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Description found in Archives
Series consists of
Place of creation
No place, unknown, or undetermined
Scope and content
Series consists of records created and maintained by the Immigration Branch of the Department of Agriculture. The series includes sub-series containing departmental correspondence, subject files, letterbooks, immigrant arrival records, and files from the Ottawa Immigration Office. As immigration and colonization became increasingly important to the new Dominion government, the high volume of information flowing into and required from the Minister's office overwhelmed the docket system of record-keeping. By the mid-1890's, the department began to create subject files, combining incoming and outgoing correspondence related to one subject together.
Copyright belongs to the Crown.
Biography / Administrative history
Imperial control over immigration ended in 1852 when the new Bureau of Agriculture was made titular head of immigration agencies at Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto, and Hamilton (Hodgetts, p. 40). The connection with immigration led to responsibility for enforcement of quarantine regulations and, when epidemics occurred, for public health generally. When a cholera epidemic threatened in 1854, a Central Board of Health was established to coordinate the efforts of local boards of health and to report to the Minister of Agriculture (Geoffrey Bilson, A Darkened House, pp. 132-134.)
The Bureau of Agriculture was reorganized as a full government department in 1862. Authority over immigration matters, never fully asserted by the Bureau, was established by the new Department of Agriculture and Statistics (Hodgetts, p. 251). As formally constituted by statute in 1868, the post-Confederation Department of Agriculture continued to be responsible for immigration, quarantine and public health, and the marine and emigrant hospital at Quebec(31 Vic., Chap. 53). In the period immediately following Confederation, the department was heavily involved in immigration, a key federal government mission. Because of the settlement of Dominion lands in the Northwest, responsibility for immigration was transferred to the Department of the Interior in 1892 (Annual Report, 1892, xli). RG17 General Inventory
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