Samuel Sobieski Nelles Fonds

Series 1: Correspondence

Title

Correspondence

Dates of Creation

1856–1962, predominant 1868–1887

Extent

24 cm of textual records

Scope and Content

Series consists of incoming and outgoing general and specific correspondence, 1856–1887, re a wide range of academic and University administrative subjects, and family correspondence, 1887–1962, after Nelles’ death. Correspondents include Egerton Ryerson, J.J. Maclaren, J.G. Hodgins and Isaac Brock Aylesworth.

Box/File List

Acc. No. Box File Title Dates
1991.197V 1 1 General Correspondence.
Letter from Dr. McCaul regarding application of former Victoria College students to University College (students had been suspended from Victoria for burning effigy of S.D. Rice), letter from Dr. John Beatty (professor of natural science) protesting his removal from Board of Victoria and suggesting that lay members of the Board be appointed by the laity of the Church, letter from Governor General’s secretary re: regulations for Indian civil service exam (contains notes by Nelles on the need for a Methodist College), Rev. John Bredin re: Langton’s defence of the University of Toronto, letter from William Leitch (principal of Queen’s), letter from Nelles to A. Marling forwarding copy of university calendar, letter of condolence from students on death of Nelles family member, W.H. Miles of Bishop’s College in Canada East re: transfer student, Dr. E.P. Harris (science professor) re: college’s purchase of his cabinets of geological specimens, A.H. Reynar (French, German and English literature professor) outlining his studies in Berlin and asking for extension of stay in Europe, Reynar describes his thoughts on observance of the Sabbath, letter from Nelles to Nathanael Burwash encouraging him in his studies at Yale, letter explaining relationship between Queen’s College School and Kingston Grammar School and offering advice on setting up grammar school in Cobourg, Nelles confirms M.A. degree for Rev. D.G. Sutherland, request from Board of Grammar School Trustees in Cobourg that Victoria furnish local equivalent of government grant, Judge Wilmott seeking professor for Mount Allison, letters from Rev. W.S. Griffin discussing his reactions to “The Life and Light of Man” and “Ecce Deus” (especially latter’s stance on endless punishment), defeat of George Brown and impact on fate of Victoria, sale of college property in Guelph, letter from Reynar in Paris concerning his progress, Thomas D’Arcy McGee thanks Nelles for his approval of McGee’s Union speech
1856–1867
1 2 General Correspondence.
Provincial Secretary’s office re: Gilchrist Scholarship, Nelles to George Stevens re: payment of his subscription to college in furniture, Stevens’ reply, John Torrance re: insurance of connexional property, amusing letter from Morley Punshon re: shortage of butter and lard, John Torrance re: insurance, William Snodgrass (principal of Queen’s) concerning lack of financial assistance from legislature, W.S. Griffin’s criticism of Richard Jones and report of college meeting in Washington circuit, discussion of Punshon’s election as member of Conference, Griffin’s account of his speeches on behalf of college endowment, letters from Morley Punshon expressing concern over nominations of Flint and Peak and describing Brethour’s intention to endow prize in theological studies, complaint from Rev. Charles S. Eby about salary and description of his work among Germans in Preston, letter from I.A. Perkins severing Victoria’s connection to Montreal faculty of law, letter from senior class re: scholarship of 1872, John Macdonald re: creation of theological chair, Lachlin Taylor re: Jackson estate’s endowment for theological chair, H.A. Hardy regarding settlement of Nelles’ father’s estate
1868–1872
1 3 General Correspondence.
Adam Crooks (minister of education) re: University Bill, recommendation from E.O. Haven for position of natural science professor, Goldwin Smith accepts Nelles’ invitation to speak at Victoria, James Mills re: establishment of scholarship by Brethour, Dr. B. Cocker of University of Michigan recommends Haanel for natural science position, Goldwin Smith re: future of Victoria, Dr. A. Winchell’s recommendation for Haanel, letter of thanks for honorary doctorate from Luke N. Wiseman of Wesleyan Mission House (London), recommendation of Mr. Dazell for chemistry position by Professor Anderson of University of Glasgow, Cocker re: purchase of scientific equipment for college, Wiseman declines degree, Cocker re: Haanel, Dr. E. Frankland’s (Royal College of Chemistry, London) recommendation of E. Kinch for science post, Haanel’s acceptance of chair of natural science, Cocker re: Haanel, Annie Hurst Panton sends best wishes for Nelles’ birthday, Haanel re: arrangements for move to Cobourg, J.B. Ryckman re: opening of Dundas Wesleyan Institute (written on back of brochure for Institute)
1873
1 4 General Correspondence.
Lord Bishop of Quebec re: feasibility of common examinations for all those receiving degrees from Canadian universities, recommendations for honorary LL.D. for Cocker, James Mills re: Brethour’s scholarship and college endowment scheme under Johnson’s agency, comparison of examinations set by Professors Bain, Wilson, Reynar, and Nelles, Lydia Ann Jackson re: terms of bequest for chair of theology, Goldwin Smith re: honorary degrees for Rev. William Frederick Briggs and Rev. William P. Slater, Mills on need for Victoria to secure government funding in order to survive, J.E. Rose complaining about his treatment at a Victoria Board meeting, Mills on need to raise scholarship money in order to compete with Toronto
1874
1 5 General Correspondence.
Provost George Whitaker of Trinity College on systems of instruction, Goldwin Smith re: university consolidation, Mills on Brethour scholarship and need for scholarship money to attract good students, G.N. Tackabury re: topographical atlas, letter from Dr. James McCosh (College of New Jersey) thanking Nelles for suggestions on his book, G. Doutre concerning irregular admissions into medical faculty of Montreal French College, Thomas Gibbs declines to speak at convocation, Smith and Gemmell re: plans for Faraday Hall, letter from M. Richardson (Bank of Montreal) re: contractor bidding for Faraday Hall, Dr. G. Douglas re: competition for students between Victoria College and Wesleyan College in Montreal, Nelles to I.R. Eckart expressing concern over Report of Senate of University of Toronto especially regarding relationship between School of Medicine and Surgery of Montreal and Victoria College, John Macdonald on university consolidation and suggestions for dealing with Victoria’s debt
1875–1876
1 6 General Correspondence.
Request from J.C. Dent for photo of Victoria College, request for replacement of diplomas from Dr. Hector Peltier, recommendation of C.M. Moss for position at Victoria by E.O. Haven, Moss’s plans for his courses, John A. Williams thanks Nelles for a book, G.M. Grant on his appointment as Queen’s principal, Dr. J. McLellan’s approval of Victoria’s improved standards, Mills on need for ranking students, Crooks’ secretary re: regulations governing an honour degree, notification that Punshon has sent case of books to college library, John Macdonald asks to be relieved of the Treasurership of Victoria and discusses various other college matters, letter from Uzziel Ogden (professor of medicine) recommending Rev. John McCarroll for Doctor of Medicine, Crooks complaining of unfair treatment by Canada School Journal, Nelles’ reply, W.H. McClive (Senate representative in Law) makes suggestions regarding Faculty of Law, Crooks re: Governor General’s scholarship medals
1877–1879
1 7 General Correspondence.
Crooks re: Governor General’s medals, letter to Governor General’s secretary declining association with medals, authorization for release of books to J.H. Campbell for Webster Prize of 1880, Daniel Wilson on his appointment as president of University College, G.M. Grant re: affiliation with Toronto University, Daniel Wilson re: books sent to Victoria’s library, Mills’ resignation from Senate, letters from Dr. W.T. Aikins (Toronto School of Medicine) accepting honorary LL.D. from Victoria, Grant mentions his article for Methodist Monthly Magazine and asserts need to challenge traditional thought, J. McLean on his studies and missionary work among the Blackfoot Indians of the Rockies, Nelles to Crooks describing status of Victoria, R.C. Pitman’s impressions of Quebec and his comments on Nelles’ article on Whittier, L.E. Horning asks that football team be excused from classes for a match, letter from John Bredin to Burwash re: minutes of the Journal, Wesley Smith (Drew Theological Seminary) re: American Interseminary Missionary Alliance
1880–1882
1 8 General Correspondence.
Rev. C.W.E. Body (provost of Trinity College) requesting Nelles’ opinion on enclosed draft of petition to be sent to Minister of Education re: new regulations for teaching in high schools, notice of meeting of Missionary Committee of Consultation and Finance, R.C. Pitman on reconciliation of reason and faith and potential of an independent Canada, Rev. Enoch Wood on Ryerson Chair and opposition to church union movement, Goldwin Smith on university consolidation, Daniel Wilson re: university consolidation, R.C. Pitman discusses his reading material and American politics, Nelles to Dewart re:university question, Pitman discusses controversy caused by Congregational minister (Munger), William Mulock re: incorrect editorial in the World, Pitman re: Matthew Arnold, George Eliot and move to Toronto by Victoria, Pitman’s opinion of Methodism and American politics, Goldwin Smith discusses some difficulties facing Victoria, Nelles to Mulock re: division of university curriculum after federation, Nelles to John Bryant of the Education Office re: description of Victoria, Nelles to Professor A.H. Newman of McMaster University sending copy of Victoria calendar, Pitman compliments Nelles on his convocation address and discusses poetry and English politics, G.C. Workman detailing progress of his studies in Leipzig and his translation of Book of Jeremiah, note re: Ryerson Chair subscriptions, letter to Burwash asking him to protect Nelles from unjust allegations re: university federation while Nelles is in England, Nelles outlines his stand on federation, letter to Burwash with further information on Nelles’ federation position, criticism of Dewart, letter from Workman detailing his negative reaction to federation, financial difficulties, publication of his book, and reluctance to leave Germany before receiving degree, letter from Canada Life Assurance Company re: status of Victoria’s finances, personal note from Nelles to unidentified friend, letter concerning estimate for Faraday Hall
1883–1887
1 9 Correspondence Between Isaac Brock Aylesworth and S.S. Nelles.
Letters from Aylesworth (co-treasurer of Victoria College) re: criticism of method of appointing Rev. Charles Fish to staff of Victoria, reaction to sermon preached by Nelles at quarterly meeting at Port Hope, Nelles’ reply, question concerning William Nelles’ scholarship note, by-law Aylesworth has drawn up for regulating endowment fund at Victoria, Aylesworth’s response to attacks made upon him at Montreal Conference, history of Victoria’s endowment scheme and Aylesworth’s relationship with the college, criticism of S.D. Rice’s financial management, conflicts with Nelles and other members of Board, Aylesworth charges mismanagement of scholarship fund and questions propriety of Nelles’ beliefs and conduct, criticizes Nelles’ concern for his own salary
1864–1869
1 10 Correspondence Between J.G. Hodgins and S.S. Nelles.
The originals of any photocopied letters in the correspondence between Hodgins and Nelles may be found in the personal papers of J.G. Hodgins which are held by the Archives of the United Church of Canada. Hodgins cites opinion of Rev. Henry Mattison of New York and Nathan Bangs re: attendance at class meetings as a condition of church membership, Mrs. Rolph and Aikens want to attach their medical school to Victoria, Hodgins in favour of moving Victoria to Toronto, Hodgins critical of pamphlet by Henry Wilkinson, donates prizes to Victoria, congratulates Nelles on birth of his daughter, Nelles re: university chancellorship for Ryerson, national university, apology of suspended students, Nelles re: college prizes, makes recommendations for Hodgins’ new work, discusses reform of university Senate, newspaper reaction University Commission’s report, Nelles thanks Hodgins for defending him in Synod, discusses University Commission report, Hodgins re: defence of Nelles in Synod, Nelles re: law course at Victoria, Nelles’ comments on Leitch’s pamphlet on university question, Nelles re: prizes and convocation, illness of Nelles’ mother-in-law, unpleasant Conference, Nelles laments Ryerson’s estrangement from the college, asks Hodgins for an English Composition text book and recommends Arnold’s essays
1854–1865
1 11 Correspondence Between J.G. Hodgins and S.S. Nelles.
Nelles re: college prizes, Victoria out of debt, discusses college’s policy regarding honorary degrees, invites Hodgins to convocation, Nelles hails the Mail as a worthy opponent of the Globe, Nelles supports provincial university and more influence on college management by graduates, concern over movement to oust Dickson from Hamilton, talk of Sangster as Ryerson’s successor,Nelles wants Canon Kingsley at convocation, explanation of absence from Council meeting, Nelles refuses to divulge a confidence, Nelles’ recommendation for high school examiners, birth of another son in Nelles’ family
1866–1875
1 12 Correspondence Between J.G. Hodgins and S.S. Nelles.
Nelles’ praise for Hodgins’ article on university question, makes a few suggestions for Hodgins’ consideration, Hodgins’ reply explaining his position on examiners, further reaction to Hodgins’ article, attempt to win support for affiliation (particularly government financial support), Nelles compares matriculation requirements of Victoria and the University of Toronto, Nelles comments on Church of England, Nelles trying to get editor of New York Advocate (Fowler) as speaker at Victoria, college prizes, convocation programme, Nelles’ comment on 1878 Annual Conference and Hodgins’ re-election as Secretary of Synod, Nelles using Kant in lectures, controversy over dismissal of female teacher from Cobourg Collegiate Institute, Nelles wants Hodgins on Victoria Senate, Hodgins’ negative reaction to new separate school legislation, asks for Nelles’ support, Nelles’ reply, election of members of Senate, marriage of Nelles’ daughter, Hodgins outlines reasons for not sitting on Senate of Victoria, Nelles’ disappointment at Hodgins’ failure to get elected to Senate, Wilson’s chance at president’s post at University of Toronto, Nelles praises Hodgins’ position on university question and refers to dissension in Church of England
1876–1880
1 13 Correspondence Between J.G. Hodgins and S.S. Nelles.
Nelles discusses mood at Teachers’ Convention, expresses sorrow at Ryerson’s failing health, Crooks asks for report of Victoria, Nelles thanks Hodgins for kind notice of his article in Methodist Magazine, Nelles offers opinion on harm of sacerdotalism, Hodgins discusses his friendship for Nelles and his feelings towards Methodism, Hodgins’ assessment of Dean Grasett, Nelles re: sermon at memorial service for Ryerson, Hodgins sent copies of some Ryerson papers to Nelles, Hodgins re: testimonial for Mr. Davidson, Nelles’ reply, Hodgins re: Ryerson’s views on Bible in schools, subscriptions for Ryerson Chair, asks for return of Ryerson papers from Nelles, Nelles forced to curtail activities due to daughter’s serious depression, Nelles asks for Ryerson’s views on “Bible in Schools” question, Hodgins replies, discussion of preparation of manuscript of Ryerson’s autobiography, Hodgins writes from Edinburgh following his wife’s death asking for Nelles’ opinion of The Story of My Life, Nelles provides evaluation, Hodgins compliments Nelles on his paper “Emphasis” and describes his discussions with George Ross (minister of education) re: university question, negotiation with government re: federation, Nelles’ assessment of Dr. Sutherland
1881–1883
1 14 Correspondence Between J.G. Hodgins and S.S. Nelles.
Nelles favours government commission on university question and gives reasons for supporting consolidation, Hodgins re: university question (especially Grant’s position), Hodgins prepares sketch of reminiscences of Old Vic, Nelles discusses Methodist Episcopal views on state aid in university question, Hodgins advises Victoria to set out its position as Queen’s has done, Nelles discusses progress on university question, Victoria’s commemorative service, Nelles’ conversation with Ross re: Hodgins’ fate at the Department of Education, Hodgins critical of James Paterson Sheraton (principal of Wycliffe) for his narrow views on Christian unity, Nelles discusses sharing of science facilities with Trinity if federation fails, Hodgins quotes Provost Body of Trinity’s views on Trinity-Wycliffe situation and university question, Hodgins notes Sheraton’s attacks on Nelles in Evangelical Churchman, quotes Body’s view of the attack, Nelles still hopeful of possibility of federation, issue of retention of University College still unresolved, Hodgins grieved by attack on Department of Education by Montreal Witness
1884
1 15 Correspondence Between J.G. Hodgins and S.S. Nelles.
Hodgins’ appointment to Educational Association, Hodgins preparing paper for educational conference in New Orleans which he cannot attend, recounts talk with Sheraton, Fred Nelles’ success as a lawyer, Nelles gives assessment of current situation re: federation and its alternatives, Nelles discusses Wilson’s position on federation and progress of Educational Society, Nelles splits with Dewart over his uncritical support for federation, Nelles’ depression after Conference’s decision concerning federation, Nelles’ suggestions for inscription on Ryerson statue, William Ormiston’s reaction to federation, planned re-union of Hodgins, Nelles, and Ormiston, Nelles re: letter to editor of Mail from Ormiston concerning federation, Hodgins turns down request from W.R. Riddell for French and German mathematics books, university question debated in newspapers
1885–1887
1 16 Correspondence Between Joshua H. Johnson and S.S. Nelles.
Johnson (Victoria College’s agent) describes collection of money for endowment fund, preparing editorials respecting his mission to be placed in local newspapers, describes futile efforts in Bowmanville, mentions Rice’s wish to discontinue his services, details his work of past year in order to counter Samuel Rose’s criticisms, Johnson suggests procedure for dealing with overdue notes—problem had arisen when Rose insisted that notes be held by him rather than by Johnson, Johnson’s opinion of Rose’s business abilities, opinion of ministers towards canvass for funds, one subscriber who is taxidermist pays debt in birds for college museum, Johnson re: auditing of accounts, his leg injury, Johnson gives account of past five years’ work, Johnson describes audit of his work, attitude of Methodists toward college education, progress of collection in Brockville slowed by rivalry with Stanstead College, $10,000 to be left to endowment fund by Sheriff Patrick of Brockville, Johnson critical of coarseness and stinginess of Brampton Circuit, complains about handling of notes, hard to collect funds during commercial depression, Johnson objects to article in Acta Victoriana which is critical of endowment fund, suggests possibility of mission to England in order to raise funds
1876–1879
1 17 Correspondence Between J.J. Maclaren and S.S. Nelles.
Maclaren suggests scheme for grand Methodist University with affiliated colleges, discusses possibility of making Victoria a theological college and Victoria’s move to Toronto, Nelles asks for meeting with Maclaren, Judge Rose and Dr. Sutherland re: alternatives to federation (suggests only options are federation or independent university at Hamilton, Nelles forwards copy of federation scheme to Maclaren and asks his opinion, discusses proposed plan for affiliation of all Toronto theological schools, Nelles favours federation as long as government meets money question fairly, feels federation not acceptable unless at least some of Victoria’s conditions of January 9,1885 are met, Nelles outlines state of negotiations to Maclaren, defines what federation meant to him and importance of Board keeping a united front, letter written by Nelles from England discussing his opposition to federation now that other colleges have pulled out, blames Dewart for being too eager to accept government terms and for relying on Howland’s promise of aid, Nelles and Sutherland agree that move to Toronto as independent university not feasible at moment, Nelles prefers small town atmosphere for college, insists that Victoria must be allowed to purchase land at any time at present value, critical of Dewart’s willingness to side with government, discussed dissension following General Conference’s decision, Dewart and Griffin accusing those who ask for certain conditions to protect Victoria of being disloyal, Sutherland should not become publicly involved as there is still bitter feeling against him due to Church Union, endowment to McMaster, Dewart spreading stories that Nelles speaks unfavourably of federation, objects to amendment to subscription notice allowing people to indicate preference for federation or independence
1883–1887
1 18 Correspondence Between Daniel Martindale and S.S. Nelles.
Martindale (classmate of Nelles at Wesleyan University) asks for story of Nelles’ life, discusses reading material, asks Nelles to go to Germany with him, brings Nelles up to date on other classmates, re-union of “The Mystics” at commencement at Middletown, asks Nelles to be Canadian correspondent for literary newspaper he is editing in Louisiana
1846–1849
2 19 Correspondence Between Samuel Rose and S.S. Nelles.
Confusion over J.H.Kerr’s subscription to Victoria, payment of John Macdonald’s note in bank stock, dispute between Rose and Rev. Richard Jones over handling of college funds, Rose feels Jones is incompetent, college’s debt increasing, question re: payment of professors, Rose discusses estimated income and expenditures for 1880–81, Rose’s progress on collecting subscriptions for the endowment fund, funding for the Ryerson Chair, both Rose and Nelles ill, debentures from Macdonald and Briggs, slow progress of subscriptions for both endowment fund and Ryerson Chair
1879–1885
2 20 Correspondence Between Egerton Ryerson and S.S. Nelles.
Lectures by Ryerson at Victoria, application by University of Toronto Senate to government for L25,000 to establish provincial library and museum, Senate’s discussion of course of study for B.A., Ryerson’s efforts to secure more funding for Victoria, grant of L750 to Victoria, dispute among masters at Upper Canada College, Ryerson sides with Nelles in disagreement with S.D. Rice (Moral and Domestic Governor of Victoria), Ryerson criticizes Rice’s idea of locating college in rural area, attacks on Ryerson’s letters, state of Ryerson’s health, Ryerson’s response to Nelles’ criticism of series of letters written by Ryerson to defend himself against George Brown’s attacks, discussion of provincial university, Ryerson writing series of editorials in Christian Guardian on university and college questions (asks Nelles to bring college records), praises Nelles’ letters to Globe and Christian Guardian, critical of “Another Daniel”’s (John Langton—vice-chancellor of the University of Toronto) letter in Globe re: university question, Ryerson’s relationship with Spencer (editor of Christian Guardian), distribution of Ryerson’s letter in the Leader, Ryerson’s letter to Hincks re: provincial university, Nelles’ accident, Ryerson’s lobbying against report on university question prepared by Cayley and Langton, Congregationalists, politics of appointment of university examiners, Ryerson preparing draft of bill on university question which will be introduced by James Patton, Ryerson preparing reply to Langton and Wilson, analysis of election results, distribution of circular by President of Conference, description of university Senate meeting discussing travelling expenses for non-resident members and appointment of examiners
1852–1861
2 21 Correspondence Between Egerton Ryerson and S.S. Nelles.
Discussion of Senate business, report of government committee on university question (Dr. Leitch’s views on question), Ryerson’s inability to attend college Board meeting due to cold, report of Dr. Stinson’s ill health, Ryerson urges Nelles to attend Senate meetings in order to ensure James Patton’s re-election as vice-chancellor, Ryerson sees Patton as champion of university reform, submission of Grammar School Amendment and Separate School Bills, Ryerson’s views on question of university funding, Ryerson has sent advice to Patton and Nelles on how to proceed on university question, Ryerson plans to write true account of Senate proceedings in Christian Guardian, Globe, and Leader, discusses attacks on Patton, Ryerson cannot attend sessions of Conference at Quebec due to lack of money, feels that he should withdraw from active involvement in Victoria due both to lack of results and to strain on his health, sends memorial on Victoria College and the university to Nelles in Quebec, Ryerson cannot attend meeting of Victoria Senate due to vacation plans, Ryerson feels obligation to Victoria is at an end, refuses invitation to convocation—feels he can no longer speak in public, declines invitation to convocation due to strained finances, expresses Sir John A. Macdonald’s opinion of MacDougall, Ryerson re: his article on “Protestant Liturgies”, discusses liturgical practices of English Methodists, comments on public funding of collegiate education, accommodation arrangements for 1874 Conference
1862–1874
2 22 Draft of Letter to the Editor of the Globe re: University Federation. Written Prior to Nelles’ Departure for England. (Spring) 1886
2 23 Family correspondence Addressed to Mary B. Nelles.
Letter from Mrs. [John] Wilson offering her sympathy following death of S.S. Nelles, letter from son, Fred, re: family and financial matters
1887–1888
2 24 Family correspondence Addressed to A.R. Bain re: Nelles Memorial Fund
Letters re: contributions toward marble bust of Dr. Nelles
1898–1901
2 25 Family Correspondence Addressed to Nathanael Burwash re: Nelles Memorial Fund.
Includes draft of letter sent out by Bain and Burwash requesting aid in collecting contributions
1899
2 26 Family correspondence of Frederick Cecil Gullen re: Nelles Family.
Mostly letters addressed to Gullen in response to his enquiries about Nelles’ family history, letter to Margaret Ray (librarian of Victoria University in charge of archival material) including printed copy of Nelles’ family history, copies of abstracts of title for land sale by William Nelles (father of S.S. Nelles)
1953–1961
2 27 Family correspondence from Margaret E. Smyth re: Nelles Family.
Bulk of correspondence addressed to Fred C. Gullen, includes family tree, copy of letter written in 1844 by Nelles’ mother to his brother William Waggoner Nelles, several letters to Margaret Ray
1953–1962
2 28 Family correspondence. Notes Made by Frederick Cecil Gullen re: Nelles Family
Miscellaneous notes, annotated family trees, rough sketch map of Mount Pleasant c.1854 with a notation of Nelles’ birthplace, typescript of Nelles’ family history by Jean H. Waldie
n.d.
1990.121V TR Family correspondence retrieved by Nelles, primarily from Alfred H. Reynar 1865–1868