Deed confirms city founded in 1815: historian

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Hamilton historian Robin McKee has had a few ‘eureka’ moments in his historical career. But he didn’t expect one to occur literally in his backyard.

Two years after purchasing a property at 91 John Street, his lawyer found a deed for the land that proves the city’s founder, George Hamilton, bought the property from James Durand on Jan. 25, 1815.

It’s significant, said McKee, because it’s the first time a document has the 1815 date and ties the Hamilton’s to buying land. The property was part of a 257-acre purchase Hamilton made from Durand.

“Only a historian would understand the significance of the date,” said McKee, holding up a copy of the deed. “I think it’s fabulous. It’s indisputable evidence about Hamilton’s birth.”

It means, said McKee, that Hamilton had the idea of creating a town in 1815, rather than in 1816, when it is customarily understood that Hamilton was created....

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