Fonds F2883 - James Evans fonds

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Reference code



James Evans fonds


  • Microfilmed 1976-1985 (originally created 1829-1846) (Creation)

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Extent and medium

3 microfilm reels

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

James Evans, 1801-1846, was born at Kingston upon Hull, England and educated in Lincolnshire. In 1822 he followed his parents to Lower Canada, and found employment as a teacher at L’Orignal, Upper Canada. He converted to the Methodist church and in 1828 accepted an appointment to the Rice Lake school for Indian children. In 1833 he was ordained, and the following year was appointed to the St. Clair Mission (near Sarnia, Ontario). By 1836 he devised a syllabic system for printing scripture and hymns in the Ojibwa language, which he later adapted to the Cree language. In 1840 he was appointed to establish a mission at Norway House (Manitoba). He became embroiled in disputes with Hudson’s Bay Company governor Sir George Simpson and was recalled to London for consultation in 1846, where he died. He married Mary Blithe Smith, and they had one daughter who survived childhood, Eugenia Clarissa (McLean). For further information see Gerald M. Hutchinson's entry, "James Evans", in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, volume 7.


Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Purchased from London Microfilming Inc. and the University of Western Ontario, 1978-1988.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The fonds consists of James Evans’s correspondence inward, diaries, sermons, lectures, notebooks, notes on customs and languages of First Nations, notes on Cree syllabics, and poems. Includes some of his published letters and biographical information published about him.

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Conditions governing access

No restrictions on access.

Conditions governing reproduction

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Script of material

Language and script notes

The material is in English.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

No finding aid.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Originals are held by the D. B. Weldon Library, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario.

Existence and location of copies

Other copies of Evans letters are included in M-4251.

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Title based on contents of records.



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