Bryson collection: Beakbane and Duggan letters



The Beakbane family of Birkenhead and Liverpool were Quakers involved in the tanning industry. John emigrated to Montreal, Canada in 1883, after reading about the country in books at Birkenhead Free Library, and also to be reunited with his father, William (W. Beakbane), who had emigrated earlier. However, William had become an alcoholic and took his life by drowning in the St. Lawrence river. John’s brother, Thomas, emigrated to the USA but after being swindled by his employer, became destitute and enlisted in the US Army. John appears to have made a success of life in Montreal. There are 25 Beakbane letters, the first six of which are joined together, the rest loose, covering the period 1881-1885. Items 26-58 are Legal Papers relating to the emigration to Florida of William Duggan, and to the estate of William Duggan, deceased, his father. They include correspondence and advertisements for work openings in United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand. It is not clear whether the Beakbanes and Duggans were part of the same family, but their papers are in a number sequence together and this has been preserved. They are held at our reserve store and available by appointment only. Images of the letters are also available on the Adam Matthews Migration to New Worlds website. See the attached list for more details or contact The Archives Centre for a copy of the catalogue.