|Description: A hardcover book of 334 pages, plus 13 pages of advertisements and 4 illustrations (at pages title, 41, 272, 296). The contents comprise 20 letters describing the settling in Upper Canada of the Magrath and Radcliff families; their travels, difficulties in the earliest days and years; descriptions of the local (aboriginal and emigrant) peoples and institutions; at the end a series of letters describing hunting and fishing. The cover is dark green, plain, except for glued on the spine with the title in block letters, black on white. The illustrations are etchings; three of the four are fanciful - only one appears to be an accurate depiction. The page following the front flyleaf contains an advertisement for a 'Lately Published' book entitled 'Hints on Emigration to Upper Canada.' |
History: Thomas William Magrath was born in Ireland in 1804, the eldest son of Mary and Reverend James Magrath, the first rector of St. Peterís Anglican Church (Erindale). In the spring of 1827, Rev. Magrath and his family (his wife, four sons, one daughter, a nephew and a servant) moved to Upper Canada landing first in Quebec before making their way to York. The Magrath's lived in a rented home in Springfield-on-the-Credit (Erindale) until a home could be built on the 700 acres of property purchased by his father (known today as Credit Woodlands). Thomas and his brothers helped to build their first home named Erindale after Rev. Magrathís home in Ireland. Thomas was known as an avid sportsman often hunting with the local Mississauga Natives and he was active in the Toronto Turf Club and a founding father of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club. He joined the militia and rose to be a Lieutenant Colonel helping to mobilize the militia during the 1837 Rebellion. In 1833, Thomas had a book published, 'Authentic Letters from Upper Canada', reliving his experiences as an emigrant through a series of letters to his uncle in Ireland. At the time of the bookís publication, Thomas held a governor appointed post as an agent for superintending the settlements of emigrants although he still continued to help with farming duties on his fatherís estate. Thomas married Wilhelmina Rose who died giving birth to their son, James Frederick Magrath. After his fatherís death in 1851, Thomas moved to Niagara-on-the-Lake where he acted as a Customs Officer. He died May 22nd, 1886 and is buried at St. Peterís Anglican Church cemetery in Erindale.