Born in Leith, Scotland, on 21 May 1813, James was a son of James and Janet Stevenson, and he followed his father to Upper Canada, where the latter had obtained an important position in the Crown lands department. During the uprisings of 1837-38, James Jr. volunteered for service in the militia, and his regiment was sent to Bytown to oversee military works connected with the Rideau canal. He left army life in 1838, and in 1839 entered the office of the commissioner of Crown lands in Quebec City. When the Bank of Montreal opened an agency in Bytown in 1842, it appointed James Jr. as its agent. He did not remain long as agent in Bytown, being replaced in 1843 by his father. He married Harriet, daughter of the Rev. Michael Harris, on 6 January 1847. He died in Quebec City on 10 December 1894 [Brault 1946; Denison 1967; Paré 1990; Serré 2004].