Fonds PR3161 - John William Hope fonds

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John William Hope fonds

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  • Textual record

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Reference code

PAA PR3161

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Physical description

0.02 m of textual records

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Biographical history

John William Hope, a Barr Colony settler, was born in Manchester, England in 1875. The son of a craftsman, Hope was forced to drop out of school at the age of 12 to provide for his brother and three sisters when his father died unexpectedly at age 40. After a series of labour jobs, including stints at a leather works and steel mill, Hope learned of the Barr Colony plan of settlement in Canada. Desiring to escape from brutal working conditions, and aspiring to find a new home for his wife, Louisa Cox, and their growing family, Hope left for Canada in 1903.

Hope arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick, on April 12, 1903 along with thousands of other would-be settlers. He traveled with an assortment of middle-class and working-class Britons to Barr Colony, in northwest Saskatchewan. He left the settlement, which is now named Lloydminster, soon thereafter, journeying to Edmonton in search of work. However, Hope soon found himself reliving the arduous working conditions he endured in England after labouring in lumber camps and coal mines around Edmonton. After saving enough money, he resumed his education and took a course in accountancy and stenography at the Alberta College.

After graduating from Alberta College in 1905, Hope worked as a stenographer and traveling car service agent for Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) in Alberta and Saskatchewan. He moved to Vancouver in 1909 assuming a variety of posts with CPR and the North Vancouver Ferry Company until his retirement in 1940. John William Hope died in North Vancouver in 1956.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of thirteen letters from John William Hope to his wife, “Louie,” 10 April – 2 August 1903. The letters detail his journey from Britain to Barr Colony, and his struggle to find work in Western Canada. The fonds also includes British Colony and Dominion Lands Branch receipts for homestead land, 30 January and 2 July 1903.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

John W. Hope’s grandson, Jim Moores, deposited the records with the Provincial Archives of Alberta in 1993


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Permission for use required. Subject to the Copyright Act.

Finding aids

File list is available.

Associated materials

British emigration into the Saskatchewan Valley, the Barr Colony, 1903 and the Barr Colony collection: introduction and general outline are available in the Provincial Archives of Alberta Reference Library. Photographs of Barr Colony may be located in the Barr Colony Museum photograph collection (PR2304) at the Provincial Archives of Alberta.

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Further accruals are not expected.

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Provincial Archives of Alberta

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