Manuscripts, oral history and pictures catalogue
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  • Title
    Harris family - papers concerning Alexander Harris, 1854-1983
  • Creator
  • Call number
    MLMSS 6185
  • Level of description
  • Date

  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Physical Description
    2 boxes - 0.26 Meters
    Textual Records - (manuscript)
    Textual Records - (typescript)

    Alexander Harris was born in London in 1805. At the age of 18 he enlisted in the army. He took to drink, led a generally dissolute life, deserted and in 1825 fled to New South Wales. There he worked as a cedar-getter, became deeply religious and established himself on the land. He returned to England in 1841. He married but his wife died five weeks after the ceremony. In 1842 he married Ursula Carr. They had several children including a son, Robert Carr Harris, who was born in 1843. Eventually the marriage broke down and in 1851 he went to America where he worked as a teacher and writer. He died at Capetown, Ontario, Canada in 1874. His first book, Settlers and Convicts or Recollections of Sixteen Years' Labour in the Australian Backwoods, was published in 1847 under the pseudonym An Emigrant Mechanic. This was followed in 1849 by a novel, The Emigrant Family or the Story of an Australian Settler. In the same year he also published A Guide to Port Stephens in New South Wales, the colony of the Australian Agricultural Company. An account of his religious conversion, Testimony to the Truth or the Autobiography of an Athiest, had previously appeared in 1848. Another autobigraphical work, Religio Christi, was published in serial form in the Saturday Evening Post in 1858. For many years there was controversy over Harris' identity but this was largely settled by his grandson, Grant Carr-Harris in the 1950s with the production of reliable biographical information.
  • Scope and Content
    Alexander Harris - papers, 1857-1874
    Robert Carr Harris - correspondence, 1866-1886
    Grant Carr-Harris - papers concerning Alexander Harris, 1891-1983
  • System of arrangement
    This collection comprises three record series. You may navigate to a more detailed description of each series from this collection record.
  • Source
    Presented by Mrs R. Carr-Harris in 1993
  • Access Conditions

    This material is held offsite and can take up to four days to retrieve.
  • Name
  • Subject

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