The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Strachan, Hon. James Ford
Strachan, Hon. James Ford, was an early settler in Port Phillip (Vict.), and a leading merchant in Melbourne, in which city he built the first brick store. He was an active promoter of separation from New South Wales, and when the colony of Victoria was constituted in 1851 he was returned to the semi-elective Legislative Council, then the only chamber, as member for Geelong in October of that year. After responsible government was conceded in 1855, Mr. Strachan was elected to the first wholly elective Legislative Council for the South-western Province. He was a member of the second Haines Ministry without portfolio from April 1857 to March 1858. During the great constitutional battle between the two Houses on the tariff and Darling grant "tacks" Mr. Strachan took a leading part on the side of the Council, and resigning his seat for the South-western Province, contested the Western against the late Henry Miller, who had accepted office under Sir J. M'Culloch, and defeated him. He died at Geelong on April 14th, 1875, aged sixty-five years.