Stuart Trueman fonds [textual records and other material].-- 1926-1995 ; (predominant 1950-1995).-- 1146 cm of textual records, ca. 550 photographs, cartoon sketches, and other material

Biographical sketch: Humorist, journalist, and amateur historian Stuart Douglas Trueman was born in Saint John, N.B. on 6 November 1911. He was the eldest of three sons and four daughters raised by Annie M. (Roden) and John Macmillan Trueman. Educated in local schools, Trueman graduated from Saint John High School in 1928. In 1937 he married Mildred Kate Stiles, daughter of Kate and Riley Stiles of River Glade, N.B. They had two sons, Douglas Hugh M. and Stuart Macmillan (Mac).

At age 17 Trueman began his newspaper career as a cartoonist with The Telegraph-Journal and The Evening Times-Globe. Over the next 43 years, he also worked as a reporter and associate editor. In 1951 he was elevated to editor-in-chief, a position which he held until 1971. Following his retirement, he remained active as contributing editor, writing weekly columns until 1993.

A well-known author, Trueman wrote 12 books and numerous articles. More than 300 of his light pieces were published in Canadian and American magazines including The Saturday Evening Post, Saturday Night, Weekend, and The Atlantic Advocate. His first humorous book, Cousin Elva (1955), was later adapted for television and the stage. In 1969 his third book, You're Only as Old as You Act (1968), won the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour.

In addition to his works of humour, Trueman published several books based on historical themes, including The Ordeal of John Gyles (1966) and An Intimate History of New Brunswick (1970). He also co-authored two cookbooks with his wife, Mildred, and in 1981 collaborated with photographer Bill Brooks to produce a picture book, The Colour of New Brunswick. Several of his books are self-illustrated.

Along with his work as a writer and journalist, Trueman was an active member of several committees and organizations. He was a member of the Canadian Authors Association and also served on the Lord Beaverbrook Overseas Scholarship Committee, the Beaverbrook Playhouse Committee and the Stephen Leacock Centennial Committee.

For 27 years he was an alternate member of the Roosevelt Campobello International Park Commission.

In addition, Trueman was much in demand as a public speaker. He travelled widely in Canada, addressing various groups and organizations. Both in his writings and through his public appearances, Trueman promoted his native province. In fact, he was partly responsible for locating one of New Brunswick's foremost tourist attractions, Magnetic Hill.

During his lifetime, Trueman received several awards and honours. In 1971 St. Thomas University awarded him an honourary doctor of laws degree, and in 1979 UNB conferred on him an honourary doctor of letters. He was also made an honourary life member of the Saint John Press, Radio and TV Club, the New Brunswick Branch of the Canadian Authors Association, the New Brunswick Museum, and the Saint John Regional Library. Trueman died at Saint John on 23 April 1995 at the age of 83.

Custodial history: The records comprising this fonds passed from Trueman's estate to his widow, Mildred Trueman, in 1995.

Scope and content: This fonds documents Stuart Trueman's literary career as author of books and articles published nation-wide between the late 1940s to the 1990s. It also documents his career as a reporter, editor and columnist with The Telegraph-Journal and The Evening Times-Globe from the late 1920s to 1993. In addition, the fonds reflects his activities as a public speaker and as a member of several committees, most notably, the Roosevelt Campobello International Park Commission. It also reflects his work as the Bank of Canada's New Brunswick representative for its Canada Savings Bond campaigns. As well, this fonds contains some of Mildred Trueman's correspondence and financial records.

The fonds is comprised of 11 series: 1. Correspondence, 2. Books, 3. Articles and Columns, 4. Editor, 5. Speaking Engagements, 6. Committees, 7. Personal, 8. Business and Personal Financial Records, 9. Mildred Trueman, 10. Graphics, 11. Artifacts.

It includes incoming and outgoing correspondence, research materials, talk notes, travel itineraries, newspaper clippings, minutes, reports and personal mementos. The fonds also includes handwritten, typed and published copies of Trueman's articles and columns as well as handwritten and typed copies of his books.

Artifacts and graphic materials accompanied this fonds but have not been processed. Graphics include photographs, negatives, cartoon illustrations for books, promotional posters, proofs of book covers and original dust jackets. Artifacts include invitations to various formal functions and certificates of appreciation.

Title based on the name of the creator.

The bulk of this fonds was deposited with Harriet Irving Library Archives and Special Collections by Mildred Trueman, widow of Stuart Trueman, on 28 September 1995. The remainder was acquired from Mildred Trueman on 16 November 1995.

The bulk of the material contained in this fonds was unsorted at the time of acquisition. Consequently, all files were created by the archivist.

A few files have been restricted temporarily to protect the privacy of the Trueman family.

Document maintained by:
UNB Archives
email address
Last update: 10/01/00