Collection MSG 813 - Herman Witsius Ryland Collection

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Herman Witsius Ryland Collection

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  • 1810-1815 (Creation)
    Ryland, Herman Witsius, 1760-1838

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4 cm of textual records

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Biographical history

Born in Northampton, England in 1760, Herman Witsius Ryland came to Canada in 1793, after having served in America during the last stages of the American Revolutionary War, 1781-1784, as assistant Deputy Paymaster to the British forces. Ryland came to Canada as Civil Secretary to Lord Dorchester, Governor General of British North America. In 1796, he was appointed Clerk of the Executive Council, holding that appointment until his death. He served as a member of the Legislative Council from 1811 to 1838, and as Civil Secretary under succeeding Governors until 1812. As an influential member of the ruling oligarchy and as the confidential adviser of Sir James Craig, Ryland was distrusted by French Canadian leaders. In 1812 he was dismissed from the secretaryship by Sir George Prevost, who adopted a more conciliatory policy toward French Canadians.

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This collection consists of letters to Sir James Craig and others on the subject of Lower Canada, 1810-1815.

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