Title and statement of responsibility area
James McGill Fonds
General material designation
Other title information
Title statements of responsibility
- Source of title proper: Title based on the content of fonds.
Level of description
CA RBD MSG 435
Edition statement of responsibility
Class of material specific details area
Statement of scale (cartographic)
Statement of projection (cartographic)
Statement of coordinates (cartographic)
Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
- McGill, James, 1744-1813
Physical description area
21 cm, originals, copies, and a blueprint.
Publisher's series area
Title proper of publisher's series
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Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series
Numbering within publisher's series
Note on publisher's series
Archival description area
Name of creator
James McGill was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1744. He entered Glasgow University in 1756, but did not receive a degree. He later immigrated to the American colonies and the first known North American reference to McGill dates from 1766. In about 1774, he arrived in Montréal and, in partnership with Isaac Todd, became involved in the commercial fur trade. For a time, he also maintained business partnerships with his brothers, Andrew and John. McGill was a member of the Beaver Club, a private social club based around participation in the fur trade. From 1792 to 1796, and from 1800 to 1804, he represented a Montréal constituency in the Lower Canada Legislature, and in 1793 he was appointed to the Executive Council. In 1776, McGill married Marie-Charlotte Guillimin, the widow of a former colleague, Amable Desrivières. James McGill enslaved at least six Black and Indigenous people: Sarah, Marie-Louise, Jacques, Marie-Charles, Marie, and a Chatiks si chatiks (Pawnee) child whose name is not recorded. In 1813, he bequeathed a large part of his estate to the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning in order to found and endow a college bearing his name. After delays and litigation by heirs, McGill College was inaugurated in 1829.
Scope and content
These McGill papers are entirely concerned with his property and estate. They comprise legal documents and copies of letters (some in McGill's hand) concerning his land holdings on St. Paul St., Montréal, in Stanbridge, and in Detroit. McGill's cash book, 1809-1815, and copy by W.D. Lighthall of a deed of conveyance to McGill of some land formerly occupied by the city fortifications, 1805, are also included, as is a blue-print and sketch by W.D. Lighthall of the site of McGill's St. Paul St. house. Estate papers comprise a probate of McGill's will, copied by Alice Lighthall, and his executor's cash book.
Immediate source of acquisition
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Photostat preservation copies of files 1, 3, and 4 available in the collection as files 17, 18, and 19 (Box R-435-2). Estate papers (files 6 and 7) are also available as photostats, in bound volume also containing preservation copy of Charlotte Frobisher Collection, MSG 434.
Restrictions on access
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Additional 5 cm of textual photostat preservation copies (files 17, 18, 19).