February 27, 1851 Artemesia Township Petition

1851 Correspondence to George Snider, Crown Land Agent: Petition from Artemesia Township Black Settlers


The Archives are fortunate to hold an extensive collection of letters, donated by Bill Henry, PF502. The collection includes a variety of authors and recipients, but the bulk are circa 1850s correspondence to George Snider. Snider assumed a number of roles in the formative years of the County, including Grey County Sheriff, Owen Sound Mayor, and Member of Parliament for Grey North. Correspondence highlighted here stems from George Snider’s role in the 1850s as Crown Land Agent. Grey County was provisionally established in 1852. The era of pioneer settlement in this region was both a time of opportunity and turbulence. Land was opened for settlement, but at the same time there was an influx of people jockeying for property. This petition featured provides names of Black settlers in Artemesia, but other circumstances of conflict in other townships and between other settlers also existed. A transcript of the letter is included for ease of reading along with the original below.

*Historic language used which would be considered racist today. 

A letter written to Mr. George Snider, Government Agent:

27 February 1851


Mr. George Snider Government agent

Sir we as a body of colourd (sic) people we Pettion (sic) to your honour in order that you will prevent a man of colour by the Name of charles maloney from having agrant (sic) of land in the town ship of artemesia the reason that we Pettion to your honour is that this man is a bad man in the Neighbourhood this man is known by us in the Queens bush the agent Mr. Jackson on the account of this refused to let this Man have agrant of Land/ Sir your pettioners’ll ever pray

John W Levi

Dorsey ambush

James (?) Handay

Larken Mark alverson

John Brown

David mason

Lewis howard

James Jackson

Philloman workman

Lemuel brown

John Johnson

Levi Johnson

Chancey Simons

Gabriel Black

franklin crawford

James handy

When folded, the back of the letter reads:

Letter and Petition of John W. Levi and others – wishing me not to give a grant to Charles Maloney

July 27th 1851

February 27, 1851 letter front
February 27, 1851 letter back

Transcription by Mollie Wilson - Archives Volunteer

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