Fonds 167 - Margaret Duncan Borden

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Margaret Duncan Borden

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  • Textual record

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MtA 167

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1 cm of textual records

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Biographical history

Margaret Jane Duncan Borden was the daughter of William Duncan (1824-1888) and Jane Ross (1826-1895). She was born in 1864, in Little Shemogue, New Brunswick, and married the Rev. George Webster Borden. They later moved to Oklahoma where she died in 1935.

Between the ages of 70 and 75 (ca. 1930s), Borden wrote a series of forty short stories, reminiscences and letters. She typed a number of carbon copies and sent them from her Oklahoma home to her grandchildren, including those in Little Shemogue.

Custodial history

The donor of these letters, Eldon Hay, was granted access to the now abandoned Duncan house in Little Shemogue, in 1990, and found thirty of the stories Borden wrote.

Hay’s interest in the letters stems from the fact that Borden was a child in Little Shemogue at the time when Rev. Samuel Boyd was minister. Hay used the letters as a source during his research for his book donated them to the Archives, used them as resource material while he was researching his book "Chignecto Covenanters: A Regional History of Reformed Presbyterianism in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, 1827 to 1905."

During research, Hay contacted Frank L. Borden of Fort Worth, Texas, a descendant of Borden, and discovered that there were more reminiscences. Frank Borden sent photocopies of these to Hay in 1995. Hay also arranged to have them published in the Amherst Citizen, under the title "Grandmother’s Recollections."

Scope and content

Fonds consists of the stories and other material. Some of the recollections refer to Little Shemogue and Borden’s childhood experiences there, including information about prominent Covenant families in the community; others relate incidents later in her life, as a wife and mother, raising a family with her husband. Some of the stories indicate date and place of origin.

Also included is a newspaper clipping, dated 24 August 1934, which features a photograph of the First Presbyterian Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. There is also a list of the stories, by title which appears to have been written by Mary Lane (nee Duncan), a niece of Borden, who lived in the Duncan house in Little Shemogue.

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Physical condition

During Eldon Hay’s use of the letters, he numbered them in pencil on the left-hand upper corner, according to the order in which he had them published. At some point he changed the numbering on some and used “white-out” to hide the first number.

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Eldon Hay, 1998


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  • English

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Associated materials

The additional stories sent to Eldon Hay by Frank Borden are found in the Eldon Hay fonds, accession 9801/IIA/21. See photocopies of "Grandmother's Recollections" in his fonds, 9801/IC/158 to 174 inclusive.

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