File MS-2-80, SF Box 18, Folder 28 - Letters to John Young from his son, William Young

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Letters to John Young from his son, William Young

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  • Textual record

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Reference code

MS-2-80, SF Box 18, Folder 28

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1815, 1833 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

4 pages (1 folder)

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Name of creator


Biographical history

John Young was a Halifax merchant, author, and politician. Born in Falkirk, Scotland in 1773 to Janet and William Young, he was educated at the University of Glasgow ca. 1790. Young performed well in his theological studies but chose to pursue business in Falkirk and Glasgow. He married Agnes Renny, with whom he had nine children, including George, Charles, and William. In 1814 Young and his family moved to Nova Scotia, where he founded John Young and Company.

Young became interested in agriculture shortly after his arrival in Nova Scotia. Between 1814 and 1816, under the pseudonym "Agricola," he wrote letters to The Acadian Recorder, championing ideas such as the creation of a provincial farming board, rural farming societies, and other initiatives. His suggestions were popular and supported by Lord Dalhousie, who established a Central Board of Agriculture in 1819. Young was appointed secretary and treasurer, making him responsible for mediating between the board and the newly formed farming societies, importing and distributing seeds, tools and other items, managing agricultural competitions, and handling correspondence and other administrative duties. In 1822 many of Young’s Agricola letters were published in the book The Letters of Agricola on the Principles of Vegetation and Tillage. While the board was initially popular and well supported, the House of Assembly failed to renew its charter in 1826.

In 1823 Young ran unsuccessfully in Halifax for a seat in the assembly, and in 1824 he won a Sydney by-election. He proved to be a vocal and active member in the assembly, where he remained until his death in Halifax on October 6, 1837.

Custodial history

The materials were accessioned by Dalhousie University Archives in 1970. Prior to that, the letters were in the custody of J.H.M. Young, who donated them in 1959.

Scope and content

File consists of one handwritten letter (1833) to John Young from his son and business agent, William Young, and a transcription of an earlier letter (1815) from William.

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Language of material

  • English

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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

Public domain. Materials do not circulate and must be used in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room.

Finding aids

Associated materials

See also Sir William Young fonds (MS-2-81) and George Renny Young fonds (MS-2-212).

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Further accruals are possible, but not expected.

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