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Elizabeth Postuma Simcoe

(1762—1850) diarist and artist


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John Graves Simcoe (1752—1806) army officer and colonial governor

 

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(1762–1850). Born in Northamptonshire, Elizabeth married John Graves Simcoe in 1782. With inherited wealth she bought a 5,000-acre estate near Honiton, where the Simcoes lived until her husband was appointed lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada in 1791. They spent the first winter at Quebec, a year at Niagara-on-the-Lake, then moved to York (Toronto) in 1793. After returning to England in 1796 they settled on their Devon estate, where Elizabeth brought up her children, 13 in all. She enjoyed her adventuring years in Canada and recorded them in a series of diaries, illustrated with many sketches. Numerous watercolours also commemorated Canadian scenes. She wrote at least three versions, commenting on flora and fauna, on the medical uses made of them, on Native people and their customs, and on vignettes of Canadian life. First edited and published by John Ross Robertson in 1911, reprinted in 1934 and 1973, they were edited and published as Mrs. Simcoe's Diary by Mary Quayle Innis in 1965.

From The Oxford Companion to Canadian History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: History of the Americas.


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