The greatest portion of the fonds are the business papers of John Benson, merchant, of Napanee. These record his land dealings, including those with John Solomon Cartwright. Activities as a money-lender led to some legal entanglements. Benson was a partner in the construction of the ill-fated steamer, "Western" from 1839-1841. Benson's public appointments are also represented in the papers. He was Clerk of the Court of Requests, Napanee, in 1837; Commissioner, Township of Richmond, 1837-1841; Justice of the Peace, 1852-1858 and Reeve of Napanee from 1855 to 1857, which included the planning of Napanee Town Hall. He was a Deputy Returning Officer for local elections, 1856-1863, and a Warden of Ste. Mary Magdalene's Church (Church of England), Napanee from 1836-1877. He also kept the records for Napanee Common and Grammar Schools, 1847-1865. His militia papers (1832-1864) include letters, orders and muster rolls of the 2nd Lennox Militia. The papers of John's brothers are less extensive. Those of Samuel Manson Benson (1801-1876) pertain mostly to his surveying activities. The small file of papers of Stephen Benson (died 1836) and Ezekiel Robert Benson (died 1858) are mostly personal. The papers of Charles Otis Benson (1811-1854) are a mixture of personal activies, land dealings and financial speculations. The papers of John's children are also less extensive and reflect their different life choices. Those of his oldest son, John Bird Benson, consist of correspondence 1856-1879 and reflect his attempts to establish a career as a surveyor, an entrepreneur, and then as a newspaper man, particularly in Brighton, Ontario. The papers of Annie Elizabeth Benson (1838-1931) who never married, are mostly personal letters to her brothers and others. Stephen Manson Benson, an amateur photographer, carpenter and telegraph operator, left a few personal letters and a quantity of glass negatives taken of local residents 1863-1864. Arthur Wellington Benson was intended for a military career: however, only a few personal letters and a clipping survive. There are also a few letters in the fonds from other members of the Benson clan, including Alicia Fenton Benson Fonds consists of the following series: John Benson (1808-1882) Ezekiel Benson Sr. (1768-1842) Samuel Manson Benson (1801-1876) Stephen Benson (ca. 1805-1836) Charles Otis Benson (1811-1854) Ezekiel Robert Benson (1820-1858) John Bird Benson (1835- ) Annie Elizabeth Benson (1838-1931) Arthur Wellington Benson (ca.1847-ca. 1897) Stephen Manson Benson (1838-1901) Alicia Fenton Benson (1800-1878) Other Benson family members.