Fonds 47-1997 - William Wallace fonds

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William Wallace fonds

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Reference code

CA MCK 47-1997

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1881-1904 (Creation)

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Physical description

30 cm textual records

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Name of creator

Biographical history

William Wallace was born in Scotland around 1859. In 1881, when William was twenty-two, he emigrated to Canada with his father and brother. Here they settled near what is today Forrest, Manitoba. The following spring they moved to the northwest margin of settlement in Manitoba, homesteading in the Shellmouth area. Mr. Wallace remained a resident of the region for the rest of his life. William Wallace was active in community affairs. He was appointed to the post of Secretary-Treasurer of the Shellmouth Municipality in 1887, and he held the position until 1904. In 1909, Mr. Wallace was injured in a railway accident, and he had to give up farming. He moved to Shellmouth and took up the position of postmaster, which he held for twenty-seven years. He died in 1945, and is buried at Shellmouth cemetery, Manitoba.

Custodial history

The letters contained in the fonds remained in the possession of Margaret Wallace, who was the original recipient of the correspondence. She emigrated to Canada in 1904. At some point the letters passed to William Wallace who kept them in his possession in Shellmouth. In 1941, William contacted Professor E. J. Westcott of Brandon College regarding the fonds. He offered it to the University for safekeeping. Westcott accepted the letters. Westcott passed the letters on to various officers and staff at Brandon College and then Brandon University. Since 1982 the collection has resided in the S. J. McKee Archives at Brandon University.

Scope and content

The William Wallace fonds consists of hundreds of letters that Wiliam and his brother Andrew, wrote to their sister Maggie, who was in Scotland. The correspondence dates from 1881 until 1904. The first letter, dated 22 March 1881, was written by both William and Andrew who were aboard the S.S. Prussia as they sailed to North America from Scotland. The last letter was written on 4 January, 1904, by William Wallace. This letter was written to inform Maggie and her husband that William had reserved a homestead in Maggie's husband's name. William was keenly interested in everything going on around him; his letters and Andrew's reveal what life was like for inexperienced settlers on the Canadian agricultural frontier in the last years of the ninteenth century. Fonds touches on a variety of social, political and economic themes.

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Researchers are responsible for observing Canadian copyright restrictions.

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  • English

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