William Blake fonds. — 1916-1943. — 3 cm of textual records. — 1 video recording.
William Blake was originally from Cork, Ireland. He came to the south Peace as a chainman on a Survey Crew ca. 1910 and stayed to homestead in the Richmond Hill area near Lake Saskatoon. He filed on his homestead quarter of SW 1/4 35-71-7-W6th in 1911 and received patent on the land in 1915. During the hysteria of the 1920s and the depression of the 1930s, he continued to farm his quarter section, beset by payments on mortgages and low crop prices and yields. Like many farmers during this period, he had an interest in the politics of the period–in communist and social credit ideals, as well as his position as a Canadian citizen.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of financial records from his homestead and farm, including mortgage and tax papers from 1923-1937, and cash statements for shipping grain and livestock from the 1920s to the 1940s; a series of booklets mostly on politics and citizenship as well as a booklet of poems and songs about the Peace Country; and a few personal cards and letters, one from a nephew in Ayrshire during World War I, and one from a friend during World War II. A booklet called “A Manual of Citizenship” contains identification information filled out by Bertram Bennett who sailed from Liverpool on the S.S. Astonia in 1928 and settled in Grande Prairie, AB.