Letter from Alexander McPherson to his mother, 1 September 1834
- Alexander McPherson, Author
- Media Type
- Item Type
- Letter written by Alexander McPherson from a plantation in Berbice, British Guiana to his mother in Tain, Scotland.
- Content warning: Racism, Slavery, and Colonialism
The Alexander McPherson letters contain discussion of slavery and managing a plantation and may contain violent descriptions. Some of this information may be difficult to absorb. These ideologies are not condoned by Archives at Whitby Public Library, but the Archives has preserved such records in the hopes that, by encountering them, people will begin to think critically about and challenge historical and current racism.
Alexander McPherson was born to William, a carpenter, and Janet (nee Fraser) at Tain, Ross Shire in Scotland on November 25, 1803. By April 1825, McPherson left Scotland by way of an indenture for British Guiana where he was manager of Planation Nos. 17 & 18 in Berbice. The cotton planation was owned by James Blair, a slave owner and Minister of British Parliament from 1818 to 1830 and 1837 to 1841. Plantations 17 & 18 included 350 slaves and covered an area of 2000 acres. McPherson also served as a Lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion of the Berbice Militia.
Following the abolition of slavery in 1833, McPherson made plans to leave British Guiana. He appears in the British Parliamentary Papers as a claimant receiving £63 for owning one slave at the time of abolition. McPherson arrived in Canada sometime in early 1835 and settled at Whitby, Canada West by 1837 when he was appointed Post Master.
McPherson married Fanny Moore at Whitby in November 1837 and together they had eight children. While in Whitby, McPherson was made Lieutenant-Colonel of the 1st Battalion of the Ontario Militia and served as Councillor for the North Ward in 1858/59. He held the position of Post Master until his death in 1861. He is buried in Union Cemetery, Oshawa.
- Date of Original
- 1 September 1834
- Date Of Event
- Personal Name(s)
- Local identifier
- F27 Alexander McPherson fonds
- Copyright Statement
- Public domain: Copyright has expired according to Canadian copyright law. No restrictions on use.