The collection of books, papers, maps and manuscripts belonging to the descendants of Sir John Sherbrooke were bought at auction today by Canada. Sherbrooke was Lt.-Gov. of Nova Scotia during the War of 1812 and became Gov.-Gen. of British North America.
The collection was purchased in auction from Bonhams in the U.K. and the auction house lists the price at £433,250, or about $685,000 Canadian. The Canadian Press reported that the price for the collection in the auction catalogue was set between $160,000 to $240,000.
The Sherbrooke collection includes 80 manuscript and printed maps, 37 letter-books and correspondence. The money for the acquisition came from a collection of organizations, the Library and Archives Canada, the Friends of Library and Archives Canada, the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Canadian Heritage department.
The War of 1812 saw the British Empire and Native allies gather in a burgeoning Canada to fight the U.S. for 32 months. Canada ended the war with a heightened sense of national solidarity and it is considered a seminal moment in the making of the country.
The collection, at times made available for Canadian researchers, has long been coveted by Canadian academics and historians and Heritage Minister James Moore noted that it is an invaluable trove of political, economic and military records and papers.
Sir John Coape Sherbrooke was lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia from 1811 to 1816 and British North America's governor-general from 1816-1818.