Winslow Papers

About the Project

This site houses the electronic edition of the Winslow Family Papers, along with background information and links. The original Winslow manuscripts are located in the University of New Brunswick Archives and Special Collections. Consisting of over 3,600 items and 11,000 pages, the Papers cover the period from 1695 to 1866.

Ann Gorman Condon, a Loyalist scholar, to whom this site is dedicated, stated that "The Winslow Papers are the single most important collection of personal papers documenting the Loyalist experience in the American Revolution and the subsequent establishment of English Canada." She noted that the manuscripts can be appreciated at three different levels. First, they are "a gold mine" of information about the Loyalists from the outbreak of the Revolution to the establishment of New Brunswick. They document the attitudes of the Loyalists as refugees, "...a unique class of people whose uprooting and exposure to war gave them special sensitivities and fears." Not only do they offer a wide window on the attitudes of the elite Loyalists - their family relationships, their political and social values, their dreams and disappointments - but also on the experiences of the ordinary Loyalist refugees and the Aboriginal peoples, Acadians, New England Planters and British who had made New Brunswick their home before the Loyalists arrived. Second, the letters document the process whereby the Loyalists were able to create a stable, law-abiding society in a remarkably brief period of time. Finally, the letters are remarkable for their literary style. According to Ann Condon, they are "...breezy, dramatic, full of abbreviations, exaggerations and tall stories." They tell us much about the way that people communicated with each other over two hundred years ago.

Ann foresaw in 1998, early in the life of the Internet, the value of an electronic edition in reaching a wide audience that might never have the opportunity to see the original manuscripts in Archives and Special Collections. She also anticipated that an electronic edition of the papers had the potential to serve as a model to bring together Loyalist history across the many institutions housing Loyalist papers and artifacts, thus, allowing the Loyalist experience to be studied as an integrated collection.

We are pleased to dedicate this site to the memory of Ann Gorman Condon who was a promoter of and friend to Archives and Special Collections and to the Electronic Text Centre and Loyalist scholar of long-standing.

Alan Burk
University of New Brunswick