Harriett Dobbs Cartwright emigrated from Dublin. Ireland to Upper Canada upon her marriage to Anglican minister Robert David Cartwright in 1832. Her voluminous correspondence chronicles her active engagement in the local affairs of her new ‘home’ in the colony of Upper Canada: as a wife, as a mother, and as a social activist. Cartwright played an incredibly important role in Kingston’s upper class community. She volunteered in the Female Benevolent Society and Orphans’ and Widows’ Friend Society, through which she contributed to the establishment of such major Kingston institutions as Kingston General Hospital, St. George’s Anglican Church, the Kingston Penitentiary, and Rockwood Asylum for the Insane. Harriett Dobbs Cartwright’s contributions to the community have had a lasting impact on the city of Kingston as we know it today.
Victoria Crosby is a fourth year doctoral student in the Queen’s History Department. Her research interests include nineteenth-century Canadian women, the British World, as well as gender and sexuality studies. She is currently working on a biography of Harriett Dobbs Cartwright.
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