the Sheriff of Quebec, the Chairman of the Board of Works at Three Rivers, the Advocate General, the Adjutant General of the Militia, the Police Magistrate of Montreal and a large number of private individuals in Quebec, Lower Canada and other British North American colonies. Most, but not all, of the volumes include an alphabetical index of correspondents at the beginning of each volume. The letters are entered chronologically. The text of letters sent by the Civil Secretary to officers and individuals in Quebec, Lower Canada and other jurisdictions was recorded in letter books for future reference. While few volumes antedating 1800 appear to have survived with the official records, the practice was known to have been followed from the first years of the British regime.
Related materials The letter books of 1829-1841 were kept for reference by Dominick Daly when he moved to the office of Provincial Secretary following the union of Upper and Lower Canada and are now found in RG 4, C 2. Numerous drafts of replies are found attached to the incoming correspondence (see RG 4, A 2 and C 1), but most are filed as a separate series in RG 4, A 2. Additional in-letters of the Civil Secretary are available in the Upper Canada Sundries (RG5-A-1) and the Civil Secretary's correspondence received sub-series in the Office of the Governor-in-Chief of the Province of Canada series elsewhere within this fonds. Other out-letters can be found elsewhere within this fonds, in the Civil Secretary's letter books sub-sub-series in the Office of the Governor-in-Chief of the Province of Canada series.
While a governor communicated with colleagues in other jurisdictions and with senior officials in his own name, letters and petitions from individuals were responded to by the Secretaries (civil, military, provincial and private secretaries) on his behalf. By convention, despatches from colleagues were filed separately from general correspondence, and the replies were recorded in separate entry books. Matters relating to the civil administration of the province were handled by the Civil Secretary and those relating to military affairs by the Military Secretary. While the Private Secretary was on the personal staff of the Governor and the Civil Secretary was part of the permanent staff of the province, on occasion one individual could hold both offices. Continuity of operations was provided by the Civil and Military Secretaries who remained in office while Governor succeeded Governor.
This collection contains the letter books of the Civil Secretary of the Governor (later Governor-in-Chief) at Quebec between 1790 and 1829. These letters were addressed to Board of Works at Three Rivers, the Advocate General, the Adjutant General of the Militia, the Police Magistrate of Montreal and a large number of private individuals in Quebec, Lower Canada and other British North American colonies. Most, but not all, of the volumes include an alphabetical index of correspondents at the beginning of each volume. The letters are entered chronologically. The text of letters sent by the Civil Secretary to officers and individuals in Quebec, Lower Canada and other jurisdictions was recorded in letter books for future reference. While few volumes antedating 1800 appear to have survived with the official records, the practice was known to have been followed from the first years of the British regime. The finding aid, which is a 3 page volume list to volumes 1-37, is available at the following site: http://data2.archives.ca/pdf/pdf002/7-9_126287_vols1-37.pdf
Alors que le gouverneur communiquait lui-même avec ses collègues dans d’autres juridictions et avec les hauts fonctionnaires, ce sont les secrétaires (secrétaires civil, militaire, provincial et privé) qui répondaient aux lettres et pétitions adressées au gouverneur par des particuliers. Par convention, les dépêches expédiées par des collègues étaient classées séparément de la correspondance générale, et les réponses étaient consignées dans des registres de correspondance distincts. Le secrétaire civil répondant à la correspondance se rapportant à l’administration civile de la province alors que celle se rapportant aux affaires militaires étaient du ressort du secrétaire militaire. Alors que le secrétaire privé faisait partie du personnel immédiat du gouverneur et que le secrétaire civil faisait partie du personnel permanent de la province, il arrivait parfois que ces deux charges soient cumulées par un même individu. La continuité des activités était assurée par les secrétaires civil et militaire qui demeuraient en poste sous les gouverneurs successifs.
Cette collection contient les registres de lettres du secrétaire civil au gouverneur (et subséquemment le gouverneur en chef) résidant à Québec entre 1790 et 1829. Ces lettres sont adressées au service des Travaux publics de Trois-Rivières, à l’avocat général, à l’adjudant général de la milice, au magistrat de police de Montréal, ainsi qu’à de nombreux particuliers de Québec, du Bas-Canada et d’autres colonies de l’Amérique du Nord britannique. La plupart des volumes contiennent une liste alphabétique des correspondants au début de chaque volume. Les lettres sont classées par ordre chronologique. Le texte des lettres expédiées par le secrétaire civil aux fonctionnaires et autres particuliers de Québec, du Bas-Canada et dans d’autres juridictions ont été copiées dans des registres de correspondance pour référence ultérieure. Bien que seuls quelques volumes datant d’avant 1800 aient survécu avec les documents officiels, cette pratique était de mise dès les premières années du Régime anglais.
Un instrument de recherche, qui consiste en une liste de 3 pages pour les volumes 1 à 37, est disponible à l’adresse suivante : http://data2.archives.ca/pdf/pdf002/7-9_126287_vols1-37.pdf
Permanent Link http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_mikan_126287