Sir John Sherbrooke

The largest known collection of War of 1812 documents consisting of letters, maps and other papers has been purchase at auction in London, England, by the Library and Archives of Canada for $573,000.

The acquisition once belonged to Sir John Sherbrooke, the lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia, who conquered Maine for the British during the War of 1812.

The collection raised almost twice as much as was expected and includes  hand-drawn maps from the early 1800s illustrating major Candadian cities, such as, Halifax, Toronto and Montreal in their infancies.

Also in the collection is a letter written by Sherbrooke to Major General Robert Ross congratulating his trips of Canadian and British soldiers for their success in successfully burning down the White House in August 1814.

John Sherbrooke went on to become governor general of British North America. Sehrbrooke, Quebec is named after him.

When he left Canada, Sherbrooke took his maps and papers back to Britain, where they had been sitting in three wooden boxes in family attics for nearly 200 years.

This is a national treasure for the Canadian people since the archives chart Canadian history at a key point and the birth of Canada as a nation.

If you’d like to learn more and view some videos of the event, click on CBC News.

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