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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CROOKS, James, Canadian merchant, born in Kilmarnock, Scotland, in 1778; died in West Flamborough, Ontario, in 1860. He was one of the earliest settlers in Upper Canada, making his home at Niagara in 1794. He established the first paper-mill, and sent the first load of wheat and flour from Upper Canada to Montreal. During the war of 1812 he served with distinction at Queenstown and other points on the Niagara frontier. He was soon afterward elected to the assembly, and ultimately became a member of the legislative council. --His son, Adam Crooks, Canadian statesman, born in West Flamborough, Ontario, 11 December 1827; died 28 December 1885, was graduated with honors at King's College, Toronto, in 1850, admitted to the bar in 1851, and distinguished himself as an equity lawyer. He was for eight years vice-chancellor of the University of Toronto (formerly King's College). He contested the representation of the West Riding of Toronto in the Ontario legislative assembly in 1867 as a liberal, and was defeated, but was elected by the same constituency in 1871, and appointed attorney general in Mr. Blake's cabinet. He became provincial treasurer under Mr. Mowat in 1872, and minister of education in 1876, holding the two portfolios until 1877, when he resigned the treasurer's, but retained that of the minister of education until 1883, when he was judicially declared insane and confined in a private asylum at Hartford, Conn. Though his administration of the department of education was successful in a certain sense, his concessions to the Catholic hierarchy of Ontario in deleting passages obnoxious to them from Collier's school history of England, and the discarding of one of Sir Walter Scott's poems as a teachers' examination class-book, for a similar reason, gave great offence to the majority of the liberal party, as well as to the conservatives.
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