SAMUEL PETERS JARVIS (November 15, 1792 – September 6, 1857) was a Canadian government official in the nineteenth century. He was the Chief Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Upper Canada (1837-1845), and he was a member of the Family Compact .
Jarvis was born to William Jarvis and Hannah Owens Peters in Newark,
Upper Canada . He moved with his family to
Jarvis was a member of the 3rd Regiment of
Jarvis was also appointed as a Clerk of the Legislative Council of Upper Canada. Having studied law before the war, he was called to the bar in 1815. In 1817 he was named Clerk of the Crown in Chancery.
In 1817 Jarvis killed John Ridout in a duel. John was the son of Upper Canada's Surveyor General, Thomas Ridout . The Jarvis and Ridout families carried a longstanding enmity; in 1817 John Ridout had been ejected from Jarvis' office, and a few days later a chance encounter led to a fistfight between the pair. They agreed to a duel , meeting on July 12 at daybreak. The pair stood back to back, then took 8 steps, turned to face each other, after which Jarvis' second counted to three. The count of three was the signal permitting them to shoot. Ridout shot on the count of two but missed. Jarvis was livid at this violation of the agreement. Their seconds conferred, giving Ridout a second gun, then taking it away and allowing Jarvis to take his shot. He did, killing Ridout. Jarvis was charged with murder, but the charge was reduced to manslaughter before trial. Jarvis was acquitted, as all the formalities of a duel had been met, and the unspoken practice of the day was to acquit duellers. It was the last such quasi-legal duel in Toronto.
In October 1818 Jarvis married Mary Boyles Powell. She was the daughter of William Dummer Powell , the judge who had presided over his trial for the shooting of John Ridout. Around 1822 Jarvis moved onto land which he had inherited from his father, Hazel Burn, a 100-acre (0.40 km2) lot between Queen Street and Bloor Street . He cleared the southern part of the lot and erected an estate. On June 8, 1826, Jarvis and fourteen others, disguised as Indians , broke into the offices of William Lyon Mackenzie 's newspaper Colonial Advocate , where they smashed his printing press and threw it into Toronto Harbour . This act was in retaliation for negative editorials which Mackenzie had run about members of the Family Compact. Mackenzie sued and won £625, which was paid by donations from the Family Compact, and Mackenzie was able to set up a larger operation.
Jarvis was named Chief Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Upper Canada in 1837, replacing James Givins , who was becoming senile . During the Rebellion of 1837 , Jarvis organised a group of volunteers to fight on the government's side; the group was named the Queen's Rangers in honour of his father's old unit, also called the Queen\'s Rangers , which had disbanded in 1802. In 1845 he was removed from his position as Chief Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Upper Canada. A three-man commission appointed to investigate complaints about the Department of Indian Affairs found substantial problems there. Witnesses to the commission testified about occurrences of bribery , fraud , religious discrimination and lack of interest in the welfare of the Indians under its supervision. To repay the government the money he had stolen from the Indian Department, Jarvis was forced to sell Hazel Burn to pay the £4000 that he owed the government. The estate was divided into town lots with a street through the tract. The street is now named Jarvis Street .
Jarvis and his wife had several children. A son, Samuel Peters Jarvis
Jr. CMG (1820-1905) was a