Archival Documents

Collection pertaining to the settling of the Alexander McDonald estate [textual records]

Creation Date(s): 1909, 1913-1915, 1917

Physical Description:
1.6 cm of textual records

Bio Sketch / Admin History:
The provenance of this collection is unknown, and the documents contained in the collection were created by several individuals and entities. The document creators include: the Alexander McDonald estate, as represented by Robert Bryce Craig; Martin Patrick Berrigan; F.X. Gosselin, and John Black.

Alexander McDonald was born in Antigonish County, Nova Scotia, ca. 1850. McDonald was already in the North when news of the Klondike Gold Rush broke, and he immediately made his way to Dawson City, Yukon, where he would become know as "King of the Klondike." Worth an estimated seven million dollars at the height of his success, McDonald died a pauper while prospecting for gold on Slough Creek, January 6, 1909. His friend and business associate, Robert Bryce Craig, was named executor of his estate.

Robert Bryce Craig was born near Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1866. He emigrated to Canada with his parents at an early age, and arrived in the Yukon with William Ogilvie's surveying party in 1897. A chartered accountant by trade, Craig was engaged as a mining recorder under the first territorial Gold Commissioner, Thomas Fawcett. Upon leaving this position, Craig became connected with Alexander McDonald. Craig died of heart failure in his Dawson home on November 7, 1925, at the age of 59.

Martin Patrick Berrigan was born in Quebec, ca. 1875. He arrived in the Yukon in 1898 and worked as a miner. He had business dealings with Alexander McDonald, who died in debt to Berrigan for over one thousand dollars. Berrigan retained F.X. Gosselin to assist him in pressing the McDonald estate to settle these debts.

Francois Xavier Gosselin was born in Quebec in 1861. He was a notary in Quebec for fourteen years before arriving in Dawson City, Yukon, in October 1898. On January 14, 1899 he was appointed as the Crown Timber and Land Agent for the Yukon and went on to become the Assistant Gold Commissioner in 1909. He was a member of the Yukon Order of Pioneers (YOOP), and sat on the St. Mary's Hospital board. F. X. Gosselin died May 28, 1916 from heart failure at the Yukonia Hotel in Dawson City.

John Black was a court clerk and public administrator in Dawson City in the mid 1910s.

Scope and Content:
This fonds consists of court documents and correspondence pertaining to the settlement of the Alexander McDonald estate. The documents were generated between 1909 and 1917 by lawyers, government officials and private citizens living in and around Dawson City, Yukon Territory. Documents in this fonds include: correspondence, memoranda, notes, court judgments, bill of costs, writ of summons, and lists.

The majority of the documents in this fonds pertain to the claims of Martin Patrick Berrigan against the estate of the late Alexander McDonald, represented by Robert Bryce Craig, executor. Other documents concern A.N.C. Treadgold, Peter Leney, and debts owed by Berrigan to the estate of the late F.X. Gosselin.

Accession Number(s): 1983.41

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