Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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FERGUSON, Adam, Canadian agriculturist, born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in March 1783: died 26 September 1862. He studied law and was admitted as an advocate, but never practiced. In 1833 he came to Canada, and with James Webster, of Guelph, founded the town of Fergus, in what is now the County of Wellington. He was called to the legislative council of Upper Canada in 1841, and after the union of Upper and Lower Canada, held a seat in that body from 1841 till his death. He was widely known as an agriculturist, and was a director on the first board of agriculture. To him is largely due the credit of establishing the agricultural association, of which he was repeatedly president, and the chair of agriculture in University College, Toronto.
His son, Adam Johnston, Canadian statesman, born in Balthayvock house, Perthshire, Scotland, in 1815; died 30 December 1867, was first educated in Edinburgh, came to Canada in 1833, studied law, and was called to the bar of Upper Canada in 1859. He was lieutenant colonel of the 4th battalion of the Wellington militia, and, while yet a youngman became a district judge of Upper Canada. Entering into political life, he sided with the Liberal party in Canada, and sat in the lower house of the provincial parliament for Waterloo, from 1849 till 1854, and for the South Riding of Wellington from 1854 till 1857. In 1860 he was elected by acclamation to the legislative council from the Brock division, and reelected on his appointment to office in 1863. From March till July 1863, he was receiver general, when he was appointed provincial secretary in the government of John Sandfield Macdonald. In 1866 he was president of the council in the administration of Sir N. F. Belleau, and in 1867 he became a senator and president of the Privy Council in the government of the Dominion. Mr. Ferguson exercised much influence with the political party with which he was associated. He assumed the name of Blair after that of Ferguson on succeeding to the estate of Balthayvock in 1862.
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