"THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE CANADIAN SETTLER MUST BE THE FRUIT OF HIS OWN LABOUR": FIRST EDITION OF STRICKLAND'S TWENTY-SEVEN YEARS IN CANADA WEST, 1853, IN ORIGINAL CLOTH
STRICKLAND, Samuel. Twenty-Seven Years in Canada West; or, The Experience of an Early Settler. London: Richard Bentley, 1853. Two volumes. Octavo, blind- and gilt-stamped red cloth, uncut. $850.
First edition of this 19th-century narrative of settling in Canada, edited by the author's sister, Agnes Strickland, in original cloth.
In 1852, Agnes Strickland, famous royal biographer, "was visited by her brother Samuel, who by this time had been twice widowed and was a farmer and leading citizen of Lakefield, Canada. It was Agnes who persuaded him to write an account of his experiences there, Twenty-Seven Years in Canada West" (DNB). Samuel Strickland's book "provides helpful details on the many aspects of settling on a new homestead. He is quite clear on the problems of clearing land, building homes and stables, and working with neighbours. At the same time, Twenty-seven Years in Canada West is an autobiography of the trials and triumphs of a settler who had always worked with his hands… Strickland described Upper Canada as the poor man's country because the 'poor industrious emigrant' could prosper there… He concluded that 'No person need starve in Canada, where there is plenty of work and good wages for every man who is willing to labour, and who keeps himself sober.' The gentlemen could do fine as they had education that opened opportunities for offices and the professions… Twenty Seven Years in Canada West is a manual for emigrants… Professor Clara Thomas astutely observed, 'Samuel Strickland's book, a document of almost three decades of pioneer experience, is witness to a life lived and recalled with a constant, positive energy, as a tough, challenging, but ultimately satisfying adventure.' But the book was also a strategy for bringing hard-working emigrants from Britain" (Elwood Jones, Trent University). Binder ticket.
Only occasional foxing to interior, a few tiny spots of soiling to cloth, toning to spines, gilt bright. An extremely good copy.