Prospering and Likely to do so: Plymouth to New Plymouth 1800-1841
Edwin Harris (1806-1895) was born in Plymouth, England in the Parish of St Andrew. He was the son of James Pasco Harris and Mary Roberts Good. James Pasco Harris was a glazier and the owner of a house-decorating business in Plymouth. Edwin’s older brother James Cobham Harris (1794-1876) was a portrait painter. Edwin trained as an artist in his late teens, and his younger brother Henry Marmaduke Harris (1815-1895) took over the family business in 1846. Four of Edwin’s sisters figure in the Harris story. Catherine Jane Harris (1799-1884) married eminent engineer James Meadows Rendel. Emma Harris (1802-1889) married surveyor Stephen Collins Court. Augusta Harris (1809-1874) married engineer George Clarisse Dobson. Ellen Susan Harris (1819-1863) married bookseller David Murray.
Sarah Hill (1806-1879) was also born in Plymouth in the Parish of St Andrew. She was the daughter of William Hill and Elizabeth Dyer. An older sister, Emma Jane Hill (1802-1866) was unmarried. Another sister, Ann Mountjoy Hill (1808-1887) married Francis William Paddon and had a son and a daughter. A third sister, Eliza Dyer Hill, (1810-1887) married George Cole and also had a son and a daughter. A brother, William Hill, (b. 1799) married Elizabeth (or Mary Ann) Rudmore and had two sons, both born in France where the family lived for many years. The Hills educated their daughters. Emma Hill taught at a school for girls in Liskeard, Cornwall, and her sister Elizabeth was a governess before her marriage.
In 1833 Edwin Harris and Sarah Hill were married at St Andrew’s in Plymouth. Edwin was working for his brother-in-law James Meadows Rendel as a draftsman in the firm’s Plymouth office. Edwin and Sarah’s first child, Hugh Corbyn Harris, was born in Plymouth in 1835, Emily Cumming Harris was born two years later and Catherine Harris was born in 1839, the year before Edwin and Sarah emigrated to New Zealand by the Plymouth company’s first vessel, the barque William Bryan. Sarah was pregnant with her fourth child as the Harrises left England but lost the five-day-old baby, a daughter, after giving birth two weeks before the William Bryan reached Port Underwood in the Marlborough Sounds in March 1841. Ship’s surgeon Dr Henry Weekes wrote an account of the William Bryan’s voyage that mentions the musical abilities of Mr and Mrs Harris (he plays the guitar and flute, she sings with taste) and describes Sarah’s confinement and the death and burial at sea of the Harris infant.
Edwin Harris, 34, is described as a painter in the passenger records of the William Bryan, the only professional listed among 141 labourers, tradesmen and their families travelling steerage to the new colony. Edwin had experienced financial loss at the hands of his brother-in-law Francis Paddon and was hoping to make a new start in New Zealand. He carried a letter of introduction to Captain William Hobson, Lieutenant-Governor of the colony, written by his brother-in-law JM Rendel and recommending his qualifications as an Engineering and Land Surveyor. According to Rendel, Edwin was a skilful surveyor and a neat draughtsman; he was also a very fair artist and had a good education. But when the William Bryan emigrants learned that their ultimate destination was a spot on the northern Taranaki coast where surveyor Frederick Alonso Carrington was laying out the settlement of New Plymouth, Edwin and Sarah Harris must have realised that Edwin’s chances of making immediate contact with Hobson in Auckland were slim. With Sarah still weak after the premature birth of her child, the family arrived off the coast of Taranaki 30 March 1841. Corbyn was six, Emily was four and Catherine (Kate) was 21 months.
Cutting Lines: New Plymouth 1841-1860
From the outset Taranaki proved traumatic for the Harrises. Their first house, a raupō whare on the future town site, burnt down in May 1841 and the family lost almost all their possessions, including Edwin’s professional instruments. The loss also stalled his plans to go to Auckland with the letter of introduction to Hobson. Instead he was taken on as a surveyor for the New Zealand Company by Frederick Carrington to conduct one of the surveys that produced Carrington’s plan for the settlement of New Plymouth in November 1841. By March 1842, Edwin had been able to purchase Dr Weekes’ portable timber house and two acres of land at Te Henui fronting Devon St East near the river. The Harrises lived there until 1847 in difficult conditions and often dependent on supplies and financial support from family in England. Carrington could not retain his survey team and after November 1842 Edwin was reduced to subsistence cultivation of his land, occasional sales of his paintings and to giving drawing lessons. His health appears to have been delicate, and some of the letters from family in England are forthright in their expressions of doubt about the Harrises prospects. Two more daughters, Frances Emma and Mary Rendel Harris, were born in 1842 and 1845. Sarah taught her children to read and write, and in 1845-47 Emily attended school at the Te Henui vicarage as a pupil of Mrs Bolland and Miss Wright. Jane Bolland was the wife of Reverend William Bolland, the first Anglican vicar of New Plymouth. Caroline Wright was her sister.
Edwin and Sarah’s letters to England trace the source of the New Plymouth settlement’s problems to disputes over the conditions by which the New Zealand Company purchased land in Taranaki and elsewhere. Their own relations with local people are portrayed as being benign, though Edwin in particular is suspicious of Māori manipulation of missionary goodwill and of the new Governor Robert Fitzroy’s willingness to take the part of Māori landowners in attempting to settle disputes. Edwin and Sarah were both critical of Fitzroy and of the New Zealand Company’s mismanagement of promises made to emigrants before and after leaving England. Sarah was grateful for the arrival in New Plymouth of families closer in social standing to her own and often outlined for the family in England events or actions that might calm their anxieties about the colony. However she also gives a detailed description of the 1844 ruling by Land Claims Commissioner William Spain in favour of the Taranaki settlers and is frank about ensuing Māori hostility and the prospect of violence if Fitzroy will not send troops to protect New Plymouth. The Governor’s setting aside of Spain’s ruling and the subsequent purchase of the Fitzroy block further angered the settlers who were obliged thereafter to live within boundaries between the Waiwhakaiho River to the east and a line running southward from Paritutu in the west, an area of about 3500 acres. The appointment of Governor George Grey in 1845 raised hopes of a renegotiation of land purchases. But the Governor’s attention was focused on the war in the north against Hone Heke and then on campaigns in the Hutt Valley and Whanganui over disputed land sales. Grey did not visit New Plymouth until 1847. In a series of negotiations he purchased land surrounding the Fitzroy block and to the west of the settlement from individual owners, increasing European holdings to 11,000 acres. Three of the five new blocks were held by Te Atiawa hapū and Grey’s purchases set the stage for more disputes between sellers and non-sellers of the land.
Edwin Harris surveyed the Ngā Motu Block April-August 1847 with assistance from the Ngāmotu people. Towards the end of the year he bought a 50 acre rural section in the newly-surveyed district for 62 pounds and 10 shillings with money supplied by JM Rendel. Using a further 50 pounds from Rendel, Edwin moved the portable timber house from Te Henui to upper Frankley Road, about three miles from town, and began clearing six or seven acres of his bush section. He hoped to repay Rendel but government surveying jobs were scarce and the land on Frankley Road was the family’s main source of income for several years. The Harrises became farmers, growing crops and running a few sheep and cattle. Later, with Corbyn’s assistance and some hired help, they sold timber cleared from the section to the townspeople. Another two daughters, Augusta and Ellen Harris, were born in 1848 and 1851. Corbyn Harris worked the farm with his father and drove a bullock team. Edwin took surveying jobs when they were offered and may have had a school for boys in Standish St, off lower Frankley Rd, in the 1850s. Sarah kept two schools near the family home. The first was on Frankley Road; the second was located in the Hurdon Primitive Methodist chapel nearby. Between 1856 and 1860, Emily and Kate both taught in their mother’s schools.
The family’s musical abilities were well known. They sang and played at home and for local concerts and dances, and Edwin owned a concert harp. Corbyn was a member of the Amateur Philharmonic Society in 1859 and Edwin had been in the choir at St Mary’s since its formation in 1846. Art and writing were also important. Edwin continued to paint and draw local scenes through the late 1840s and 1850s. Sarah’s letters indicate that the years spent living in the bush were among the happiest and eventually the most profitable of the period the Harrises spent in Taranaki. Emily kept a diary at this time but records burning it (to her later regret) when she heard her mother and father laughing over its contents. It seems likely that she was writing poetry in the 1850s though none has been recovered.
Around 1859-60 Emily Harris went to work for the Des Voeux family at Glenavon on the northern side of the Waiwhakaiho River. She was a lady companion to Katherine Des Voeux who was partially paralysed and had two young children. When war broke out in Taranaki in March 1860 over land disputes at Waitara, Edwin was 54, Sarah 53, Corbyn 25, Emily 23, Kate 20, Frances 18, Mary 14, Augusta 11 and Ellen 8.
Writing Lines: Emily Harris’s Taranaki War and Beyond, 1860-1878
The disruption of a survey at Waitara in February 1860 by owners who did not wish to sell land led to a declaration of war by the British Government, and open conflict followed in March. Te Ātiawa, Taranaki and Ngāti Ruanui raiding parties began burning farms and driving off stock up and down the coast, forcing farmers in outlying areas into the increasingly crowded confines of New Plymouth. The Harris and Des Voeux families were among those who came into town. Edwin and Corbyn Harris and Charles Des Voeux were called up with other settlers as part of the Taranaki Militia. In April, Sarah took five of her daughters to Nelson with other women and children fleeing the hostilities, but Emily stayed in New Plymouth with the Des Voeux family in at least two town refuges. In July, Corbyn Harris was ambushed and killed on the beach at Waitara while collecting firewood for the army kitchens at Camp Waitara. He was given a funeral with military honours and buried in the churchyard of St Mary’s in New Plymouth. Edwin Harris’s watercolours and sketches of New Plymouth under siege in 1860 include multiple versions of the landing of imperial troops in August in the days following Corbyn’s death. Emily Harris’s surviving letters and diary extracts September 1860-March 1861 give vivid glimpses of life behind the lines and include two poems written in direct response to the impact of the war. It is clear from her letters that she was writing poems and showing them to family and friends. With Edwin’s departure for Nelson in December 1860, Emily was the only member of the family left in New Plymouth. In March 1861 she accepted an offer by Charles Des Voeux to accompany his family to Sydney and then to Hobart, where the Des Voeux settled in Macquarie St and later in Holbrook Place in the new suburb of South Hobart. Emily continued to live with the Des Voeux family and in 1863 she was nursery governess with charge of the household in Holbrook Place. Her obituary says that she studied drawing in Hobart but there is as yet no sign of where or with whom she might have studied. Her letters to Nelson show that she was still writing poems. She continued to write to her aunt Emma Hill in Liskeard and to encourage her sisters to take advantage of their aunt’s long-distance tutelage.
Emily Harris returned to New Zealand in 1865. A Miss Harris is recorded leaving Hobart 2 May as the single passenger on the barque Crishna. The Crishna, a cargo vessel, arrived in the Waitemata Harbour, Auckland, 14 May. A Miss Harris was among saloon passengers on the SS Otago when it arrived in Nelson 30 July 1865. In 1870 Emily was living in the family home at 34 Nile St in Nelson. Her sister Kate married Alfred Moore, a Taranaki farmer, in 1863 and returned with him to live in New Plymouth. Augusta died in 1870 at the age of 22 and was buried in Nelson. Mary married teacher and businessman August Weyergang in New Plymouth in 1871, leaving Edwin, Sarah, Emily, Frances and Ellen at Nile St. From comments in her diary of 1889 it seems that Emily Harris met and perhaps became romantically connected with James Upfill Wilson while visiting Motueka in the summer of 1871. Wilson was the son of a Nelson surgeon. He died in 1878, aged 44, and Emily records no other attachment in any of her surviving writings.
Edwin Harris set up a school of design at Nile St after relocating his family permanently to Nelson in 1861. He taught drawing for many years at the Bishops School and continued to paint landscapes and some portraits in oils and watercolours, and to exhibit locally and in occasional exhibitions in Australia. He also instructed at least three of his daughters in painting: Emily, Frances and Ellen Harris were all active as artists and had varying degrees of success in local exhibitions. Frances painted mostly landscapes and seascapes, Ellen seems to have painted genre subjects and Emily concentrated her efforts on learning how to paint and draw from life the birds and plants around her. Edwin sent drawings and paintings to England, some of which were studies of native plants as evidenced in a letter from his sister Catherine Rendel in 1871. His sketchbooks from the 1870s and 1880s contain studies of Nelson scenes, detailed watercolours of plants, trees, buildings, boats, skies and water reflections, many of them panoramas across double spreads.
Emily Harris’s earliest extant painting, a study of the native creeper pohuehue in flower, is dated 5 January 1870. The watercolour has been critiqued by someone with an illegible signature whose faint pencil notes on the verso begin: ‘No. 2 Pohuehue Very badly painted.’ Other early paintings by Emily date from 1873, when she and her father hand-painted certificates for the Nelson Horticultural and Industrial Exhibition. The borders of each certificate feature the Nelson Provincial buildings and twining native flowers and ferns, and the artwork is signed by both Harrises. Father and daughter also exhibited paintings and drawings in the exhibition, and their work was previewed by a local commentator in the Nelson Examiner who observed connections between their subjects and style:
Miss Harris has evidently given a great deal of attention to the native flowers and shrubs of the colony. In this she has followed the taste of Mr Harris, in whose works the greatest attention is paid to accuracy of detail in the representation of native shrubs and flowers, their fruits and their leaves. Miss Harris has ready for exhibition a variety of water-colour paintings, of flowers and fruits, in which nature has been copied with great success. One of these pieces shows the autumn tints of a collection of leaves from Church hill, and these have been reproduced with very great success. Miss Harris will also exhibit a very large number of drawings of flowers indigenous to the colony, all of which show taste in selection and skill in reproduction – the eye and the touch of an artist.
The 1870s were productive for Emily Harris though details of her art and writing are still emerging. From her letters we know she won a silver medal (first prize) for her flower paintings in the Nelson exhibition of 1873 and another silver medal for the best painting of New Zealand flowers and berries in the Hokitika exhibition of the same year. She exhibited in Whanganui in 1877, where no prizes were awarded her work but she noted that it had been well-received. She also wrote to Dr James Hector of the Colonial Museum in Wellington that illness had prevented her from completing a large exhibit for an exhibition in Philadelphia, presumably the Centennial Exhibition of 1876.
Drawing Lines: Art and Writing 1879-1900
In early 1879 Emily Harris had completed 14 watercolour drawings of New Zealand flowers and berries and was planning to paint a dozen more for the Sydney International Exhibition 1879-80. Her letter of 25 January to James Hector, executive commissioner for New Zealand representation, requested permission to submit the paintings as a single group and included a design for hanging them that took into account gradations of colour and form across the exhibit. The project had been in consideration since her attempt to exhibit in Philadelphia. Eventually she submitted 28 paintings of varying sizes that were grouped around two larger works and the exhibit won a silver medal (first prize) in Sydney. The paintings travelled on to Melbourne for the International Exhibition of 1880-81. Emily visited Melbourne in late 1880, returning to Nelson in January 1881 via Milford Sound, George Sound and Bluff and making sketches of wild flowers in all three locations. Also on the SS Te Anau were artist John Gully, a neighbour and family friend, and Mrs Henrietta Levien and child, next-door neighbours of the Harris family in Nile St. Artist James Crowe Richmond and his family were on the same sailing, completing the last leg of their return to Nelson after several years in England and Europe where the Richmond children were being educated. Among them was Dorothy Kate Richmond, 19, already a promising artist. Also in the party were Jane Maria Atkinson and her daughters Ruth and Mabel. Mrs Levien signed the outsize Melbourne International Exhibition visitors’ book. Emily Harris did not, nor did the Richmonds or the Atkinsons, but Emily had a carte de visite portrait made by photographers Stewart & Company of Bourke Street. Melbourne proved to be the catalyst for Emily’s longterm interest in painting on fabric and coloured grounds. A diary entry of 30 March 1886 contextualises the move: ‘Frances & I are painting a study of fruit & a vase in oils, I have been remarking to Frances that this is my third manner of painting. 1st water colour on paper (drawing paper, white) & Bristol board, then after my visit to the Melbourne Exhibition, painting on satin & coloured paper, 3rd painting in oils, I wonder which manner will be my best.’
Emily Harris began exhibiting at the newly-formed Fine Arts Association in Wellington, later the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts (1882-84), at the Auckland Society of Arts (1882-84) and at the New Zealand Art Students’ Association (1884). She exhibited at the New Zealand International Exhibition, Christchurch (1882), the New Zealand Industrial Exhibition, Wellington (1885) and the New Zealand International Exhibition, Christchurch (1906-07). A selection of her work travelled to London for the Colonial and Indian Exhibition (1886) and to Melbourne for the Centennial International Exhibition (1888-89). From 1889 there were family exhibitions in Nelson, New Plymouth, Stratford and Wellington featuring work by Emily, Edwin, Frances and Ellen Harris. Emily was a member of the Bishopdale Sketching Club, later the Suter Art Society, from its inception in Nelson in 1889. A watercolour of pink-flowering manuka signed and dated 1920 is included in a Suter Art Society gift book of that year and is Emily’s latest known work.
The diaries Emily Harris kept between 1885 and 1890 are a window on competing domestic and professional activities. They show the close relationship between Emily and her sisters as they struggled to make ends meet by keeping a school for local children and giving lessons in painting, dancing and music. The sewing machine they were presented with after organising a set of tableaux vivants for the church fund in 1889 was a welcome gift. ‘I am so thankful that it was not an epergne or an album,’ Emily observed (12 Sept). The sewing for the tableaux had involved by Ellen’s count 84 changes of costume. The diaries also detail the evolution of Emily’s three-part lithograph publication New Zealand Flowers, New Zealand Berries and New Zealand Ferns (1890), showing that at least initially the 36 drawings were to have been accompanied by poems. When a camping trip to the lower slopes of Mount Taranaki in the summer of 1890 brought Emily into contact with alpine meadows in full flower, the first paintings for New Zealand Mountain Flora were produced. They set in motion a fascination with rare native flowers that peaked in 1899 with exhibitions in Nelson and New Plymouth to raise subscriptions for publishing the projected volume in colour. It was probably around this time that Emily began to organise the family archive, gathering together letters and papers that included Edwin’s sketchbooks, an illustrated journal by Frances of her ascent of Mount Taranaki in 1879 and a notebook in which Sarah Harris had written a family history in 1871. The shape of the family was much changed. Sarah and Edwin were dead; Frances died in 1892 while staying with Mary in New Plymouth and Ellen died in Nelson in 1895. The will Emily made in 1896 divided her estate between Kate and Mary, making it clear that family papers and artworks were to be evenly distributed between her married sisters.
But Much Better: Nelson 1900-1925
Alone at Nile St, Emily continued to paint and exhibit in local and regional venues and to hold studio showings of her collections. She also illustrated New Zealand Fairyland: A Story of the Caves, a children’s book by her Nile St neighbour Mrs Sarah Rebecca Moore that was published in 1909. A set of 22 drawings for another book by Mrs Moore this time about the dolphin Pelorus Jack, is held by the Nelson Provincial Museum. The New Zealand Mountain Flora book proved too costly to publish. Emily put it aside around 1902 but was working on an updated version in 1910, hoping to interest her wealthy English cousin Lord Stuart Rendel in bringing out the edition of 30 watercolours with notes and accompanying poems. To Auckland MP George Fowlds, who had purchased three hand-coloured sets of the lithograph books, she wrote 27 May 1910: ‘I am preparing another book the same size as those I sent you but much better, “New Zealand Mountain Flora”, I began it 10 years ago but have never been able to afford to publish it, now when finished I may perhaps be able to do so, if the estimate is not beyond my means. I will send you two or three pages by post if you will let me know whether you would like to see them.’ New Zealand Mountain Flora reached England as an artist’s book, was acquired by Stuart Rendel, then lost to view as the Great War arrived soon after the deaths of Lord and Lady Rendel. It reappeared several decades later in the estate of New Zealand collector Ken Webster and was bought by the Alexander Turnbull Library in 1970. Together with New Zealand Flowers, Berries and Ferns and the diaries of 1885-1890, New Zealand Mountain Flora is a highpoint of Emily Harris’s lifetime commitment to art and writing.
Family dynamics shifted again when Mary Weyergang was widowed in 1904 and joined her orchardist sons first in Hawke’s Bay and later in Nelson. During the war she and Emily both spent time at the home of Mary’s daughter Gretchen Briant in Marton. Their sister Kate died in New Plymouth in 1913, but a close connection with the Moores in Taranaki continued and Mary lived with her nieces in New Plymouth as well as with Gretchen in the 1920s. Mary’s son Otto Weyergang was killed in France in 1918, a loss that repeated the grief of Corbyn’s death almost 60 years earlier.
Emily’s independence was well known to her family and friends but her circumstances became increasingly difficult and by 1924 she had been compelled to accept the old age pension. In May of that year, probably at the suggestion of her good friend and patron Dr FA Bett, Johannes C Anderson of the recently-established Turnbull Library in Wellington visited Emily with the objective of purchasing a collection of her paintings for the library. Though Anderson was at pains to point out the quality of the work to his superiors, he could offer only 10 shillings per painting because the Department of Internal Affairs had approved the purchase of the paintings as botanical illustrations rather than works of art. Emily Harris received 31 pounds 10 shillings for 63 watercolours. When she died the following year, aged 88, Nile St was sold for 351 pounds. Cecil Levien reported to his co executor Mary Weyergang and her daughter that interim tenants had moved out after a fortnight on discovering an infestation of black ants and rats. The house was cleared and Mary saw to the dispersal of the remaining family artworks, sending large paintings to the Taranaki Museum and taking letters, diaries, sketchbooks and smaller paintings to Marton and New Plymouth. The Harris connection with Nelson was at an end. The auctioneer who rendered his account for the sale of Nile St chattels by public auction sold a sewing machine for 10 shillings, a writing table for nine shillings, a theodolite for three shillings and a picture and easel for two shillings and sixpence.
Sources and abbreviations
Cranstone Papers – Collection of Roseanne Cranstone, Whanganui, NZ
Nelson Provincial Museum – Nelson Provincial Museum Pupuri Taonga O Te Tai Ao, NZ
Puke Ariki – Puke Ariki Heritage Collection, New Plymouth, NZ
Suter – Suter Art Gallery Te Aratoi O Whakatū, Nelson, NZ
Te Papa – Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington
Turnbull – Alexander Turnbull Library – National Library of New Zealand, Wellington
Birth, Marriage, Death & Parish Records. Plymouth & West Devon Record Office. Plymouth, Devon, England.
Henry Weekes, ‘Journal of Common Things 1840.’ Puke Ariki. ARC2001-129.
Passenger Lists: William Bryan, March 1841. Plymouth Company. Puke Ariki. ARC2001-373. Part 10.
James Meadows Rendel, letter to Captain William Hobson (RN), Lieutenant-Governor, New Zealand. Written in Plymouth, England, 28 Oct 1840. Puke Ariki. ARC2003-781.
William Henry Skinner, Taranaki: Eighty Years Ago. New Plymouth: Taranaki Herald, 1923.
HAH Insull, ed. The Taranaki Education Board: Beginnings, Struggles, Progress. A Retrospect of the Administration of Education in Taranaki, 1841-1971. New Plymouth: Taranaki Education Board, 1979.
The Mercury (Hobart, Tasmania) 28 Nov 1863. Police Court […] Larceny: 2.
Launceston Examiner (Tasmania) 4 May 1865. Shipping. Port of Hobart Town: 4.
New Zealander (Auckland) 15 May 1865 Shipping Intelligence: 2.
NELSON EXAMINER AND NEW ZEALAND CHRONICLE 1 Aug 1865. Shipping Intelligence: 2.
Catherine Jane Rendel, letter to brother Edwin Harris, New Plymouth, NZ. Written in London, England, 23 Apr 1871. Cranstone Papers.
Emily Cumming Harris, untitled watercolour cut to oval shape and mounted on brown card. Dated bottom right of mount ‘January 5th 1870.’ Note on verso of mount begins: ‘No. 2 / Pohuehue / Very badly painted.’ Puke Ariki. ARC2002-190.
Edwin and Emily Cumming Harris, four hand-painted certificates from the Nelson Horticultural and Industrial Exhibition 1873. (1) E Harris, oil painting. (2) WE Brown, cigars and tobacco. (3) WE Brown, photographs. (4) [one other]. Watercolour illustrations show the Nelson Provincial buildings of New Zealand, ferns and flowers (by Edwin and Emily Harris). Nelson Provincial Museum. A895.
NELSON EXAMINER AND NEW ZEALAND CHRONICLE 18 Nov 1873. News of the Day: The Exhibition: 3.
Emily Cumming Harris, four letters to Dr James Hector, Executive Commissioner for New Zealand representation at the Sydney International Exhibition (1879), Colonial Museum, Wellington. Written in Nelson, 25 Jan, 26 Apr, 15 May and 10 July 1879. Te Papa. Mu000188. Box 1, items 10, 164, 201 and 379.
Evening Star (Dunedin) 3 Jan 1881. Shipping Telegraphs: 3.
Marg McCormack. ‘The 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition Visitors’ Book.’ Latrobe Journal No. 56 (Spring 1995): 40-41.
Catherine Field-Dodgson, Appendix 1: Exhibitions: Harris, Hetley, Rowan. ‘In Full Bloom: Botanical Art and Flower Painting by Women in 1880s New Zealand.’ MA thesis. Victoria University of Wellington, 2003: 118-26.
Emily Cumming Harris, Diary. Written in Nelson, 2 Aug 1885 – 20 Nov 1886. Puke Ariki. ARC2002-190.
Emily Cumming Harris, untitled watercolour of pink-flowering manuka with artist’s palette and fern vine. 167 x 194mm. Signed and dated 1920. Part of The Nelson Suter Art Society Gift Book, with contributions from various artists for J A Topliss, 1920. Suter.
Emily Cumming Harris, Diary. Written in Nelson and Taranaki, 20 Aug 1888 – Nov 1890, plus copies of letters to 26 Feb 1891. Puke Ariki. ARC2002-190.
Emily Cumming Harris, New Zealand Flowers, New Zealand Berries, New Zealand Ferns. Nelson: HD Jackson, 1890. 36 lithographic plates.
Emily Cumming Harris, fragment of letter to unknown recipient. Written in Nelson, [1896?]. Possibly addressed to Mary Weyergang. Cranstone Papers.
Mrs Ambrose E [Sarah Rebecca] Moore, New Zealand Fairyland: A Story of the Caves. Illustrations by Emily Cumming Harris. Auckland: Brett Printing and Publishing, 1909.
Emily Cumming Harris, illustrations for ‘Pelorus Jack’ by Mrs Ambrose E Moore. 22 pencil and ink drawings for contents page and 13 chapter headings. Nelson Provincial Museum. MS HAR Call No A1180.
Emily Cumming Harris, four letters to George Fowlds, Ministry of Education, Wellington. Written in Nelson, 17 May, 27 May, 20 June, 8 July 1910. University of Auckland. Sir George Fowlds Papers MSS & Archives A-17.
Johannes C Anderson, Inward Correspondence 13 June-22 Aug 1924. Turnbull. MS-Papers-0006-19.
Pitt and Moore, Solicitors, letter to Mary Weyergang, 73 Fulford St, New Plymouth. Written in Nelson, 8 Dec 1926. Cranstone Papers.
Cecil Solomon Levien, letter to Gretchen Briant, Bonny Glen, Marton. Written in Nelson, 8 June 1926. Cranstone Papers.
EB Ellerman, Librarian, letter to Mary Weyergang, c/o Gretchen Briant, Bonny Glen, Marton. Written at Public Library and Museum, New Plymouth, 17 Sept 1925. Cranstone Papers.
Alfred Gould, auctioneer, Account Sales of Surplus furniture, pictures, etc. sold by public auction, by order and for account of estate E.C. Harris, deceased, per Mr C.S. Levien. Nelson, 27 Aug 1925. Cranstone Papers.