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Hart family fonds (P013)

1760-1909. - 112 cm of textual records. - 40 photographs : 37 prints, 3 daguerreotypes.

Administrative History - Biographical Sketch:

Born in Europe, Aaron Hart (ca. 1724-1800) emigrated to America and in 1760 followed the British army into Canada. A merchant who supplied the commissariat of the British Army, Hart settled in Trois-Rivières where he engaged in various business activities such as the fur trade. He also acquired large tracts of land, including the seigneuries of Sainte-Marguerite and Becancour. In 1768 he married Dorothy Judah; they had four sons (Moses, Ezekiel, Benjamin and Alexander) and four daughters.

Ezekiel (d.1843) was, like his father, a merchant in Trois-Rivières. In 1807 he was elected the representative for Trois-Rivières in the Assembly of Lower Canada, but he could not sit as a member because he was of the Jewish faith, and could not take the customary oath "on the true faith of a Christian." In 1808 he was re-elected but again could not sit for the same reasons. Although nominated in 1809, he withdrew his candidature during the election campaign. His son, Adolphus M. Hart (1814-1879) became a prominent lawyer in Montréal, as did his grandson Gerald Ephraim Hart (1849-1936).

(Source: Guide to Archival Resources at McGill University: Private Papers at McGill University. McGill University Archives. 1985. Vol. 2, p.171.)

Scope and Content:

The Hart family fonds provides information on personal and business activities and legal affairs, and on Gerald Ephraim Hart. The Hart family fonds consists of the three series: Early Hart papers, Gerald Ephraim Hart papers, Books and pamphlets.

Source: Guide to Archival Resources at McGill University: Private Papers at McGill University. McGill University Archives. 1985. Vol. 2, p. 171.)

Photographic archives include daguerreotypes of Benjamin Hart and Gerald Ephraim Hart, and family portraits of members of the Hart family, including many of Aaron P. Hart's children and their descendants. There are also two photographs of the interior of Mrs. Constance Hart's residence in Montréal (Prince Arthur and Durocher Streets), and three views of the ruins of the Hart family cemetery in Trois-Rivières. There is also a photograph of the Hart Militia Crest and of a military gorget that belonged to Aaron Hart.