Captain James Sutherland

Identity area

Type of entity


Authorized form of name

Captain James Sutherland

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence



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.


Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Steamship Captain

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Control area

Authority record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used



Level of detail


Dates of creation, revision and deletion

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




Bailey, Thomas Melville. Dictionary of Hamilton Biography, Vol. 3, p.23. Hamilton: W.L. Griffin Printing Limited, 1992.

Lewis, Walter. "Steamboat Promotion and Changing Technology: The Careers of James Sutherland and the Magnet." Accessed May 24, 2019.

Maintenance notes