Fonds - Captain James Sutherland fonds

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Captain James Sutherland fonds

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Dates of creation area


  • 1834-1841 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

1 volume of textual material.

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Biographical history

Captain James Sutherland (1805-1857), was born in Hoy, Orkney Islands, Scotland to a sea-faring family. He began his sailing career at the age of seventeen starting as a low-ranking mate and climbing the ladder to captain. He immigrated to Toronto, Canada in 1831 and sailed the steamboat Queenston, owned by John Hamilton. He married Margaret Robinson in 1833 and moved to a house on Hughson Street in Hamilton, Ontario. During his sailing career, Sutherland commanded some of the newest and most prestigious steamers to sail the Great Lakes such as the Traveller and the Niagara. By partnering with wealthy Hamilton investors, Sutherland who was of modest means, was able to co-own and command a fleet of steamships, including his most notable steamboat the Magnet. He retired from sailing in 1853 to work for the Great Western Railway Company. On March 12, 1857, Captain James Sutherland became the most notable Hamiltonian to lose his life in a train wreck on the Desjardins Canal Bridge.

Custodial history

Based on notes in the accession file and past processing methods, the acquisition date was established to be 1965, but the donor is unknown.

Scope and content

The material consists of a cash book including receipts and disbursements for the steamboat Queenston, dated February 5, 1834 to November 28 1834, and for the steamboat Niagara, dated April 6, 1839 to December 23, 1841.

Notes area

Physical condition

The book is fragile and in poor condition.

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Restrictions on access

The material is open to researchers. There are no restrictions on access.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Records are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on reproduction for research and private study.
Preferred citation: Captain James Sutherland fonds, 00006, Hamilton Public Library, Hamilton, Ontario.

Finding aids

Associated materials

The following related material can be found in the Local History & Archives (LH&A) department at Hamilton Public Library pertaining to the Captain James Sutherland fonds.

Bailey, Thomas Melville. Dictionary of Hamilton Biography, Vol. 3, p.23. Hamilton: W.L. Griffin Printing Limited, 1992. Library Call Number: R971.352 DIC

CF – Hamilton – Biography – Captain James Sutherland

CF – Hamilton – Steamships and Steamboats – Magnet

CF – Hamilton – Steamships and Steamboats – Early American Steamers by Erik Heyl.

Niagara Historical Society. Niagara Historical Society Publications, Vol. 32, p.57 Niagara: Advance Print, 1924. – Library Call Number: R971.352N51 Cana

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Further accruals are not expected.

General note

Title is based on the contents of the Captain James Sutherland fonds.

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Fonds processed and finding aid created by Archives Technician Kelly Bucci, 2019.

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