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Book - “Biography of the Blind”
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Title: Book - “Biography of the Blind”
Identifier: 979.6.1377
Donor: Geoffrey Sayers
Item Date: 1835
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A hard covered navy book with a label on the spine in white that reads "Biography of the Blind" by James Wilson. The inscription inside reads "James B. Harris."

"James Wilson (1779-1845) was born in Richmond, Va., and raised in Belfast, Ireland. While on a voyage to England when Wilson was four years old, both of his parents died at sea and he became blind from smallpox. He was a self-educated man whose major literary interest was documenting the achievements of the blind. Originally published in four separate editions from 1821 to 1838, this book contains biographical sketches of blind individuals. The people portrayed by Wilson are blind men and women who vary in age, abilities and status in life - from the legendary Homer and the mathematical genius Nicholas Sander-son to an obscure miser, Adam Mond." http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9614/wilson.html

Captain James Beveridge Harris (1797-1884) had a distinguished military career serving with the 24th Regiment of Foot. He served in many areas of the world including India, Ireland and Upper Canada. While serving in Ireland, James married Elizabeth Molony (1806-1884) in November 1829. James continued to serve in the 24th Regiment of Foot and was temporarily separated from Elizabeth to serve in Upper Canada. He returned home to bring Elizabeth back to Canada. The Harris family made this arduous journey in 1835 with Elizabeth giving birth to their first child, Elizabeth (Bessie) on board the ship. James sold his military commission and retired to a life of farming on his newly acquired property in 1837. Elizabeth and James had eight children, four boys and four girls. Their youngest son, Arthur inherited Benares in 1884. James and Elizabeth both died in 1884. While in Canada Captain James Beveridge Harris worked his land, became Justice of the Peace, and contributed to the development of St. Peter's Anglican Church.
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