Attawandaron: Hamilton's Publisher

Attawandaron is a small press based in Hamilton, Canada. We focus on quality books of local interest.

Feature Book Information

Isaac Buchanan first saw Canada in 1830 as a pensive 19-year-old, dispatched to the new world by a stern older brother bent upon restoring the fortunes of a proud Scottish family. From clerk in Montreal, Isaac rose to lead his own firms in Toronto and Hamilton which, by the late 1840s, had become dominant players in the Canadian wholesale trade. But money-making money was never Isaac’s sole concern. Settling in the ambitious city of Hamilton, he pursued a diverse career as businessman, writer and politician. He also created Clairmont Park, a country estate featuring a picturesque manor house called Auchmar.

The story of this unusual man is an absorbing tale of raucous parliaments, rebellion and assassination; of Canada’s first major railroad, a stunning achievement accompanied by horrific disasters and shocking corruption; of professional, personal and civic bankruptcy, of American invasions, and of the birth of a nation. In all of these, Isaac Buchanan played a significant role. Along the way, we glimpse his sometimes volatile relationships with contemporaries such as Allan MacNab and John A. Macdonald. In later life, Buchanan re-enters the political scene as the advocate of a National Policy designed to guide Canada toward industrial and financial independence, arguing passionately that the first duty of political leaders is the employment of the people.

This book also lifts the curtain on the life shared by Isaac at Auchmar with his wife Agnes, humble lioness and doting mother hen. The final chapters trace the subsequent history of the Auchmar estate including its reclamation by the second generation of Buchanans and its eventual acquisition by the people of Hamilton in 1999.

Thoroughly researched and illustrated, Buchanan of Auchmar casts a valuable spotlight on a little known yet fascinating chapter in Canada’s past.