Christopher Alexander Hagerman

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Christopher Alexander Hagerman (28 March 1792 – 14 May 1847) was a Canadian militia officer, politician, and judge.

Known as 'Handsome Kit', he was born at the Bay of Quinte, Adolphustown, Ontario. He was a son of United Empire Loyalist Major Nicholas Hagerman (1761–1819) J.P., and his wife Anne (1758–1847), daughter of John and Mary (Campbell) Fisher, formerly of Killin. Kit's grandfather, Christopher Hagerman (b.1722), was a Dutch officer in the service of the Prussian Army who had fought for George III at the Battle of Culloden. Following the Battle of Quebec (1759), he was granted 2,000 acres in Albany, New York. During the American Revolutionary War, Hagerman's father (Nicholas) came under suspicion from the Commission for Detecting and Defeating Conspiracies and went over to the British in 1778. In Upper Canada, he signed with Captain Alexander White's company of Associated Loyalists and later settled with his servant in Adolphustown with the help of Peter Van Alstine. Kit Hagerman's uncle, Judge Alexander Fisher (1756–1830) M.P., of Adolphustown, was the father of Helen and Henrietta Fisher who married the brothers Thomas Kirkpatrick and Judge Stafford Kirkpatrick respectively.

In 1807, Hagerman began his career in the law offices at Kingston, Ontario of his father, one of the first appointed barristers in Upper Canada. He served in his father's militia regiment during the War of 1812, becoming the aide-de-camp to Lieutenant-General Gordon Drummond, who regarded him highly, later gaining the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. Having grown up outside John Strachan's inner circle, his military service and association with Drummond gave him the entree he needed for political success.

After the war he was appointed the lucrative position of Collector of Customs at Kingston, also representing the riding of Kingston in the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada. Called to the Bar of Upper Canada in 1815, in 1829 he was appointed solicitor general for the province and in 1837 he became attorney general. He was a leading member and advocate of the Family Compact, a staunch conservative and well known for his loyalty to the Church of England. He was appointed judge for the Court of Queen's Bench in 1840.

Hagerman was an excellent and skilled orator and conversationalist. He was a powerfully built man, both bumptious and aggressive, and on one occasion horse whipped Robert Fleming Gourlay. As popular as he was within the Family Compact (he was a particular favourite of John Colborne, 1st Baron Seaton), he was thoroughly hated by those outside the circle.

He was married three times. In 1817 he married Elizabeth, daughter of James Macaulay. In England in 1834, he married Elizabeth Emily, daughter of the British Deputy Secretary at War, William Merry (1762–1855) of Lansdowne Terrace, Cheltenham, by his wife Anne, daughter of Kender Mason of Beel House, Buckinghamshire, the sister of Henry Mason, who married a niece of Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson. Two years later, again in England, he married Caroline, daughter of William George Daniel-Tyssen (1773–1838) of Foley House etc., High Sheriff of Kent, by his wife Amelia, only daughter and heiress of Captain John Amhurst R.N., of East Farleigh Court, Kent. Hagerman died at Toronto in 1847, the father of four children by his first marriage and a daughter by his second.

There was a township of "Hagerman" in Ontario named after him. Township of Hagerman was amalgamated with a few others to form Whitestone, Ontario.

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