Holmes, Abraham S. 1821-1908

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HOLMES, Abraham S. 1821-1908

PERSONAL: Born 1821, in Raleigh Township, Ontario, Canada; died March 4, 1908; son of Ninian (a Methodist minister) and Elizabeth (Newkirk) Holmes. Religion: Congregational, Church of England.

CAREER: Lawyer.


Belinda; or, The Rivals, Bagg & Harmon (Detroit, MI), 1843, revised edition, Anansi (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1975.

Contributor to periodicals, including Chatham Gleaner and Western Herald.

SIDELIGHTS: Abraham S. Holmes authored one novel, Belinda; or, The Rivals. The story may have been based on real people from Holmes's home, Chatham district, Ontario. Historian F. C. Hamil, while reading one of the only remaining copies of the novel in the Detroit Public Library, supposedly found a note inside the book that led him to this discovery.

After Holmes produced Belinda; or, The Rivals, he apparently opted for a law career. Holmes, it is assumed, was born on his parents' farm in Raleigh Township, Ontario. His year of birth, in fact, was established by taking his age from a census and subtracting it from the year it was taken. His father was a Methodist minister from Detroit, his mother a western Canadian native. He settled in Chatham, where he became known for helping to establish the public library.



Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 99: Canadian Writers before 1890, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1990, pp. 165-167.

Holmes, Abraham, Belinda; or, The Rivals, introduction by C. F. Klinck, Alcuin (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 1970.


Journal of Canadian Fiction, summer, 1973, Marilyn Davis, "Anglo-Boston Bamboozled on the Canadian Thames," pp. 56-61.

Ontario History, Volume 39, 1947, F. C. Hamil, "A Pioneer Novelist of Kent Country," pp. 101-113.*

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