Cunard, Sir Samuel
Cunard grew up in Nova Scotia, the son of Loyalist parents. After serving in the War of 1812, he prospered as a Halifax merchant, with interests in timber, land, and shipping. In 1830 he joined the Nova Scotia establishment as a councillor, a member of the colony's government. With experience in mail shipping in the colonies, he obtained a contract in 1839 to transport mail by steamship, what he termed an ocean railway, between Britain and Halifax. The following year he organized the British and North American Royal Mail Steam-Packet Company, the corporate predecessor of the Cunard Line. He was knighted in 1859 for his service and that of his company during the Crimean War.
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