Fonds F 58 - Aikins - Sutherland family fonds

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Aikins - Sutherland family fonds

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CA ON00009 F 58

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  • 1837-1916 (Creation)

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10 centimetres of textual records
16 photographs : prints

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Name of creator


Biographical history

James Cox Aikins, P.C. (1823-1904) was a farmer, member of the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council, a Senator, a member of various Federal Cabinets, and a Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba.

James Aikins was born in Toronto and was educated at local school and Victoria College, Cobourg. He became a farmer in Peel County and in 1854 was elected as a member of the Ontario Legislative Assembly for Peel County, which he held until 1861. In 1862 he was elected to the Home District seat (Peel and Hamilton counties) in the Legislative Council, which he held until confederation. In May of 1867, he was called to the Senate of the new Dominion, and sat until May of 1882. In 1869 he was made a minister without portfolio, and was sworn in as a Privy Councillor and as Secretary of State for Canada. He held the post of Secretary of State until 1873, and was given the post again in 1878. In 1880 he was made Minister of the Interior, and in 1882 he became the Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba and Keewatin, a term which expired in 1888. He turned to business activities until 1896, when he was recalled to the Senate.

Aikins was also treasurer of the Methodist Missionary Society and President of the Methodist Social Union. He also served as vice- president of the Ontario Prohibition Alliance.

In private business, Aikins held directorships in several companies, including the Freehold Loan and Savings Company, the Ontario Bank, the Loan and Deposit Company, the Manitoba and Northwest Loan Company, and the Trusts Corporation of Ontario.

In 1845, Aikins married Mary Elizabeth Somerset, by whom he had four daughters and three sons. The eldest daughter, Helena, married the Reverend Donald George Sutherland, son of Captain James Sutherland, in 1872.

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Captain James Sutherland (d. 1857) was a ship's Captain on the Great Lakes, and a soldier in the Rebellion of 1837 as captain of the steamboat Traveller.

Captain James Sutherland was born in Hoy, Orkney Islands, Scotland, and at an early age entered into the service of the Hudson's Bay Company. After sailing in the Baltic and the South Atlantic, he moved to Canada where he captained several vessels on the Great Lakes. During the Rebellion of 1837, he operated the steamboat Traveller, and continued to operate it and other vessels on the Great Lakes until his death in the Desjardins Canal accident in 1857.

His son, Donald George Sutherland (1839-1895), was a lawyer and Methodist clergyman who married James Aikins' daughter, Helena Aikins.

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Biographical history

Donald George Sutherland (1839-1895) was a lawyer and Methodist clergyman who married James Aikins' daughter, Helena Aikins.

Donald George Sutherland was born in Toronto and was educated at local schools in Hamilton and at Victoria University. After obtaining his B.A. in 1859, he began to study law in the office of Judge O'Reilly of Hamilton. He was admitted to the bar in 1862, and practised law for one year. He then gave up the legal profession to become a probationer in the Wesleyan Methodist Church. After his ordination in 1868, Sutherland held pastoral charges in several Ontario centres. He also occupied several church office, including secretary of the London Conference of 1883-4, and member of the General Conferences of 1878 and 1882-3. He continued his studies, and received an M.A. from the University of Victoria in 1869, and an LL.B. degree from the University of Toronto in 1873. He was also an ensign in the 8th Battalion of the Wentworth Regiment. In 1872 he married Helena Aikins, the daughter of James Cox Aikins. By the time of his death in 1895, he was a member of both the Board of Regents and the Senate of Victoria University.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of correspondence, commissions, degrees, bills, receipts, and other records of James C. Aikins, James Sutherland, and Donald G. Sutherland. Correspondence includes letters of Captain James Sutherland concerning the activities of the steamboat Traveller in the Rebellion of 1837. Also included are letters of James C. Aikins, referring to political matters, such as letters from constituents and letters referring to the department of Indian Affairs and the Department of Lands (later the Department of the Interior). Correspondence of Rev. D.G. Sutherland is concerned mainly with family matters, but also refer to business conditions, farming, and the formation of the Economy Engine Company of Gananoque. Correspondence is arranged chronologically.

Commissions and diplomas include academic certificates and diplomas of Donald G. Sutherland and his daughter Clara, as well as commissions appointing James Cox Aikins to positions such as Senator, Secretary of State, and Lieutenant- Governor of Manitoba and Keewatin. Sutherland and Aikins items have been separated, then arranged chronologically.

Bills and receipts are mostly those of Rev. D.G. Sutherland, and are arranged chronologically.

Fonds also includes miscellaneous items, including the accounts of the steamboat St. George from the years 1842 to 1843.

Fonds also includes a photograph of James Cox Aikins, and an album entitled "The Ministry of the Dominion of Canada," including photographs of members of the government, including L.F.B. Masson, L.F.B. Baby, John Henry Pope, Lt.- Col. Mackenzie Bowell, Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley, James McDonald, Sir Alex Campbell, John O'Connor, D.L. Macpherson, J.C. Aikins, H.L. Langevin, J.C. Pope, Charles Tupper, and Sir John A. Macdonald. Album also includes a photograph of a meeting room.

For a more detailed description, use this link to the Archives of Ontario's descriptive database:

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Materials in this fonds were donated to the Archives of Ontario, in 1960 by Mrs. F.C. Harrison of Toronto, Ontario. Mrs. Harrison also loaned some materials to the Archives for copying purposes at this time. Additional materials were donated to the Archives in 1969 by Mrs. Mary G. Barnett of Toronto, Ontario.


Fonds contains the following series: Correspondence, 1837-1916 (Series I); Commissions and Diplomas (Series II; ) Bills and Receipts, 1837-1894 (Series III); Miscellaneous (Series IV)

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Most records are available on microfilm.

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No restrictions on access.

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Copyright for the photographic portion of this fonds has expired, and photographs can be reproduced and/or published. Copyright for other portions of this fonds rests with the creator. These materials cannot be published without permission from the copyright holder.

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For a more detailed description, use this link to the Archives of Ontario's descriptive database:

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Added Apr/12.

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