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Title: Book- Telegraph Signals
Identifier: 992.2.2
Donor: Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Jarvis
Item Date: 1802-1815
Image Creator: Museums of Mississauga
Creation Date: 2007
Location: Museums of Mississauga

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Description: Leather hand written signal book. Title on front cover reads, "Telegraph Signals H[?" Sections are sewn together. Two half cm leather bands are visible on the edges of the spine near the top and the bottom and serve as hinges helping to support the cover boards. The end leaf at the back of the book appears to have been cut out of the book. The end leaf is stuck to the back board. There is a hole in it where it was torn away from the back board. The first page has instructions for use of signal flag (see Ref. #2 in file). The second page, lined on one side, has a 14 cm x 4.5 cm section cut out of it. The next 25 pages have red tabs on the edges. Each tab has a letter of the alphabet and the numbers of the codes appearing on the page. Each page has two rows of numbers and the corresponding word for the code number. Letters on red tabs are from A to Z and the numbers are from 26 to 1998. The next 28 pages also have white tabs, each with a letter of the alphabet and numbers beginning at 2026 through to 2998. These numbers identify phrases rather than single words. The last page containing codes is written on what appears to be scrap paper because the reverse side is lined and the word "sincere" is written ten times as through someone was practicing their writing. Not all numbers have been used on each page, leaving room to add new words for some of the alphabet. On the last page at note reads, "NB a mistake was made by inserting double ciphers in the seven following numbers 1030, 1040, 1050, 1060, 1070, 1080 and 1090 therefore ships not having two sets of flags must use a word nearest synonymous".

History: John Skynner (1762-1846) was born in England in 1762 to a family steeped in the traditions of the Royal Navy as both his father and grandfather had been high ranking officers. Skynner immigrated to Upper Canada in 1839 and made his home in The Anchorage, a comfortable and stylish cottage on the shores of Lake Ontario. The property itself had belonged to the Jarvis family who had used the protected waters as a shipping point for goods to and from York (Toronto) and Niagara.

John Skynner and his family moved into The Anchorage after his retirement from the Royal Navy. Skynner fought at the Battle of the Nile and later served in all of Admiral Nelson's campaigns except for Nelson's decisive victory over Napoleon, at Trafalgar. Captain Skynner was commanding his own ship, the Hirondelle, with the Mediterranean fleet at the time. For information on Skynner: O'Byrne’s Naval Biographical Dictionary, 1849. For information on the Napoleonic Wars, see: Guther Rothenberg "The Napoleonic Wars"(London: Cassell & Co, 2000).

The Skynner and Jarvis families were connected through two marriages: Henry Skynner (1825-) and Mary Jarvis (1828-1861) married in 1851, and Caroline Skynner (1826-1916) and Frederick William Jarvis (1818-1887) married in 1857. Their parents were Frederick Starr Jarvis (1787-1852), eldest son of Stephen Jarvis (1756-1840), and Susan Isabella Merigold (1786-1852), daughter of Thomas Merigold (1761-1826), Mississauga's first Loyalist settlers in Toronto Township. See: Dorothy L. Martin's "The Families of Merigold's Point" (Mississauga: Mississauga Heritage Foundation, 1984); Ann Jarvis Boa "My Eventful Life: Stephen Jarvis, U.E, 1756-1840" (Montreal: Price-Patterson Ltd., 2002).
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Related Links:
   Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN)