Fonds MSG 1154 - Wood Family Collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Wood Family Collection

General material designation

  • Textual record

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  • Source of title proper: Title from contents of collection.

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1839-1867 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

1 cm of textual records

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Custodial history

Provenance: Agatherin (letter dated 25 November 1839), John Rush (letters dated 14 June 1842 and 28 January 1846), and Early American Auctions (all other letters).

Scope and content

Collection consists of 38 letters written primarily by John Wood Senior to family members in England. Many of these were written to a sister or sister-in-law and a few are addressed to his brother, Will Wood, a watchmaker and jeweller in London, including two in which Wood includes a list of trade supplies to order. Four letters are from John Wood's son, Peter Wentworth Wood. One letter is by John's wife, Anna. Contents include topics such as the country's economy, Canadian-British politics, the Woods' watchmaking and jewellery business, crops, slavery, and the American Civil War, as well as local Montreal news on subjects such as fires, the Victoria Bridge, a cholera outbreak, the 1856 Railroad Celebration, and a visit by the Prince of Wales. Letters also include family news, particularly of John Wood's children Peter, John, and Charles, seafaring disasters, gold mines, improvements in shipping in the St. Lawrence seaway and the Atlantic Ocean, the expansion of railroads, and the Atlantic Telegraph. Letters date between 25 November 1839 and 13 December 1867. One is a crossed letter.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Purchased for Rare Books and Special Collections from Warren Baker, Montreal, September 2017.


Language of material

  • English

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Physical description

Approximately 117 pages; written on sheets of varying sizes (folio, 4to, 8vo).

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Accompanied by transcriptions and brief summaries of each letter.

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