Thomas Bradley Harris, ca. 1862  

Thomas Bradley Harris, ca. 1862

Thomas Bradley Harris was born in New York City in 1826. He started business as a ships' chandler at South Street and Maiden Lane, the location of his father's store since 1805. Later Thomas was in partnership with Nathan Gillette Pond. Among other things Harris & Pond exported large quantities of butter to Hong Kong. In 1862 Harris went out to Hong Kong to manage that end of the business.  His wife Sarah and the children moved to Walton, New York. Her father was a native of Walton and had returned there in 1857 after his retirement from business in New York City.

While in the East, Harris, together with Joseph William Torrey and Tat Chong, formed the American Trading Company of Borneo for the purpose of establishing a colony and developing the resources of that country. Harris died at Ellena, Kimanis River, Borneo, a few weeks after he arrived there to manage American Trading Company's colony.

This web site documents the photo album which Harris carried with him in Asia. It contains pictures of his family and associates in New York City and his contacts in Hong Kong, Melbourne, and Shanghai. After Harris died the album was sent home, and his wife Sarah added pictures of her family and associates in New York City and Walton. Apparently, additional photos were sent to Sarah from the East as well. Photographs in the album date from about 1860 to about 1880.

The documented provenance of the affects of Thomas Bradley Harris is as follows: his wife Sarah Louisa Seymour Harris, their daughter Sarah Bennet Harris  Sawyer, her son John Harris Sawyer, and his children Gertrude Marian Sawyer Cobb and Harris Tooker Sawyer (who died in 1995).  

Most of the photographs were identified in the album, and those annotations are shown here in bold face type. Additional information has been added for many persons, but not all photos could be identified with certainty.  Anyone having corrections or further information about the people shown is invited to contact the author of this introduction.

Lois Fonseca
Pahoa, Hawaii

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