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Accession No: mha00000246
Title: W. D. Lawrence fonds
Dates: Microfilmed 1963 (originally created 1835-1908)
Location: Mic.5-3-5-4/5 MHA
Provenance: Lawrence, W.D. (William Dawson), 1817-1886
Extent: 2 microfilm reels
Source of Supplied Title: Title is based on the creator of the fonds
Restrictions: No restrictions.
Adm. Hist/Bio. Sketch: William Dawson Lawrence (1817-1886) was a shipbuilder, shipowner, and politician of Maitland, Hants County, Nova Scotia. He was born at Gilford, Northern Ireland in 1817 and moved to Nova Scotia with his parents when he was an infant.
     In 1838, Lawrence apprenticed in the shipyards of Alexander Lyle and John Chappell. In 1847, he designed the 568 ton barque Wanderer which was launched in 1849. He then became involved in the design, construction, ownership and operation of his own vessels, deep sea barques and ships which carried general cargoes to all parts of the world. The construction of the 2,459 ton ship William D. Lawrence, registered in 1874, put Lawrence in debt for $27,000. However, over the next eight years the vessel not only cleared the debt, but made a profit for its owners of over $140,000.
     Lawrence was active in politics throughout the 1860s. In 1859, he was appointed Justice of the Peace for Hants County, and, in 1863, he was elected as the member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Hants County where he supported free education and adamantly opposed confederation with the Canadas (1867). In the election of 1871, he campaigned as an anti-confederate but was defeated by William Henry Allison. He retained an active interest in politics until his death in 1886.

Source: Dictionary of Canadian Biographies V. XI, p. 501.
Scope and Content: Fonds consists of microfilmed account books, 1859-1902, 1861-62; a log book of the brig Aeolus; a book containing newspaper clippings; and loose documents, including indentures, bills of sale and petitions, 1835-1908
Reproduction Note: Filmed from the original documents by the Public Archives of Nova Scotia in 1963. Original papers held by Miss Abbie Lawrence, granddaughter of W.D. Lawrence
Terms Governing Use: Copyright held by the owner Miss Abbie Lawrence, Maitland, Hants County, NS.
Custodial History: Unknown.
Finding Aids: List of files on the microfilm box
Finding Aid on the Web:
Subject: Aeolus (Ship)
Subject: Shipbuilders--Nova Scotia
Subject: Maitland (Nova Scotia)
Subject: Log books
Subject: Accounts
Subject: Clippings
Subject: Legal documents.

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