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Virtual Tour: Militia Era

James Stephen Harvey

James Stephen Harvey was born to William Harvey and Catherine Duthie (John Duthie’s daughter) on March 1st 1844. He served as a Captain in the local militia (2nd Battalion, Bonaventure County). Captain James S. Harvey’s militia coat and sword have both survived and are displayed here. James Harvey worked as a clerk for Cuthbert and later for Montgomery’s Mill, and also as a school master and teacher. He married Dorothy Doddridge. Captain James S. Harvey died on February 24th 1915.

The History of the Red Coat

The Militia coat has an interesting history in and of itself. This coat is over 200 years old and consequently pre-dates the captaincy of James S. Harvey in 1857. The coat originally belonged to the 1st Regiment of Royal Edinburgh Volunteers, a Scottish regiment. This regiment was raised in 1803 to act as a defence in case the country was invaded during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, as at this time virtually the entire regular army was serving overseas. The regiment was disbanded in 1814 when Napoleon was banished to the island of Elba. Exactly how the coat came to be here is not known. It is possible that William Cuthbert (who helped form and lead the local militia, and who hailed from Scotland) bought the uniforms from a disbanded Scottish regiment on one of his visits and brought them back to the coast for use by the local militia.


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