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This virtual archive consists of digitized documents of Dr. John Harry fonds (F00456) located at the Queen’s University Archives in Kingston, Ont.

John Harry (1781–1852) was born in Bodmin, Cornwall. He received medical education at Guy’s Hospital and St. Thomas Hospital in London. In 1805, he was invited to Russia to serve as staff surgeon to the Embassy of Count Yuri Golovkin to China. Upon returning to St. Petersburg, he was assigned for another mission in Southern Russia, helping combat an outbreak of plague and cholera in Astrakhan. For this service, he was made a Cavalier of Order of St. Anna, 2nd degree, and shortly after was appointed the physician to Princess Anna Pavlovna, the younger sister of the Russian Emperor Alexander I (1801–1825). When Anna Pavlovna married Willem Frederik Prince of Orange-Nassau, the future King of Netherlands, John Harry followed the royal couple and moved to The Hague. He had retired from his service in 1826 and had spent the rest of his life in England. He died in 1852.

Most of Harry’s papers stem from the period between 1815 and 1825. The latest documents are dated between 1841 and 1863. They include letters by Philip Harry, a nephew of Dr. John Harry, sent from Canada and America. There is reason to believe that, at some point, John Harry’s personal papers were acquired by Philip Harry or one of his children. This would explain how the papers ended up in North America. There are no further traces of the archive until November 1967, when Mrs. R. V. Cook from Saskatoon, who claimed to be a great-grand daughter of Dr. John Harry, provided the documents for copying to the Queen’s University. After the microfilm was made, the original papers were returned to the owner. No records about Mrs. Cook have been found, so the present location of Harry’s manuscripts remains unknown.

The illustration in the header depicts the city of Irkutsk. The original watercolor was made by Andrey Martynov, the artist in the Embassy of Count Golovkin. Martynov's watercolors were published in his book "Zhivopisnoe puteshestvie ot Moskvy do kitaiskoi granitsy, Andreia Martynova, sovietnika Akademii khudozhestv" (St. Petersburg, 1819).

Digitization project was completed by Sergey Lobachev from the microfilm copy of Dr. John Harry fonds. Transcripts were prepared by Dr. Alison Rowley and Sergey Lobachev.