Elizabeth Simcoe

Elizabeth Simcoe (1762-1850), wife of John Graves Simcoe, first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, was an avid artist and author. Her diary, sketches, and more than 500 watercolours vividly captured life in the colonial Canadas in the late 18th century. Her diary, The Diary of Mrs. John Graves Simcoe; Wife of the First Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of Upper Canada 1792–6 was first published by John Ross Robertson in 1911 with later re-prints that can still be found. The diary records her day-to day observations, and includes over 300 illustrations and sketches of the period. This watercolour, dated May 10, 1794 and diary entry capture her experiences on her travels on the Twenty Mile
Creek (now Jordan).

“We dined on the beach at the Twenty-Mile Creek and went across the great pond to one of Col. Butler’s houses, where we slept, after taking great pains to smoke the house and fix the mosquito net well; for this place abounds so much with mosquitoes that the farmer does not sleep in his house from June til September, but sleeps in his barn to avoid them. The pond is full of wild rice, a marshy weed.”
-July 27th, 1794