File 23 - King, William Lyon Mackenzie to Arthur King.

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King, William Lyon Mackenzie to Arthur King.

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  • December 22, 1945 (Creation)
    King, William Lyon Mackenzie

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Biographical history

"William Lyon Mackenzie King had a long political career. He was leader of the Liberal Party for 29 eventful years through the buoyant expansion of the 1920s, the depression of the 1930s, the shock of World War II, and then the post-war reconstruction, and for 21 of these years he was Canada’s prime minister. His decisions during this time contributed significantly to the shaping of Canada and to its development as an influential middle power in world affairs. During his lifetime his achievements were sometimes obscured by a style notable for its compromises. After his death his political career was sometimes overshadowed by the revelation of his unsuspected personal idiosyncrasies."

Custodial history

Scope and content

Typewritten letter from William Lyon Mackenzie King to his nephew Arthur King on December 22, 1945, thanking Arthur and Kathleen for their Christmas letter and wondering what book they have sent him to open on Christmas Day. “I have no doubt it is among the packages on the little bench in my upstairs hall, being kept in reserve for Christmas morning, when Santa Claus, Pat and I sit down together to open the several Christmas gifts.” King expresses regret that he has not had time to find a gift suitable for their new apartment but is instead enclosing an envelope. King also expresses pleasure that Arthur enjoys his work and that both Arthur and Kathleen are “both so happy in your charming little apartment.”
Salutation: “My dear Arthur” [handwritten]; Signature: “With fondest love to you and Kathleen, Your loving uncle, Willie” [handwritten].
Letter also accompanied by a separate envelope inscribed “To Arthur and Kathleen” and a Christmas money-holder card inscribed "To Dear Arthur and Kathleen With fondest love and best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Uncle Willie, Christmas 1945," both inscriptions in Mackenzie King's handwriting.

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Donated by John English in 2019.


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  • English

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Physical description

Letter: 2 p. (of 4, folded leaf) ; 20 x 13 cm + envelope.
Envelope is Official Prime Minister’s correspondence envelope with “Prime Minister" printed on the front bottom left hand corner, and with the Arms of Canada surmounted by “Office of the Prime Minister” printed in black on the flap. The front of the envelope is marked “Registered Special Delivery” and “WLMK” both handwritten by Mackenzie King. The stamp is Canadian war issue: 20-cent Corvette Ready for Launching, postmarked Dec. 24. Front of envelope is also stamped with completed Registration form, “Air Mail”, “Special Delivery” and with a sequence of numbers. The envelope has been sealed on the flap with a black wax seal as yet unidentified: a raised hand, palm facing, thumb and forefingers raised, the other two fingers closed. [1] The back of the envelope also bears four separate postmarks, two for Dec. 22, 1945 and two for Dec. 23, 1945.

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Described May 2019 by JSB.

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  • English

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