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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DENISON, George Taylor, Canadian lawyer, born in Toronto, 17 July 1816; died 30 May 1873. He was educated at Upper Canada College, Toronto, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1840. He served as a volunteer in the rebellion of 1837, participated in the siege of Navy Island, and was one of the officers that obtained the information that led to the capture and destruction of the steamer "Caroline." In 1846 he was appointed to the command of a cavalry troop (raised by his father, Lieutenant Colonel G. T. Denison), now known as the governor general's bodyguard, and in 1855 took an active part in organizing the militia under the new law passed that year, which was the foundation of the present military system of Canada. He organized the Toronto field battery, and in 1860, at the request of Sir Edmund Head, the governor general, organized the queen's own rifles.
His son, George Taylor Denison, born in Toronto, 31 August 1839, was educated at Upper Canada College, and is an LL.D. of Toronto University. He was gazetted to the active militia in 1855 as a cornet, was made a major in 1862, and promoted to the command of the governor general's bodyguard in 1866, a command which he still (1887) holds. He was admitted to the bar in 1861, and in 1866 he served during the Fenian raid, commanding the outposts on the Niagara River, in the autumn of that year, under Colonel (now Lord) Wolseley in 1872, and again in 1873, he was sent to Great Britain to represent the Ontario government in emigration matters. In 1872 he contested Algoma for the House of Commons, but was defeated. In 1877 he was appointed police magistrate of Toronto, and in 1885 served in the Riel rebellion in the northwest.
In 1882 Colonel Denison was appointed an original member of the English literature section of the Royal society of Canada, and in 1885 was elected its president. He is the author of " Manual of Outpost Duties" (Toronto, 1866); " History of the Fenian Raid" (1866); "Modern Cavalry" (London, England, 1868); and a " History of Cavalry " (London, 1877). The two last named have been translated into Russian, German, and Hungarian. The "History of Cavalry" was awarded the 5,000 rubles offered by the emperor of Russia as a prize for the best work on that subject. Colonel Denison visited Russia on the occasion of receiving the prize, and was presented to the Czar and Czarina.
Another son, Frederick Charles Denison, soldier, born in Toronto, 22 November 1846, was educated at Upper Canada College, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1870. He served for some months in the administrative battalion at Niagara in 1865, and the same year was gazetted cornet in the governor general's bodyguard, serving in this capacity on the Niagara frontier during the Fenian raid in 1866. He served as an orderly to Colonel Wolseley on the Red River expedition of 1870, and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1884, when he sailed from Quebec in command of a force of Canadian voyageurs, to aid in the campaign in the Soudan for the relief of General Gordon. Colonel Denison accompanied General Earle's column, and took part in the battle of Kirbecan. The services rendered by the Canadian boatmen were thought so valuable that they received the thanks of the imperial parliament, and their officer was made a companion of the order of St. Michael and St. George. He is a fellow of the Royal historical society of England, and is the author of the "Historical Record of the Governor General's Body Guard," with its standing orders.
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