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Photographic Sciences Corporation

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Collection de microfiches.


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: . JACKES PRICE TEN CENTS (COPYRIGHTED) 1^19 ^m'^micmTiisforiml zmA'.^^Lt^^ —OF ^ -7^ ^—^ ^ — No 1 How Canada Got its First :^: Postage Stamps By LYMAN B.r TWENTY .

They were not government stamps but were issued Dy the post-masters in New York r-jtxr ±5aitimore and other eastern cities. riots and royal portraits— in connection with the production of its first postage stamps. since Confederation have been known as the Provinces of On^ tario and Quebec.^ ^ 3 -3 _ •• . The man who designed Canada's first postage stamps was Mr. The United States government did not issue postage stamps until 1845 but there were stamps in certain parts of the United States as early as 1842. Later. Mr. Away back in the days when the early French explorers were carving an empire here it was possible to send letters r> /-> -J Victoria for his invention of Standard Time Prior to the year 1851 it was possible to trip Pirifich by runners— often Indians. when tv^ x7"" " ^"""^i'^-ii^-ca to develop tne country the stage coaches were used to carry »>-i r^ -. The ^^^^P appeared in the year iLn ^^}:^^^ 1840. Fleming was afterwards knighted by Her Majesty Queen send mail in Canada without postage stamps.HHOW CANADA GOT JLif^ Ix 3 FIRST POSTAGE STAMPS Canada was not the first country in the world to produce postage stamps: but there IS no country or state that can produce a romance equal to Canada—a story that twines itself through fire. Those portions of the country. This was the political union of Upper and Lower Canada. The first Canadian stamps did not appear until April of 1851 and the very early stamps were issued by the government of the United Canadas. Sandford Fleming --as such he was known in the middle of the last century. Great Britain was the first country in the world to issue postage stamps.

There of that is a theory' that the government day called some kind of a public 223901 .the charges were paid in advance. for this service varied with the distance to be covered. local authority. turn ttie postal matters in the United Canadas (Upper and Lower Canada) over to The Hon. when the Colonial Office regulated postal matters in Canada. In the year 1850. 1S5I. James Morris. It was in the year 1850 that the British government decided to letters if The costs IVfoiiday. February 24. Assembly. was Legislative the member of a appointed as the first Post Master General and one of the first things that came to his attention was a package of rough notes and designs for a set of proposed postage stamps. the minimum charge for delivering a letter in Upper Canada was nine pence. p< >4 Page from the diary of Sir Sandford Fleming and the first proof of Canada's first postage stamp. He decided to see what Canadian talent could produce.

Away back in the days when the early French explorers were carving an empire here it was possible to send letters by runners often Indians. Fleming was afterwards knighted by Her Majesty Queen Victoria for his invention of Standard Time. Prior to the year 1851 it was possible to send mail in Canada without postage stamps. Later.k -si - nnuwii in Liie irnuuie or~ Mr. — . when the British commenced to develop the country the stage coaches were used to carry ouvjii lie wtta the last century.

talent could There is a theory' that the government kind uf a pu^. The local authority. the charges were paid in advance. the minimum charge Canada for delivering a letter in Upper 1850 year the in was It was nine pence. postage first Canada's of the first proof Can^ turn ttie postal matters in the United to over Canada) adas (Upper and Lower Morris.. the The costs for this service varied with 1850. February 24. was a member of the Legislative Assembly. year the In covered. p< Fleming and Page from the diary of Sir Sandford stamp. He decided to see what produce.ic of that day caiied some 223901 . to decided government British that the letters if IVfonday. 1851. be distance to when the Colonial Office regulated postal matters in Canada. James Hon.. General Master Post first the appointed as to his and one of the first things that came notes rough attention was a package of postage proposed of and designs for a set Canadian stamps.

February. Your father had. Toronto. James Morris. 1888 mytirection"'^ I >n received your note enclosing one ^^''^ P^""^ P^^t^^e stamps Which ^nul '" "'"^'^ ^°^"-''«<' f- think I mentioned to you that I have possession the proof of the firit postage stamp issued in Canada. Jame^ Morris James Morris. The ShpHf? S^". who of course."*^ ^»^icip uuoK ana '''' 1 snail wr^t^en'' with^t"''^''' "'^' explanation "This sued in Canada designed by Sandford Fleming for the Post Master General. now occupied bv ^X'Ti . was a son of the Hon. the Hon. written hTwTo by Sandfon" &"o^f thing of "r'^'i*" how the stamps were designed. of^fh]^'^ ^nd. I had been makmg designs of some sort for Shernt-Ruttan an intimate friend of your father. 1851.i/^^ referred him to me as a person Who would make a design. Esq^'^''' •'^"""^ My Dear Sir. It is now my rnnv ^«^ f u "'*^^.":^ Sheriff . a granddaughter of '^^' '«"er is ad^°'"'dr:ss^d"to dressed to IS'"' Miss Barman's father. in conversaUon ^"^^^ ^^ ^^^ i'^ ^'^^ With the ^''^^^Se stamps. ^'''^'^ he re^atts first Canadian soC: is postage re This letter Miss Adelle Harman. You ask me to inform you of the is the first proof from the plate of the first postage stamp is- cir- 24 ready for anything whatever.competition for postage stamp designs r have been unable to find any historical support for such a theory. I am ^•en'"' H reproduce a P''™'"^d for the "^ first tTmo letter. I was sent for and was introduced to your father one morning at breakfast time at Stone's* Hotel on King Street.

in my recollection collection of scraps. The hotel where this historic meeting took place was Ellah's Hotel. stamp that was designed but One or two copies were secured by stamp collectors. engraved approved and used for years. is as I have stated. This is made very clear from the diary of Sir Sandford.^sent. 37 years younger than you are now. a well known Toronto establishment that was located on the site of the Romain Building. The design was made. SANDFORD FLEMING 'This is evidently a slip of the pen on the part of Sir Sandford. The one shilling never issued. Under date of February 24th. The first proof taken from the plate by the engraver. According to my you were pr. 1851.Building. the Roniain Wishing you a happy ether good things new year and all Very sincerely yours. To pick up the threads of the story it is necessary that the reader carry the imagination back to a bright summer morning in the month of June in the year 1845 A . he notes in his diary that the meeting took place at Ellah's Hotel. sailing ship has _i_ come into the harbor of Q uc ucc alter a passage pi lorty-two days .

Two young men. Scotland. Early in the year 1845 he commenced to think about coming to Canada. The Fife. Sandford Fleming had considerable talent with his pen and his first duties as an engineering apprentice required that he decorate th» maps and plans with fancy scrolls and figures. are passed through the customs and all Canada lies before them. Scotland. A sailing ship chat had been given the name of "Brilliant" was loading cargo for Quebec and the Captain undertook to give passage to the two lads. After the usual schooling he was apprenticed to a Mr. .i j. The price of the passage was thirteen pounds sterling. The ticket issued to Sandford Fleming was in existence amongst the family papers until recently. The father travelled to Glasgow to see what arrangements might be made to transport his two Bons to Canada. in the little settlement of Kilkcaldy. iii txic yc«. J wiic. The two young men have a look at Que- bec City and then decide to take one of the early river steam boats for Montreal. young man became very' proficient in this Vvork and the lithographic firm gave him sufficient work. Sandford and David Fleming. to enable him to save several pounds.o'xa. They left Glasgow on April 24th and arrived in Quebec on th^ wwi ui. Sang who operated an engineering oflfice in Glasgow. Of the two young men it is Sandford Fleming that plays the important role in this story'. It was a time when Great Britain was laying the foundations for the great railway systems that were to develop and the engineering office was a very busy place. The plans were then sent to a lithographing establishment to be reproduced in numerous copies.from Glasgow. 1827. He was born on January 7th. aside from his regular duties.

of all persons they least expected to see. He had given up school teaching and had turned his efforts to the ministry. He and his wife were on their way' to the north shore of Lake Erie to set up a mission. their old school master from Scotland. When the river steam boat arrived in Montreal they were delighted to meet.Sandford Fleming. This is what he looked like in 1850. The hand of fate appeared to be guiding the young strangers. the young Toronto surveyor and draughtsman who designed the first postage stamps used in Canada. They mvited the two young rnen to come .

affairs of the The Hon. James Morns who took over the postal United Canadas from the Colonial Office in 185Q. "rf .

city Hall. . Toronto.M iii iiii^. iii iiiiii iiiiM iii The copy of the Royal portrait in the Council Chamlier.

Mr. A few enquiries there suggested to Sandford Fleming that he might secure employment in Peterboro. Sandford Fleming was desirous of securing employment as quickly as possible. The party embarked on a steam boat that was heading up Lake Ontario and the two Fleming boys bade their friends farewell and stepped ashore at Port Hope. Fleming came up to Toronto and secured some flat stones from a toinb stone cutter and brought them back tb Peterboro. On these stones he laid out the map. Sandcome to to decided Fleming ford Toronto and try his luck there. It is not at all surprising that ' .This was to Upper Canada with them. It was agreed that the experiment should be tried. He had A letters of introduction officials of the Canada to certain of the he presented Company but when them he was told that em- " ployees were being laid off. Richard Birdsall. There are a few copies of those maps carefully put away in collec tions of Canadian documents. The passage then carried the party through the Rideau canal and the Rideau Lakes and landed them in Kingston. •"^etched -^he stones and printed the maps from them. Mr. They clearly indicate the skill and delicacy of the penman artist. was hopeful that he might have some work for the young man but as the days of unemployment increased. a surveyor. Mr. eagerly agreed upon and passage was secured on a boat that was destined for Bytown (Ottawa). on the northern shore of Lake Ontario. ployer about getting out a lithographed map of the Peterboro district and of similar work that he liad done in Scotland. He returned to Peterboro and was employed He spoke to his emas a draughtsman. his drooping spirits were raised by a message that came from Peterboro. Birdsall had some work for him. few enquiries in Kingston raised his hopes that he might secure employtnent in the A Port Hope and Toronto areas.

He remained in Weston for almost three years. The course I . Ontario would take him on as an apprentice surveyor. of study was to commence in the middle of January. 1849. The classes were to be held in the Legislative chamber of the Parliament Buildings at Montreal. 1846 he learned that a surIn February of veyor in Weston. Toronto.Buch skiU should have aroused the interest of the Hon. with less than position to make several years' experience course of study and pas^^ to undertake a an examination. "Why not" he said to himself" learn the surveying trade?' Then he would be in a all the money for himself. Stoughton Dennis. The map was a modest financial success and it gave young Fleming a very good idea. The first proposal for the twelve penny stamp drawn from the rescued painting that Sandford Fleming had stored under hh draughiii^g table in his Yonge Street office. He came to Weston and was articled to Mr. In December of 1848 all surveyors in Upper and Lower Canada were notified that legislation had been passed requiring all land surveyors. James Morris when he looked over the designs for Canada's first postage stamps.

was leaving the Parliament Buildings after signing the Rebelhon Losses Bill. Mr. The famous London portrait painter. It was the day on which the Elgin riots broke out in Montreal. had painted the original and the government of the United Canadas had ordered a copy of it. He was instructed to come to the Parliament buildings on the 29th of April. 1849. Sandford Fleming was standing on the steps of the building and saw that attack upon the Governor. he was attacked hung above the itself in his notes. throne. His contemplation of this beautiful painting could not have been too diverting from his studies. Five days later he transferred to a boat that was going down through the icy waters of the St. While the instruction was proceeding. Lawrence. That date is very important to the story of how Canada got its first postage stamps. he says. in the Parlia- that —a ( < I r t I t ii s . The wooden walks were broken up and bonfires started with planks. He reached Montreal and commenced his studies with many other students. Plem\^S determined to enter the burning buildin^ and see if anytiiing of value could be a mob and shamefully treated. his mind often wandered to a contemplation of a large picture own ment Buildings. He passed the examination and was notified to come for his certificate document that would enable him to undertake surveying work— as a professional surveyor. It was a painting of the youthful Queen Victoria in her coronation robes. The riots grew apace. When the Governor. Then some of the more daring ones in the mob suggested that the burning planks be tossed through the windows of the Legislative building. Lord Elgin. The place was soon an inferno. Chaion. The inborn artist manifests Early in January Sandford Fleming climbed aboard a lumbering stage coach In Toronto.

1849. He went into the Legislative Chamber and saw the roof there was al- He worked Queen Victoria. The four men picked up the great canvas and commenced to . They tried to lift Ihfc 1851 to replace the original This bears the portrait of Queen "^^^ ^'^'''" ^*"^"* t*»^ painting that Xl^r^Sfrl/^i\ Sandford Fleming rescued from the burning parliament buildings. The crash loosened the canvas and its stretching frame and they' passed it out one of the windows and jumped out on the snow after it just as the roof of the chamber collapsed.ready ablaze. in Montreal. When he it from its wall hangings but the great and massive frame came crashing down to the floor. where he had spent many pleasaht hours. aing undertook to remove it to a place of safety and the others left him. the famous twelve penny black stamp issued summer ot in shilling stam-. march through the mob with it. during thi Elgin riots of April 25th. The fire had made great headway amongst the books and the roof was burning. He called to two or three men and asked them to help save the picture of his way through the smoke to the hbrary. When they were some distance from the burning buildmg the question arose as to what **•„ -mi thev were p-nino* fn H^ urifv.

There was to be one with a face value of three pence. in Toronto. The three pence design was accepted at once and instructions were issued for the engraving of plates and the printing of the stamps. three The designs. Fleming was so impressed with the work on this portrait that he decided to copy the picture and use it for the central theme of the six penny stamp. Mr. one with a face value of six pence and one Mr. rolled it up and took it to his hotel. It was not a question concerning the design of the stamp but there were misgivings over its face value. the Hon. The great rolled up picture was part of his baggage. Fleming his ideas as to what was wanted in the designs for a proposed set of Canadian postage stamps. Next morning he booked stage for Toronto. as some difficulty arose over the proposed shilling stamp. The six penny and the shilling stamp were not proceeded with immediately. Fleming opened an engineering and surveying office in Toronto upon his return.was alone he removed the canvas from the frame. For the shilling stamp he again used the beaver. At the r-eeting which took place at EUah's hotel. His office was on the second floor at the front of the building. the rolled up picture of Queen Victoria gathered dust from May of 1849 until the spring of the year 1851. but enclosed the portrait in a different type of frame from that used on the three pence design. The site of th^s office was the third building south of Adelaide Street on the west side of Yonge Street. with a face value of one shilling. Some fairly good steel engravings of Prince Albert had recently come to Toronto and Mr. . Under the draughting tables in that office. James Morris gave to Mr. submitted Fleming pence stamp carried the picture of the beaver as its central theme.

saw the possibihty of comphcations altered. All the early Canadian banks issued their notes in denominations of Spanish dollars. He studied the face on this canvas and made up a sketch to see how the subject would work into an upright stamp that six penny with the figure designs.In the year 1851 the silver dollar of Spain still held control over much of Canada's finances. I The new Post Master Genhad ordered the shilling stamp. One depicted an oval containing the head and shoulders of the Queen and the other mcJuded much more of the Queen's figure. on the f Atlantic seaboard. At the Montreal meeting. The difference between twelve pence and shilling. On the way back from Montreal he thought of the portrait of Queen Victoria that was rolled up under his draught- arising over the fluctuating value of the He asked Mr. Fleming was asked to design a new stamp to replace the proposed shilling stamp. the first of these designs and the plates for the twelve penny were ordered. Fleming to come down to Montreal and discuss this problem. The mathematical mind of Sandford Fleming had worked out a solution long before he reached Montreal. was five shillings to the Spanish dollar and four Spanish dollars to the pound. In the year 1851 it was a very important item. This rate of exchange was known as "The Halifax rate" but as finances were conducted inland the rate of ex- change eral. one shilling today may' seem an insignificant point. The shilling fell and rose in value against the Spanish dollar. would match the of Prince Albert. The normal rate of exchange between Sterling and Spanish dollars. He proposed a stamp with a face value of twelve pence. Mr. after he ing table. Twelve pence did not fluctuate. He submitted two .

A few specimens from the original plate however did leave the post office. The first stamps offered for sale in Canada were not perforated. Fleming il lii secured such a wonderful portrait of the Queen and the story of the rescued picture from the burning Parliament Buildings in Montreal was disclosed. A public subscription list was opened to meet the expenses of this project and when sufficient money had been gathered the task of duplicating the portrait was given to a local The copy painter named Mr. . Public sale of the six penny and the 12 penny stamp was made a few weeks later. and paste the stamp on the letter or package.The question then arose as to where and how Mr. Before it was returned the Mayor of Toronto John G. went on public sale April 23rd. The plates for the shilling stamp were made but no stamps were offered for sale of the shillng denomination. Bowes and Senator G. The local post master cut the required stamp from a sheet with the aid of either knife or scissors. that was made hangs over the Mayor's chair in the City Council Chamber at Toronto. The purchaser was required to make use of the paste pot. There is one specimen known to be in Montreal and it is reported that a specimen also exists in Vancouver. The first of the stamps (the three penny) designed by Mr. W. Fleming. Berthon. Allan proposed that a full sized copy' be prepared from it. 1851. which was standard equipment in all local post offices. Sheets of perforated stamps or stamps already gummed on the back did not come into general use in Canada for some years after the first stamps were available in 1851. The Government of the United Canadas claimed the picture.

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