Alexander Harris (writer)

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Alexander Harris
Born 7 February 1805
Died 1 February 1874
Occupation soldier, teacher, novelist

Alexander Harris (7 February 1805 – 1 February 1874) was a soldier, teacher and author known for his early fictional accounts of convict life in Australia.

He arrived in Sydney, Australia in 1825 and returned to London, England in 1841.[1]

He had numerous jobs including a soldier, clerk, a tutor and a timber-getter. He travelled mostly around the Hunter Region, the Shoalhaven, Illawarra and Bathurst in New South Wales. In 1851 he emigrated to the United States. He emigrated to Berlin, Ontario [2] on the outbreak of the U.S. civil war in 1861 and died in Copetown, Ontario on 1 February 1874.


Alexander Harris married Ursula Carr. They had several children including a son, Robert Carr Harris, who was born in 1843. Robert Carr-Harris, a professor of engineering at the Royal Military College of Canada and his wife Ellen Jane Fitton Carr-Harris had several children: Mary Alexandria (b. 1 Mar 1875); Ferguson (b. 25 Dec 1877); Captain Ernest Dale (b. 14 Feb 1878); #555 Robert R. (civil engineer b. April 1881); Athol (civil engineer b. Sep 1883); Grant (b. Jun 1898); Guy (b. Jun 1898), #1325 Lorne Howland (b. 1899). All of Robert Carr Harris' sons and two of his nephews were cadets at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario. Alexander Harris' grandson Grant Carr-Harris wrote the biography 'The secrets of Alexander Harris' in 1961.[3] Grant Carr-Harris also wrote 'Carr-Harris - history & genealogy' (Toronto 1966). Lorne Carr-Harris was the goalie on the British ice hockey team which won the bronze medal at the 1924 Winter Olympics in Chemoix, France. Captain Ernest Dale Carr-Harris R.E., who died on 3 November 1914 at 36 years of age, was commemorated on page 565 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.[4]


  • Settlers and Convicts: Recollections of sixteen years labour in the Australian backwoods (London, 1847)
  • Testimony to the Truth: or the Autobiography of an Atheist (1848)
  • The Emigrant Family: or the Story of an Australian Settler (Smith, Elder and Co, 1849)
  • A Guide to Port Stephens in New South Wales, the colony of the Australian Agricultural Company (1849)
  • Religio Christi (1858)
  • ' 'Alexander Harris: A Mystery No More' ' (Lorraine Neate, 2000)

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Hirst, John, Freedom on the Fatal Shore: Australia's First Colony, 2008, pp 23, Black Inc., Melbourne, 9781863952071
  2. ^ McDougall, Robert L., "Dictionary of Canadian Biography", vol. 10, 1972, University of Toronto,
  3. ^ Biography Alexander Harris
  4. ^ Captain Ernest Dale Carr-Harris