Collection Acc2702 - Smith, Alley collection

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Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Smith, Alley collection

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the creators of the collection
  • Variations in title: Also known as the Judge George Alley, Henry Smith collection

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Reference code

CA PCA Acc2702

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1764-1912 (Creation)
    Alley, George
  • 1764-1912 (Creation)
    Smith, Henry
  • Copied [197-], [198-] (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

3.5 m of textual records
235 photographs

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Archival description area

Name of creator

Alley, George (1844-1899)

Biographical history

George Alley was born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island on 22 January 1844, son of architect Thomas Charles Alley and Anne McKay. George Alley married in 1871 Mary Trew Blatch, (1843-1897). George and Mary (Blatch) Alley had the following children: Gordon Thomas Alley, MD, (1874-1925), Evelyn Trew (1873-1938), Helen Blanche (1871-1889), and George Cyril (1876-1920).

George Alley attended Central Academy, in Charlottetown. He studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1865. In 1868, Alley joined with Louis H. Davis to form the law firm Alley and Davis. Alley was appointed judge of the Queens County Court on 18 July 1874, possibly the youngest judge ever appointed in Canada. Published reports indicate that Judge Alley had been collecting historical and archival information for many years with the intention of writing a history of the early settlement of Prince Edward Island. This was never achieved due to his untimely death. Judge Alley was a member of the Numismatic and Antiquarian Societies of Canada and was an Executive Committee member and Corresponding Secretary of the Historical Society of Prince Edward Island which was in existence from September 1881 through September 1882. Alley was involved in the militia as a Lieutenant in the PEI Lighthorse. Alley was one of the founding members of the Historical Society of Prince Edward Island whose purpose was the collection and preservation of historical documents pertaining to PEI which were in private possession. Unfortunately, after several poorly attended meetings and without government support for the endeavour, the Society folded and its collection was offered for sale to its members. Judge George Alley died 6 May 1899.

Name of creator

Smith, Henry (1851-1941)

Biographical history

Henry Smith of Charlottetown, (1851-1941), son of William Smith (1817-1897) and Elizabeth Alley (ca. 1822-1869). Henry Smith was a carpenter, and later Clerk of the Queen's County Court. He married Eliza Lawson of Charlottetown in 1887. Henry and Eliza Smith had the following children: Bertha L. (b. 1888), Marianne Grantham (1894-1918), Henry (b. 1889), Flora (b. 1893), Helen (b. 1897), and William Raynor (died in infancy). Henry Smith was a co-worker and distant relative of Judge George Alley. Smith was co-executor of George Alley's will along with John D. Reid, Manager of the Telephone Co. Smith was a Water Commissioner for the City of Charlottetown.

Custodial history

It is possible that some of the materials in this collections were purchased by Judge Alley from the holdings of the Historical Society of PEI. The materials collected by George Alley were passed to his son, Dr. Gordon Alley and/or Henry Smith, who possibly added to the collection. The collection was passed from Henry Smith to his daughter, Flora (Smith) Rogers, who passed it to her daughter, Marianne (Rogers) Morrow.

Scope and content

This collection includes 1168 textual items, plus 235 images collected by Judge George Alley and Henry Smith pertaining largely to the early history of Prince Edward Island. A large proportion of the collection deals with the history of Charlottetown and the colony of Prince Edward Island during its early years of settlement. The collection is divided into 25 series, based on the arrangement that was imposed by the donor, and possibly earlier arrangement prior to donation to the Public Archives and Records Office. Arrangement was based on provenance, subject or contents or type of document. Series order has been rearranged to reflect government documents, family papers and miscellaneous. Many of the series include government records such as bills, acts, proclamations and petitions, Journals of the House of Assembly and Legislative Council, minutes of Council and claims, proposals and reports to the government. The collection includes several series of records pertaining to a number of families and individuals including: George Alley and the Alley family, Fanning family, Wright family, Bagnall family, Isaac Smith, James Bardin Palmer, and Edward Palmer. The collection includes lantern slides, photographs, textual materials and plans. The subject of the photographs is early Charlottetown, and its residents. Photographs include streetscapes, public buildings and private residences, and portraits of city officials and clergymen. The collection also includes records pertaining to the following subjects: inns, taverns, bridges, ferries, Loyalists, schools and education, the Land Question, military, agriculture, the administration of justice, postal service, land records, Charlottetown Market House, Court House, and Province House. A number of the documents in this collection are copies of original documents, many copied at the request of Judge George Alley in pursuit of his interest in writing a history of Prince Edward Island.

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Associated materials

See also: Acc2541/75 and 76 transcripts of Judge Alley’s 1883 lecture “P.E. Island one hundred years ago”; Acc1002 minutes and roll of members of the Historical Society of Prince Edward Island, 1881-1882; Acc2825/34 transcribed newspaper items re the Historical Society of PEI; Acc4289 The descendants of Christopher Smith of Harome, England compiled by William M. Smith, 1993; Dictionary of Canadian Biography articles for Thomas Wright, Charles Wright, George Wright, Edmund Fanning, James Bardin Palmer, and James Bagnall

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  • English

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