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).


War of 1812 vintage Brown Bess Musket restored

The British Army’s Brown Bess Musket was in use for over a hundred years with many incremental changes in its design. These versions include the Long Land Pattern, Short Land Pattern, India Pattern, New Land Pattern Musket, Sea Service Musket and others. This type of musket would have been in use during the War of 1812 in Upper Canada.  Further research may  help place it precisely in the inventory of the British Forces of that era in Canada.

This is an India Pattern in .75 calibre with a 39 inch barrel. The metal portions are almost all original, the wood stock was replaced and a lot of clean up and the additon of a few appropriate small parts and some reproduction parts (leather sling, bayonet and sheath) and the great skill of gunsmith, John Mansell, brought the badly damaged original back to excellent condition. Thanks, John.

In the slide show below you will see Curator Jamie Hunter and Gunsmith John Mansell.

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