This fonds documents the business, political, and personal activities of Arthur Hill Gillmor; the business activities of his father and brothers, the personal activities of his wife, Hannah; and the business, professional, and personal activities of their children and grandchildren. It sheds light on the A. H. Gillmor family's personal relationships and their relationships with kin, notably, Hannah Gillmor's mother, her sisters, Lucretia, Maria, and Harriet, and their husbands, H. E. Seelye, Henry Beckwith, and J. A. Davidson / Davison respectively.
The fonds also documents, to a more limited extent, the personal activities of Hannah Dawes Howe and her son, Albion Pratt Howe, as a Union Army soldier during the American Civil War. It sheds light on the challenges her sons, daughters, and sons- and daughters-in-laws faced as they rebuilt their lives in the American and Canadian West. Taken collectively, these records explore a variety of themes, including New Brunswick politics, the role of a politician's wife, children and childhood in the colonial era, lumbering in Charlotte County, outmigration, Confederation, tariffs (National Policy), free trade, prohibition, temperance, railway building, and the role of religion in 19th century New Brunswick.
Business records (1846-1894) document the ebb and flow of both the Gillmor enterprises and the economy of Charlotte County and point to periods of financial difficulty for the Gillmor family. Included are administrative, financial, and legal records for the Gillmor family's extensive lumbering, sawmilling, mercantile and trading businesses, such as correspondence, invoices, accounts, bills payable and receivable, cashbooks, daybooks, account ledgers, receipts, bills of lading, survey bills, orders, time books (wages), bank books, tally book, timber licenses, deeds, agreements, and promissory notes, along with insurance papers pertaining to the schooner "Ben Bolt". A very few documents pertaining to the Bonny River Lumber Company are available.
Political records (1857-1897) reflect A. H. Gillmor's activities as a member of the House of Assembly, as provincial secretary in A. J. Smith's short-lived administration, and as a member of the Dominion Parliament. The bulk of these records is comprised of incoming correspondence which, along with discussions on political subjects and issues, contains comments of a personal nature. A very few draft outgoing letters are included. During his political career, Gillmor corresponded with many political leaders and public figures including, Samuel Leonard Tilley, Albert J. Smith, George F. Hill, J. E. Knight, George D. Street, W. H. Chaffey, B. R. Stevenson, James Brown, John McAdam, Edward Jack, Charles Fisher, William Wedderburn, W. B. Kinnear, and T. W. Anglin.
Political records also include notices addressed to the electors of Charlotte County; listings of voters; draft and printed speeches prepared for election campaigns and on political issues (i.e., Confederation, tarrifs, prohibition); draft and printed bills (House of Assembly and House of Commons); petitions addressed to lieutenant governors (J. H. T. Manners Sutton and A. H. Gordon), the Executive Council, the House of Assembly, the House of Commons, A. H. Gillmor, and others (including 5 from widows and family of Revolutionary War veterans); and printed speeches, pamphlets and other material on such subjects as capital punishment (Louis Riel), railways, boundaries, treaties, free trade, protectionism, the Irish question, and the Paris exhibition.
Personal and family records (1859-1899) consist primarily of correspondence. Of particular interest are letters between A. H. Gillmor and his wife, Hannah, and to A. H. Gillmor from his children. Letters from A. H. Gillmor to his wife discuss both personal and political matters. The Gillmor children's letters offer insights into 19th century childhood, their relationship with their father and mother, the education of girls and boys, student life at the Collegiate School in Fredericton (1870s), and social, business, and political activities in Charlotte County. As well, there are a number of letters to A. H. Gillmor from his brother-in-law, Henry E. Seelye which provide details of business, political, and personal matters. Seelye's letters dated after 1861 describe his business and political activities in the American and Canadian West, as well as family matters.
There are also letters between Hannah Gillmor and her children, mother and siblings. Letters from her brother, A. Pratt Howe, provide information about his activities in the Union Army. Letters to Hannah Gillmor from her mother and sisters, Maria Beckwith, Lucretia Seelye, and Harriet Davidson, provide information about family matters and the challenges the Beckwiths, Seelyes, and Davidsons faced constructing new lives in the West.
The fonds includes letters to the Gillmor children -- Adela, Daniel, Henry E., and Percy -- from their father. Several letters between family members, dating to 1878, detail Percy H. Gillmor's experiences and behaviour while attending the Collegiate School. Accounts concerning the cost of Adela, Henry, and Percy's education and training are included. There are also a few letters addressed to A. H. Gillmor's father, Daniel Gillmor; Hannah Howe; Lucretia and Henry E. Seelye; Harriet Davidson; and Aunt Sarah.
Lastly, there is a diary of a voyage by an unnamed traveller from Saint John, N.B. to Liverpool, England, and return (1886); along with a genealogical chart of the Gillmor family; a few newspaper clippings; and manuscript and printed copies of poetry.