Samuel Street was born in Connecticut in 1775. He came to Chippawa, Upper Canada in 1787 to live with his uncle Samuel Street after his father was killed in New York. His uncle was involved in mercantile affairs in the Niagara Peninsula, which helped Samuel Street Jr. in establishing successful businesses and partnerships in later years. As the son of a Loyalist he was also entitled to 200 acres of land, but his uncle successfully petitioned for an additional 400 acres. In 1798, Street struck up a partnership with Thomas Clark, an important merchant in Queenston. They parted ways the following year, but renewed their association around 1809. The result was the firm of Clark and Street, a business that proved to be one of Upper Canada’s largest, and endured until Thomas Clark’s death in 1835. Initially the business centred on two milling complexes, the Falls Mills and Bridgewater Mills. Both mills were destroyed by fire in 1814 and only the Falls Mills was rebuilt. The success of their milling operation provided Clark and Street with a large amount of capital. They utilized this capital by money-lending, and became one of the largest financiers in Upper Canada. The firm’s clients ranged from farmers to prominent political, business and religious leaders such as Attorneys general William Henry Draper and Christopher Alexander Hagerman, Bishop John Strachan, William Hamilton Merritt, and Captain Hugh Richardson.

Thomas Clark was born in Scotland. He arrived in Upper Canada in 1791 to work for his cousin Robert Hamilton, a businessman in Queenston. In 1796 Clark opened a shop in Queenston, and soon after established a partnership with Samuel Street. This first partnership was short-lived, and Clark formed a partnership with Robert Nichol, establishing the firm of Thomas Clark and Company. The firm traded in flour and other commodities in 1802 and 1803, but the business did not prove to be beneficial to either partner and was dissolved. Clark renewed his partnership with Samuel Street around 1809. During the War of 1812, Clark served as lieutenant-colonel of the 2nd Lincoln Militia and was at the Battle of Queenston Heights, as well as the American surrender at Beaver Dams and raids on Fort Schlosser (Niagara Falls), N.Y., and Black Rock (Buffalo). After the war, he was one of the commissioners who assessed war losses in the Niagara District. Unlike his partner, Clark became active in politics, becoming a member of the Legislative Council in 1815. Clark had business interests separate from his partnership with Samuel Street, including an agreement with John Jacob Aster of New York and some of his business associates for the sale and shipment of flour in Montreal, New York and Jamaica. He also conducted business with the Earl of Selkirk, including support for the Red River expedition in 1816. Clark also speculated in land independently of his firm with Street, but not nearly as extensively as his partner. Thomas Clark died in 1835 in Niagara Falls. It was estimated that the value of his estate was £100, 000. He was survived by his wife Mary Margaret Kerr.

Click here to view the Thomas Clark, Samuel Street and Thomas Street collection finding aid: https://dr.library.brocku.ca/bitstream/handle/10464/10788/Thomas%20Clark%2c%20Samuel%20Street%20and%20Thomas%20Street%20collection%20RG%20277.pdf?

Recent Submissions

  • Rebellion Losses Claims in the Niagara District Belonging to Thomas Clark Street 

    Unknown author (1847-01-02)
    Rebellion Losses Claims in the Niagara District belonging to Thomas Clark Street, 2 January 1847. Contains 41 names of individuals or estates making a claim, the amount awarded to each person, and the equivalent amounts ...
  • Thomas Clark, Samuel Street and Thomas Street collection, 1820-1872 

    Cameron, Chantal (2016-12-14)
    The collection consists of correspondence and legal documents concerning Thomas Clark, Samuel Street and his son Thomas Clark Street. Some of the material is related to Thomas Clark and Samuel Street’s joint business ...
  • Last will and testament of Samuel Street 

    Unknown author (1872-02-12)
    Last will and testament of Samuel Street, 12 February 1872. Consists of 5 handwritten pages. The last paragraph written reads “I hereby certify that I have compared what is written on this and the four preceding sheets ...
  • Deed of Bargain and Sale from Stirling H. Nicholson to Samuel Street 

    Unknown author (1837-11-01)
    Deed of Bargain and Sale from Stirling H. Nicholson to Samuel Street, 1 November 1837. The deed is for 200 acres of land. The names Thomas Mallary and Abel Hogan also appear on the deed.
  • Deed of Bargain and Sale from Thomas Clark Street to William Allan 

    Unknown author (1851-04-17)
    Deed of Bargain and Sale from Thomas Clark Street to William Allan, 17 April 1851. The deed is for land in the Township of Stamford, including range or block numbers 9, 33 and 45 on a map or plan of the lands belonging ...
  • Letter to Thomas C. Street from Samuel Kalar 

    Kalar, Samuel (1847-06-03)
    Letter to Thomas C. Street from Samuel Kalar, dated at Norwich, 3 June 1847. The letter concerns land transactions and mentions the names Robert Burns, Benjamin Gilbert, and Seth Colkins(?). The letter is postmarked Chippawa, ...
  • Letter to Thomas C. Street from Samuel Kalar 

    Kalar, Samuel (1846-04-21)
    Letter to Thomas C. Street from Samuel Kalar, dated at Norwich, 21 April 1846. The letter concerns Moses Mott and a sale of land. Reference is also made to George Gilbert and Robert Stroud. Kalar also asks Clark to ...
  • Letter to Samuel Street from John Cornell 

    Cornell, John (1844-06-13)
    Letter to Samuel Street from John Cornell, dated at Beverly, 13 June 1844. The letter concerns Wilder and James Babcock and entitlement to their late mother’s property. The letter is postmarked Sheffield and Chippawa.
  • Letter to Samuel Street from Francis Walsh 

    Walsh, Francis (1843-06-06)
    Letter to Samuel Street from Francis Walsh, dated at Victoria, 6 June 1843. The letter concerns land registry procedures and mentions the will of the late Hon. R. Hamilton. The letter is postmarked Victoria
  • Letter to Samuel Street from Rev. R. Mills 

    Mills, Rev. R. (1842-09-05)
    Letter to Samuel Street from Rev. R. Mills dated at Brantford, 5 September 1842. The letter concerns purchasing a tract of land in Norwich on which to build a Catholic Church and School. The letter is postmarked Brantford.
  • Letter to Samuel Street from Samuel Kalar 

    Kalar, Samuel (1842-02-12)
    Letter to Samuel Street from Samuel Kalar, dated at Norwich, 12 February 1842. The letter concerns business matters involving John Hall and James and William Clark.
  • Letter to Samuel Street from Thomas Racey 

    Racey, Thomas (1841-12-21)
    Letter to Samuel Street from Thomas Racey of Dundas, dated 21 December 1841. The letter concerns the will of James Culhan, of the Township of Etobicoke. The letter is postmarked Dundas.
  • Letter to Samuel Street from U. O’Kelley 

    O'Kelley, U. (1841)
    Letter to Samuel Street from U. O’Kelley, dated at Burford, 21 December 1841. The letter is stamped “money-letter” and postmarked Burford.
  • Letter to Samuel Street from Samuel Kalar 

    Kalar, Samuel (1841-05-31)
    Letter to Samuel Street from Samuel Kalar, dated at Norwich, 31 May 1841. The letter concerns John Hall and his difficulty in making loan payments to Samuel Street. George [Syple?] and Philip Snider are also mentioned.
  • Letter to Samuel Street from the Commissariat 

    Commissariat (1840-06-24)
    Letter to Samuel Street from the Commissariat dated at Drummondville, 24 June 1840. The letter concerns a bath house.
  • Letter to Samuel Street from James Kerr 

    Kerr, James (1837-08-03)
    Letter to Samuel Street from James Kerr, dated at Oxford, 3 August 1837, concerning a land sale in West Oxford. The letter is postmarked Oxford. The land Kerr refers to is "The 4th con. of West Oxford" and was owned by ...
  • Letter to Samuel Street from John Hall 

    Hall, John (1837-02-24)
    Letter to Samuel Street from John Hall, dated at Norwich, 24 February 1837, concerning a land sale.
  • Letter from Samuel Street to Alexander Hamilton 

    Street, Samuel (1833)
    Letter from Samuel Street to Alexander Hamilton, 7 January 1833?, dated at Niagara Falls, Chippawa. A reply from Alexander Hamilton, dated January 17 is also included. A list of Alexander and John Hamilton’s account with ...
  • Letter from Daniel Hazen to Thomas Clark 

    Hazen, Daniel (1834-08-01)
    Letter to Thomas Clark, Colonel Militia, from Dani Hazen, dated at Walsingham, 1 August 1834. The letter describes early land surveyors in the Townships of Niagara, Willoughby and Stamford, including Allan McDonald ...
  • Letter to Samuel Street from Louis Bowerman 

    Bowerman, Louis (1828-02-29)
    Letter to Samuel Street from Louis Bowerman, dated at Norwich, 29 February 1828, concerning a land sale.

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