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BOOK - Life of Colonel Talbot and the Talbot Settlement [Ontario, Canada]
By Edward Ermatinger
Originally published by A. McLachlin's Home Journal Office, 1859
This edition published by Global Heritage Press, Milton, 2001, 2006
Between 1791 and 1794, Irish born Colonel Thomas Talbot explored the thick, mixed deciduous forest wilderness on the shores of Lake Erie with the Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, John Graves Simcoe. Talbot, unable to forget the wilds of Canada, sold his commission and emigrated to Upper Canada (Ontario) in 1803. He was initially granted 5000 acres of land for his military service.
With the help of Simcoe, Talbot arranged a cozy deal with the crown:
Violently contemptuous of government red tape, he was a continual headache to land officials, yet he managed to settle 27 townships with thousands of settlers who cleared more than ½ million acres over very few years.
Living the life of a hermit in a log house on a cliff above Lake Erie, Colonel Thomas Talbot had a steady stream of immigrants visit him to strike a bargain for land. The settler would go to a special window that was much like a wicket in a post office. He would state his business, and if the Colonel had no reason to object to him, out came the Colonel's maps of the area and the settlers name was inscribed in pencil on a 50 or 100 acre parcel. If the Colonel took exception to someone he would dismiss them immediately. If they resisted, he was not above setting the hounds on the unwanted visitor. The eccentric Colonel was truly one of the great characters of Canadian history having pioneered the most successful non-governmental land settlement program in Canada.
This book is the story of Colonel Talbot and his settlement as written by Edward Ermatinger prior to 1859.
Written historical accounts are always presented from an author's viewpoint. That viewpoint may or may not necessarily be an accurate or fair interpretation of fact. Ermatinger expressed his opinions and recollections very clearly in the Life of Colonel Talbot and the Talbot Settlement. Many of his contemporaries, and historians since, claim that he unfairly used the book to diminish the reputations of his adversaries, both living and dead. Others have written that Ermatinger provided an all-too-favorable account of Colonel Talbot.
Before drawing conclusions, students of the life and accomplishments of Colonel Talbot and of the Talbot Settlement need to read this account, then compare it to other written histories and primary source evidence. Contents include:
Edward Ermatinger (1797-1876) was a Canadian fur trader, businessman, political figure and author of this account of the Life of Colonel Talbot and the Talbot Settlement. He was born on the island of Elba in February of 1797, and was educated in England. Ermatinger settled in St. Thomas, where he served as postmaster, reeve, owned a general store and was manager for the Bank of Upper Canada, then the Commercial Bank and finally the Bank of Montreal. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada for Middlesex in 1844 as a Conservative. He was also editor and owner of the St. Thomas Standard, fortuitous considering his political activities. In 1851, he helped found the Bank of the County of Elgin. Edward Ermatinger died at St. Thomas, Ontario in October of 1876.
Some names and topics that appear in this book:
Beecher, Henry C.
Bethune, Dr. Alexander
Brock, Sir Isaac
Brown, C. B.
Buckingham, Marquis of
Colborne, Sir John
Cronyn, Rev. Benjamin
Duncombe, Dr. Charles
Dunlop, Dr. William
Friends - Quakers
Goodhue, Dr. J. C.
Goodhue, Hon. J. G.
Hamly (Hambly), William
Harrison, Gen. William Henry
Holland, Rev. H.
Hunter, Jane (Mrs. Jeffery)
Hunter, Gen. William
St. Thomas Land Boards
MacArthur, General Duncan
McKenzie, William Lyon
McNab, Sir Allan
Maitland, Sir Peregrine
Powell, William Dummer
Proctor, Gen. Henry
Ridout, Thomas G.
Robinson, John Beverley
Settlers- English; Irish; Nova Scotian; Quakers; Scottish; United States.
Stanley, Edward Geoffrey
Strachan, Bishop John
Woodward, J. K.
More Canadian Genealogy & History Resources from Global Genealogy: