Trent University Library & Archives continues to offer electronic collections and virtual services. As part of the University’s limited and reduced campus presence, Bata Library and the Durham GTA Campus Library & Learning Centre are closed and physical collections are unavailable. Virtual services and support are available by contacting Check for updates regularly on our COVID-19 Alert Page.

Curbside Pickup for Faculty & Graduate Students is available starting June 23rd.

Finding Aid:

Search the Archives

Fonds Level Description

Accession Number: 69-1001


Susanna Moodie fonds. -- 11 Aug. 1852-13 Aug. 1852. -- 2 items.

Biography / History

Susanna Moodie (nee Strickland), born December 6, 1803 at Bungay, England, was the youngest daughter of Thomas Strickland and Elizabeth Homer. The Strickland's were a literary family of whom Catharine Parr Traill and Samuel Strickland are best known in Canada, as well as their sister Susanna Moodie. Susanna began to seriously pursue her literary career in 1818, after the death of her father. In 1831, Susanna moved to London, England were she became associated with the Anti-Slavery Society. For the society she wrote two antislavery tracts, "The History of Mary Prince, a West Indian Slave" (1831) and "Negro Slavery Described by a Negro" (1831). While working in London, she met her future husband John Wedderburn Dunbar Moodie. They were wed April 4, 1831. In July 1832, Susanna, John, and their eldest child emigrated to the Cobourg region of Upper Canada. After two unsuccessful attempts at farming in this area, the Moodie family moved to Belleville in 1840. In Belleville, Susanna wrote and published a number of works, primarily romantic fiction. From 1847 to 1848, both Susanna and her husband edited and wrote for "Victoria Magazine." In 1852, she published "Roughing it in the Bush" which is her best known literary work. The books to follow included "Life in the Clearings," published in 1853, and "Flora Lyndsay", published in 1854. Susanna Moodie lived in Belleville until the death of her husband in 1869. She then moved to the Toronto area where she continued to live until her death, April 8, 1885.

Custodial History

The items in the fonds remained with the descendants of the Moodie family until it was donated to Trent University by Mrs. Graeme Gorrie of Anna Maria Island, Florida, United States of America.

Scope and Content

This fonds consists of two letters. One is from Susanna Moodie to Mrs. Katie Vickery, Susanna Moodie's daughter, which is undated, and the other is from from her publisher in England congratulating her upon the success of "Roughing it in the Bush" and enclosing a contract for a subsequent book entitled "Mark Huddleston". A watercolour by Susanna Moodie was also donated at the same time but accessioned later (see 89-1062).


Title based on the contents of the fonds.

The fonds was donated by Mrs. Graeme Gorrie, a descendant of the Moodie family, in 1964.

Restrictions: N

Additional information on Mrs. Susanna Moodie may be found in the National Archives of Canada. See Traill Family Collection (MG 29, D81) and Moodie, Susanna (MG 29, D100).

One letter, added February 17, 1983, was donated by Professor M. Peterman.

89-1062 and 11-003 are additions to this fonds.