Fonds F1212 - James F. Macleod family fonds

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James F. Macleod family fonds


  • 1856-1959, predominant 1877-1919 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

45.5 cm of textual records.
285 photographs

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

James Farquharson Macleod, 1836-1894, was born in Scotland, the son of Martin Donald Macleod and Jane Fry. The family moved to Upper Canada in 1845. James received his BA from Queen's in 1854 and was called to the Bar in 1860. He served under Col. Wolseley during the 1870 Riel Rebellion. In 1873 he accepted the position of Assistant Commissioner in the newly formed North-West Mounted Police, and the following year led a police column to southern Alberta and established Fort Macleod. In 1875 he sent troops to establish Fort Walsh and Fort Calgary. He served as Commissioner of the NWMP from 1876 until 1880. As Commissioner he successfully negotiated Treaty 7 in 1877. When he resigned in 1880 he moved to Pincher Creek and devoted himself to judicial duties. He was one of only three magistrates in the North-West Territories. From 1887 until his death he was a judge of the Supreme Court of the North-West Territories.

He married Mary Isabella Drever, 1852-1933, in 1876, and they had four daughters and a son, Helen (Cross), Jean (Montgomerie-Bell), Mary M. (Townshend), Roma (Sharpe), and Norman Torquil Macleod, 1880-1970. His older brother, Norman Torquil Macleod, 1822-1885, served as the first Indian agent in southern Alberta from 1880 to 1882. Colonel Macleod School in Calgary was named in his honour in 1955. Macleod Drive in Lethbridge, Alberta, Macleod Manor at Fort Macleod, Macleod Island, Alberta, Macleod Mall in Calgary, Macleod Plaza in Calgary and Macleod Trail in Calgary are also named after Colonel Macleod.

For further information see Roderick C. Macleod's entry, "James Farquharson Macleod", in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. XII. - Toronto : University of Toronto Press, 1990, p. 672-675; Macleod of the Mounties : The Story of a Scottish Canadian Hero who Preserved the Great North-West / Michael Craufurd-Lewis. -- Kemptville : Golden Dog Press, 1999; Roderick G. Martin's article, "Macleod at Law : A Judicial Biography of James Farquharson Macleod" in People and Place : Historical Influences on Local Culture / Constance Backhouse and Jonathan Swainger, eds. -- Vancouver : University of British Columbia Press, 2003; and Bill Waiser's entry, "James Macleod", in Encyclopedia of the Great Plains / James R. Wishart, ed. -- Lincoln/London : University of Nebraska Press, 2004, p. 456-457.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Gifts of Mr. and Mrs. Norman T. Macleod, Mary Dover, Jean Montgomerie-Bell, Rothnie Montgomerie-Bell, Elizabeth Townshend, Ruth Macleod White, Roma Lawrence, Joanne & Douglas Evans, and James White, Ruth White and Toby Lawrence, 1956-2018.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The fonds consists of J.F. Macleod's certificates and commissions (1856-1887); letters to his wife (1874-1894); records as police magistrate (1882-1894): correspondence, Blood treaty documents, naturalization papers, petitions, appeals and Metis claims; and correspondence regarding Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) liquor problems in British Columbia (1885). Includes Mary Macleod's correspondence (1887-1919); Norman T. Macleod's (son) reminiscences (1959) and some correspondence; Norman T. Macleod's (brother) letters to his daughter, Bessie (1880-1885); photographs of the family, NWMP and Bloods; and biographical notes.

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      Language and script notes

      The material is in English.

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      Existence and location of originals

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      Digital content is available

      Related units of description

      The letterbooks of J. F. Macleod's father, Martin Donald Macleod, are in the Metropolitan Toronto Library. A microfilm copy is available at Glenbow.

      J. F. Macleod's notebooks as a stipendiary magistrate are held at the Provincial Archives of Alberta.

      Related descriptions

      Notes area


      Title based on contents of records.


      Microfilm Macleod (originally numbered "AB") is a copy of the Martin Macleod material in Toronto.


      Microfilm Macleod (originally "AC") is a copy of M-782. The new AC Macleod, done in January 1994, is a microfilm of all the Macleod family textual records, including M-782, but not the letters from James to Mary, which were received after the microfilming was done. It has no accession number.


      M-781 (accn. 2710) is a duplicate of an original letter in M-776-14 and M-2820 (accn. 3612) is questionable stuff. They have thus not been included in the call numbers.


      PC-121-(1-3) have probably been permanently loaned to Heritage Park. We no longer have them.


      Microfilm-Macleod, J.F.

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      Dates of creation revision deletion

      Thursday, September 27, 2018




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