Sir Robert Bond Collection (Coll-237)

Robert Bond

The papers of Sir Robert Bond, Prime Minister of Newfoundland from 1900 to 1909, are a mixture of personal and political papers ranging from before his birth to after his death. The papers before his birth relate to Bond's father, John Bond, and include correspondence and a diary. The papers after Bond's death relate to the disposition of his estate and the interpretation of his will. There are papers documenting his education, legal training and practice, financial and business dealings, mineral and timber speculation, various personal interests, and ownership of the Grange, his estate at Whitbourne. There is extensive correspondence with his brother George, a Methodist clergyman, and with other family members.

The bulk of the papers are concerned with Bond's involvement in Newfoundland politics from 1882 when he was first elected to the Newfoundland House of Assembly to 1914 when he resigned. There are political papers after that date which reflect his interest in Newfoundland politics after he had ceased to be an active participant. The political papers cover both constituency and government affairs, and include material related to various election campaigns, the Liberal Party, the fishery, the railway, mineral exploration, the economy, and foreign policy. There is correspondence between Bond and the major political figures of the time, including Sir William V. Whiteway, Sir William F. Coaker, Sir Edward P. Morris, Sir William Horwood, George Shea, Sir Alfred B. Morine, Governor Sir Cavendish Boyle, Governor Sir William MacGregor, Governor Sir Henry Blake and a host of others. There is also correspondence from his constituents and other Newfoundlanders concerned with national and local issues.

Specific issues documented in these papers include the Bait Act of 1888, the controversy with Great Britain and France over the French Shore, and negotiations on free trade with the United States (Bond-Blaine Convention in 1890 and Bond-Hay Convention in 1902), all of which are intertwined with the coastal fishery. There is also documentation of Bond's political involvement with education, agricultural and mineral development, trade, native peoples, relations between Newfoundland and Canada, the Bank Crash, and the development of transportation and communication. There are extensive newspaper clippings, both in books and loose, which Bond kept; some were grouped by subject, others by date. Photographs in the collection provide a visual record of Bond from a small child to an elderly man. Photographs also document the Grange, various Newfoundland communities, special occasions, and family members. Biographers, political historians, social historians, political scientists and researchers interested in almost any aspect of Newfoundland between 1880 and 1930 will find this is an important and valuable body of material.

Full collection with photographs
The Grange Album - Photographs by Holloway (12.04)
The Rochester Photo Album 1907 (12.17)
Diary of trip from St. John's to Exploits, Oct-Dec 1875 (2.02.001)
Diary and newspaper clippings of European tour, 1880 (2.02.003)

For more about Robert Bond see the Archives finding aid Coll-237