Collection MSG 430 - Thomas Blackwood Collection

Letterbook Photocopy of Letterbook Correspondence

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Thomas Blackwood Collection

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the content of the fonds.

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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Physical description

28 folio leaves (1 cm)

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Biographical history

Thomas Blackwood was born in 1773 in Lanarkshire, Scotland, and died in 1842 in Montreal. He moved to Quebec in May 1790 and on December 27, 1806, Blackwood married Margaret Grant, who was the eldest daughter of John Grant of Lachine. They had two children. Blackwood was employed by John Blackwood (not a relative) from 1790 until 1795. In 1798, Blackwood worked with James McGill (1744-1813, founder of McGill University) in establishing a French royalist colony in Windham, Upper Canada, under Joseph-Genevieve de Puisaye, Comte de Puisaye. In 1800, Blackwood joined the Montreal firm of James and Andrew McGill and Company. Blackwood was ensigned in Montreal’s 1st Militia Battalion in 1804 and was promoted to captain in 1821 and may have served in 1812-13 as a lieutenant of artillery in the Montreal Incorporated Volunteers. In 1806-07, he was in Michilimackinac (now known as Mackinac Island, Michigan) to represent James and Andrew McGill and Company. In 1807, Blackwood was one of twenty Scots who founded the Montreal Curling Club, in which he became the president. Along with Peter Harkness and Francois Desrivieres (1764-1830, stepson of James McGill), Blackwood formed Desrivieres, Blackwood and Company in 1810 to continue the fur trade activities in the southwest, following the dissolution of James and Andrew McGill and Company. Before 1815, Blackwood had partnered with his brother John in the grain and lumber trade. In 1819, Blackwood was charter director of the Montreal General Hospital, and director and secretary-treasurer of the Montreal Savings Bank. He received a commission of the peace in 1821. Since his move to Montreal, Blackwood was invested in the Scotch Presbyterian Church (later known as St. Gabriel Street Church) and he fought the Church of England, arguing against the Church of England’s assumption that it was the established church in all the British dominions.

Custodial history

Source unknown, but possibly from the estate of James McGill.

Scope and content

This collection consists of contemporary copies of letters written by T. Blackwood from Michilimackinac to James and Andrew McGill & Co., to Ch. Chaboillez, and to T. and J. McGregor.

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  • English
  • French

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Physical storage

  • Box: R-430-1