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Letter: Charles Mitchell to Capt. J.B. Harris May 14th 1864
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Title: Letter: Charles Mitchell to Capt. J.B. Harris May 14th 1864
Identifier: 2005.1.139
Donor: Geoffrey and Kathleen Sayers
Item Date: 1864
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A single sheet of double wide blue-lined paper, folded in half. The text of the letter dated May 14th, 1864 is handwritten in black ink with a very fine-nibbed pen. The first two pages are written left to right only. Pages three and four are written left to right and then overwritten top to bottom. Embossed at the top proper right corner of the first page is the word "BATH" enclosed in an oval with a textured background. Handwritten at the top of page four in blue ink is the number "121". The content describes Mitchell's adventures in the south during the civil war including a description of New Orleans in 1863, stealing a mule, and some battles. He also talks about celebrating Christmas and New Year's at the front.

Captain James Beveridge Harris (1797-1884), born in Plumstead, England, was one of six children of Major General John Harris and Margaret Marshall. He was stationed in Canada in 1829 with the 24th Regiment of Foot but was sent back to Ireland within the same year. The regiment returned to Canada in 1836 in preparation for the possible Rebellion of 1837-38. While stationed at Ile-aux-Noix, Québec, he requested permission to sell his commission for , 1,800 and purchased Benares. The following year he brought his wife, Elizabeth Molony (1806-1884), with him to live at Benares. Elizabeth and James had eight children, four boys and four girls. Their youngest son, Arthur, inherited Benares after James and Elizabeth both died in 1884. Throughout his life in Upper Canada, Captain Harris worked his land, became Justice of the Peace, and contributed to the development of St. Peter's Anglican Church in Erindale.
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