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Description found in Archives

State minute books of the Executive Council [textual record]. 

Series consists of



Place of creation


1.069 m of textual records.

Scope and content

Series consists of minute books (commonly referred to as the "State Books") of the Executive Council which record that body's deliberations concerning state business during the period 1792-1841. Minutes of committees and sub-committees, such as the committees appointed to audit Provincial public accounts, were often incorporated, as reports, into the State Books. The minute books in this series each contain an alphabetic index of names and subjects. The headings are somewhat idiosyncratic but relatively reliable as a guide to the contents. During the years 1792-1796, the state and land minutes were entered in a single minute book which has now been shelved as the first volume of the "Land Books" (see vol.19 in the Land Minute Books of the Executive Council series, elsewhere within this fonds). Thereafter, separate sets of minute books were maintained to record the deliberations of the Executive Council concerning its state and land business. The evidence does not suggest that the Executive Council met in separate meetings for its state and land work but, rather, that two separate agendas were presented at each meeting at which there were both state and land matters to be discussed. The proceedings and decisions were then recorded in different minute books. The line of distinction between "state" and "land" issues was not always clearly maintained in the two sets of minutes. Matters relating to particular land grants, leases and associated topics were documented in the land minute books. Land-related issues of a broad or policy nature, on the other hand, were generally considered to be "state" matters and are found documented in the state minute books. As a result, one finds records of land-granting policy, of the acquisition and distribution of Indian lands, of military reserves (Ordnance lands transferred to civil control), and similar topics documented in the state minute books.

Textual records
Microfilm reel C-99
90: Open
Textual records
Microfilm reel C-100
90: Open
Textual records
Microfilm reel C-98
90: Open
Textual records
Microfilm reel C-97
90: Open
Textual records
90: Open
from 46 to 57
90: Open
Archival reference no.
Former archival reference no.

Terms of use

In order to protect the fragile originals, records in this series have been microfilmed and the originals withdrawn from circulation. The microfilm must be used for consultation and copying rather than the originals.

CAB RG 1 Shelf List 2 90 The CAB RG 1 Shelf List (see RG , E1 section) is a typed volume-level description which provides volume titles and inclusive dates and corresponding microfilm reel numbers. The Shelf List also correlates the current volume number (assigned by the National Archives) to the letter designation (B, C, D, ... M) assigned to each volume by the records creators. (Electronic)

Additional information

Related materials
The submissions to the Executive Council on state business, upon which the minutes were based, are found elsewhere within this fonds in the State Submissions to the Executive Council series. The following two series, also found elsewhere within this fonds, include records which document the state functions of the Executive Council during the period 1791-1841 and which complement the minutes found in the present series: Rough and Draft Minutes and Reports of the Executive Council; Submissions to the Executive Council relating to the Audit of Provincial Public Accounts series. The minutes of decisions, when written out in the form of extracts from the minute books are known as Orders-in-Council and serve as authority for actions. Copies of Orders-in-Council may be found scattered in different series within this fonds, while others may be located among the records of their recipients - such as the Surveyor General, the Attorney General or the Inspector General. It was only after 1841 that the Clerk of the Executive Council of the Province of Canada began to retain a complete set of Orders-in-Council for reference purposes. Where an Order-in-Council cannot be located, the researcher should consider the corresponding minute recorded in the minute book to be an equally valid record of the authorization granted for some action. Contemporary copies of Executive Council minutes may be found as enclosures to despatches from the Governor to the Colonial Office. These are found in the series CO 42, Canada, formerly British North America, Original Correspondence (MG11-CO42), in the Colonial Office fonds or in the Duplicate Despatches fonds (MG40-A2). The submissions appear to have been included in that copying only for particular questions, such as appeals for clemency or complex boundary disputes. Other duplicate minute books are known to have been prepared, although for what reasons is not clear. Minute books of Executive Council meetings on state matters, 1797-1799 and 1807-1811 are found in the Executive Council fonds (MG9-D1). These records were among the duplicates which the Public Record Office transferred to to the custody of Library and Archives Canada in 1909 in the course of the PRO reorganization of 1908-1910.

Preferred citation note
Suggestions on proper citation style for the records in this series are provided in the CAB RG 1 Shelf List (see RG 1, E1 section).

Availability of other formats note
Microfilmed copies of vols. 46-57 are available on reels C-97 to C-100. Microfilming was completed in 1951. For lists correlating volume numbers with microfilm reel numbers, see the finding aid cited elsewhere within this descriptive entry. Users of the microfilm should note that the minute books are not identified on the reels according to the current volume numbers (vols. 46-57). Rather, they are identified by the letter designations assigned to each bound volume by the records creators (i.e., B, C, D, ... M) and by the dates of the material covered in each volume. To avoid confusion when using the microfilm, users should pay close attention to the descriptions provided in the finding aid.