Thomas Gummersall Anderson letters blog

1dcab57a088d25a6ac2db4fc4486bbecA blog containing the first seventy-five items from the Anderson collection

have been posted to a blog by Huronia Museum volunteer Bill Gibson. However the real herculean effort has been made by Peter Davis who transcribed several hundred handwritten documents. He is a bona fide expert in 19th century handwriting styles. Peter is a member of the museum board.

Thomas Gummersall Anderson, British Army, trader, Indian Agent, b. at Sorel, Province of Quebec, 12 Nov. 1779, sixth son of Captain Samuel Anderson, loyalist, and Deliverance Butts; d. at Port Hope, Ont., 10 Feb. 1875.

This blog contains selected items from the collection of the Huronia Museum in Midland, Ontario, Canada. The Huronia Museum wishes to gratefully acknowledge this donation from Pam Dunlop, a descendant of Thomas Anderson.

Captain Thomas Gummersall Anderson

was hired by the Indian Department of the British Army in 1815 and for the next 50 years was responsible for Indian policy in Upper Canada. He established the first Indian reserve at Coldwater, Ontario in 1830.

Captain Anderson was a gifted writer, combining a clear eye with a gift for narrative, and his wor k may be appreciated on this level alone. But his life – all those 96 years – also provides much more of interest, encompassing the major themes of his times: the United Empire Loyalist experience, the early settlement of Upper Canada, mercantile life (in Kingston), the fur trade in the upper Mississippi region, the War of 1812, and 43 years in the service of the Indian Department of Upper Canada (later Canada West). And then, with his retirement in 1858, he added the experiences of a gentleman farmer to this extensive resumé.

The Huronia Museum is assembling a collection of his papers and ephemera related to this period. Among the letters is one describing the events of the 1837 Rebellion. There are many letters to and by members of his family, especially his wife Betsy – b. 17 Sept. 1796 d. 30 June 1858 (Cobourg).


New Exhibit Opening at Huronia Museum

During the War of 1812 First Nations warriors served as strategic and vital allies of the British, providing some 10 000 men to the conflict. Effective as both defenders and combatants First Nations warriors earned a reputation as fierce combatants with their aggressive resistance to the encroachment upon their traditional lands.

Without their support certainly Ontario and most likely Quebec and all of then-British North America would not exist today.  First Nations played enormously important roles in gathering intelligence, harassing the enemy supply systems and fought at most battles throughout the war including the decisive battles of Queenston Heights, Beaver Dams, Stoney Creek, Cryslers Farm, Chateaugay and the retaking of Fort George.

We salute the courageous First Nations from our area who 200 years ago rose to the challenge to defend their homelands which some 50 years later would become Canada.  And we celebrate the 200 years of peaceful co-existence between our two neighbouring nations as we make our way forward into the 21st century.

In celebration of this enormous contribution, please join us Friday, June 22 from 7:00-8:30 PM when we open our newest exhibit Native Contributions to the War of 1812, which highlights those many important contributions made by First Nations Allies.

After the exhibit has been unveiled our curator will be on hand to answer questions and light refreshments will be served.  Admission is by donation only as well as a non-perishable food item.