Fonds P199 - John MacKellar Fonds

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John MacKellar Fonds

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  • Source of title proper: Title is based on the contents of the fonds.

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  • 1807 (Creation)
    MacKellar, John, -1854

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0.3 cm textual records

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Biographical history

John MacKellar (d. 1854) was a British Admiral who succeeded Robert Murray as prison agent at the Office for Prisoners of War located in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He held the post from 1804 until approximately 1810. He was the eldest son of General MacKellar, who was employed as chief engineer under General Wolfe.

Custodial history

Purchased from John Drury Rare Books, Strandlands, Wrabness, Manningtree, Essex CO11 2TX United Kingdom, by the Osler Library in November, 2014.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of a single 3-page manuscript letter document. Original laid paper watermarked '1805'. Letter is from John MacKellar, dated 16 June 1807. The letter is addressed to the Hon. George Cranfield Berkeley (1753-1818). MacKellar explains his strong reservations about establishing a prison hospital for sick prisoners of war. He warns of high expenses and inconvenience, using the Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, hospital as an example of the expenses required.

Melville Island, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, was formerly known as Kavanagh's Island and used to house French prisoners of war after 1793. The Chesapeake Affair happened six days after this letter was written in 1807 under the command of Admiral G. C. Berkeley.

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Immediate source of acquisition


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  • English

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Documents are in English.

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Items can be requested for consultation online via the Library Catalogue or by email at Advance notice is recommended.

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Physical description

Folio, 3 written-up pages (each 32 x 20 cms), plus 3 conjugate blanks, the laid paper watermarked '1805', folded, docketed and in fine state of preservation.

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