Fonds - Donald Sutherland fonds

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Donald Sutherland fonds

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  • [after 1901] - 1949, 2006 (Creation)
    Sutherland, Donald

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68.75 cm textual records

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Biographical history

Donald Sutherland was born on April 8th 1863 to Robert and Elizabeth Sutherland of West Zorra Township. He would eventually settle on Lot 7, Con 1 in the Township of North Oxford where he was prominent in the farming community for many years. In 1896 he married Minnie Pearl Hossack, with whom he had five sons and two daughters.

He began his political career serving as a member of the North Oxford Township Council in 1896. In 1901 and 1902 he served as county councilor for Ingersoll, North and West Oxford. In 1902 he was elected as a representative for the South Riding of Oxford in the Ontario Legislature, gaining the seat for the Conservative party, which had historically always been held by the Liberal party. He was re-elected in the general election of January 25, 1905, though defeated in the general election of 1908. During his time in provincial politics he introduced a Bill into the legislature to regulate the speed and operation of motor vehicles on Ontario Highways.

On March 10th 1909, Donald Sutherland was appointed Director of Colonization and Immigration for Ontario by the James P. Whitney government, where he helped to promote the settlement of Northern Ontario. Two years later he resigned as Director so that he could run in the Federal election of 1911. On September 26th, 1911 he was elected to the House of Commons, being the first Conservative elected to the House of Commons for the constituency of South Oxford. He moved the address in reply to the speech from the throne during the special war session of August 9th, 1914 and a year later would present a speech to the House of Commons concerning the War Budget. He was re-elected at the general elections in 1917, 1921, and 1925 and was made a member of the Privy Council and appointed a Minister without Portfolio in the Meighen Cabinet on July 19th 1926. Defeated in the general election in 1926, he resigned from the Meighen Cabinet. In the ensuing years he would be defeated in the general election for the House of Commons in 1930 and the By-election for South Oxford in 1934 following the death of Hon. T.M. Cayley.

In 1932, Donald Sutherland was asked to head an inquiry for the Combines Investigation Bureau into the alleged price fixing by the various Tobacco Companies following a complaint by tobacco farmers in Ontario. In 1935 he was appointed to the Senate of Canada and was a member until his death on January 1st 1949 at the age of 86 years.

On January 4th, 1949 the Woodstock Sentinel Review published an editorial which eloquently summed up the life and career of Donald Sutherland: “He was a doughty campaigner, and not one to be easily discouraged. As a public servant and as a farmer he left his mark on his township, his province and his country. No man could have a better epitaph then that.” (Series 4B, #9.22)

Custodial history

The records were created by Donald Sutherland were donated to the County of Oxford Archives by his family in September 2013.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records related to the personal life and political career of Donald Sutherland. It is arranged into the following series and subseries:

Series 1 – Personal

Series 2 – Political
a) Elections/Government Proceedings
b) Regulating speed and operation of motor vehicles
c) Agriculture
d) Colonization and Immigration
e) Indian Affairs
f) Welland Canal
g) Military

  1. Rebellion 1837/Boer War
  2. Fenian Raid Comp.
  3. Armoury Ingersoll
  4. WWI
  5. WWII
  6. Misc.
    h) Prohibition
    i) Women’s Franchise Act
    j) Combine Investigation Act (Tobacco)
    k) Senate
    l) Requests, favours, appointments
    m) Invitations and Events
    n) Miscellaneous Correspondence

Series 3 – County of Oxford
a) Woodstock Jail
b) Post Offices/Mail Routes
c) Noxon Co. / John Morrow Screw and Nut Company of Ingersoll
d) Zorra Log Church and Tug of War Team
e) Miscellaneous

Series 4 – Government
a) Federal/Provincial issues
b) Newspaper clippings
c) Liberal-Conservative Association
d) Photographs

Notes area

Physical condition

The materials in this collection are in good condition.

Immediate source of acquisition

The fonds was acquired in by the County of Oxford Archives from the family of Donald Sutherland in September 2013.


Language of material

  • English

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Restrictions on access

The fonds is open to publish research. However, please contact the archivist responsible for the records regarding access, as some materials may be too fragile to handle. The Archives will make every effort to supply reference copies where feasible.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Copyright is held by the archives. Researchers are responsible for observing copyright regulations that may apply to the publication of their research. If you wish to publish any of this material, please contact the archivist responsible for the records.

The Archivist has the right to restrict reproduction if the material is in a fragile condition.

Finding aids

An item level description is available for researchers. Please contact the Archivist for more information.

Associated materials

RG2 County of Oxford fonds
COA1 Leonard K. Coles fonds
COA52 Oxford Rifles fonds

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Further accruals may be possible.

General note

Donald Sutherland was a Conservative politician in the riding of South Oxford, not to be confused with Donald Matheson Sutherland, who was a Liberal, and then later Conservative, politician in the riding of North Oxford during the same time period.

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