CANADA AND THE EMPIRE
Sir Arthur CONAN DOYLE. A collection of letters, manuscripts and printed documents relating to the future of the Empire, and to Canada in particular, comprising: one autograph letter signed to an unidentified correspondent, South Norwood, 25 September 1892, one page, 8vo; autograph manuscript, on the construction of a federationist
Empire, Undershaw, n.d., two pages, 8vo; autograph manuscript notes [perhaps for a speech] on Canada, its relation to England and its cultural future, n.d., 2½ pages, 4to; typescript signed, with occasional autograph emendations, of an article on his experiences of Canada, 7 pages, 4to; and two printed documents with occasional autograph annotations, the first In memoriam 'Victoria the Queen', the second, 'After nine years', an impression of the funeral procession of Edward VII.
Conan Doyle's letter of 1892 declares himself 'an ardent Federationist - indeed I dedicated my "White Company" to the movement', but recognising that the movement towards federation is necessarily slow: 'the Empire is too big a thing to cut and trim into a pattern like a Dutchman's hedge', indicating his hopes for domestic policy, and a foreign policy aimed at cultivating American goodwill, and bridging 'the great Celto Saxon schism'. The manuscript written at Undershaw is on the same theme, praising the 'most mighty building which we are uprearing', speaking of the 'many columns needed to uphold the vast fabric of that great temple' - instancing common ancestry, a shared language, a shared sovereign and legal structure and the development of common interests, and envisaging as the last column 'one Assembly representing every branch of the race ... Blessed is the land where the young men dream dreams & the old men see visions'. The manuscript notes on Canada are more direct and practical, considering the material potential of the country, but arguing that 'Material greatness [is] not everything ... Something higher than the Almighty dollar', and urging more 'Reading & thinking ... Not always magazines ... Not always fiction ... No man works the less well for having some culture'. The typescript article describes the bustling commercial scenes of the Great Lakes, focused on the twin cities of Fort William and Port Arthur, reflecting on the pioneer past, on the great expanses of the prairies, and on the developing town of Edmonton.