1861 ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN LETTER DETAILING TIME SPENT IN A GROWING MID-19th CENTURY TORONTO, REMARKING ON ITS PEOPLE, FASHION AND LANDMARKS

By: HUGH SMITH

Price: $1,385.99

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Good


On offer is a remarkable letter from a loving husband to his wife, written from a man travelling in Toronto back to his wife in England. The letter is a fascinating snapshot of a foreigner in Toronto in the mid-19th century. Obviously far from home, the sender, Mr. Hugh Smith, finds the city beautiful and amazing, and shares it ecstatically with his wife. The letter, however, begins on a somber note. “You have no doubtedly before this time read a letter from George informing you of your father’s death.” He suffered greatly he explains, of an ulceration of the stomach, and was “miserable for a day before his death...He is in the cemetery in the city - a tombstone was put up yesterday upon his grave.” The letter then makes a quick turn. “I am in great health and I feel as if the journey has done me a great deal of good.” Hugh then describes the Toronto he currently inhabits. The “splendid affair of a devotion to the cultivation of fruit trees,” and the University where he “saw a great collection of such quadrupeds [four foot animals].” He finds Toronto to be a beautiful and interesting city. Then the letter focuses on the women in the city and the fashion that Mr. Smith finds so curious, including “bonnets of undescribable shapes,” and veils that “reach in some cases down to the nose.” Mr. Smith finds the shapes, colors, and patterns of the fashion to be “striking” and unusual. Finally, Mr. Smith wraps up with pleasantries to his loving wife and children, and signs the letter, “your corny husband, Hugh Smith.” The letter is a great example of how Toronto was seen through foreign eyes in the mid-19th century and would make a great part of a collection on the growing metropolitan city. The letter is in good condition, showing minimal wear or discoloration. There are a few small tears and spots of discoloration along the creases. There is a bit more noticeable discoloration on the back page, but it does not affect the legibility of the writing. Any tears do not affect the structural integrity of the letter which is still held together very well. The handwriting is legible throughout, in unfaded black ink. The letter is four pages long. (Background: In 1861, the population of Toronto was 65,085.)

Title: 1861 ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN LETTER DETAILING TIME SPENT IN A GROWING MID-19th CENTURY TORONTO, REMARKING ON ITS PEOPLE, FASHION AND LANDMARKS

Author Name: HUGH SMITH

Categories: Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 19th Century Manuscript, 19th Century Ephemera,

Publisher: TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA, 1861

Book Condition: Good

Type: Manuscript

Size: 4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall

Seller ID: 0009100

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