Fonds MS-2-87, SF Box 18, Folders 32-33 - Archibald Woodbury McLelan fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Archibald Woodbury McLelan fonds

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  • Textual record

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Reference code

MS-2-87, SF Box 18, Folders 32-33

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1865-1869 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

1.5 cm of textual records (2 folders)

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Archival description area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Archibald Woodbury McLelan was a shipbuilder, merchant, and politician, serving as the sixth lieutenant governor of Nova Scotia. He was born in Londonderry, Nova Scotia in 1824 to Martha Spenser and Gloud Wilson McLelan, a member of the House of Assembly. He was educated in Great Village, Nova Scotia and Mount Allison Wesleyan Academy in Sackville, New Brunswick before joining his father's shipping and retail business.

McLelan went into partnership with his brother-in-law, John M. Blaikie, with whom he built ships on the Great Village River into the early 1880s. Upon his father's death in 1858 he succeeded him in the House of Assembly. He strongly opposed Confederation and was elected as the first federal member of parliament for Colchester as an Anti-Confederate. After reconciling himself to Confederation he was summoned to the Canadian Senate in 1869, where he sat as a Liberal-Conservative. He resigned from the Upper House to run again in the 1881 federal election and was returned to parliament as a Conservative. He served as minister of finance from 1885 to 1887 in the second administration of Sir John A. Macdonald. Following this position he became postmaster general and was responsible for introducing the parcel post system into Canada. In 1888 he accepted the position of lieutenant governor of Nova Scotia.

McLelan married Caroline Metzler in 1842, with whom he had three children. McLelan passed away in Halifax at the age of sixty-five in 1889.

Custodial history

The materials were accessioned by Dalhousie University Archives in 1971. The custodial history is unknown.

Scope and content

Fonds comprises business correspondence, bills of lading, receipts, and miscellaneous papers connected to McLelan's shipping business.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Restrictions on access

There are no access restrictions on these materials. All materials are open for research.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Materials do not circulate and must be used in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room. Materials may be under copyright. Contact departmental staff for guidance on reproduction.

Finding aids

Associated materials

See the Business correspondence of John M. Blaikie file (MS-2-85).

Related materials


Further accruals are not expected.

General note

Preferred citation: [Identification of item], Archibald Woodbury McLelan fonds, MS-2-87, Box [box number], Folder [folder number], Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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