William Blake fonds. — 1916-1943. — 3 cm of textual records. — 1 video recording.
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William Blake was originally from Cork, Ireland. He came to the south Peace as a chainman on a Survey Crew ca. 1910 and stayed to homestead in the Richmond Hill area near Lake Saskatoon. He filed on his homestead quarter of SW 1/4 35-71-7-W6th in 1911 and received patent on the land in 1915. During the hysteria of the 1920s and the depression of the 1930s, he continued to farm his quarter section, beset by payments on mortgages and low crop prices and yields. Like many farmers during this period, he had an interest in the politics of the period–in communist and social credit ideals, as well as his position as a Canadian citizen.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of financial records from his homestead and farm, including mortgage and tax papers from 1923-1937, and cash statements for shipping grain and livestock from the 1920s to the 1940s; a series of booklets mostly on politics and citizenship as well as a booklet of poems and songs about the Peace Country; and a few personal cards and letters, one from a nephew in Ayrshire during World War I, and one from a friend during World War II. A booklet called “A Manual of Citizenship” contains identification information filled out by Bertram Bennett who sailed from Liverpool on the S.S. Astonia in 1928 and settled in Grande Prairie, AB.
| A Manual of Citizenship, 1926|
Information for the new Canadians including custom duties, government services, homestead lands, immigration halls, assistance to women, emigration agents, banks, education, health services, etc.
| Songs and Verses of a Peace River Pioneer, n.d.|
Fourty poems with details “concerning the lives of the early settlers of the North Peace,” by John Sweeny, prospector and trapper, who first arrived in the Peace River Country in 1908 and homesteaded at Vanrena in 1913.
| Thirteenth Annual Meeting of Alberta Wheat Pool Delegates, 1935|
Meeting report contains directors’ report, manager’s report, financial report, 1930 situation, resolutions and Junior Wheat Club report. A map inside the front cover shows the location of Alberta Wheat Pool elevators in the Peace River Country in 1935.
| Social Credit Manual, 1935|
Social credit as applied to the Province of Alberta: its foundation and structure; philosophy; general outline of the system; three main principles.
| Canada in the Coming Offensive, 1943|
Report delivered to the Dominion Conference of the Communist-Labor Total War Committees held in Toronto in 1943 regarding the Labour Movement’s involvement and philosophy regarding the war.
| Lenin, 1934|
“Three Speeches About Lenin, One Delivered During His Lifetime, the Others Immediately After His Death”
| The Communist Manifesto, n.d.|
Friedrich Engels’ English translation of Karl Marx’s famous political work.
| Protection, n.d.|
A Jehova Witness booklet.
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